Is the Ranger right for me?

You don't know which boat you should build to suit your personal needs? Please post your questions here and our many contributors will surely have some good advice.
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driftingrz
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Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:12 pm
Location: Georgia

Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by driftingrz » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:11 pm

Alright this is my first post here after lurking and reading for awhile. ive been wanting to build a strip canoe for a few years now and finally see the opportunity this year. ()

Ive owned 1 canoe and it was a 15' coleman, very heavy didnt track straight. I have no experience paddling solo in a canoe since the coleman was way off balance without 2 people regardless of where i sat. stability is always a big concern especially with someone my size. i will be paddling from seat and i'd like to try from my knees aswell see how comfortable it is

I am a pretty big guy at around 250-260 but currently dropping weight and i plan to continue do so. My hopes for this canoe is primarily solo day trips with some fishing. im not lucky enough to have so many bodies of water just a portage away so i will likely not be doing any long trips and loading the canoe down with alot of weight. which is why i feel like the prospector 16 may not be the best choice if its just me and a backpack/tacklebox in the canoe.. maybe a second paddler on occasion. from what ive read without weight wind will blow the prospector around at will.

most trips will be on lakes and slow moving rivers maybe occasional small rapids in the area

not sure if im missing anything but i cant wait to get started just waiting for it to start warming up (not much longer down here)

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:36 am

After a little more looking, a Ranger might be what you are looking for. I think the capacity would be fine, I'd just not build the stems so high.
There are a lot of good choices here !
Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

driftingrz
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:12 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by driftingrz » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:38 pm

Thanks for the help, i do plan on machining the strips myself if that makes a difference. i suppose ill keep looking at plans and thinking up until its time to order them

driftingrz
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Location: Georgia

Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by driftingrz » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:31 pm

anybody else have any other recommendations or thoughts?

thanks

sedges
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by sedges » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:12 pm

I’ll be very honest with you. Your experience with the Coleman canoe will not have prepared you at all for the feel of the Ranger. I’m not saying you shouldn’t build it, but that paddling it will be a learning experience and will take some time to get comfortable in it. This experience may include swimming. One of the first things I do when I teach new paddlers is intentionally swamping the canoe. It gets that out of the way, lets you know what it feels like and helps to understand that its not that big a deal. Happens to all of us.

The Ranger will be a good solo canoe for you if you keep the above in mind.

The Coleman has a real flat bottom, and feels very stable when you are sitting centered in the seat. Not a lot of wobbling and yawing side to side. This is called initial stability in canoe lingo. That flat bottom, while feeling very firm when fairly level, has very little stability when you start to lean to the side. It goes from very firm to very wet when a lean gets to a certain angle. In canoe lingo, it would be said to have poor secondary stability. Secondary stability is the firmness or resistance to tipping you need to recover from an unexpected lean caused by paddler motion or rough water.

The Ranger has a shallow arch shaped bottom cross-section. It is going to feel wobbly from the start. Something you will get used to if you give it the time and effort and can just relax. So, the Ranger does not have as firm an initial stability as the Coleman. The Ranger does have much better secondary stability because of that shallow arch shape. The transition from the bottom to the side is more gradual. You will feel a firmness/resistance to tipping when leaned that is really comfortable. It is a much more seaworthy canoe on a rough lake.

For solo use, you will have to have a seat just to one side of the center, the front edge of the seat maybe 4-6 inches off center. It is going to eliminate the placement for a permanent portage yoke or thwart at the center. You still need thwarts for structural strength, so they need to be placed maybe 2 feet each side of the center. I would suggest parallel rails hung from long bolts that hold the thwarts as well. The top of the rail would end up being about 4 inches below the gunnels. The seat and a portage yoke can be attached to those rails and moveable/sliding to adjust trim or rearrange to use the portage yoke.

All this is going to make using this canoe as a tandem more difficult. I’d make a dedicated solo and save the tandem for the next project. Very few of us get by with only building one canoe!

Hope this is helpful.

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Cruiser
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by Cruiser » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:29 pm

You could consider thinking along a slightly different line for dual purpose, solo and tandem.

The thwarts and seats are some of the easier items to fit and install (my opinion) and unless you want a configuration that does both things at the same time, you could just work out the installation to allow you to reconfigure the thwarts and seats depending on what you plan for the day. Seat placement is critical, but as I understand it, thwart placement has a lot more leeway, so they could be readily moved around to fit your seat arrangement.

This will mean a few more holes (depending on how you mount your stuff) in the gunnels, but it would mean you could make the canoe better for each application. A bit of creativity with the mounting and it is possible to not even have anything that shows, such as hidden hardware.

My $.02

Brian

driftingrz
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by driftingrz » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:40 pm

Thanks for the input. i expected there to be a learning curve and swimming is no problem. ive flipped a few kayaks :wink . Im only 23 and dont have a huge income so the thought of building multiple boats is a putoff becasue of the money involved and the fact i have no suitable work area to build so i would have to wait for another summer sometime down the road. i will be setting up a temporary shelter of sorts for this build

I had a similar thought Cruiser. having easily removable seats perhaps? and a third seat that would fit in place closer to the COG for solo paddling.. maybe a good idea, maybe not idk. The more i look into this the more frustrating it gets i just wanna start building :thinking

Off to do some more reading and thinking over what i need in a boat

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Cruiser
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by Cruiser » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:33 pm

I sort of had the idea of 2 sets of thwarts/seats, with holes or hidden hardware installed to basically convert the arrangement completely. I find a lot of the quick fix solutions end up leaving thwarts or seats in awkward places, whereas if you just pull it all out and then install for a purpose, it would seem you could keep it cleaner. It would only be a handful of bolts to screw in, which at home isn't much.

That way you can move thwarts and seats to where ever it is best for the configuration you want.


Cruiser

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Patricks Dad
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by Patricks Dad » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:51 pm

Consider building the boat with 3 seats. No need to reconfigure anything. Just use what you need at the time depending on who's paddling. If your center seat is affixed to the gunwales rigidly, you won't need additional thwarts there. You can build a portage yoke that doubles as a backrest if the center seat is situated just behind the center of balance.
Randy Pfeifer
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Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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Cruiser
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by Cruiser » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:03 pm

An even better idea.

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:07 am

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Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

Abel_6
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by Abel_6 » Mon May 05, 2014 11:21 pm

Thanks for the post!

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Is the Ranger right for me?

Post by Jim Dodd » Sun May 11, 2014 7:06 pm

I'm not sure I posted the pic of my canoes on the lawn, in the right thread !
I apologize!

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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