April 21, Is spring ever going to get here?
April 21, Is spring ever going to get here?
Are you from Michigan by chance? Was 19F up here the other night.
No we are close to Erie Pa up on lake Erie. About 30 miles south of the lake now where the water shed flows south instead of north Into the great lakes.
We live real close to French Creek where I hope to be paddling a lot if the weather ever gets nice.
There is a snow belt I90 and south that includes us. Lake effect a lot and we have had winters with 200" of snowfall. Erie has won the snowfall contest for the states a few years and we normally get double what they do.
Ya 19F is to dang cold for April.
Today the companion boat showed up a week early. She liked the OT Trip 10 Deluxe. It is called a fishing kayak but to me is quite similar to the OT Vapor 10 with a few exceptions I thought were improvements. It has a sealed water tight hatch in the stern that adds a nice amount of capsize buoyancy along with dry storage. It has foam in the bow for flotation. It comes with bungee lacing on the bow deck and that made a great place to store a coiled painter. It had an anchor trolley down the side I already removed along with the 5# anchor. It has a couple rod holders mounted into the hull behind the seat and they wont get used by her but won’t hurt anything. Behind the seat there is a nice little area and I took a 1 gallon protein powder can and made a tether from it to one of the anchor lugs. The can will stay behind the seat as a place to put keys and phone and small stuff to stay dry and out of the way. The paddle holder/rest works pretty good and I ran a paddle tether up to the deck and attached it to the rings. One common complaint about these boats is the seat gets hard quick. I have some closed cell foam and I think I will cut her a seat pad to go around the bottle holder.
Other than that we are ready to go ASAP in the two OT boats.
For any of you following along on the canoe lifter I made a few changes. I removed the top 2 blocks. I also tried leaving the canoe dolly attached and attached right on center. To roll it around there it is as easy as rolling a shopping cart at Wal-Mart if the ground is fairly level. When I flip it onto the ramps it needs to be lifted about 4” to hang on the first blocks. I did this by standing between the ramps with my back facing the car. I did that because my driveway is sharp stones and there is no need to rock the gunwales into the stones. The second lift can be done the same way. for the third lift I did it one end at a time. I also noticed that the wheels got in my way for the forth lift so I took them off. The rest of the lifts were easy with the upper blocks gone I just lifted away from the ramps a little and raised it up placing the lower gunwale on the first block. At that point it was high enough it was easy to just go the rest of the way up and on the rack.
I then tied it down and went for a test drive. It handled 60MPH and I really couldn’t notice it up there. I think with a side wind and the little car I would feel it though. I doubt I will ever get past 45MPH where I plan on going.
After I had the canoe on top and before I tightened the belly straps I should have laid one ramp on each side of the canoe on the rack. Then putting the strap on would hold the canoe and the ramps for transport.
Taking it off went very smooth and I put the wheels back on when half way down.
So that’s the process on a shoe string budget for a rack and loader for a 80 lb canoe with a retired 65 year old guy that doesn’t want to throw out his back.
Keeping the thread current on all things Bud related today I built the roof rack extensions so we can haul both the canoe and her rec kayak. I actually made it wide enough to hold two canoes as a neighbor has been looking for someone to float our river here with and he has a pickup that could haul two canoes and if I can carry two also we can simplify needing a livery service. I’m also going to have to figure out a way to widen her rack I’m putting on her brand new KIA Sportage we bought last week. She already said no 2x4 racks on the new car and I ordered cross bars for her rail system that will work for one or the other but not both. So I will be doing something similar to this that goes on and off easily.
The extensions I show below I loaded the rec kayak on just to test the idea and as you can see I have extra room for the Guide 147. I drilled the same holes in the extensions to pin the ladders to help get the canoe on and off. it is about a 5 minute switch over adding these on or off.
I think it is going to work ok.
How are these attached to your standard bars?
I made the bars across shown black painted from PT 2x4 and attached to some smaller blocks that are screwed into the roof at the factory mounting points. The extension bars are also PT 2x4 and I drilled holes thru them with counter bores so the washer and hex head don’t stick up. I reach under the black cross bars and put 4 nuts and washers on and tighten from the top. Its pretty quick to do and really solid once on. If there is a weak link it would likely be the KIA mounts in the roof. They are 6mm and seemed strong when I put them on.
