Tandem Racing canoe seat position

A question for you Tandem racers.

Our C-2 is bow light, and we have both seats as far forward as we can get them.

In the past few years we have been using weight in the bow to correct the problem.

I am thinking of redoing the rear sliding seat so that I can get the seat a good foot or more forward.

My question is how will being way forward affect the performance of the canoe? I’ll probably be sitting just before where the wing starts to flare out.

My concern is in the forward speed. I can compensate for the sweeps and other correction strokes.



Ms. JackL
Isn’t it time Nanci is in charge of the boat and in the stern?

We tried it yesterday.
We were bow heavy with all seats as far back as possible.

The boat zigged and zagged worse than the day Sam and I raced the Jensen with me in the stern and him in the front. Besides we had a meeting of the minds and neither one of us wants a new learning curve.

I was hoping you would comment on if being way forward will affect speed?



If your goal is to just “participate” in races, keep your current positions and do what has been discussed to trim the boat to even or one inch bow down (experiment with what gives you results). But keep in mind that when you have to provide both power and control from the stern, you are compromising (vs traditional set up where bow provides power, stern provides control).

But if you want to be competative, I think it IS worth switching positions to see what that does for you, i.e. with the heavier/stronger paddler in the bow. These boats are designed for this arrangement.

Problem is, if the (much) heavier paddler stays in the stern and even if they slide way foward to compensate, it will change the dynamics of the boat; i.e. even though you may now be trimmed, the boat will not perform/behave the same as if you have the power/weight in front. There is less of this effect if the paddlers are of more equal weight. Plus, when you are that far foward in the stern, your reach to the water will compromise your power and control. With a light bow paddler, in the shallows especially, even if trimmed, the bow will tend to rise and you will have trouble popping (planing); I don’t even want to think of the torture in junk water (depth about 3 feet).

But you know, I have seen some paddlers work out some rather quirky set ups; so keep that in mind.

Hope it works out for you regardless of what you decide.

Don’t go bow down
Right now your boat and paddlers are optimized Jack. If you go bow down Nanci won’t have the ability to pull you over on the turns. If you keep to the technical runs you guys will keep winning. If you go bow down (trim level at speed) the extra speed will be wasted trying to pull the boat around the turns. Try one of Jims proboats this sat. I think he has a wider adjustment then your 4x32.


– Last Updated: Apr-17-08 7:23 PM EST –

says to have the bow paddler "pull" you thru the turns, there may be less resistance from water if you switch her over and have her "push" and not pull water into the side of the bow. Works on my V1..OR better yet how about a quick bow rudder , about 2-3 paddle strokes and back to paddling!?! After all you want to go forward and not "side to side" down the river. Lotta wasted power pushing and pulling.

Amen, we just finished discussing that
about an hour ago.



All we did was get it trim …
When sitting still.

Last year when we paddled against you guys we had three big rocks in the bow.

Why carry that extra weight?

A few days ago it was worse. She has lost about five pounds, and we were so bow light that I, (we) were ready to give up.

I finished up the work this Pm and hopefully it will be all for the better.

Yesterday I moved the rear sliding seat unit and reinstalled it two feet further.

Today we tried it out and actually got the boat trim with the seat about sixteen inches further.

But in doing that, I had to install a new foot brace and supports, and remove one thwart, and install a new one.

Now if I can only figure out a good excuse why we will be so slow!

Maybe the dog ate the ZRE and all I had was my old aluminum and plastic paddle!