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Wombeeevernons
member (5)member
  
02/28/2024 08:00AM  
Good Morning,

I am looking for some help on how to plan our trip for this June out of EP#14. There will be two adults and one teen going on a trip. The only problem is the teen is 6'6" and I have no idea how to pack us in the canoe.

We planned on hitting LLC and putting in some miles on the big water, which would make a 3-man canoe perfect, but I don't know if he will fit in the middle seat, and he's too inexperienced to sit in the stern.

We discussed renting two vessels, but with the amount of miles we would like to cover, it might be rough on the solo person if the wind kicks up.

Thanks!
WV

 
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02/28/2024 08:21AM  
Since I'm short, I can only rely on my experience canoe tripping with a tall (6'5 ish) friend in the past. He was not comfortable in the bow at all, there was just not enough leg room, which forced him to the stern.

He had some previous canoe experience and was an athletic guy, but had never spent extended time in a canoe. He had a strong bow paddler in the canoe with him while I soloed, and it all worked out just fine in the end for our trip from EP 14 through LLC and into Iron Lake and back.

My suggestion would be to get the tall person out in a canoe ahead of the trip and get them comfortable paddling from the stern. Then for the actual trip, either rent a dedicated solo canoe for the 3rd person or rent a canoe large enough for three adults and still put the taller person in the stern. Either way there will be a learning curve to overcome.

*edited to add* I just reread this and forgot the title was '3 tall men'. If this is the case, I think the solo canoe option is better for one of the adults with more experience and someone will just need to find a way to get comfortable in the bow and less leg room. There are certainly canoe models that will help that. My Mad River Explorer is not one of them...
Michwall2
distinguished member(1442)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/28/2024 09:03AM  
Logically you have 4 choices and in 3 of the 4 your boat choice is the only factor that makes a difference in your planning.

Choice 1 - 3 person boat. Someone has to it in the bow seat. Your choice of boat here is the only factor you have control over. The only boat I know to avoid is the Wenonah Minnesota 3. The bow seat is adjustable but the bow is very narrow only the very furthest back position of the seat allows for any degree of comfort for a large person in that spot. Northstar 18' or 20', Souris River 18.5, or Wenonah Champlain (if they come in 3 seat versions) would be the boats I would consider for this option. For the record, I think this is still your best option for covering miles of open water. The third paddler makes a world of difference.

Choice 2 - Tandem and single boat. I have recently done a trip in this configuration. Your concern about wind is a real one. But I would be more concerned about the boat with the inexperienced teenager in it. This still leaves one person to sit in the bow of a boat. Again, the only boat I know that is inappropriate is the Wenonah Minnesota 2. Same deal as above. Too narrow in the bow. Consider a Northstar 17 or 18, Souris River 17 or 18, Nothstar Seliga. Maybe a Wenonah Sundowner.

Choice 3 - Rent 3 solo boats. This would give you the most flexibility for paddling and everyone has a comfortable seating position. It will probably be the slowest option.

Choice 4 - Find a 4th. Then you will have two canoes. Paddlers can trade off bow and stern positions. Wind conditions will depend on your weakest paddler. Choice of boats again becomes the factor for the bow paddler(s). See above.

A couple of other observations:

I personally would not rule out the Minn 3. It is a 20 ft boat. There is a lot of space and is hands down the fastest boat on the water with 3 people paddling. If you are covering big miles, I would find a way to make this boat work. I have done trips in this boat and we covered miles effortlessly. Even with only two people paddling, it is faster than other tandem.

I have an 18.5 foot Bell (think Northstar) and have done a trip with 3 larger people in it The third person had to find a way to create a center of gravity and stay there. The boat was very jittery with the high center of gravity of this person, but once they settled down, it got a lot better. Trimming the boat front to back will be another story. We were always heavy to the stern.

02/28/2024 09:44AM  
I'd seriously consider renting a NW Northstar 20.

Maybe consider a Wenonah Seneca or MN 3.

And if you also pack heavy, perhaps even a MN 4.
YetiJedi
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02/28/2024 06:09PM  
sns: "...perhaps even a MN 4."


This option seems worthy of further exploration given your stated intentions.
RedLakePaddler
distinguished member (264)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/28/2024 07:10PM  
My chooses would be a Wenonah Seneca or a Wenonah Itasca. Both are large canoes and would handle the big water well.
Also I would not be concern about a 6’6” teen being able to handle the stern. If he can show up a couple of adults he will. My son and daughter were in their our canoe when they were in high school or before and traveled all over BWCA. The only thing we learn it was better to stay out of hearing distance of them, they argued less that way.
I have a MN 3 and find the bow to be very tight at 6’ tall.

