Swift Dumoine for Poling?

… have experimented with poling a swift raven… and liked it… will probably be picking up a dumoine in spring for tandem tripping… am hoping it might make for a good poling canoe when out solo though…

what do the experienced polers have to say?

Haven’t tried it, but it’s a suitable
hullform. Has about the right amount of rocker.

Look at the thwart arrangement
I tried it and I did not like standing behind the yoke and in front of the kneeling thwart.

Bill Swift advised against taking out the kneeling thwart. Appparantly its structural. Years later I wonder if it couldnt just be moved further aft.

Sometimes when poling you find yourself wanting to go the other way. In a symmetrically rockered boat you can jump and spin and face backward.

The Dumoine does not like to go stern first. Plus your weight in the back adds to the skegged effect.

If you will be going forward only and can work out that thwart thing , fine. But there are better poling boats.

Maybe the poling is not your top priority and will be just another fun thing to try.

it’s a death trap

– Last Updated: Jan-13-09 5:21 PM EST –


Nah, seriously, it's a decent poling boat best as I can tell. I've poled for a couple years now, maybe 50ish outings, mostly cl.2, and am happy with my Dumoine. Fairly rounded bottom is nicely responsive to leaning and the 37" beam allows a wide stance, although Senator? Craig better stay the hell away from me :-0. I stand behind the kneeling thwart for attaining ledges and tight turns, and generally just in front(thwart makes a nice brace for the calf) for snubbing and cl.1 poling. Enjoy it, it's a good tandem as well.

Guess I'm disagreein' with kayamedic below, but then again, I ain't "advanced" ;-). Firm believer in the "if the waters movin', don't matter if I'm on it, under it, or in it, I'm havin' fun" philosophy.
Photo standing just in front of kneeling thwart. Boat balances nicely.

That top photo was a result of getting pinned. After a minute or so, I realized I wasn't going anywhere without getting out of the boat. Got out, got the boat unpinned, hopped back in, floated down to the next rock where I managed to clean the interior.The Dumoine makes a great swimming pool as well!
Another reason I think the asymetrical hull form is fine is that full beam is aft of center, right about where I stand. Can't beat that :-).
Had my Dumoine 9 years now. Aaron was 6 and we were more into tandeming cl. 1-2 back then. It was a demo at cckstore.com (20 minutes away) that had us fall in love with this canoe in about 5 strokes. After we got into OC-1's I thought the tandems were going to sit, but they now get near as much usage as the Encores since we both love poling, and prefer that to driving for hours to a dam release during low water.

There’s no reason the kneeling thwart
can’t be moved out of the way. If the hull seems a bit more floppy without it, then either a substitute thwart arrangement can fix it, or one can put a short pedestal seat under the center thwart, facing forward or back. I had that in my Tripper, and it was never in the way of my size 15 feet.

I find location no problem
as thwarts dropped to begin with, getting over it is easy. I also like having it for bracing my calf or shin against, especially in high speed snubbing adventures with water colored rocks. Low enough for my muckluks to provide cushioning.

Maybe…but I was learning
and hit a rock and literally fell head backward over that thwart. I would have fallen anyway but the thwart definitely added bruises.

In downtown Saranac Lake no less…embarassed.

I was wearing a helmet.

this picture

– Last Updated: Jan-13-09 7:07 PM EST –

shows one reason Ed Hayden is the absolute master of the poling universe. His boat design,(millbrook souhegan); notice the shin guards and padded thwarts. Served in WWII and 60 some odd years later blows a guy almost 40 years younger (me) into the weeds climbing rapids. Freds Bell Chestnut is set up nicely as well. The rest of us have purple shins and bruised buns...no embarrassment, part of the plan, yeah yeah, that's it, the plan ;-).
I have benefitted from a rear air bag on occasion...part of the plan...

Don’t worry about the boat
The key to successful poling is the hat

Matt the beach bum


Fred the TX Cowboy


Tommy and the baseball hat


Chuck and the tilley


Once you have the hat, the rest falls into place;-)

Bell Chestnut Prospector is no

My Dumoine went bye bye and I am very happy with the Bell Prospector for poling.

I think because its symmetrically rockered.

