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Home Page home Measure and Mark Finishing Touches Outfitting a WW Canoe - Gluing It UP




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Outfitting your WW Canoe Page 1*

Every WW canoe is different. Every paddler is different. And it seems as if every WW paddler has a different idea about how to outfit a WW canoe.

                 Here are some methods.
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1. Buy and modify an off-the-shelf or Make a saddle (pedestal) system (including the thigh straps) to fit the person. My handmade saddle is very similar to a Mohawk, team Dagger or Bob Foote foam saddle; it just has curves and slants where the former uses straight cuts for machine production. Saddles, like people, are more similar than different, so don't get too carried away by the hype of folks trying to market new stuff. To date, one of the easiest off the shelf saddles is made by Mohawk, and their thigh retainer (like thigh straps) system is bone simple and it works. There are others as well - team edge, Mike Yee, and more. Keep in mind that any foam saddle and strap system is a starting point. [prox. 30" long, seat 7 to 10 inches high,6 to 8 inches wide, tall prox 14 inches at the back] They, (it) are easily modified to fit 5'2" slight women to 350#  ex NFL middle guards (who of course can also be women in the scheme of things)

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This is a Mohawk saddle I recently installed, trimmed and cut to fit a 5' 5", 115# non gender specific paddler. The ankle blocks are loose for fitting and gluing later (click to enlarge pictures)

2.The stuff you need to go with the saddle:

    a. grab loops, usually 1/2" or a little smaller, nylon rope   loops in the bow and stern sometimes covered with a vinyl tube to make it easy to hold (fuel or air hose line- Home Depot works great). I like to cover the rope with nylon tubular webbing. Most canoes come with grab loops. Make sure the knot/knots inside the boat are bomb proof. This loop is often the only thing that holds the boat on cars and trailers. This loop is also a convenient anchor to tie the air bag front loop up under the decks. Note that some drill bits (like a spade bit) can shatter Royalex. A forstner bit is the cleanest, safest and most controllable for drilling the holes for grab loops.
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    b. Painters, (optional... in that some boaters insist on them for safety; others think they're an accident waiting to happen. I always paddle with painters bow and stern ) 1/2" (10 - 11mm) or so "nice hand" floating rope about 12 to 8 feet long, tied to a carabineer and clipped to the grab loop. Most paddlers use a bungee or stuff it up under the deck or air bag strings to keep it out of the way. You don't want it coming out every time you get bounced around, roll or come out of your boat. A good painter material yellow "blue Water Rescue Rope" . Make sure there are NO KNOTS in the painter except where attached.
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    c. Air bags and the system to hold them in the boat. Lighter is better. Leave about 4' for the cockpit. (some paddlers like space to bail or tuck into when they flip; some want all bags) e.g. a 12 foot boat would have prox 4' - 4 1/2' bags bow and stern. 60 Inch bags work fine the excess length just tucks up in the front. They would be held in place with a webbing straps secured to boat bottom D rings (anchors) about 4' from the bow and stern respectively and nylon 3mm utility cord ( cheap parachute cord works well) at 6" or smaller intervals parallel across the bags gunnel to gunnel. The boat on the left has the Mad River bag "BRA" system ; on the right is a more pedestrian drill and lace method. Both work fine.
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    d. Knee pads, foot pads, ankle blocks, foot peg system, Thigh strap system.
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Next are the steps, thought processes and details involved in  "outfitting " a WW canoe.
NEXT - p2 measure & mark | p3 gluing up | p4 finishing touches |this page top

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