BWCA Solo canoe portage yoke? Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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JacobS
member (18)member
 
05/02/2021 07:46AM  
I am casually shopping for a solo canoe and I'm seeing most do not have portage yokes. Is a removable yoke required for serious portaging or does the seat in the middle work like a yoke would on a tandem canoe?

I have no experience with solo canoes and any tips are appreciated.
 
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05/02/2021 08:04AM  
For serious portaging, I would say get a portage yoke. Not sure what your plans are for using the seat.....I used mine last week for the one short portage on a day trip.....its just not as handy as you think. There are some yokes that mount to seat, still gets the weight on your shoulders and centers you on the boat. Other different clamp on styles that are easy enough to make yourself. Buy a yoke, clamps, pads of choice.....measure, cut, drill, mount, tweak to sweet spot....good to go.
 
05/02/2021 08:10AM  
You want a yoke for portaging. The clamp on yokes work fine.
 
05/02/2021 08:16AM  
I will load my canoe before a trip with things that will be portaged in canoe(seat back, fish poles, spare paddle, under seat bag) and then find the sweet spot for the yoke location for that load and mark the gunwales with a sharpie for that trip.
 
05/02/2021 12:40PM  
Yes, you should get a clamp-on yoke. Solo canoes don't have them because the balance point is usually just in front of the seat.
 
DanCooke
distinguished member(1186)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/02/2021 01:54PM  
Much easier on your body to use a clamp on yoke. You can do without a yoke it but there is a greater risk of injuring yourself.
 
jhb8426
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05/02/2021 01:58PM  
A clamp on yoke is the best option for portaging. But I do use the front edge of the seat on my shoulders when going from the car to the beach a short distance (~50 ft max). My Magic balances fairly well at the front of the seat.
 
sedges
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05/02/2021 05:26PM  
There are several threads in the Solo Tripping group forum about yokes and set-up ideas for solo canoes. Below are two of many.

solo set-up thread

homemade yoke thread
 
billconner
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05/02/2021 06:31PM  
Curiously, I was test paddling Hornbeck canoes a week ago, and when I asked about yokes, they all just carry them sideways, sort of hanging one gunwale on a shoulder. But they are in the 20- 24 pound range.

At 30+, I agree with yoke. I have a clamp on wood one - pretty common - and have gotten pretty good at mounting it as I coasting to landing.

Looking at Swifts and I think they all have a threaded insert on gunwales and offer a yoke, including an ultralight one in carbon.
 
andym
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05/02/2021 09:22PM  
I wonder if the shallow profile of the Hornbeck canoes at the center might also make them easier to throw on a shoulder.

I have a wood clamp on yoke for my Sawyer solo.
 
EddyTurn
distinguished member (120)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/03/2021 01:00PM  
I'm not familiar with Hornbecks, but I'd avoid carrying any boat on my shoulder on any serious portage, unless it's wide and even. Using a seat as a yoke could be dangerous - there's very little space for your head, probably less than 10".
 
05/03/2021 03:08PM  
I agree with EddyTurn - I've tried it a couple of times and it's awkward at best. Much easier to carry with a yoke on any portage and especially a difficult, narrow, brushy one.
 
grumple4
member (13)member
 
05/03/2021 07:43PM  
One quick thought- I have a solo Wenonah Prism and had the same question as you did on portaging. I was set on the ones that Wenonah sells but they are now $200 (https://www.wenonah.com/Items.aspx?id=59). I found the exact setup at Piragis in Ely on the discount shelf for about $60 a few years ago. Might be worth contacting them to see if they are going to be selling any of those coming up. Or perhaps calling other outfitters to see if they have used ones they would be willing to sell. Happy paddling
 
KarlBAndersen1
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05/04/2021 07:13AM  
Come on, guys......make your own. Its part of the adventure.
 
HayRiverDrifter
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05/04/2021 08:51AM  
What Karl said.

 
portagedog09
member (33)member
 
05/04/2021 05:30PM  
+Karl, +HRD....here's a custom yoke I built for Magic Paddler's Placid Rapidfire. Like Swift, they can have (if order it that way....) the threaded insert. The gunnels are odd shaped and you cannot just use a flat yoke. Cherry with cam hold downs. The EVA blocks are high so as to clear the floor mounted seat and not not bang your head on it.
 
jhb8426
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05/04/2021 07:55PM  
KarlBAndersen1: "Come on, guys......make your own. Its part of the adventure."

Like dis...

 
05/04/2021 11:23PM  
I can play too!

 
KarlBAndersen1
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05/05/2021 06:41AM  


 
Banksiana
distinguished member(2367)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/05/2021 09:41AM  
I prefer head clear of canoe.
 
Finnboy
member (20)member
 
05/05/2021 07:00PM  
I have the same yoke as Banksiana. Works great.
 
05/05/2021 09:13PM  
Banksiana: "I prefer head clear of canoe. " I had that one on my Advantage in the 90s
 
JacobS
member (18)member
 
05/11/2021 10:47AM  
lots of great ideas, thanks for the suggestions
 
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