Thick/Heavy water

A theory; and a question for all you pros. This would mainly affect quiet water paddlers but, there may be a moving water paddler that can give me a correct [non epoxy] answer.

It seams to me, that as the summer has progressed, the water has seemingly become thicker/heavier.

I think this is a result of the oxygen becoming depleted. Less air = thicker /heavier water.

I notice it each time I paddle down the bayou. There has been little rain lately and really, no movement of the water to speak of.

Is my theory a valid one ?. Will the water get thicker/heavier with less oxygen ?

Inquiring and shallow minds want to know.

Troll ? …
I’m a medicinal chemist not a physical chemist but I will take a guess. Oxygen concentrations in water are measured in the parts per million. Something like 10 mg oxygen per 1000 mL water. When a gas is dissolved in a liquid there is almost no measurable change in density, because the gass fills up space in the fluid molecules. Water and oxygen is a little more complicated because water hydrogen bonds to oxygen, but still there is little change in net volume. As water gets warmer it holds less oxygen.

Density in algae slime concentrations could be a different matter.

To Sea Dart
Sorry to go off topic, but Sea Dart, do you actually own one? I saw the review for a 16 in an old kayak magazine saying it was a great yak, but since it didn’t sell well, they did away w/it.


Not trying to be a troll.

Just asking the question.

As stated, it seams to me that the water is actually thicker/heavier than it was earlier in the year. and I was courious.

It is in fact quite noticeable when I paddle the bayou.

Yes …
The older Heritage boats are very very good. My 14’ Seadart has been on many paddles with fast sinks and holds it own with longer SINKS. I think I have written reviews here or on, the 16’ model is a very fast sit on top, a bit heavy but if it’s used and a good price it’s a very good boat.

Fantastic excuse !
I am going to use that in this Saturdays race!

For what it is worth and this is just my 2 cents worth: With the drought the water is much shallower, and shallow water is much slower than deep water.

If where you were paddling in the spring was deep and now is shallow that is probably what you are experiencing.



cold water is heavier
… that’s why it sinks to the bottom (we swimmers know this)

So, if cold water is heavier, shouldn’t your boat draw a just a little less water? Less wetted surface …

The Sea Dart sold all right in its day.
But, there’s a lot more profit in SOT’s designed for fisherman and that market has become saturated with SOT’s designed for that purpose. Heritage has pretty much moved toward that market, especially now with Legacy owning the company.

Yes, measure the depth.

Been puny lately?
When I get tired, the water gets much thicker.

Agree with Jack L
It is probably an issue of ‘suckwater’. When it hotter the water is less dense, but that density change means less buoyancy and yes the boat sinks marginally further into the water. But has a marginally easier time pushing the less dense water aside. Very small and not detectible to the paddler.

The ‘suckwater’ effect is very noticeble. Some hulls pass thru shallow water better than others, but if its under 3 feet in depth and you have much speed going, you will notice an increase in effort or reduction in speed when you enter the shallow water.

Experienced racers like Jack L can tell you how shallow the water has become without seeing the bottom just on the speed loss.

Paddle thru a clear shallow water area and watch the weeds on the bottom as your hull passes. There is a pressure wave that spreads out from your hull that will push the weeds away and then draw them back towards your hull as the wave passes by. In a shallow and narrow stream you can even notice things in the water move both ways, away and back, as you pass.

It varies a lot with hull design, draft, and speed. Jensen had two variations of his USCA cruiser at one point, with one hull modified specifically for shallow water.


I get thicker and heavier every time
I visit my daughter in New Orleans, whether I paddle the bayous or not.

It has something to do with
that industrial plant upstream. Don’t eat the three-eyed fish.

Sea Dart
Canfish, I have the Heritage Redfish 14, but not the angler version for fishing. Just wanted to be stable.

Sea Dart, I couldn’t believe the great reviews the 16 got in that old magazine only to see they did away w/it. My husband e-mailed Heritage to see if there was a way to find one and they said no.


Victim of Poor Marketing

– Last Updated: Sep-26-07 5:53 PM EST –

I don't think the Heritage Company had very good marketing people and they had a poor sales/distribution - I think the WS tarpon killed their market. I've paddled both, both are good boats but the Heritage boats did have some advantages. Tarpon had mass distribution and that created larger name recognition among the fishing crowd, even though it is a bit of a slow aircraft carrier, people think it is the fastest SOT you can buy.

The new heritage boats after they were bought are very unappealing to me.

thick water

I have quite a bit of quiet water paddling time and all I can say is that I too have run into conditions where the water clearly feels thick…up here on small Michigan lakes and maybe only in areas with lots of plants I think (never in the winter?).

I haven’t paid enough attention to notice if water geenrally gets thicker later in the year, and I don’t have any cool hypothesis for what’s happening…must be either excited little critters or molecules or some kind of organic life cycle stuff eh?

But I’ve felt it too so either you’re not crazy or maybe we’re both crazy.

I noticed the same thing
spending winters in Maine.

Watching the wintertime water flow by it all seemed, so thick.

Fortunately, I was also an engineering student while in Maine and your search term would be VISCOSITY, which is temperature dependent.

Here’s a starting point. Keep us posted!

shallow water
I’m a newbie, maybe this is common knowledge to others, but it seems paddling in shallow waters seems easier.



– Last Updated: Sep-27-07 4:21 PM EST –

There is no way you would be able to sense any change in specific gravity or viscosity of water from normal seasonal changes in oxygen levels. Certainly you would not notice anything while paddling or just floating there.

At any rate, if the water is holding less oxygen in the summertime, it is due to it heating up. Warm water is less dense than cooler water. Less dense = thinner, not thicker (still, you wouldn't notice). Also, warmer fluids tend to be less viscous than cooler fluids. Less viscous = thinner.

So even if changes in temperature and oxygen content were actually perceptible to you (which they aren't) you should observe the opposite effect of what you are reporting.

Capacity also killed the Sea Dart for