Carl
02/28/2024 09:37PM  
My recommendation is rent the 20 foot northstar or three Rob Roys or whatever tandem and one rob roy. I'm 6'4 - 210 and fit comfortably in the Rob Roy. I've never fit comfortably in any Wenonah. Paddled with a double blade, the rob roy is faster than most tandems.

jsmithxc
member (31)member
  
02/29/2024 08:10AM  
If you have never paddled a solos boat I would suggest spending time in one trying it out before going on a trip. They handle differently then a standard canoe. The reason for my concern it that most of the folks I have talked to that ended up in lakes, rather than on lakes, in even moderate conditions have been in solo canoes for the first time.
02/29/2024 08:32AM  
Michwall2: "Choice 4 - Find a 4th. Then you will have two canoes. Paddlers can trade off bow and stern positions. Wind conditions will depend on your weakest paddler. Choice of boats again becomes the factor for the bow paddler(s).
"


This is what I always do. We always try to take 2 boats when possible. My canoe is a 2 person canoe and we don't rent, so that might make a difference.

In my opinion, a tandem and a solo are going to be the best option if you can't find a 4th. Probably more expensive, but you gain a lot of flexibility with a second canoe. The fishing is easier without 3 in a canoe as well. LLC is big, but from the maps I'm looking at, you don't have too much big unavoidable open water without islands to provide a bit of shelter and break up the waves and wind.

The only reason I might recommend 3 in one canoe is if you just want to get from point A to point B, but only if you can fit all your gear. Bigger canoes with more weight in them are better at moving in a straight line than more smaller canoes. So if your plan is to cover miles and not fish very much, the 3 person canoe might be better.

Whatever you do, it's going to be fine. In my experience, there are 2 types of groups. Those that are going to find a reason to say you made the wrong choice and those who are going to be happy no matter what you do. Unless there is a safety risk that you are uncomfortable with, like an inexperienced person in a solo canoe on big water, there really isn't a wrong choice.
soundguy0918
distinguished member (119)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/29/2024 09:38AM  
Put your most inexperienced paddler in the middle seat. If you are planning to cover a lot of distance, you want an experienced paddler in the stern. And the bow seat is no place for a 6 1/2 footer. In the middle seat he should be able to stretch his legs around the gear bags in front of him and possibly shift his butt more towards the stern by scooting back against the gear bags behind him.

Another consideration is with three big guys, you will want to keep lbs of gear to a minimum. Three guys plus all of your gear in one boat will make the gunwales low to the water...

Ahahn366
distinguished member (106)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/29/2024 03:49PM  
I've done this in a min 3 rather than use the seat that sits in front of the stern paddler I will have the weakest paddler sot on a pack in front of the portage yoke. I find it best to have the center paddler to be paddling on the opposite side as the as the bow paddler. We are always doing the hut thing.......to me it is a sin to use any steering strokes and a mortal sin to drag a paddle to steer, don't want to brake when trying to make distance or speed.
Art Vandelay
Guest Paddler
  
02/29/2024 04:17PM  
Wombeeevernons: "Good Morning,

I am looking for some help on how to plan our trip for this June out of EP#14. There will be two adults and one teen going on a trip. The only problem is the teen is 6'6" and I have no idea how to pack us in the canoe.

We planned on hitting LLC and putting in some miles on the big water, which would make a 3-man canoe perfect, but I don't know if he will fit in the middle seat, and he's too inexperienced to sit in the stern.

We discussed renting two vessels, but with the amount of miles we would like to cover, it might be rough on the solo person if the wind kicks up.

Thanks!
WV

"

6'6''! Sounds like a big strong young man. Shouldn't be any issues with him switching between a solo and stern seat in a tandem. He'll be uncomfortable in a middle or bow seat. Many of us were paddling solo or in the stern seat of a canoe as teenagers. Paddling a canoe on flat water is not that technical. 30 minutes to an hour of good instruction should be enough to get started.
02/29/2024 04:22PM  
Me as a tall guy and my two daughters 13 and 10 used a Northwind 18 last year while my wife and son used my tandem. It worked well but the tandem was essentially hauling gear for 3. For three tall guys I think you'll want a 20 footer or two canoes. It's possible in an 18 footer but you'll have to pack carefully and pay attention to load ratings.
02/29/2024 04:49PM  
I have experience in both Winona Seneca and the b19 by Northstar in both are great three-person canoes. The b19 is huge and would be able to handle big water better than I think the Seneca. But the Seneca would be a touch faster I think.
Tony
02/29/2024 04:53PM  




Here is a description of the two canoes from the Voyager North canoe outfitters 2024 Voyager gazette

Tony
 
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