Canadian Canoe Routes

Canoe for a Kid
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Author:  John Marshall [ August 21st, 2006, 2:02 pm ]
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I am thinking I would build the stations first then trim a little off the bottoms in the center.. Bottoms of the form will be sheer line on the boat. I am thinking of beginning the tumble home about half way up from the bottom of the hull in the middle and going smoothly to the gunwale line. I was thinking of coming in 1 1/2 to 2 inches. I am thinking I will be able to define a smoother line by identifying how much I want to come in at the center station and gradually tapering the tumblehome to 0 before I get to the bow and stern sections. I figure I can take a think flexible board and bend it to get a smooth curve.

PK, you are right a kid could learn to paddle canadian style to reach the water more easily. I think though it will be easier for them to learn by staying centered in the boat.

I am a bit bothered by Laughing Loon's assertion that the Wee Robbie is a boat to be paddled with a double blade. I want my kids to learn good canoeing skills and they won't with a kayak paddle.

Author:  pknoerr [ August 21st, 2006, 3:05 pm ]
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My only wonder is... yes tumblehome can allow one to get the paddle closer to the boat. But, increasing the tumblehome dramatically will only effect the total hull width if there is significant flare in the middle of the boat. In addition, usually you only need a little tumblehome to accomplish your desires. So I'd limit my tumblehome to the top few inches of the hull as opposed to halfway up the hull as you suggested and only enough tumblehome to tuck the beam at the rails within the maximum width of the rest of the hull. This is why many of the more recent hulls have shouldered tumblehome (like the Bell solos and the Swift Osprey) as opposed to the more dramatic curved tumblehome on older solos (Sawyers..). In addition, I'd only put tumbehome only within the vicinity of the paddling station in the middle of the boat. Flare both in the bow and stern is a very important component to the seaworthiness of a solo hull, especially if the hull is shallow.

One final thought is that tumblehome can make construction of a hull more tricky as it can be more difficult to get the hull off the form, depending on how and when you install the rails.

Finally, I wouldn't worry about what Laughing Loon says about the boat being paddled with a canoe or kayak paddle. In my mind a canoe and kayak are both displacement hulls and the only real difference is that canoes are built for the higher Center of Gravity when kneeling, and the kayaks take advantage of the lower COG of sitting. So if your child can paddle the boat kneeling... who cares what they called it. On a related note, this spring I spent a couple months re-outfitting a Pakboat Puffin 12 foldable kayak into a small canoe for my girlfriend to run the Class III rapids on an 8 day trip on the San Juan in Utah. Though it was designed as a kayak it made a very functional canoe for a smaller paddler.



Author:  John Marshall [ August 21st, 2006, 4:40 pm ]
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Yes, PK- Tumblehome only in the middle of the boat, anywhere else it is a disadvantage. I was looking at my Argosy and it seems as though the tumblehome starts half way up from the bottom of the canoe. Regarding pulling off the forms, I could always take my jigsaw to the plywood stations and cut them in two. What did you think of the San Juan River?

Author:  pknoerr [ August 21st, 2006, 5:45 pm ]
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The San Juan was alot of fun. The rapids were pretty strightforward, and a decent paddler can run everything in a canoe without floatation. There are some real nice hikes... at The Comb, Mendenhall Cabin, Honaker Trail, Slickhorn Canyon and Aljeto. We had some fantastic campsites too. The wind is pretty incredible... but again a decent solo canoeist will have only minor issues with it. We did the trip in April, and the weather was fabulous. Bring water, because the river is pretty thick. We were able to settle the silt with alum, and probably could pump.....but...


Author:  Alan Greve [ August 21st, 2006, 11:42 pm ]
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Out of all the different attributes one could put into a design of a canoe, the one attribute I hate is flare. A flared hull does nothing in my mind to build better stroke placement, therefor I look for other attributes that can give me a seaworthy hull. To give you an idea to where I`ve taken the Splash and its stabilty, the boat is only 25" max beam, yet we have 7 year olds solo paddling class II rapids with skill. But to watch these kids you would think they were on a dock, its that stable. It comes down to blending different attributes to find that desired boat, yet still allowing the child to place correct clean strokes.

Author:  Dan. [ August 21st, 2006, 11:53 pm ]
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I got a funky idea....

What about getting the plans for a 15' prospector or bob's special, then leave out the center station and shrink the spacing down to 11"s? If you do that you will have a hull with a classic feel and the lines will run smoothly.

If this is a bad idea please let me know... I am brainstorming after a 15 hour paddling + driving day.

Author:  pknoerr [ August 22nd, 2006, 7:00 am ]
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Alan Greve wrote:
Out of all the different attributes one could put into a design of a canoe, the one attribute I hate is flare. A flared hull does nothing in my mind to build better stroke placement, therefor I look for other attributes that can give me a seaworthy hull. .

