Soloing in an OT Tripper

I know I need to add a solo canoe to my list…but until I have the cash to buy one, I’ll need to lug my Tripper down to the river. I have it loaded in the back of a pickup with a bed extender so unloading it isn’t a problem. I also have portage wheels from that are fantastic for walking this beast down to the water. Question for experts…assuming I can keep the canoe trim with my battery and a couple 5 gallon water buckets, when soloing this canoe and using a side mounted trolling motor should I sit in the bow seat facing backwards or should I sit in the stern seat? If I am able to keep the canoe trim does it make a difference one way or the other? What about sitting in the bow seat facing forwards with the TM mounted in front of me with all of my counterweight in the stern? I would be using this setup to go up river and then float back down to fish…primarily flat water and riffles and nothing more than Class I water.

Soloing a Tripper
When I’ve seen guys soloing a tripper they’ve been either on or just behind the center thwart.

On easy water and/or no wind they’d be on the bow seat facing backwards.



Only real men and a few real women
can paddle Trippers solo. And they do it right behind the center thwart. A Tripper used for fishing, with a trolling motor, must be a very tolerant Tripper indeed. I suggest you regard yourself as a mahout, and wash and bathe your Tripper every day, or it may crush you underfoot.


– Last Updated: Sep-09-05 2:10 AM EST –

i paddled a tripper solo from the bow seat for years, and loved how it performed. granted i'm 6', 215lbs. the only complaint was the roto molded seats. they were literally a pain in the ***, sitting on them in reverse.

I am also 6’, 215…I replaced the molded seats with webbed seats so sitting in reverse is fine…plus, changing the seats lowered the weight of the canoe by 8 lbs

When Men were Men
When I started paddling whitewater there were a few older guy’s soloing Trippers. They told some great stories about the days when Grummans were the standard for whitewater and Old Town Trippers were the hot new playboat.

Made me, in my little 12’ Outrage, feel somehow… inadequate.


Face backwards on bow seat, then row.
Besides motoring, rowing is the best way to propel a larger boat. Paddling is too asymmetrical and weak to cover distance on flat water. The wind will overwhelm a paddler with a larger canoe unless it’s well loaded. But … the solution to all those problems is to convert it to rowing with Old Town’s accessory oar locks and get some spoon blade oars from Spring Creek. You can then control the Tripper in larger waters and make decent speed over distance. You could even launch into solo expeditions with a rowing set-up … although the Tripper wouldn’t be the best hull to choose for flat-water tripping.

As far as combining it with electric motoring, no problem. Get the extended, flip-up motor mount from Spring Creek and place it just behind you with the battery located way up front (actually, back by the stern seat … but in “front” from a motoring point of view). The Tripper is a symmetrical hull, so you can row one way and motor the other without giving up performance or safety.

Try it … you’ll like it !!!

Better late than never
I forgot to post my results. I found that the Tripper is best soloed from the bow seat while facing the stern. I weigh 212 so I put my battery behind the stern seat and two 5 gallon buckets of water just in front of the stern seat (with lids to keep water in buckets) The canoe trimmed out fine. I have a motor mount extension from and that allowed me to place my TM behind me. I used a used a single blade canoe paddle in moving water and when the TM was not in use. All in all, with this set-up, I believe I’ve had more fun canoeing than fishing. Thanks everyone for the help and tips.