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mastertangler
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10/27/2016 06:10AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
If your boat is anything like mine she does lots better loaded.......feels way more stable. So after setting up camp naturally I like to fish........empty boat, no good. What to do? Why a big fat rock 1/2 way to the bow of course! And that is what I have done for many moons.

Exit canoe country and enter CVS drugstore. On one of the shelves was a nylon shopping bag intended to stretch across a shopping cart.........complete with looped handles for carrying your groceries. I immediately recognized it for what it really was! And that is, a bag to put rocks in!

Lifting a bag of rocks using a handle (and not having to stoop over) was WAY more back friendly on my recent solo trip. Its a good trick and will be a permanent part of my gear henceforth.
 
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Alan Gage
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10/27/2016 07:40AM  
I used to use rocks, and still will on occasion, but prefer a cheap dry bag I can fill with water. One of the best reasons I've heard for not using rocks could be their tendency to sink your canoe in the event of a capsize.

Alan
 
Bogwalker
Moderator
 
10/27/2016 07:52AM  
quote Alan Gage: "I used to use rocks, and still will on occasion, but prefer a cheap dry bag I can fill with water. One of the best reasons I've heard for not using rocks could be their tendency to sink your canoe in the event of a capsize.


Alan"


I do the same as Alan. A dry bag with water does the trick for me and you never have to worry about finding the right size rocks-water will be readily available wherever you want to put the canoe in for paddling unloaded and dumping it out is a breeze.
 
10/27/2016 07:57AM  
If you have ever capsized your canoe(I do for fun), you will find that they are only slightly buoyant and more close to neutrally buoyant. A bag of rocks would sink them to the bottom pretty quickly if capsized.
 
quark2222
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10/27/2016 08:29AM  
On local lakes with my Prism, I use 5 gallon buckets with screw lids. Just fill with lake water and put them in the right spot to trim. You can push the bucket(s) forward if necessary while on the water with the tip of your paddle to fine tune the trim.

Tomster
 
jcavenagh
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10/27/2016 11:45AM  
quote quark2222: "On local lakes with my Prism, I use 5 gallon buckets with screw lids. Just fill with lake water and put them in the right spot to trim. You can push the bucket(s) forward if necessary while on the water with the tip of your paddle to fine tune the trim.
Tomster"

Me, too.
 
mastertangler
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10/28/2016 05:48AM  
quote Alan Gage: "I used to use rocks, and still will on occasion, but prefer a cheap dry bag I can fill with water. One of the best reasons I've heard for not using rocks could be their tendency to sink your canoe in the event of a capsize.


Alan"


Gee whiz........what was I thinking! Thanks guys for educating me.
 
mastertangler
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10/28/2016 05:48AM  
quote Alan Gage: "I used to use rocks, and still will on occasion, but prefer a cheap dry bag I can fill with water. One of the best reasons I've heard for not using rocks could be their tendency to sink your canoe in the event of a capsize.


Alan"


Gee whiz........what was I thinking! Thanks guys for educating me.
 
10/28/2016 12:10PM  
I use a dry bag full of water also, I think I heard about that trick on this web-site.

In the past I have used the 5 gallon bucket trick for going out on day trips, but not anymore, and rocks can be difficult to find in the right size and quantity.
 
sedges
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10/29/2016 02:05PM  
I say you should spend more time in your empty canoe. Get used to the motion. Its final stability is unchanged, it only feels a little tippy because the center of gravity is a bit higher. Learn to paddle with less sideways motion as well. Any upper body movement into a paddle stroke should be a rotation. If you feel a need to lean into a stroke make it a forward lean with no sideways component(except maybe a draw stroke which can be a stroke and brace at the same time). It will make a difference in how your canoe feels.
 
mastertangler
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10/30/2016 08:33AM  
Um, no thanks.....I will leave that to the experts. All I know for sure is my boat feels lots more stable with a load than without......so I will add a load. The math in this case seems quite elementary.
 
SourisMan
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10/30/2016 01:56PM  
 
missmolly
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10/31/2016 07:41AM  
Each morning at four a.m. when I set off to fish, my unballasted solo canoe, a Bell Rockstar, feels certain to capsize for the first minute or so. A few minutes later, it feels stable. Why paddle 50 extra pounds when stability comes so soon?
 
