My ~5000th time paddling a SOT

I noticed the inconsistencies as well. I also quickly saw the frequent posters here have an immense knowledge and experience base and that is really great to find when coming into a forum.

I am an admin and mod on another forum dealing with home improvements and construction and we have similar seasoned pros offering advice to all levels of members and it is always a struggle to figure out where the new member asking questions is on the scale. You don’t want to talk down to someone’s level but also not overshoot their abilities. We also struggle with safety not unlike here as giving advice sometimes has risk involved.

From what I can see here as a relatively new to paddle boats the advice I have been given and the welcome extended have been great.

Google has been my friend and when I first heard of pack canoes I also wasn’t sure what they were but with a half hour of youtube vids I was well aware of what they offered and working on copying some of their features into making my tandem canoe into a solo.

As to SOT rec kayaks they are selling like hotcakes here for between $200-400 and people seem to use them two different ways. The first is as a play boat with the intension of getting wet and being in and out of the water. The second is as a fishing platform and staying dry with a seat riser and the addition of DIY pontoons. Most of the fishing usage are the bigger/wider variety and to me they look overburdened with gear. I also see them out early in the season with some cold water and they are trusting of the stability they have added. I see them mostly hugging the shoreline in calm lakes. For me I would trust my 147 set up to solo fish or doing some solo camping before I would a SOT. That’s just my opinion. I kind of feel the same way about open rec kayaks.

All things have a place I guess. :canoe:

Bud -
If you are thinking of converting a raised seat canoe, note that one of the things they do in pack canoes is add in what Placid Boat Works calls a belly band to create strength under the seat. Because regular single blade canoes usually put their strength for seats into the gunwales, for the hangers for the seats.

Or boulderfields…or worry about how to lock it up so it won’t get stolen. Some of my best adventures were in one of those cheap coleman canoes. I’d flip it around and paddle from the front seat facing the other way with the gear in front of me and the weight distribution was about perfect. And I paid so little for it, I felt no need to protect it. I bought one due to an advertisement for it where it was bent around a boulder, then taken out, popped back into shape, replaced a few alum bars and you’re good to go. It was one I could swamp in deep water and go for a swim, then right it and get into it pretty easily.

Purists can certainly ruin fun things can’t they? I think that they are just not very happy people and feel the need to share that with others. I was in the bass pro store in denver one time and they had a big room for fly fishing. Fly fishing people have a lot of ‘proper’ and ‘purist’ types. Anyway, I went in there and was looking for about a 9 weight rod. The store guy asked me what I was looking for and I told him. He was a bit taken aback at the heavier weight I was seeking, so I told him I was going to put a spinning reel on it so I can cast out farthere. The look on his face was literally a mix of shock and disdain. :smile: He just could not fathom a creature like me. I used that setup from the shore of lake michigan to get the lure way out there and it really worked great. I think that fly rod I used was a $50 one…

Bless your heart :smile: I used to be in the trades and was on a few boards but they turned into being overrun with DIY people always asking how to, tips and tricks, etc. When DIY/HO sections were made, then they tried to come off as a contractor, but asking diy level info. I’d just tell them to get one of those books they sell at HD on ‘how to’ and read it. They didn’t, they were lazy and wanted to be told how to do it.

Then as the trades changed, contractors were asking each other ‘how to’ and ‘tips and tricks’. They should know better and have an idea on a trade before they venture into it and again, if need be, they can read one of those books to have a basis to at least ask educated questions. But like the DIY/HO people, they wouldn’t and would get offended when I told them that.

I respect the trades, each one, and I learned by being humble, going into another trade, I read a lot of it so had a pretty good understanding of it, then took the job at a lower level and worked my way up. The more I learned, the more I did, the bigger knowledge and experience base I had when I did a ‘transfer’ into another trade to where it sometimes was just the ‘tips and tricks’ practicality of how they did something.

So I lost a lot of respect for the tradesmen who didn’t respect the trades. Then boards started to get involved in the selling of products–sometimes w/o telling the people–so just lost interest in that type of board. I know how tough your job is. I’d not do it as it’d drive me nuts.

He said it himself…noise.

My canoe has undergone two iterations of changes over the short time I had it. the first was trying to keep it a tandem canoe and still provide a better trim when used as a solo. The second go round I just wanted it to be a solo boat and have front to back balance with and without a load other than myself. So in taking out the center thwart I added one to each end to define kind of a cockpit area and two separate cargo areas one in front and one behind me and still have my flotation in each end. So if I’m going light my trim will be correct and I will ride pretty high in the water for when the water is low, and if I want to load some gear I can split it up keeping trim where I want it. The problem I was having with the first setup going solo was I would need to always haul along some ballast in the bow to trim the canoe.