I don’t know why symmetrical rocker
would be important for poling, unless one did a lot of poling in reverse. Even then, as long as the rocker is properly designed, I don’t think symmetry would matter.

thanks for swift responses…

– Last Updated: Jan-14-09 12:38 AM EST –

sounds like it will work.. good...

poling is not the top priority, just was hopeful it might work well for that though - sounds like it should... top priority was tandem river tripping - i really like the dumoine for that, but had never tried poling it as i was not interested in poling at that point in my life when i had access to one....

but its cool, it will work for it primary purpose and still allow me to mess around with poling...

thanks again...

now it sounds as if i should take a serious look at a hat... hmmn...

if you are standing in the stern
half of the boat and the stern of the boat has less rocker…its apt to be sticky.

You can maneuver the bow… but the stern tends to follow the river current and you have just switched the bow angle. With significant bow rocker the water just passes under the bow.

Its more like barge steering. Doable but not quite as precise.

things are influenced

– Last Updated: Jan-14-09 5:54 AM EST –

by where you stand and how much you lean. Greatly influenced.Design is secondary to ability from what I see. A distant second.
I've poled my Dumoine backwards. Only issue is feet are closer together. Loaned it to a guy to do a 15 mile paddle one day. I assumed he'd use the kneeling thwart. Nope, paddled backwards, was asked how he liked the canoe; said he liked it.

Then don’t get back in the stern. It
surprises me that asymmetrical hulls and rocker are such an issue with open canoeists. You pretty much can’t find a symmetrical slalom boat, and they are the most extremely maneuverable boats known.

Asymmetrical rocker isn’t the issue. The issue is dealing with the rocker in the end of the boat you are standing in. That end of the boat does not “know” that the other end has more rocker. So, when you move to the back of the boat, just pretend that the boat is symmetrical. If you don’t like what the stern does, don’t go as far back. But it doesn’t have to do with the symmetry or lack thereof with respect to the bow.

There may be less reason to move forward and back than you think. Occasionally it is briefly necessary to loft the bow, but once you have the bow up on the step you are climbing, you want to get out of the stern.


– Last Updated: Jan-14-09 12:08 PM EST –

According to noted canoe designers John Winters and Steve Scarborough:
symmetrically built boats are rarely symmetrical to the water. Most people
who paddle a symmetrical boat effectively create asymmetry by trimming the
boat stern heavy. Once the boat is moving the flow of water around the hull
is in an asymmetrical manner.

Every canoe that is paddled or poled backwards should be trimmed with an
even keel or bow heavy. Possibly some asymetrical designs could be bad boats
for that purpose, but it wouldn't surprise me if some would actually
perform very well in this manner.

Poling and fore aft symetry
Personally I prefer a symetrical hull for poling because the current flow around the boat often changes direction. Unlike a whitewater playboat, which I will point in the direction I’m headed, my poling boat will be pushed forward faster than the current one minute and held back slower than the current the next. In a lightly loaded symetrical boat I can move for and aft of the center with easily predictable results. In an asymetrical hull, particularly one with asymetrical rocker, the effect of my weight shift is much harder to predict.

if you could straddle the yoke you would have the best chance at symmetry.

And once underway no boat is truly symmetrical…

I’m guessing
ya’ just get used to what you’re in, after awhile. Expecting prescribed solutions to random influences has me feeling people are overthinking this whole thing. It don’t leak, goes roughly the direction you want the first time, you’re good to go in my opinion. Seems like some people oughta get off the river and into a laboratory.

Human brain is very adaptable; symmetry or lack thereof of a piece of royalex isn’t quite on the list of civilizations greatest quandries, I’m guessing.Face facts, a canoe is one step removed from a hollow log.No components, subsystems, electronics, mechanics,hydraulics, pneumatics, nothing! STFU and go have fun.

Startin’ to come back to me why my friends and son laugh at this site.

Matt - I think you are exactly right on that. Other than having some decent hull speed and good secondary stability, I suspect that all other issues are minor. Even those aren’t necessarily absolute. I have three very different boats that all pole well. Each does better under some circumstances than the other two. If I had to stick to one, I don’t think I’d be hurting. As I mentioned in the other recent thread - I think it’s more important to match the boat to your paddling requirements, if you can only have one canoe.

Best to grab a good deal on a usable boat and get on the water as much as possible, IMO.