11/05/2016 08:24AM  
M first few times out with my Magic I felt very unstable and used rocks, logs, whatever I could find. Then I read about the dry bags with water and tried that, but they had little leaks I was previously unaware of and were a bit of a pain to fill anyway. I then used a couple cat litter buckets and was very pleased, easy to fill and move around like Tomster says. Then one morning I forgot the buckets and did not have any old towels to protect my boat from sharp rock edges. I ventured forth and soon found I was very stable, even in some mild chop. So unless I am training for a trip I see no value in rocks or even buckets of water anymore. I have collected a rock or two from shorelines for my rock garden at home, but that is another story.
 
Marten
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11/10/2016 09:51AM  
Just wondering, if I get used to the empty canoe will it weather that rogue wave from the side better than a canoe with ballast? In light of the tragic death on Pine Lake
 
Alan Gage
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11/10/2016 11:52AM  
quote Marten: "Just wondering, if I get used to the empty canoe will it weather that rogue wave from the side better than a canoe with ballast? In light of the tragic death on Pine Lake"

I think it should but can't say for sure. A lighter weight canoe should more easily float up and over a wave but the paddler's ability to keep the hull upright by knowing what to do (let the hull rock and use the paddle to brace) and what not to do (try to keep it perfectly upright and grab the gunwales*) will be the biggest factor.

I never use ballast in my solos to improve the feel of statiblity, only to counteract the weight of my dog in the bow. The only time I notice them feeling more squirrely is on a trip when I've been paddling loaded for days and then take it out empty. After a few minutes I've adjusted again and it's no problem. I paddle my canoes all spring, summer, and fall, and almost always empty so it's something I got used to long ago and don't even think about.

*There have been a couple times when grabbing the boat has kept me from capsizing. When surprised (usually by a strong eddy) in a sitting position the boat has healed dramatically and caused me to suddenly start sliding off my seat. The only way to stop the slide was to wrap my arm around the outside of the hull.

Alan
 
bwcasolo
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11/10/2016 05:47PM  
yes the rocks will lodge and sink the canoe, or have the potential to, or be a pain in the butt if you tip and they get caught.
i love fishing out of my prism with just my weight and day pack.




 
Marten
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11/10/2016 06:18PM  
Looking back on some rough seas episodes in my Prism I am leaning to no ballast. Once I was playing in the incoming waves near shore on Lake of the Woods with an empty Prism and had fun. The wind was up and the waves were huge but I had no problem handling the canoe as it got pitched about. With ballast there would have been water coming in. Last summer on Aikens Lake on the Gammon River in Manitoba I decided I could handle the tailwinds and headed for the river entrance 3 miles away. This was in the larger Encounter but with a mile to go the waves were overwhelming and slipping a little water over the bow as they passed. I feel that empty it would have been a wilder ride but less chance of getting too much water in the canoe. In these scenarios I was intently controlling the canoe. Bobbing on the waves over a fishing hole may work differently.
 
11/15/2016 08:48AM  
I'm trying to understand the logic of using ballast in a dedicated solo canoe. I'm hearing that people feel more stable when loaded down, but are you safer from tipping? It's a false sense of security. Your initial stability my seem cool, but your secondary stability ( how far you can tip without going in) is being compromised. Sudden weight shifts cause tipping. So it will be your weight plus the ballast weight suddenly shifting. It's just like a having a flat bottom canoe like a Old Town Pathfinder. Your initial stability feels good, but you going into the drink much easier than a round bottom canoe which has better secondary stability
 
yellowcanoe
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11/16/2016 10:17PM  
quote mastertangler: "Um, no thanks.....I will leave that to the experts. All I know for sure is my boat feels lots more stable with a load than without......so I will add a load. The math in this case seems quite elementary. "

When box wine goes on sale.. buy lots.. There is your ballast...
Seriously we used to refill the bladders when we had drunk the wine. Then added to kayaks to weight down the stern for wave surfing.

I can see why when you are sitting high and a master fish catches you and tows you around that you might want stability. I watched some hapless guy get hauled around Georgian Bay...
 
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