Canadian Canoe Routes

old sportspal needs a yoke
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Author:  JdoubleU [ May 30th, 2002, 10:19 am ]
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Donny you are the kind of person i refer to when I said we all need to relax.

Anyway, I had the sportpal out last night and it still sucks as far as paddling straight goes. But the trip I have in mind for it will be a couple tiny lakes and mostly a winding creek. I am not going to add a yoke to it but I will add seats.

Thanks to those who helped and to those who reminded me about how much, in general, sportspals suck. Because they really do :wink:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JdoubleU on 2002-05-30 11:20 ]</font>

Author:  MarkW [ May 30th, 2002, 10:31 am ]
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What the heck is a Sportspal?


Author:  Richard [ May 30th, 2002, 10:41 am ]
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On 2002-05-30 11:31, MarkW wrote:
What the heck is a Sportspal?

There's a link to their site in this thread. Basically, they're a recreational 'canoe' that are used mainly for fishing and hunting. They're stamped from aluminum, and the seams are overlapped and riveted (welded also?)

The interior is fully covered with a sheet of closed-cell foam, and they have foam sponsons down the sides. They're short, wide and would hardly rate as the most streamlined shape. Not going to win any prizes for beauty, either. They're not designed for tripping - they're meant to be a stable platform for fishing or hauling a bunch of hunting gear.

Canoeists tend to poke fun at them for being the equivalent of a Lada in the automotive market. However, they do float, they're light and you could get from point A to point B if you had the time and willpower.

You'll probably see more of them chugging along with a small motor than you will being powered by paddles.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Richard on 2002-05-30 11:42 ]</font>

Author:  Tripper [ May 30th, 2002, 11:33 am ]
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After some research I have come to the conclusion that depending on it's use, the SportsPal can be good or bad, just like any other canoe.

Have a look at this link to see what others have to say about this craft.

Although I am not a SportsPal fan , I have to admit that many people in the fishing community just love it.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tripper on 2002-05-30 12:40 ]</font>

Author:  noddy [ May 30th, 2002, 12:23 pm ]
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The other thing these sportpals do is float real shallow. I was approaching a gravel bar last year in my cedar strip and feeling a bit smug in this beautiful craft compared to the sportspal coming towards the same gravel bar from the other direction. Anyway, we grounded out and he just paddled on by with this damn smug look on his face!

Author:  Guest [ May 30th, 2002, 12:28 pm ]
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On 2002-05-30 11:19, JdoubleU wrote:
Donny you are the kind of person i refer to when I said we all need to relax.

Sorry JoubleU, I got caught up in the fever trying to defend (agree) with you, and I did acknowledge in my post that I was ranting.

So long.

Author:  MarkW [ May 30th, 2002, 1:42 pm ]
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Ahhhh.... the sportspal (thanks Richard for the link). The first canoe I paddled was a Sportspal ... never new it was called that. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world at the age of 12, ours even had a mount for a sail! I guess I didn't know enough about canoe performance at the time to criticize it!

I saw a sportspal on the Crow River near Proloux a few years back, we had just past a pair of fishermen who said there was a moose a few bends away ... so we paddled as silently as possible for a few hundred yards, wondering what the weird droning noise was in the distance. It was a Sportspal, loaded with 3 fully grown men on lawn chairs, with a double layer of coolers between them. With the little motor they had they chugged along quite nicely. The black smoke billowing fom it ruined our wilderness experience for awhile though. Obviously the moose was long gone.


Author:  JdoubleU [ May 30th, 2002, 2:49 pm ]
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Thats the same one Mark. Tell me did you ever use the sail mount - mine has this also?

Author:  MarkW [ June 3rd, 2002, 7:46 am ]
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You know JdoubleU, I don't recall ever using the sail .... I'll check though, I was pretty young at the time. I remember clearly the 'peg' in front of the bow seat.

The Sportspal was the first canoe we had, I remember seeing a canvas covered cedar strip and thinking, "What a piece of junk!" who wants a canoe without the soft foam interior and lovely faux-birch bark finish!

I thought for sure it would sink to the bottom without the foamy-gunwale-water-wings on the side! :wink:


Author:  JdoubleU [ June 3rd, 2002, 10:32 am ]
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Ha, funny Mark. The thing I hate about them is the metal loops and screws sticking out of the sides. I always manage to scratch or cut my hand when paddling in the bow.

they remind me of those pontiac station wagons with the mock wood panelling.


Author:  Justin Mahoney [ October 21st, 2021, 6:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: old sportspal needs a yoke

This is fun to read though. Nice light banter. I own a sportspal and I love it. It is great with a little electric motor on the Ottawa River. It is extremely stable and if, by chance, a tsunami hits, and it flips, I am pretty sure that you could not sink it. I did take it on a 5 day trip this summer and averaged about 1.5 mph; however, we had a fantastic time. I was enjoying the scenery anyway. Oh, and the idea for the yolk, that’s awesome! Thanks for that trick. It’s a fantastic idea. I can’t wait to try it. Cheers folks!

Don’t forget folks, your ancestors survived by hunting. For that reason you are able to read this post at this moment. Some need it now to survive.

‘Paddle hard and I do not suggest drinking and floating’

Author:  johnfrum [ October 22nd, 2021, 7:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: old sportspal needs a yoke

Fellow Adventurers,

Any canoe is a canoe, including a hollowed-out log -- or even a log not hollowed out.

For my first 30 years of wilderness canoeing, I used a 14-foot Sportspal, which I had because it was cheap. I'll admit that it was a tub, but it worked well enough for me to have a lot of fun.

It was the same era when my vehicle was a '65 VW Microbus -- a perfect analogue to the Sportspal sitting on top of it: minimal but adequate as long as you didn't have too high hopes for it. Both contrivances carried me through many adventures that I wouldn't have had if I had waited until I could afford something better.

I've never seen an actual carrying yoke on a Sportspal. I always just lashed the paddles on with room for my head to stick through and portaged it like that -- sometimes for miles.

I put up with the "snobs" who looked down on it as not being a "real canoe". True, I wasn't able to move through the water as quickly as they could, but I wasn't in a hurry anyway, so who cares?

When I bought my Bell Northstar, it was a revelation, especially when I weighed both boats and discovered that the 16.5-foot Northstar was actually lighter that the Sportspal. No question that it was superior in every way. It also cost eight times what I paid for the Sportspal (although, in fairness, that's comparing a 1970s price to a price from the 2000s).

Don't listen to the snobs. Someone is always able to afford something nicer than what you have. As long as you're having a good time: that's the main thing.

- JF -

Author:  johnfrum [ October 22nd, 2021, 10:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: old sportspal needs a yoke


Also, I never had a "proper" sail rig, but I did use the sail mount (AKA: a hole in the deck) on one occasion when I had a following wind on an extremely hot and humid day.

I cut a pole to fit the hole, hung a cross pole on it, and rigged my tent tarp as a sail. I used my paddle as a centre board (actually out to the side), let the sail catch some wind and I was off. Not very quickly, mind you, but it all worked after a fashion. It would have worked better if I had rigged the poles with bracing lines, but that was more than I could figure out.

I never used the outboard motor mount. Putting along in the Sportspal seemed even more far-fetched than sailing in it. But I did bump into a couple of guys in a 12-foot (!) Sportspal with a little gasoline outboard 'way back in the bush one time -- it looked very marginal, but who am I to judge?

- JF -

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