weight capacity

hi! I’m posting for the first time. On the website, Hemlock Nessmuk canoes are listed as having a max payload capacity of 225 lbs. i can see being well below this on most occasions, but on a few i can see being up to 240 in open water (large lakes, far from shore, with lake swells).

would this be doable, or safe?

i’m thinking the 12 foot Hornbeck might be able to handle this additional capacity better, but I can’t find any figures for Hornbeck capacity anywhere.

what are your thoughts? Thanks.

Look at the performance payload
for maximum pleasure.Surely you want a boat that has sufficient volume for you to be sweet handling.

125-175 lbs is the performance burden for the Nessmuk. 225 is probably six inches freeboard. 240 might be in the safe range too but do you want to paddle something that handles like a log?

Go up to the Nessmuk XL unless you are usually a more petite paddler.

Dave Curtis is one of the few makers that post performance burdens. Usually maximum payload is that six inch freeboard…and the vessel performance suffers.

I have a Peregrine with a max load of 350. Optimum load is 125-250. Its much more fun at optimum load. I have (and do not recommend but it was safe) loaded it with 400 lbs temporarily due to crusing in the Everglades where you must bring water. Ten days of water is 90 lbs. There was a big difference in performance at the end of the trip…much more maneuverable.

To get a boat that barely has enough volume for a load sinks the stems and makes steering hard.

Performance Payload
How do you dertermine the “optimum payload” for any given boat? Is there some formula, or do you just have to experiment?

All I ever see listed is “capacity”, and I assume that includes the weight of the paddler.


Actually, the Perigrene is rated 150-300

– Last Updated: Mar-08-11 8:39 PM EST –

I meant Peregrine. The Kestral( that Dave is delivering to me Saturday) is 125-250...

You don’t
The boat designers sometimes publish it. Look at Swift Canoes, for example.

I agree the 6" payload is pretty much rubbish.

yup misread
I still probably overloaded it. Especially for the Gulf of Mexico

Another method
I don’t know if this will translate well to different sorts of canoes, but I have found the good tripping load of most standard canoes is roughly half of their rated capacity.

Example - 16’ Prospector said to hold 1000 pounds is quite nice with anything under about 550. Starting a trip under 600 or so is reasonable, since food will go down some. However, with just 450 lbs aboard, handling is much better.