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Canoe Outfitting - Measure and Mark * Page 2

General steps and sequences to outfitting a white water canoe. Measuring, placing and marking the gear.

1. "CENTERING THE BOAT" Find the center of the boat, front to back. Measure 72' from the bow to the center of the right gunnel and put a pencil mark. Do the same on the left gunnel. Do the same from the stern to each gunnel. When your done you will have 2 pencil marks on each gunnel. Half way between those two marks is the measured center. Put a third mark there. Its not a bad idea to make that center mark permanent and visible, since that's where you will be placing your hands every time you pick the boat up, balanced.   (NOTE, on extremely asymmetric canoes the measured center may not be the center of balance from a weight or buoyancy standpoint. To find the balance center, rest your boat upside down on an edge (a saw horse with a broom handle on top works) eyeball the center marks to make sure its square and mark where it balances. Use that mark as the "center" for outfitting measurements if its much different form the measured center. They should be very close)
2. Find the center line side to side and make a pencil line along that line on the bottom [inside]of the boat to about 3' from each end. Mark the bow and stern on that line with a B and S. [I promise that this is very important]

3. PLACING and marking THE SADDLE, knee pads, and D rings
    a. The paddler's center of gravity is generally positioned slightly aft of dead center. This is done by placing the back of the saddle (where your backbone touches it, not the curved part that your butt hits) from 7 to 11 inches aft of center of the boat.( Put the saddle in the boat about where you think it will go. Put a yard stick across the boat at the center line and measure from the yard stick to the back of the saddle) Size and paddler preference enter in here. If you prefer bow light, the saddle goes farther back ( more toward 11"), if you're heavy and sink more of the boat in the water the saddle goes farther back. If you carry a bunch of heavy gear in the stern you may want the saddle a little more forward. If you're thin it can go a little more forward. It's a judgment thing. You're looking for balance and function. To be absolutely accurate float the boat and place the saddle by eye and feel (you need a helper here as well as a magic marker.) For my boats (6'2" 200#,) I use 11" back of center as the starting point. On the 12' boat pictured on page 1, I used 9", for a slight, light paddler.  ERROR ON THE TOO far back SIDE. It's easier to pad out a saddle than to cut one back or remake the top. On the front and rear of the saddle mark the center line (so you can line it up with the center line on the bottom of the boat.
    b. When you have the saddle where you want it. Mark the outline of the saddle on the bottom of the boat with a pencil. (on my boats I use a marker so I don't loose the lines as I'm sanding and acetoning; if I'm outfitting a boat for someone I use pencil)
c. Kneel in the saddle as placed, check your centering marks, place and outline your knee pads on the bottom of the boat with your knees in them. Keep in mind the extra space that wet suits and winter gear add to the equation. mark the kneepads right and left.
d. Place and mark the thigh strap D rings (anchors) on the bottom of the boat. Make sure the D rings are marked "right top" and "left top" and that there are 4 reference marks on the pad and boat to line up the pads when you glue them in. (most thigh strap system makers go to great lengths to explain where and how to glue in the d rings etc)

NOTES: There is no way to tell you where to place the Thigh strap D rings, or at what angle Etc. Every system differs. