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PostPosted: August 7th, 2018, 6:12 pm 
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What are the collective's thoughts on the following, in relation to my upcoming family trip to Stratton Lake

That thread is here : http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 07&t=46874

My family is :
1,3,8,14,16 year old kids. 14 and 16 year olds have a lot of paddling experience with Scouts and our family. 14 year old is still a bit small for his age. Wife is accomplished paddler.

I have 4 prospector canoes and will be borrowing the Scouts trailer for the weekend because even if I only need 2 canoes I'll need the trailer for gear.

Here are the options I am thinking of for canoes :

(1) 2 x P16 trying to keep gear requirements low to fit all the people. This would likely be :
- Me, 14 year old, 8 year old
- wife, 16 year old, 1 and 3 year olds
The major downside of this is that it will be crowded. But pretty sure we can do it. Last year we paddled across Grand Lake to the portage into Stratton in 2 canoes with no gear and there was tonnes of space. I've done short trips me and 3 boys in one canoe and my buddy and his 2 in another. With stupid amounts of gear. My boys were 4 years younger so smaller but we did it. I would envision this trip being less lacking for space.

(2) 3 x P16
- Wife, 8 and 1 year old
- Me and 3 year old
- 14 and 16 year olds
My main concern here is what do we do if there is inclement weather. There are not many options for juggling things around. The only real option I can come up with is to arrange people and some gear as per option (1) and then tow the 3rd canoe with the rest of the gear. I've never really done that before so dunno how realistic it is. That is fairly big open water on Grand Lake going straight across, but we could skirt the shoreline.

(3) 2 x P17 or P18 - which means renting
Gawd I hate the idea of renting given I own 4 great canoes, but it is an option. In the longer term I think I need at least 1 maybe 2 17 or 18 footers for the family. But in the short term I could rent. Or borrow but I don't know anyone to borrow from. I think that 2 x P17 would give us plenty of space to arrange things like in (1) above, what do you think?

Are there any other options I am missing?

Which do you think is my best?


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PostPosted: August 8th, 2018, 7:07 am 
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Prospector16 wrote:

1,3,8,14,16 year old kids. 14 and 16 year olds have a lot of paddling experience with Scouts and our family. 14 year old is still a bit small for his age. Wife is accomplished paddler.

I have 4 prospector canoes and will be borrowing the Scouts trailer for the weekend because even if I only need 2 canoes I'll need the trailer for gear.

Are there any other options I am missing?


That is a tough math question. With four canoes, and seven people from ages 1 to teenage to adult, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Option 1 seems crowded.
Option 2 less crowded, but towing sucks even in benign conditions.
Option 3, renting a 17 or 18 footer resolves some space issues, but I understand the distaste for renting when you own 4 canoes and have access to a trailer.

Other options? Could you have the 16 year old solo one of your Prospectors? Borrow or rent an appropriate solo?

Taking the largest and most accomplished kid out of a tandem or 3 person canoe would open up a lot of space and who-goes-where possibilities.

EDIT: Thinking back to family paddling when my sons were very young, it would be handy to have an adult/caregiver within easy reach of the 1 and 3 year olds. And maybe not both of the littlest in the same boat, so a caregiver can stop paddling and attend to the wee one.

Also from those days, watch if it is hot/sunny watch their shade & hydration, especially the younger ones if you are on the lake for some hours.


Last edited by Mike McCrea on August 8th, 2018, 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: August 8th, 2018, 7:11 am 
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This may be a long shot as an option, but if you are short on canoes or capacity, a portion of the people could hike into Stratton along the hiking trail, divert off to the Johnston port and wait for the canoe(s) to arrive before being shuttled to whatever campsite happens to be unoccupied.

There are also campsites only available to hikers so those might be available to the people hiking in.

It's a short distance to paddle, relatively speaking when it comes to canoe trips and trucking in four canoes when some of the people could simply walk in seems like a lot of work. Another thing is you say you might have to go light on gear to fit all those people into canoes, which might not result in the most comfortable situation in camp. With the partial walk-in option, there should be more room for gear and going heavy so everyone is kept happy.

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PostPosted: August 8th, 2018, 11:56 am 
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Hmmm, I also have a 16 foot tripping kayak that I have not yet tried yet since buying it last fall - that could come into play here as well. Not sure why I did not think of that.

And hiking in is an option I had not considered.

and just to clarify I own 4 canoes but am only considering taking either 2 or 3 of them on this trip.

Not taking all 4.


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PostPosted: August 9th, 2018, 8:05 am 
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Prospector,

Having done trips like this in the past with slightly smaller family, I'm leaning towards option 1 personally.
As Mike noted, it made a lot of sense to have "extra" hands available to look after the littlest ones. 16' Prospectors have lots of room- depending upon the amount of gear you're taking in, but with 1 and 3 year old you need more and different stuff- so that shouldn't be an issue. Especially if the teenagers are decent paddlers.

Have fun!

Bruce


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PostPosted: August 9th, 2018, 11:59 am 
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Prospector16 wrote:
Hmmm, I also have a 16 foot tripping kayak that I have not yet tried yet since buying it last fall - that could come into play here as well. Not sure why I did not think of that.
and just to clarify I own 4 canoes but am only considering taking either 2 or 3 of them on this trip.


Access to a touring kayak changes the math. My sons started soloing on easy daytrips at age 8 or so, paddling 10 and 12 foot pack canoes. But on lake paddle-in trips they used a small kayak, a Wilderness Systems Piccolo (great kid and small person kayak).

