Still looking at new pack canoe options...
thinking about the Kee 14. I'm wondering if it is too small for me. My everyday paddle mass would be between 200-270 pounds depending on dog or no dog. My trip weight would be 320 For fully loaded. For perspective I had plenty of room (and freeboard) in a Bell Magic which is narrower but longer. I am 6'1". Thanks in advance! And, for the technically inclined how much slower might this be than the Magic?
Still looking at new pack canoe options...
would be a better fit
Only problem with the 15 is wider than I want, and if I’m sitting-pack boat style the sides are higher than I’d want. I know I do want a narrow canoe no wider than 24" - thanks though.
Have you considered the Placid Boatworks RapidFire? Sounds like it’s what you need.
How did the number 24 arrive? It that maximum beam or max waterline beam? Waterline Length to Width Ratio might be a better number, an easily arrived at approximation of Block and Prismatic coefficients. Kee 14 is 6.8, Kee 15 = 6.9, RapidFire = 7.2. A successive comparison might be skin friction, where the shorter and wider hulls come out slightly on top. Handling will be very similar as Rapid and Kee 14 are iteration 4 and 5 of Yosts Small Solo Tripper series, Kee 15 is iteration 8 of Yost’s Medium Solo Tripper Series.
I know a 150lb lady who paddles a Rapid with an 80lb pup aboard, but the dog is quiet in the boat and she doesn’t camp. You are a couple body sizes up and want to add gear and we don’t know if the dog will move or not, all suggesting the larger boat. Swift’s raised carbon seat base solves the pack canoe ergonomics problem with the higher sides in the K15.
On the other hand, you may be endowed with exceptional balance and the dog may go comatose afloat. Best to try them all this spring, with the pup along.
I know from paddling a Bell Magic for many years that I liked the narrower paddling station, 23" at the gunwales, and I’ve paddled canoes like the MR Indy that were wider - but not as efficient for me. My only real concern for the Kee 15 is that with the extra width at the gunwales and height of the gunwales that my paddling stroke might be awkward. I paddled an NDK Explorer sea kayak for many years and have a good double bladed paddle stroke with torso rotation. Charlie, have you any impression of how the Kee 15 paddles with a double blade? Thanks!
I own and love a Kee 14. But I wouldn’t even think of putting the total weight you mentioned in it. My heaviest total when tripping is app 230#. I’m taking my Osprey on my May trip because I will be hauling 260 or so.
BeamS and Paddle Angle
There are two amidships beams affecting paddler efficiency through limitation of paddle angle, Rail beam and Maximum beam.
Rail beam will limit paddle angle for small folks whose shoulders are near the rail height. This is a pretty rare situation, but the reason pack canoes often have reduced depth. A 5’ individual sitting on a 1/2" foam pad in a Kee 15 might find the rails inhibiting an efficient vertical stroke. That is why Swift has a significant carbon seat pedestal; it raises the paddler ~5" off the bilges. The additional height improves reach to the water, entry and egress and paddler comfort.
Once the paddler is established high enough to reach across the rail, Maximum beam inhibits stroke verticality. RapidFire is 27.5 " wide, Kee 14 28" wide, Magic 29" and Kee 15 29.5" wide. In the end it doesn’t make much difference because most recreational paddlers eschew vertical double bladed strokes because they are wet. The quarter pint of water hoisted on the blade cascades off the drip ring like a showerhead, so we tend to use less efficient but dry horizontal strokes.
Thank you everyone, and of course thank you, Charlie for your replies. My plan is now to wait until Spring and try out the Kee 15 for myself and the 14 for my wife. If the 15 isn’t what I’m looking for I’ll head East and consider either the Pb RapidFire or Hemlock Perigrine (I realize they are quite different I won’t be able to try the NY boats before I buy as I live ten hours away - but I will be near both shops on vacation. In the Spring I may see who has either boat in my area (SE Michigan).
And, Charlie. I’ve been thinking about that pack boat paddle stroke. I was trained by a kayak racer from Chicago and have a decent paddle stroke in a kayak, I might not like changing it to a flatter stroke. But, I don’t like water dripping on me either. LOL
Back when I first started solo paddling a canoe, I relied on a double-blade paddle a lot. I figured out right away that drip rings are totally useless with a high-angle stroke, but rather than sit there getting wet, I fixed the problem. Here's what I did.
I installed a little cup just above the base of each blade, with the attachment part of the cup built almost completely around the shaft, but the main water-catching part only surrounding half the shaft at most. To imagine the shape, think of a very small funnel (about four inches long from top to bottom and four inches wide across the top rim), and then imagine cutting it from top to bottom into two identical halves. The narrow end of each half-funnel attached flush to the paddle shaft, and the open end was free of the shaft to catch water coming down the blade. In actual fact, each drip cup wasn't really "half a funnel". They were more more streamlined around the top rim than that, not having wasted surface area that a true half-funnel would have (Imagine rounding off the corners quite a bit, and that will be pretty close to the actual shape).
I made these cups from material cut from a truck-tire inner tube, and I left the original drip-rings in place, wedged into the base of each funnel to ensure that the flare stayed open. They worked like a charm, and added less than 3/8ths of an ounce to the weight of the paddle. Unless you fiddle the stroke a bit, you'll still get a very small amount of water falling out of the cup at the end of the stroke, but at least the amount of water is very small, and the place where it falls is limited to a small area in front of you (this is much better than having 20-times as much water coming down all over the place).
If you are interested,
stop by the Quiet Water Symposium March 7th. Ron Sell will be bringing Ted Bell to display at the show. There is a very good chance that a Northstar Phoenix will be a very special door prize.
QWS is a wonderful show and I’ll try to make it! Thanks for the reminder.
Hmmmmm, Phoenix door prize?
That might motivate me to make the 320 mile drive, if weather is decent.