Trimming your boat

I got this “FREE” app (3D Level by Dr. Fischer IT Engineering) for my phone the other day and it seems to work pretty good. I tested it by placing it on my 4 foot level and comparing the two as I moved them around and the bubbles on each were in the same positions as I moved them. What I do now is turn the app on, place my phone (in waterproof case)on the floor of my canoe in front of me and see how I am sitting in the water. I have only checked my canoe with no gear in it. The real test will come when I have it loaded full of camping gear.

Bubble Level
A friend of mine gave me a little adhesive-backed bubble level for that purpose. People who use them stick them high up on the sidewall of the hull where they are out of the way, not on the bottom. I never installed the one he gave me, but I can see how it could be handy. All I ever do is eyeball the boat once it’s loaded, to judge whether one end sits a little higher or if both are the same.

Speaking of that, I wouldn’t trust a level placed on the floor of a Royalex canoe. With just one exception, all the Royalex canoes I’ve paddled had a hull which pooched upward quite a bit when loaded, though this is less when loaded only with gear on the floor than when there’s weight on the seats. The relative levelness of the floor compared to the boat as a whole may not be the same once the hull is pushed upward by half an inch or more.

Thanks for the advice about not
trusting a level placed on the floor of a canoe. Next time I am out I will try it in a couple of other places as well to see how they compare.

That’s mainly for Royalex
Most composite canoes are a lot more stiff, though some very lightweight models may flex a bit when loaded.