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YetiJedi
member (8)member
 
01/20/2020 02:29AM
My two teenage daughters and I are planning a two-week trip this summer doing the Knife Lake circuit from EP 25. I have an ultra-light Boundary Waters 17' canoe that I hope to take.

What weight limits do you recommend for gear and people?

Also, any suggestions on third seat options?

Thank you in advance for your help.
 
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sedges
distinguished member(510)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2020 03:13AM
I don't think this will work. If it was 4 or5 day trip, maybe. Problem isn't weight necessarily, but volume. Two weeks food for 3 will be the issue even if you back ultralite style.

Rent a MN 3 or Northwind 20, or find a used one. All of you will be much more comfortable and safe on a rough day.
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(1938)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2020 09:18AM
I'm not going to say write it off quite yet, but I agree it'll be a space issue more than total weight. Those things can carry a ton of weight but with putting someone in the middle (and adding their gear) you might not have much room left especially for that long of a trip.

I'd try it once....fill up some duluth packs and have you 3 sit in it. If you're bored this winter, since it's yours try it on the ground (without you sitting in it) See if all your food barrels, packs, etc fit with enough space for you 3.

Otherwise, rent a Seneca or the ones mentioned above and you'll be good.
 
01/20/2020 09:52AM
" If you're worried about the capacity of any model (made by us or by anyone), a published figure is not a reliable guide. Load the hull with the intended weight and test it. If the canoe is overloaded, a test will reveal it better than any published figure could."

quoted from Wenonah FAQ's. This is the best advice and leaves the decision to you and partners as to abilities and comfort levels. If it happens your canoe does not work out renting a larger canoe is always an option.

butthead
 
01/20/2020 10:49AM
I would agree with earlier comments. I have taken several trips using this canoe with my daughter and her two children at ages 8 and 10 and again when they were 10 and 12 and both of these kids are large for their age. Our trips were in the 3-4 day range and we took the gear we needed but nothing extra. It was a tight fit to get all of us plus our gear in the boat. But even as loaded as it was I felt the boat handled well. We definitely could not have used my Wenonah Escape for these trips, so I rented the Boundary Waters. The Boundary Waters is a stable canoe but I think it will be too small for your intended trip.
 
01/20/2020 11:02AM
3rd seat option: Spring Creek Drop-in Seat.

I agree with the suggestions to try loading-out the canoe on a trial. Have you taken your canoe with 2 people on a 2-week trip?

I have a 17' Spirit II and I cannot imagine putting 3 people in it with gear and food enough for 2 weeks.
 
Tomcat
distinguished member (412)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2020 01:00PM
YetiJedi: "Also, any suggestions on third seat options? "

Drop In Seat

 
YetiJedi
member (8)member
 
01/20/2020 10:48PM
Hey thanks, folks, for the quick and informative responses! A few thoughts:
1) great idea to load the canoe! Did it in our living room this evening. We filled our packs with bulky winter sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets. Yes, volume will be an issue but it may just work fine. We'll get it on the water in the spring with real gear and weight to see.
2) The insert seat recommendations are viable and, based on other comments on this site, the results are mixed and some strong preferences...but I have a friend who has two of the options and I can try those when the ice melts.
3) And, once the ice is off, we can load the canoe with the volume and weight and paddle some local water to see how it goes. We'll undoubtedly need to practice some more ultralight packing and eating, which is fine and will be part of the fun...if we go with that option.
4) Yes, I've done a similar trip, a few days shorter, but with only two people and we felt we had enough room for additional days on the water...it's the extra person and their added gear and food that complicates it for me.

Again, we had a good time bringing the canoe out of the garage and loading it with "pillow packs" - so thank you for commenting. My younger daughters made it a puzzle and came up with some very viable options - fun to see them excited!

We will consider shortening the trip or even taking 2 different one-week trips, renting a larger canoe, or inviting an additional person and renting a second canoe. Plenty of time to figure it out with my daughters experimenting with the options - so again, thank you for chiming in. Only a little time left until we can submit permits!!!

 
cyclones30
distinguished member(1938)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/21/2020 09:43AM
One comment on your puzzle of putting gear in your canoe, most Duluth style packs won't fit behind the rear seat but sometimes a tall slender pack like a backpacking style will.