Al, I fully agree flare does nothing to build better stroke placement... that's why I said that the tumblehome should be concentrated in the central portion of the boat. In addition, I'm not talking about extreme flare... I'm talking about a slight in the bow and stern. In play boats a canoe can be built with bulbous ends including below the water line. This is the case for nearly every whitewater playboat built during the last 15 years. But a boat built to paddle flatwater well requires a fine entry at the waterline and thus needs to rely on flare above the waterline in the bow and stern to allow it to not submarine when paddling in rapids or heavy seas on a large lake. Take a look at John Winter's Osprey, or Dave Yost's Wildfire. Both excel paddling flatwater.... but have enough flare in the ends to allow them to run rapids when encountered. In the case of the boat John is building... it's a fine entry flatwater boat.... thus it requires a little flare in the ends, as well as the tumblehome in the middle for stroke efficiency.


Author:  Alan Greve [ August 22nd, 2006, 7:33 am ]
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PK I knew what you were saying, that was just me rambling on about the feature.

Author:  Alan Greve [ August 22nd, 2006, 7:49 am ]
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Dan Funky ideas work. But why a Prospector ? Its a great classic design ! But remember what it was designed for....a work horse. Is it the only classic design, and could we find a design that would better suit the needs of small arms? I think so. If you go with that thought pick something with speed, such as the Champlain. Also its just not the length you need to reduce theres also the depth. But in the end I think you'd have a real kids paddlen machine !!!! SWEET !!!! :wink:

See ya at the Gat Fest this weekend, I`ve got a few Splash`s and Taureau sold I have to take up. It should be a great weekend !!!

Author:  John Marshall [ August 22nd, 2006, 9:12 am ]
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Could you elaborate on your dislike for flare. I do not understand what you mean when you say it does nothing for stroke placement. Two of my boats have quite a bit of flare; Wenonah Cascade (tandem) and Wenonah Argosy (Solo).

Author:  DaveW [ August 22nd, 2006, 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Another design

Canoe&Kayak magazine used to sell plans for a design called the Itty Bit. It's 12'6" long and 26" wide. The plans were pretty cheap - I think under US$10. I did a skin-on-frame version for my kids and it seemed to paddle quite nicely.

Edit: Here's the link to the plans for the Itty Bit ... ttern.html

Author:  John Marshall [ August 22nd, 2006, 11:33 pm ]
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Dave W-
Thanks for the link to the Itty Bitty. They do not elaborate enough on the canoe's attributes to make me want to build it. I like the fact that the Wee Robbie is only 10 1/2 feet long.

Author:  Alan Greve [ August 22nd, 2006, 11:49 pm ]
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John for the most part we paddle with to basic styles or strokes, Classic ( Canadian ) and white water. With the Classic we can drop our control hand down to a more relaxed postion. And to make up for the more relaxed postion the forward stroke requires more of a correction in the way of a J or other stern corrections such as a pitch. With a white water forward stroke it requires a high handed control hand as to reduce stern corrections. As a paddler I tend to paddle with a higher control hand than most when classic paddling. Because of my white water back ground my J's tend to be short and fewer of them when I paddle Classic or on trip. As an instructor the benefits are clear to me, as to look for ways in which we can reduce or minimize our correction strokes. A flared hull doesn't allow the paddler for an effective high control hand to the same degree as other designs that can equal or better seaworthyness.

Author:  Steward R [ August 29th, 2006, 3:48 pm ]
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Well, I'm late to this thread, haven't been on CCR for awhile. But if you are looking for a kids WW boat, you can't beat the Splash. Al and Andy have done a fantastic job here. Our 7 year old daughter has been paddling one for the last 6-8 weeks. In that time, she now runs the lower set at palmers all over the place, ran the Petite Nation, class 2/3 rapids. Has one successful roll. And quickly pushing her mother :D

She is picking it up so easily and enjoying the boat.

Its will allow your son to get around the river and do his own thing and build confidence.

It's also made boating more fun for me, its great to have your kids kick you off surf waves so they can try.



Author:  Kim Gass [ August 29th, 2006, 5:00 pm ]
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To clarify: I think John wants to build a boat. Or er boats. Three kids!

I can think of a slew of boats that kids have had fun in and learned to paddle in my classes: Loon Works MY Toy, Loon Works Button, Mohawk Solo 13 ( a little wide but it works), one of the Curtis Falcon Series, Flashfire (Wild is a little big) , Curtis Ladybug, Swift Osprey (can be handled by a nine year old in calm conditions). The kids seem to have fun in canoes under fourteen feet that you can kneel in.

However the quest I think is for plans that are available for sale.

There the supply becomes a little limited.

John, you might amble to and onto their forums. There are WCHA members who have built their kids boats.

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