update on canoe

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

I just wanted to give you fine folks an update on my 18' Sundowner.

I ordered and installed a center seat for solo paddling, which you can see here: http://www.canoegear.com/specifications.html

I ended up having to cut out the center thwart with my sawzall, because it was riveted from underneath and there wasn't room to get the drill in to drill them out. Other than that, the installation was quite simple. The seat is comfortable and secure, and it makes a great portage yoke as well.

I also got a 9' double bladed paddle, which I'm enjoying. I have some trouble with scraping the gunwales, but that is improving greatly with a little practice. And it definitely seems preferable to the single paddle for straight-line open water travel.

The canoe itself is VERY light. Since it is about 14 years old it doesn't precisely fit into the "Kevlar flex-core" vs. "Kevlar ultralight" categories, but I believe it's basically an ultralight. Although it was advertised as 55 pounds, I think it's closer to 45. Because of the length, it's still difficult for me to pick it up off the ground -- but once I have it shouldered, it is very easy for me to get it on and off the van. Very handy for encouraging me to paddle often! Also, I have been fortunate enough to locate a great area to practice in -- a large section of Ft. Loudon Lake with no current, lots of room, and a very covenient spot to put in without scraping on anything. ;-)

Also, you may remember that this canoe was sold to me with a fixed seat drop-in rowing rig. I haven't bought oars yet, but that will probably be my next purchase.

So far, so good! If I was used to paddling a smaller canoe I might have more to complain about -- but, since I don't know what I'm missing, I'm just having fun instead. Stay tuned for rowing news, and thanks to everyone for all the great advice you gave me!

-- Ione Smith (amazondoc@mindspring.com), July 23, 2004

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