Magic as a small peoples solo?

Has any one here put in bow and stern seat and used the Magic as tandem for a couple of middle schoolers? Figure

it would be great tight paddling positions but only a few years till it was too small,

thoughts a observations?

I have an old Mohawk video
where they put two seats (maybe kneeling thwarts) in a Solo 13(maybe 14) for kids to paddle. Kids did OK in it in the video. It would be pretty tight in the front of a Magic.

Should work fine!

– Last Updated: Dec-13-10 9:18 AM EST –

The Magic is 3' longer than our Flashfire... and has an correspondingly huge optimum load capacity: 280lbs is two of me, let alone two youngsters!

For youngsters, the reduced knee spread and narrower paddling stations are great when using solos as tandems: we find it ideal with our Flashfire, and I see no reason why the Magic should be any different.

Growing out of it? By the time a pair of youngers grow out of a Magic as a tandem, they'd surely be wanting one each as solos anyway!

depends on the paddlers
It doesn’t just depend on the load capacity of the boat and whether or not you can jam the paddlers between the gunwales. With only 25.5" of width at the waterline, the Magic is very narrow for a tandem, 1.5" narrower at the waterline than a Jensen V-1 Pro, which people fall out of all the time.

If the two paddlers are conscious to keep their weight centered over their hips, and don’t make any sudden movements, it might work. But if they both lean in the same direction at the same time, as kids tend to do, I’ll bet they would go over in a flash.

I just put tandem seats in a Mad River Traveler this year and paddled it tandem a few times. It works well, but that boat is 29" wide at the waterline, and I would not care to be in it with an inattentive paddler.

Youngsters and falling in…
Stability concerns strike me as more of a worried-parents thing (generally based more on paranoia than reason). Maybe supersized kids would have an issue, but I’d hope most average sized kids could stand in a Magic (even 2-up).

More generally, I’m a firm believer that if a pair of kids are going to do stuff that could lead to counting fish if tried in a Magic… they’d probably end up doing the same from something like the bigger Northstar - and the chances are they’ll be doing it with big smiles on their faces and with no regrets, happy with the “water” bit of “watersport”!

What kids don’t find easy is powering a canoe along: that wetted surface area on a tandem can be a killer for small muscles, especially trying to sustain a decent pace… and get a small tandem in a headwind and you’ve a recipe for exhausted, miserable youngsters.

Ps. We’ve had 3-up in the Flashfire (all juniors, the larger two being novices): the only reason they eventually went in is because my daughter eventually got bored with being the right way up and did everything she could to flip the canoe. Photo (upright):

Remember that tippiness is more a
funtion of hull design than just of hull width. I think my MR Guide Solo would make a good kids tandem. Our MR Synergy is narrower than the Guide, but is not tippy or treacherous.

The length of a hull affects tippiness also. But even a short, narrow hull can be very steady. It just depends on what the sides of the hull do when it starts to tip. Subtracting the ears, my slalom c-1 is only 26" wide, and the long, flat tail does not contribute to stability. Yet the boat is very reassuringly steady, more so than touring c-1s I have owned.

I think the Magic would work fine

– Last Updated: Dec-13-10 1:28 PM EST –

My seven year old grandkid loves canoeing and loves to tip his boats over. He has to work at it though, even with his 22 inch wide solo. So hull design does have an influence. I think the Magic would work well enough to try. For sure the MR Guide or whatever name it has this week has lots of flare in the bow and it resists tipping. Some adult men can actually stand in the thing and reverse their bodies.

The more kids fall in the more its a good thing. Giving them a boat they can learn with that is appropriately sized is good. Tandem in a small boat they can actually empty it and get back in. My grandson struggles with the OT Discos at camp.

Most kids are not afraid of the tip factor if you start them early enough. Kind of like three year old kamikaze skiers. At 33 they are lots more cautious (mostly)

Remember that the bow station is the most cramped. Its going to be comparatively deep (some five inches or more depth compared to the normal paddling station in the center) so you can actually raise the floor with minicell foam cut to fit the hull. Then the bow child can plant their knees farther apart. Otherwise the shape of the hull without the foam tends to force the knees together. You will then need a longer kid paddle but they wont have the rail hitting them in the armpit.

Rigged a WWC1
16ft Wenonah years ago as a tandem for two small guys. Had the seats fairly close if I remember right. Did not work all that great although they ran a fairly long class 2 in it for a trial but they were pretty good WW paddlers and could have run that section on a log. . Anyway my two boys ages 10 and 8 or so at the time cranked around the pond with it for a year or so without a whole lot of trouble.

Often an OC-1 will have too little
volume in the ends to make a good tandem. You can put folks closer together, but it doesn’t help much. It’s the total product of width and length and hull design that makes for adequate stability.

I’ve always wondered what it feels like when those low wings on marathon OC-1s slice into waves. Could be interesting. Of course, those wings are there in part to meet a formula, just like the 1" wings on my slalom boat. The answer can be to drop the formula and let the racers and builders work it out for themselves.


– Last Updated: Dec-14-10 2:35 PM EST –

There is long tradition in converting larger solos to kids' tandem use. The main issue is always bow paddler knee room, but excessive tumblehome also makes stemward paddling stations tight. I expect Magic will suffer from both ailments, its delta shape with long narrow bow making bow seat placement and width at the bow paddling station problematical. It wouldn't be as bad as Wenonah/others UCSA Comp cruisers. Dipping the wings on a comp cruiser as G2 Alludes would result in a quick bath. Fuller shaped, generally earlier solos like the OT/Bell CJ Solo, Curtis's Solo Tripper, Mowhawk's solo 14 or a MRC Guide would be better choices.

Charlie, I wonder if those wings are
kinda like the spoke cutters in “Ben Hur”— a way of disabling competing boats.

Direct Correlation?

– Last Updated: Dec-14-10 6:15 PM EST –

Is it fair to say that a pair of youngsters who are nearer 4' than 5' tall and weigh less than 100 lbs each should be more stable in (and fit as well in) a 25.5" waterline-beam craft as a pair of adults who are nearer 6' (and proportionately heavier) in a similarly shaped hull with (say) a 32" waterline-beam?

Beyond that... if a Magic with a 25.5" waterline beam works for kneeling for (say) a 5'10"-6' adult paddler... what's an appropriate knee spread for (say) a 4'6"-4'8" junior paddler?

I'd have thought most 6-12 year olds (and smaller teenagers) would find a bow station in lots of solos pretty reasonable.

Actually, they represent Gene Jensen lawyering his way around the USCA rulebook. The tips of the wings touch the USCA 4" or 3", pro boat, jig so the boats are legal. Fact is, they run 2.5" waterlines ~ 22 in wide and suborn the intent of the poorly written rules. And they get wicked squirrely when waves reache the wing’s topside.