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ewbeyer
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
 
06/15/2020 11:29AM  
Destroyed an underbuilt BB while foolishly attempting an upstream to avoid a very short portage while soloing. Only the paddle was harmed. Considering a beefy-er BB.

Considering a BB cruiser. Don't want a T-handle, so excluded the Expedition Plus. Considering a Sawyer Voyageur. Pros/cons? Others? Straight shaft is all I am interested in here.
 
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06/16/2020 01:04PM  
Explorer Plus.
Underbuilt BB paddle? Seems more like you abused it by trying to pole upstream with it.

butthead
 
sedges
distinguished member(693)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2020 02:05PM  
Tell us what part of the paddle broke; shaft, blade or blade tip. How was it being used when it broke? It is possible to find shafts made with stronger, but heavier woods and blades reinforced with fiberglass.

I always carry a spare paddle and it is usually a much stronger heavier straight shaft that I switch to when I might be banging it up or using it like a pole. Get to use that feather weight bent 95% of the time. Shallow river trips I take that solid ash paddle I have had for 53 years now. I'd hurt myself before I broke it.
 
MReid
distinguished member (272)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2020 02:45PM  
 
06/16/2020 04:52PM  
"foolishly attempting an upstream to avoid a very short portage while soloing"

Is what the comment is based on, not much other indication written.

butthead
 
MReid
distinguished member (272)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2020 05:24PM  
butthead: ""foolishly attempting an upstream to avoid a very short portage while soloing"
Is what the comment is based on, not much other indication written.
butthead"


Point taken from my oversight. Edited.
 
ewbeyer
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
 
06/17/2020 02:42PM  
I inadvertently hit a rock while digging upstream and the blade instantly split in half right up its length of the shaft like a piece of fire wood. No prior gouges or anything. I felt something and looked to see half of the paddle floating away. I instinctively took a couple strokes while momentarily hanging in the current before i was able to reach my spare, but it was too late and I was simply able to steer my way back through the chute backwards uneventfully. Really good thing I had a spare with me. Of course, one always should. IT was a Java - and I know it is built to be light - so, I am not blaming it. I am simply saying that stuff happens when you don't expect it, so personally would prefer a little more heft. I was not poling - just hit a rock that I did not see paddling what appeared to be a clean run into significant current.
@sedges - I think I am going to go in that direction - I wish I would have used the spare for my ascent attempt.
Sawyer - is cedar and Doug Fir - BB is basswood - wondered if anyone had any experience with Sawyer.
 
06/17/2020 04:36PM  
We've owned several Sawyer paddles, and had years of good service from them. We sold a couple when we got carbon paddles a couple years back, but still carry a 60" Sawyer T-grip straight-shaft paddle as our spare. Tried looking up the model name for it, but it no longer appears on the Sawyer site; we bought it in 2003, I think, and it's seen several hundred miles of use... Here it is on Blackstone (Quetico).
TZ

 
sedges
distinguished member(693)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/17/2020 08:45PM  
If you use a paddle in the manner you describe I would get a paddle intended for whitewater. Tips are usually bombproof and the blades have a 2 - 4 ounce fiberglass covering. If you are a real bear you can get the shaft with a glass sleeve as well. I like the following, but there are many out there.

http://www.mitchellpaddles.com/paddles/cww/obww.html

I have also glassed blades on several paddles that didn't come that way. Its pretty easy, but I have a stock of materials left over from woodstrip canoe projects. Getting tiny quantities of glass and epoxy isn't easy unless you have a friend who already has the stuff.
 
justpaddlin
distinguished member (370)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2020 01:17PM  
I've had two Sawyer paddles and was not impressed with the quality so they are long gone...maybe some of the heavy duty models are better. I won't be buying any more Sawyers since there are lots of other good choices out there.

There's a new one from BB called the Catalyst ST that has a nice looking blade size and shape and heavy duty construction and a symmetric grip.

I think there are Grey Owl models with a fine reputation like the Voyageur.

If you are open to a composite paddle there are lots of choices. Even my lightweight Zaverals have taken plenty of hard hits on rocks with either zero damage or at worst tiny chips like (1-2 mm) in the blade edge. In the past I've also broken light duty wood paddles on rock hits...but just knocked chunks out of the blade, never split a shaft.

 
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