We practiced wet exits with them before the trip, so that they were comfortable escaping the cockpit upside down. That practice continued in front of camp, as did tandem canoe capsizes and reentry, which was great family fun and developed their skills and confidence.

Initially my wife or I paddled a tandem with the younger son and the other parent paddled a 15 foot tandem solo. That allowed lots of variation, especially for day paddles from camp, and it wasn’t long before both boys preferred paddling their own boats.

Not sure who goes where, but two 16 foot Prospectors and one 16 foot touring kayak would be my choice. You may find some competition for who gets the kayak between the 14 and 16 year olds.


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PostPosted: August 9th, 2018, 6:29 pm 
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Oh yeah thanks for the reminder on the need to practice wet exits - I'm not sure I'll have the time for that before the trip but we'll see. None of us have really kayaked before. And yes you are right both teenagers are keen to get into that kayak :-)


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PostPosted: August 10th, 2018, 10:15 am 
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Prospector16 wrote:
Oh yeah thanks for the reminder on the need to practice wet exits - I'm not sure I'll have the time for that before the trip but we'll see. None of us have really kayaked before. And yes you are right both teenagers are keen to get into that kayak :-)


I don’t know if you have a spray skirt for your kayak. Even with some wet exit practice my boys often paddled the Piccolo without a skirt. Without a skirt in place exiting a capsized kayak is pretty easy, almost like falling out of a canoe.

If you have a skirt, and opt to have it used at some point, I would definitely practice skirted exits beforehand. And always make sure the grab loop on the front of the skirt is left outside the rand and accessible, not accidently tucked inside.

For wet exit practice we had the boys roll the kayak all the way over while staying braced in the seat, in shallow water with one of us standing alongside just in case. They found that even more fun than canoe capsizes; somewhere I have a photo of my youngest grinning like a madman after he determinedly hung upside down before popping to the surface.

BTW, the kayak made a great, uh, pool toy in the camp shallows. Once it had been used for wet exit practice some nonsense developed; one kid in the cockpit and the other straddling the deck trying to log roll his brother over. Fun, and good bracing practice. On one trip with a SOT my wife and both sons were all involved in some watery Cirque du Soleil action.

While I am reminiscing about yesteryear, infant PFDs leave or, 25 years ago, left a lot to be desired. Yes ours had a crotch strap and fit adjustments, but it was cut too high up on the chest. High enough that it rubbed on the baby’s cheeks. I don’t know if that cheek rubbing elicited a nursing response or was just irritating as hell (it would irritate me), but it did not make for a happy baby.

In an illegal move, and I would never suggest such a thing, I opened the stitching and cut out a tiny bit of foam below the chin, making that area more of a vee neck than crew neck. Yes, an illegal modification, but carefully stitched back together it was unnoticeable, and made for a much happier baby. Modern infant PFD design may vary.

I can’t say as I would want infants and toddlers along on a trip these days, but those were fun and memorable times, and I believe that peculiar nurture helped contributed to the boys adult nature.

Favorite quotation, one that has hung on my office wall for 30 years:

Spend as much time as possible
on mountains, in small boats
or otherwise out in the weather;
if you never get wet, cold, exhausted or scared,
you won’t properly appreciate
being dry, warm, rested and safe.
(Peter A. Jay; paddler, naturalist and gentleman farmer)


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PostPosted: August 19th, 2018, 2:09 pm 
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Took the kayak out for a spin with my 14 year old - first time we had it in the water since I bought it almost a year ago. It seems water tight which is the most important thing. I tried rolling it without the skirt and basically fell right out so I think we'll probably use it for the trip without the skirt, with the 14 and 16 year olds switching it up between the kayak and the canoe with my wife.

That will put my wife in a 16 foot prospector with either of those two, plus the 1 year old.

I'll take another 16 foot prospector with my 8 year old in bow and my 3 year old either right behind him, or at my feet.

I think it should work out well.


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PostPosted: August 19th, 2018, 2:46 pm 
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Not very exciting but I took a video of the maiden voyage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYI40mpsolk


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 11:41 am 
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Prospector16 wrote:
Took the kayak out for a spin with my 14 year old - first time we had it in the water since I bought it almost a year ago. It seems water tight which is the most important thing. I tried rolling it without the skirt and basically fell right out so I think we'll probably use it for the trip without the skirt, with the 14 and 16 year olds switching it up between the kayak and the canoe with my wife.

That will put my wife in a 16 foot prospector with either of those two, plus the 1 year old.

I'll take another 16 foot prospector with my 8 year old in bow and my 3 year old either right behind him, or at my feet.

I think it should work out well.


That sounds like a good boat plan for your family trip.

Rolling a kayak takes practice, and maybe some instruction. Rolling one without a skirt. . . . probably not without a lot of practice.

What length is the (Mohawk?) double blade paddle in the video? It looks on the long side for the kayak.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 12:43 pm 
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Gawd what a club! Get a narrower and lighter blade! Paddles should not be an afterthought

and one of the problems with that kayak even fully outfitted is that yes its impossible to stay in if its too big for you.. Which is why I sold mine. Could only get half a roll in!


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 3:23 pm 
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I did not mean roll it - dump it. I don't know how to roll (kayaks - but I'd do well on one of recped's trips - ha ha). I was just testing how easy it is to get out if you capsize - it was very easy.

Not sure about paddle length - will measure.


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