Inaugural Flip

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AsaBlanchard
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:10 pm
Location: Lexington, KY

Inaugural Flip

Post by AsaBlanchard » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:17 pm

I just returned from the KY River where I took my 17' 1" Prospector for its inaugural test run. I wanted to make sure I liked the seat position before I cut of the carriage bolts holding them to the inwales. 4 strokes into my first paddle I made a large sweeping draw stroke to the right to turn against the current and I immediately turned over. I was in the canoe alone, with no added weight, sitting in the bow seat paddling toward the stern. The Prospector felt very light on its feet and barely in the water. My friends like me because I always tell on myself. The last time I flipped a canoe I was running over an eight foot waterfall in pretty good current. Anybody else care to comment on the maneuverable Prospector?
Asa Blanchard
Flippin' Prospector

CatFaber
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:55 pm

Post by CatFaber » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:29 pm

You'll get better comments from people who've actually paddled Prospectors, but two things come to mind.

1) a lot of people think that if you're handling a tandem by yourself your best plan is to kneel in the middle of the canoe, near one side (it's okay to heel it) so you can paddle nearer the middle, and the shape of the part of the boat in the water is more regular fore-to-aft. I handled an Old Town Camper solo for a couple of years, and kneeling in the middle was the only way to keep that puppy under control. There is an item called a Solostrap that lets you hang a strap from gunwale to gunwale to set your hind end on as you do this so your knees don't give out and your feet don't fall asleep.

2) John Winters (canoe designer) mentions that the stability of a canoe can change a lot depending on how heavily it's loaded--so if the Prospector was designed to carry two people plus gear it may be a lot less stable with one person minus gear in it. So your unscheduled bath may not be a sign of trouble--just an indication that you need about 150-200 more pounds in the boat.

If it makes you feel any better, the second day I took my Osprey out, I had an unscheduled flip (and this after I tipped it on purpose several times the first day to see what her limits were.) It hasn't happened since, though I've made sure to keep to paddling conditions that wouldn't make a repeat of the experience dangerous.

AsaBlanchard
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:10 pm
Location: Lexington, KY

Post by AsaBlanchard » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:55 pm

CatFaber,
I appreciate your honesty in flipping canoes. It will be interesting to see how many boat builders there are with a hull full of integrity. I do have two deer skins that I have collected in the last two years. A doe and a 12 point buck. Perhaps as "carpets" they will add the needed weight. Or maybe I need to go into trapping. I know one thing, this boat needs a load or she will dance. Like a wild horse, I will go again tomorrow, with a dry bag and spare clothes. The fisherman in their Johnboats were glad to rescue an idiot in the cold water. Not exactly the right time of year to be tipping. I have two rods and reels to retrieve.
Thanks for the reply.

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Glen Smith
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Location: Baie-St-Paul, Quebec, Canada

Post by Glen Smith » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:41 pm

You can bring along about a dozen empty 1 gallon plastic bottles. Fill them with water at the put-in and place in canoe as ballast. Empty them back into the lake or river at take-out. It's better than dumping rocks into a stripper.

Any particular reason why you built the prospector at 17' 1" ?

AsaBlanchard
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:10 pm
Location: Lexington, KY

Post by AsaBlanchard » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:43 pm

Glen,
I built the Prospector 17' 1'' so it will carry heavier loads when I go canoe camping with my brother. We both weigh in at 225-235 and I wanted to make sure it would carry plenty of weight. I "stretched" it 12" in the dead center. I didn't have any trouble with the bow coming up out of the water. I must have leaned over the edge too far to apply that draw stroke. I have had a 17' aluminum canoe for 40 years and the length has never been a problem to handle. I am sure I will get used to the Prospector, with my butt and nose on the keel line, but it is going to be in warmer water!
Asa Blanchard

CatFaber
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Post by CatFaber » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:07 pm

Glen is right; water is better than rocks. I've used old empty 2 liter bottles. Or firewood is good, if you have some handy. Or a backpack lined with 2 garbage bags and filled with dirty laundry and cans (be sure to tie both garbage bags shut, to trap the air in the laundry.) But something no heavier than water. That way, if the canoe gets swamped but your ballast doesn't fall out, the ballast doesn't pull the canoe straight to the bottom.

I wouldn't use the deerskins unless it doesn't matter if they spend a lot of time wet and muddy--I always get some water and mud into my boat(s) when I'm getting in. When I need a pad in the boat I use a gardening pad (a little foam pad, about 6 x 12 x 1 inch, with a handle molded into one end) that I take out at the end of my paddle. I also kneel on it when I'm attaching my bow ropes to the attachment points under the front bumper, so I always have it along. I wonder if you could get a cheap foam pad meant for sleeping on and cut it into two pieces to go under the bow and stern seats? That might provide the protection for the inside of the boat you mentioned wanting in a different post.

Rick
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario

Post by Rick » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:22 am

AB,

Something that might help prevent flipping, especially at the beginning, is keeping the head over the centerline (from bow to stern) of the canoe.... you may have flipped because your body weight (your center of gravity) extended out past the gunnels. With time this will probably become a reflex, while at the beginning making sure that the head is over the center line will help with keeping your body centered so you won't flip.

Kneeling can help as well, using the front edge of the seat for partial support and may allow more advanced techniques once the balance thing becomes familiar. Also for more advanced solo paddling with canoe heeled over... eg. Omer Stringer kneeling in a wide canoe that looks like a Prospector.

Image

And as far as any more flipping goes... there won't be any dread, with a properly centered head... (heh,heh, rhyme intended).

:big grin

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Jeff in Farmington, MI
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Post by Jeff in Farmington, MI » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:22 pm

Asa,
There was a day last year when I could not coax anyone to go paddling with me. Even though it was breezy, I was determined, so I took my 17.5 foot stripper out for my first solo paddle.
I brought a five gallon bucket with me and put almost 4 gallons of lake water in for ballast. I alternated between kneeling in the center and sitting backward on the bow seat. With the bucket as far forward as possible, the canoe was quite manageable.

Jeff

AsaBlanchard
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:10 pm
Location: Lexington, KY

Post by AsaBlanchard » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:39 pm

Jeff,
I like the five gallon bucket idea. That sounds great. What I am really hoping is I come across about 140lbs of female who would like to ballast the front. But until that happens, I have a bucket or two. Glen, I hope you have a sense of humor.
Thanks for the tip,
Asa


I believe I better adapt to this type of form so I keep my body centered in the canoe.
Image
This will keep everything centered perfectly.
Just for the record, I know neither of these canoers, I found their spirits on the internet, but certainly I hope to meet them.

Asa

Rick
Posts: 727
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 9:23 am
Location: Bancroft, Ontario

Post by Rick » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:39 am

You're a sick man, Asa...

PS... keep 'em coming.

PPS... the second photo isn't visible!

:confused


:wink

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BradRob
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Location: Grayling, Mich.

Post by BradRob » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:09 pm

One question, was the hull leaning up stream when it crossed the upstream current?
I have a 16 prosp. and i thouhgt it maneuveres quite nicely, I go solo in it all the time sitting in the bow seat.
I found out along time ago about a leaning upstream hull in a cross current. :embarassed

Stencil
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:01 am

Post by Stencil » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:28 am

I've put a lot of miles on my Prospector since building it a couple years ago. It only feels twitchy when unloaded. So I agree with others that ballast and leaning down stream should help you. I am no expert but this design is one of the most stable and versatile out there. I have to say that the boat has exceeded my expectations in handling and I paddle sitting from the bow seat.

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