Solo in a Tandem...

Yesterday I took a break from the kayaks and took the canoe out fishing on a nearby reservoir. It is a 17’ Wenonah Prospector (kevlar) that is a tandem canoe, but it has a thwart in the center for solo use (installed by its original owner, c2g).

I tried to load the gear evenly to keep the bow down but I swear I was struggling when the wind picked up a bit… sort of blew my bow around at will. I don’t carry an anchor, but next time I think I will at least bring some line to lash to a tree so I can do more fishing than fighting the breeze.

Any hints? With the wife in the bow and the two kids plus a cooler (which we did later that afternoon) the boat tracks very well and is pretty quick… but solo was a fight I’m not sure I won :-).

All advice appreciated.


bfritsche – here’s how I do it.

Such a great site, and has the weather hour-to-hour for a couple days at a time. As I can empathize with your wind challenge, it’s often nice to pick a day for fishing and canoeing when there is little or no wind. Try it – it’ll rectify that problem you speak of post haste.


Ahhh… brilliant
Avoid wind, eh? And what is this “weather” of which you speak? :slight_smile:

Obviously, I could do that… but then again there just MAY be some advice to help me deal with it a little better than I am… It wasn’t necessarily a VERY windy day… it was a great day with a periodic breeze that just completely blew me around.

That’s sort of the point of my question, I guess… but thanks for your suggestion.

If you weren’t
try sitting in the bow seat facing backwards and paddling from there. If will lessen the amount of imbalance, leaving less of the now bow out of the water and less for wind to catch.

solo boat fishing
You might want to post on the board that includes fishing; you might get more feedback.

I used to fish from canoes. You are using a high volume tandem with rocker…hardest boat imaginable to control in the wind solo. Plenty of boat to catch the wind and then the boat does not resist movement, and I’ll bet it wants to spin too. For controllability in wind my best solo for fishing was a low profile Jensen design with zero rocker.

Adding weight (less boat exposed to the wind, more inertia against getting blown around) and centralizing weight (make boat easier to control) will help a little. But you’d still need to go out on calm days or use some sort of anchor to have any chance of enjoying time fishing. They sell little 1 or 2 pound anchors…these help a ton. Or throw some rocks in a mesh bag and use that for an anchor. I think a light anchor is what you need. Or tie your boat to a stump in the water.

Solo in Tandem
I solo in my Tandem all of the time. As already mentioned, I turn the canoe around and sit against the front seat toward what would normally be the front of the canoe. I also carry about 45 pounds of weight as far to the front of me as possible. This helps significantly against the wind. Good Luck

Sorry that came out wrong. Should have said facing what would normally be the back of the canoe

Extra weight can have adverse affects
I have heard that if you carry extra weight purposely for balancing out a canoe that it can have serious consequences in event of a capsize. The weight can shift to the bow or stern in event of an accident, and cause that end to dive straight down. If you are wearing a pfd, as we all should, that may not be a concern for your survival from the capsize, but the retrieval of your canoe in deep water may be another matter.

I used to solo an 18’ canoe, but it didn’t have any rocker, and it was not as deep as a Prospector. You may be stretching its intended usage. Check on the recommended load for the canoe. Happy Paddling!

I fish a fair amount from my tandem royalex Northwind. It handle fairly well in a breeze but even with its less length height and rocker than your Prospector it can turn into a struggle if the wind really gets up.

One thing I do is troll much more if the wind is making drifting a hassle. But it sounds like you are having trouble just keeping on course and making easy headway. You may just have more boat than you need for solo fishing on windy days.

The anchor is a fair idea but be careful with the anchor line stoage and the anchor can sure tip you over in rough and swift water. You may want to rig up a system to attatch the anchor to the bow or stern, rather than off the side. I had to cut one loose that nearly tipped me over in my Cruiser years ago. Had it attached to a thwart just forward of my stern seat. Yikes!

Good luck and keep trying, but don’t torture yourself. Look at a different boat if you need to.

I think the best approach with wind
would be to kneel just in front of the carrying thwart and paddle into the wind. That way the wind couldn’t blow your bow around, it would just keep pointing the boat into the wind. That is, if the wind is blowing from where you want to be. If not, I agree that fighting wind soloing a 17’ Prospector would be a losing battle.

three fishing anchors
I use three types of fishing anchors.

For drifting in wind I use a five gallon bucket to slow me down and guide my drift. Some times I use a 3’ length of chain instead for a faster drift. For actual anchoring I use a 2.5 or 4 pound danforth style anchor.

Tandem solo

– Last Updated: May-02-06 3:10 AM EST –

I solo my tandem and no matter what I do wind is a constant struggle. Weight forward, center seat, double blades.....ugh, tried it all and it's still tough and not fun. My solution was to use a dedicated solo canoe. Fun factor increase of 10! Wind is more easily handled, boat manuevers much easier, fishing is more fun!! Going solo alot may require that you look at a different boat.