I bought a tie down kit off Amazon and it came with two straps for under the hood where you take two bolts out and sandwich the straps in and they stay folded under when not in use. It also came with two hard foam rods sewn into a tube with straps that you close the lift gate on for rear tie downs. Well I used them once and for the life of me I can’t find them and we are going out tomorrow so I made something that’s better. Better at least that I wont misplace it quite so easy. when I find the other ones we can use those for the other car.
Thought I would post a couple photos as this is a simple DIY project and you can save a few bucks. I used some 2” PVC as that’s what I had and some .25 strong line as I also had it around. Drilled 2 holes doubled the line and tied a knot that’s inside the PVC. 1.5” or 1” PVC would be fine. This is big enough when I hang it from a nail in the garage I will see it.
Well I had the reconfigured OT Guide 147 to use as a solo out for the first time two days ago. We took the Rec. OT Trip 10 kayak also. It was her first outing with the kayak as well with the added flotation.
We went to nearby Woodcock Creek Lake a dam near where we live and it is a good size lake and that day was perfect for testing the boats with wind. The water was a little choppy and there was a good wind coming from the west over the dam. We launched and went along the south edge of the lake into the wind. Previously she had borrowed a variety of cheap sit in rec kayaks and noticed anything but soft paddling would result in them spinning out on her. She was really impressed with both the stability improvement and the tracking and she commented on how she couldn’t over paddle the tracking but it also wasn’t hard to turn when she wanted to. So a winner on that front even with the wind.
My experience with the canoe not as good. Heading straight into the wind was fine until the wind switched a little and I was light in the bow and it wanted to turn me and the correction strokes I could tell were doing more to fight the wind than propel me. Even with turning the bow seat around and moving it forward about 8” I was still heavy in the stern. Not much but enough. I feel my seat location would be perfect with a camping load in the bow or a large dog even. Any passenger on the new mid seat I’m sure would do the trick as well. We pulled into a sheltered cove and the canoe was a breeze to paddle and I asked her to judge how level I was and she said bow up a couple inches maybe 3. I moved up to the front seat location that is now just in front of center and that brought the bow down and the stern up a couple inches and I took it back out in the wind and it tracked pretty well.
I know a lot of people paddle a tandem by sitting in the bow seat backwards and some say they add some ballast to the other end like a 5 gallon jug of water. I was off the hopes I could get by without the ballast in moving the seat a little but I think I might need more than a little. I’m 6’ and go around 240 so likely the extra weight is a factor over a lighter person.
I’m not ready to give up on the tandem conversion to a solo yet and I’m strongly thinking a seat location just behind center would be best and that would leave me cargo space in front and behind my seat so I could always trim the boat with the load I’m hauling. It would however take away my option for a second person at least paddling when configured like that. Although with everything done I could switch back and forth from solo to tandem in a half and hour if something changed and I needed a tandem.
So right now that will be a plan. Here is the best photo showing the weight distribution now. I have another light weight bench that holds a stadium seat back seat I will try it turned around and with the center thwart removed. I think I should be ok with removing it as the bench does the same thing.
By the way the stability of the Guide 147 is great it never felt the least tippy.
Version 2.0 We will see how this works? My guess from playing around the other day it will be better.
Right now the seat is 9” off the floor and the seat back is 18” behind the center of the length of the canoe. So my leg weight will be to the front and the rest of me right behind center.
I removed the center thwart but added 2 new ones that define the cockpit area. The cooler fit nice into the front 18” area and should be nice for keeping fish cold or food and drinks or both if I put a tub inside it to divide it, depending on the day it is easy to access there as well. There is a 24” area behind the seat for camping gear etc.
This mod is a true solo and I hope levels the canoe and helps with the wind by keeping more of the bow in the water.
I’m guessing but it feels a good 10-15 pounds lighter for loading. Way lighter than the blow molded plastic seats that came with it. I’m glad I got to try the formfitting seats IMO they were not that comfortable and were sweaty.
One thing for sure I need is a longer double ended paddle, or an extender for the one I have.