The way I built my center seat is it hangs off the gunwales but it also has a lot of stiffness and easily adds as much as a thwart would I think.

I have had it out like this and it seemed to do pretty good.

If you would like to see some pictures and comment on the “Pack” like idea of my conversion I would like to hear your thoughts. Post 31 shows where I’m at now.
My Old Town Guide-147 - #31 by bud16415

The bottoms of these OT canoes seem to flex a lot as there is a big flat area with no real keel. For a while I had a foam block under my seat frame that fit tight. I think it is shown in that same thread. It worked pretty good at firming up the bottom and I’m thinking of putting it back again. :canoe:


Yep we get one or two a week on how do I wire a 3way switch. I often say do a search on “3way” and you will find a 100 threads explaining it. If I had to answer all the questions alone I would for sure go crazy, but we have a good core group and many have a specialty and help in the area they know best. One thing is being able to take and post photos is a huge help. I see it on this forum also it is so much nicer to look at pics than read a long post explaining something.

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Bud and Dago: Retired electrician, inspector and former apprentice instructor here and your comment about the persistent DIYers’ (and even supposed “tradesman”) questions about basic stuff they ought to know or could readily find rings oh so true. I used to post on those DIY and tradesperson sites until I grew numb at that sort of repetition, as well as the inability for many to listen and follow advice we would painstakingly provide.

On the 3-way switch query, that is always a problem here in the Northeast and some midwestern cities, where older houses turn up with the infamous dual circuit single wire staircase 3 way configuration of the early days of home wiring. More fuses have been blown, breakers tripped and fingers zapped by people swapping out those old installations without understanding them. Around here they are called a “Pittsburgh 3-way” but I think “Chicago 3-way” is a more widespread designation.

I eventually drew a detailed diagram showing how those circuit swapping switch arrangements for stairwells worked and how to test for that application so I could shoot questioners who seemed to have them a PDF. But eventually I just gave up and would tell anyone baffled by a 3 way (or 4 way, heaven help us) to not touch it, and hire a licensed electrician, preferably the oldest one they can find.

Even alleged “electricians” can screw up multi-switch locations in new construction. i was visiting a friend near Boston two years ago whose large and fairly new house had a big upstairs hall with multiple switching locations at several bedrooms as well as downstairs for the hall and stairwell lights. My hosts had been mystified for years at not being able to switch the light reliably from downstairs and upstairs and having one switch that seemed not to do anything. The owner had tried to mess with it, a super smart guy and renowned MIT PhD, with no luck. In thanks for their hospitality I eventually straightened it out (two 3-ways daisy chained to three 4-ways) but it took a lot of continuity testing and head scratching to figure out what the Sam Hill had been done so I could correct it.


We have one of those that controls lights in 2 rooms. I looked at it and decided I wasn’t qualified to do anything else.

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Good call that more people should make. I tell people if they can’t figure out why it was done that way they shouldn’t touch it. Or if you don’t know how to build it, you won’t know how to price it.

IMHO, it shows just how lazy people are. Often they are into the process and have to ask a “how to?” question. Why did you undertake this if you didn’t know what you were doing? Clearly they don’t respect the trade. Manufacturers hold some responsibility for this also as they sell their tools/kits and market them being goof proof.

I used to be against having to pull permits as I viewed it as a revenue generator for the local govt. However, when I moved into remodeling, all the cr*p I saw out there, I’ve changed and become somewhat militant in having to pull permits. The new purchaser of a house doesn’t know what’s covered up in the walls until it fails or a simple change entails a great deal of work to do.

The house we’re living in now, one of those handyman did the basement. I’d be vacuuming the basement and the lights would go out in the upstairs hallway and one room because the breaker tripped. So I tore everything out to include the studs and started from scratch. Someone knew a little bit about electricity, but didn’t care is best I can figure out. Whoever it was, he was very strong as I’ve never seen so many 12-3 wires fit into such tiny jboxes. I can understand romex behind chair rails or corner trim, but some of the runs were as you said, perplexing.
Some of the logic in it …just…did…not…make…sense.

Pulling a Permit protects everyone.