Otherwise, the 3 person canoes for 3 are great. I prefer that over a tandem and solo that many others debate. When it comes to portaging, yes the 3 person is a few pounds heavier...but you don't have a second canoe to carry and basically an extra person to help portage. That can make someone that's normally a double portager into a 1.5 or single portage crew. (Same goes if you can all fit in your BW)
 
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(1130)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/21/2020 03:46PM
Have one of them bring a friend.
Take two canoes.
 
TipsyPaddler
distinguished member (167)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/21/2020 04:54PM
cyclones30: "One comment on your puzzle of putting gear in your canoe, most Duluth style packs won't fit behind the rear seat but sometimes a tall slender pack like a backpacking style will.


Otherwise, the 3 person canoes for 3 are great. I prefer that over a tandem and solo that many others debate. When it comes to portaging, yes the 3 person is a few pounds heavier...but you don't have a second canoe to carry and basically an extra person to help portage. That can make someone that's normally a double portager into a 1.5 or single portage crew. (Same goes if you can all fit in your BW) "


Agree on all points!

I started swapping out a CSS Pioneer with two CSS Rucks on our 3 or 4 people in a single canoe trips to better use the space like behind the rear seat (as well as making smaller loads for kids to carry). We used the Wenonah MNIII (three adults) and Northwind 20 (2 adults, 2 kids) and enjoyed paddling both with a slight preference for the Northwind 20. Portaging either canoe was no big deal once you get used to the length.
 
Chuckles
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
 
01/21/2020 05:03PM
A few other thoughts:
1. My youngest (now 10) often ends up in the middle of multi-day canoe trips and has sat on: the canoe, low lawn chairs, 5-gallon buckets and various gear. At Project Aware Iowa (something that more of you should check out, see link below) this summer, we pulled a drop-in seat out of the free bin. It was similar to one of the ones posted earlier. Probably a cheaper version, so take it for what it is worth, but we returned it to the free bin at the end of the trip.

2. Make sure there is room enough in your canoe for the third passenger to sit low in the canoe if you hit rough water. By far, my worst moments in a canoe came this summer in the Adirondacks. Wind came from nowhere and turned a glass-like lake into whitewater in minutes. Out front was a canoe with two teens, plus my youngest who was braving the chop in the middle, sitting way-too-high on a rubbermaid tub. The kids did great, but the high center of gravity was nerve wracking for a Dad. After 10 minutes of simultaneous screaming and paddling at break-neck speed, I caught them and it turns out they could hear me, but there was no room for her to get down in the canoe. I dragged them to a nearby island and we repacked to make room.

Project Aware link
 
Ole496
distinguished member (236)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/22/2020 06:04PM
Rent a solo and you can tag along and haul some of the gear. Then you'll have a solo around and you can all take turns enjoying time in that after reaching camp.
 
YetiJedi
member (8)member
 
01/22/2020 06:13PM
Hi again folks...

Wow, thank you, everyone, for continuing the conversation with additional advice. Much appreciated!

We just invited one of my nieces to go with us, which would be fun. Hadn't thought of the solo canoe option and let my daughters lead out this trip...intriguing!

We don't have the duluth style packs. We backpack and hunt out west so our gear does fit a little better in the bow and stern. We also packed the sleeping bags, tent, tarp, and air pads in one pack and arranged it so that it could be used as a middle seat option.

Chuckles...I'm glad everything turned out okay with your kids in the wind. We're pretty quick to get off the water in the wind but there are times when it comes up fast or you simply have to cover some distance.
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(1938)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/22/2020 09:55PM
If you're trying to get deep into the park, I'd get a 3 person (or if you all fit in your BW take that) for a 3 person group. If you aren't going as far or don't have a lot of portaging to do, then I'd think about the tandem+ solo option if you're good with them being in the tandem in wind, current, etc.
 
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