Update. Yesterday I got to try out the solo setup for the first time it was a beautiful day very warm and some nice wind at times. We put in to French Creek and took a leisurely 10-12 miles down stream in around 4.5 hours. I had stuff in the cooler mostly water for our group and the cooler and contents was about 15lbs. With me seated the boat was dead level and tracked better than any of the rec kayaks we were with. Amazingly the OT Trip 10 we got her also tracked exceptionally well compared to the other rec boats we were with when it came to wind. In my case it was night and day to the first outing we had where my trim was stern heavy.
The creek was up pretty good and there were a couple spots where some of the bigger people were getting hung up and I actually drew less water than the kayaks so that was nice to know. At one stretch there was a shallow area where everyone had to drag their boat about 50 yards and I followed @daggermat advice and made an aluminum poling pole from a telescoping tent pole I had and I attached a golf ball to the end with epoxy that I drilled a 15/16” hole in to slip over the pole. It collapses to around 4’ and was in my paddle bag so luckily I had it in the canoe. When everyone else got out on the beach rocks to walk thru the spot I thought what the heck and I got out the pole. It worked pretty well and I was surprised my balance was pretty good and the canoe moved along great. So thanks for the tip. Don’t think I’m ready for whitewater poling yet but you never know. I will attach a picture of my pole with a golf ball handle.
The best part was being on the water on a beautiful day and looking up and seeing two bald eagles that circled us for a long time. We also saw a number of Great Blue Heron and numerous other bird. Fish were jumping quite a bit also.
When we pulled out I drug the canoe up a mud bank and put the dolly under it to the amazement of a couple young guys. When I got to the car I attached the ladder ramps and those two guys and a few others stopped and watched as I inched the canoe up and onto the car. At that point I heard several comments on needing to build something like that. We were loaded and gone in less than half the time of the other canoes that were getting wrestled up by two people instead of one.
Can’t wait for the next trip.
Nice, and isn’t it sweet what a great “messing about” boat a canoe can be? In and out of them easier, you can stand, kneel, sit, heck , even sleep in them…and yeah, more surface area, less draft, and the standing allows a better vantage point to find ways through the skinny stuff, as well as lets you see over the river bank.
Yep I’m a believer.
When I first bought it off the neighbor I figured we would use it together as a tandem. I got it home and set it in the grass and tried each seat. I thought well the stern seat is really nice and I can see the whole boat and what is going on etc. Then I tried the bow seat and thought how cramped is this. About that time she tells me she is the type of person that wants to do her own thing on the water and wouldn’t be happy in a tandem. Plus she would much rather have a larger at least 10’ rec kayak over a canoe. I think she just knew her girlfriends all have rec kayaks and she wanted the same. So then I figured I’m stuck with a tandem and it didn’t have a seat to really solo paddle from. I thought maybe sell it and buy a single seat solo canoe, shorter and lighter. With a little trial and error it was pretty easy to get a single seat where I needed it and it became a pretty sweet solo canoe.
The only thing I didn’t mention in the last post is for sure I want to make 2 more changes. I want to raise the seat height 1” and I want to switch from a 230cm double blade paddle to a 250-260cm. Both those changes should compensate for the wide beam where the seat is now.
Even without standing the telescoping pole was handy when the boat needed a nudge. Plus in a pinch the pole and a tarp or GI poncho, some cord I have a makeshift tent. The golf ball makes a nice round end.
You mentioned sleeping, yesterday I pulled in under a big leaning shade tree and stopped there was a nice breeze and it was much cooler out of the sun and if I had an anchor I could have very easily taken a nap there.
Per the advice of @Celia in another thread I fashioned a foam block to go under my hanging seat and put force against the hull floor. The foam is under compression and attached to the framework that supports the seat back.
This area is also an area of the hull that wants to oilcan and stay hogged after a while. This seems to prevent that and it shares my weight now better between the gunwales and the hull.
I doubt it added more than a pound to the already heavy canoe.
It feels rock solid so far.
For $7.68 Walmart sells a bag of 16 plastic spring clamps.
I have been finding them quite useful on my canoe and thought I would make a post showing some of the things I have used them for.
I originally used them for a paddle rest by clamping 2 of them on a thwart and when I want the rest I turn them with the legs up to form a Y for the paddle to sit in. I sawed the ends off with the swivels and when I rotate them down they are below the gunwales and don’t interfere with loading on my car rack. I liked using them in front of me enough and I was looking for a good place to put the paddle when sitting fishing so I put 2 more on the thwart I added just behind my seat. It is pretty easy to lower the paddle behind my back and rest it in these.