You guys are great! I enjoy the DIY banter and descriptions and respect the skills and knowledge that go with it… I am on the exact opposite end of the spectrum :slight_smile: I made everything “smart” so the switches never get used… I don’t want switches, just give me that constant power and I’ll do the rest via software… of course you can imagine how well it works, “Honey the lights aren’t working again… hold on hold on… let me go reboot the server!” :stuck_out_tongue:

I have replaced 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, retiled and repainted the entire house, all back when I was the best help we could afford.
Then I met some true craftsmen. All I did except the paint, has been redone by pros.

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My pro career was all in industrial and commercial wiring (hospitals, schools, prisons, power plants, factories) and though I was licensed to pull the permits and even had passed the BOCA inspectors exams for plan review and residential and light commercial, I loathe residential work and only do it for myself or for people I really really like or with whom I have reciprocal favor debt.

I’ll pitch in especially when I determine that their wiring is so bad it risks their safety. Already went through helping a friend who lost nearly everything when her rental house burned down Though in that case I am pretty sure it was a lightning strike (rather than the dicey wiring) that burned through to a closet where she had a gallon of Coleman fuel stored – once that heated up that’s all she wrote – lucky they were at work when it happened, though one of their cats freaked out when the firemen arrived and ran back in and got some serious burns (kitty survived after a month at the vet but lost the top half of both ears and had burn scars on her paws.)

In fact I tend to use a lot of “commercial” type materials and installation methods on my own homes including oversized steel junction boxes for devices and splices and metal conduit in exposed attic and basement spaces.

A main reason for detesting residential work (besides it all being buried in walls and ceilings I have to patch later) is having to deal with the nightmare wiring hidden inside of them inflicted by “self-taught” homeowners and not-so-handymen, even supposed “electricians” who must have flunked trade school.

When I relocated for 8 years to West Michigan I bought a charming 1906 house in Grand Rapids that had been so horribly “re-muddled” by prior owners without a clue that I ripped out all the wiring and re-did it while living in it. It was a balloon framed wood house so once I opened the lathe and plaster walls (many heavily damaged anyway from years of leaky roofs) it was a piece of cake to run Romex and even conduit from the basement all the way to the attic. What I found in those walls was chilling, a mix of old knob and tube (some stripped bare of insulation by rodents) mixed with scraps of Romex and even 16 gauge lamp cord, all twisted together in open splices inside the wall cavities, some of which connections were “insulated” with wraps of masking tape or even Band-Aids!! There are no baffles or fire blocks in a balloon framed house (no longer legal to build) so any fire will spread through the whole structure in minutes, if not seconds. I did add fire blocking where I could within the open walls but I still banned smoking or candles in the place the whole time I lived there.

From what I could determine, the prior “craftsmen” who worked on the wiring had just randomly connected wires until something was energized and that was “good enough”. I got zapped a few times when a stray extension from some nearby circuit turned out to have a hot lead on something I thought I had traced and locked out. Got really paranoid about triple checking – wore my Wiggy on my hip whenever I was going to touch anything. Mind you that this was a house where somebody had bonded the service panel to the gas lines! Apparently could not tell black iron gas pipe from galvanized water lines. Though I replaced all the latter with copper anyway.

I was blessed with a licensed contractor boyfriend during that 3 years of renovation who taught me what I needed to know about plumbing, ductwork, framing, drywall, trim and demo. I gutted and totally reconfigured and rebuilt the main bath wholly by myself, carved out a second floor powder room above it from a larger room (BF helped with that) and completely built that out and did the same with the kitchen, also solo except for subbing out the counter tops. BF ripped 3 layers (yes, 3) of shingles off the house and installed three operable skylights for me and a new roof.

I blame the DIY and HGTV programming for making the average Dick and Jane (or everybody’s stoner brother in law) think they can remodel their own house by watching those shows and a few YouTube videos. I do admit I enjoyed that cringeworthy “Renovation Realities” half hour show they ran for a while where they just documented various clueless amateurs attempting to demo and remodel their entire kitchens or baths in one weekend (when they can barely drive a nail).

IN truth, the main reason I let my electrical license slide (besides that the annual renewal jumped from $25 to over $300) was that it gives me a perfect excuse to not do work for people who find out my background and want me to fix their electrical issues. No license means no permits and no insurance, sorry folks…

Right there.
I like the balloon framed houses as they mostly are just one big box. I’ve never seen a band-aid, but many romex tied into KT and the power cord for a light cut and tied in to a receptical. These are mostly lights above kitchen sinks.

The owner of HGTV has a house in evergreen CO and if he didn’t have a good carpenter to run the remod of it, fireblocking would have been left out in some places by another contractor, so he almost got a taste of his own product.