Then I was looking for a handy spot for my best bilge pump that I will forget to take if it doesn’t live in the canoe. That same thwart right behind the seat seemed perfect and I took 2 smaller clamps and drilled a couple holes for zip ties and zipped them to both ends of the pump and then clamped the pump with them to the thwart. I can reach around and take it off in seconds when I need it and the rest of the time it also is below the gunwales and not going to shake lose on the road.
Lastly I wanted an easy to use fishing pole rest. I’m not a big fan of the poles sticking up in the air and when I get a bite I don’t want to have to pull the grip out of a holder to set the hook. I wanted the rods forward and low so if I had to paddle a little I won’t be snagging the lines and poles with the paddle. I took two of the large clamps and drilled a hole in each handle and ran a cord loosely between. I clamp them around the gunwale and to the hull and the cord cradles the rod and the grip sits on the frame of my seat. Sound travels from a boat to the water and the cord holds the rod but is silent when placing it down. I use a half-inch thick neoprene pad over the cockpit area for the same reason. When I’m not fishing I clamp them to my seat frame and get them out of the road.
The rest of the clamps will end up in my workshop as you can never have enough and who knows I might find more uses.
As an addition to the post before the one above where I added the foam compression block between the hull and the seat.
I found another nice benefit for having the hull firmed up at that location. That is the exact location where I sit the canoe on the transfer dolly. It always sunk in a little there when moving it and bouncing around moving it down uneven paths to the water made the hull flex in and out a lot. It has always popped back out ok when I take it off, but I have noticed a little hogging for a day or two where the dolly was. After the seat block that dolly clamps on like a rock and nothing is noticeably flexing.
Sometimes it is the little things. I store my canoe at least in the summer upside down on saw horses under a shade tree. When it rains the water runs off the hull and some seeps into the plastic gunwales fills them up and because of the curve runs down into the plastic decks and fills them up. When I tip it over it runs to the center and I end up holding it on edge for a few minutes to leak out and then once I flip it right side up more seems to run out. Then getting it on the car I make a mess of my shirt or something with trapped water. The other problem is my air bags are always a little damp from the standing water. Not that its hurting them but mildew will be starting.
I solved the problem pretty simply with drilling a drain hole in each end .25” is what I used. I tested it out with a hose and it drained every drop.
Just thought I would post this as it might help someone.
I have been reading here threads about adding an anchor to a canoe and watching vids on line trying to figure out what I want. The kayak came with a grapple anchor and a trolley rig for taking it to the stern but I wasn’t too impressed with that idea. One guy on line attaches his line to the bottom and then holds it to the top with a zip tie and if you get hooked to hard you will break the zip tie and pull from the bottom to get a release. I liked the sound of that. Lots of talk about keeping a sharp knife handy incase you get in trouble and others talked about a float so you can go back and get it after you cut the line.
I let all these ides stew in my head and came up with the idea to use two lines eliminate the trolley idea and run my anchor line thru my lining loop on the bow. I took the quick line grabber off the kayak and also the cleat and mounted them on the drop block I made between the gunwale and the seat support. That should be a handy place right at my fingertips to handle the lines.
The idea is before I go out I thread the anchor line thru my stern loop and set the anchor by my seat. When I want to anchor toss it out and it will be held at the stern loop keeping me pointed down stream. The second line will go out also but stays slack. I lock the main line coming from the stern into the quick line grabber and leaving slack in the bottom line I can use the cleat for that one. If I get in trouble I just let them all go and the bottom line has a red float. Once I’m ready to pull the anchor I use the bottom line and get both lines in the boat so I don’t snag something.
Right now both lines are longer than I think I need. Once I figure that out I will cut them shorter and figure out a good way to store them till needed.
Hope it works.
Just the small stuff again.
This morning I finished off the Folgers and was getting ready to take the can out to the shop when I thought I bet the anchor and lines will fit in this. Attached a bungee to it and it tucks in right next to the seat. Now if I’m fishing I toss the can in the car and I’m ready otherwise it doesn’t need to clutter the canoe.
Next little project is come up with a way to lock the cooler lid down. Will post a picture when I figure it out.
Then I’m about done and time to stop fooling around and spend some days on the water having a good time.