I went from doing new construction commercial/condos/hotels to remodeling in houses. That’s when I came to have a pretty big disdain for HOs. It’s a big jump going from commerical ro SF residential in mindset as the person you’re talking to will be the one signing the checks, unlike commercial. Going from new construction to remods also is hard as everything takes longer with the latter.
A remod guy going to commercial will probably not last more than a day or two as he’s thinking and working at remodeler’s speed.

Your computer is a switch. :wink: Motion switches are switches. A door is a switch (put a button switch in the jamb). I’ve often said construction is a way of thinking and in remodeling it’s even moreso.

Ha, fair point, fair point! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve had the added burden with homeowners of them (mostly the husband) not trusting that a female sparky knows what she’s doing and constantly question and even tamper with my work.

I took pity on one of my cousins (mostly on his long-suffering wife) who had been living with just a temporary power panel for over a year in a house he was building himself. The interior walls were all open so I spent several days mounting boxes and jerking romex through it (a nightmare since he had designed and built a split 3-level and placed the service panel in the freaking stairwell so I had less than a square foot of stud space to get all the cables from panel to each floor – also no attic and drywall ceilinged walkout basement – oy!

I got it all roughed in and connected a few outlets and appliances so they could at least live there until he got the drywall up, told him to call me back when that was in the works and I would wrap it up.

A month later I called the wife to ask how it was going and she tearfully reported he had ripped out every box I had roughed in and half the wiring! My cousin is an anal “know it all” who knows very little and thinks he has “better ways” to do things than pros. As is the rational journey(wo)man practice, I placed all the new work JB’s so they would be a hair recessed in the final drywall (like a 16th inch). (I hate when you can’t get the device and cover flush.) Turned out that after I finished my work he went around with a steel straightedge and was aghast that all the boxes were not EXACTLY a half inch out from the stud, which he devoutly believed was the “right” way to do it. And he completely did not understand AC wiring and therefore was baffled by the 3 wire romex I used for some 220 loads and 3 way switching. He apparently asked some “old guy” in the shop he worked at (building pontoon boats) about my using 3 wire cable and the geezer told him that I must not know how to wire houses and was using 3 phase wiring from my industrial experience. So, without bothering to call me, he ripped out nearly a week of my FREE sweat and blood. He replaced all the boxes to the EXACT depth (presumably using machinist calipers??) and removed all the 3 wire romex. Then scratched his head as to how he was going to power the 220 appliances and tried to run parallel 10/2 and 8/2. The electrical inspector read him the riot act on the roughin inspection and I guess he was too embarassed to call me back to correct his goofs. They hired an electrician recommended by the inspector to fix it instead.

I visited them about 6 months after the debacle once the house was “done”. Could not help but notice many of the switch and receptacle plates were “floating”. Not surprising since I heard he had to hire one of the sketchy drywall contractors in the area and I know those guys tend to beat the drywall into the rough-in boxes when they cut them in.

His wife was furious at him over this, I just shrugged it off. A good deed never goes unpunished.


You are missing a great opportunity to have a egocentric guy bask in all of his glory. Each time they question something, ask them, “OK, I’m a fair person who is open to suggestions, so, how would you do this?” Then while shaking your head ‘no’, say “You can’t do that. That’s against code” for each suggestion they give you.
Now you know how to write your contracts. T&M might cut down on the chatty HO. Also stick something in that states, 'as a licensed and insured professional electrician, any changes to the work I have done will incur a $500 surcharge in each instance because, for liability reasons, I will have to go back and correct any unlicensed changes and bring them back into professional standards and code".

What’s weird is the hardest things to give away are often the free ones. The reason is they have nothing invested in it. If he had to pay, even a token amount, he might have reacted differently. This is why the section 8 apartments are often trashed.

I was redoing a guys bathroom once. He was retired, so he would be home, but I didn’t expect him to get a chair and sit at the entrance to watch me. I went out to the truck to get something and he met me at the garage door, followed me in and up, then as I went into the bathroom, he put his chair back at the entrance so he could watch me. I gotta close the door as I need to get behind it’ I told him as I closed the door.
Yeah, kept it closed and kept on working.

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A long-ago boyfriend owned a foreign car repair shop and had prominent sign on his office wall with his rates posted:

Parts and materials — cost +15%
Out of shop work — cost + 10%
Hourly labor rate — $40
Labor rate if you watch — $50
If you help —. $70

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That was LONG ago…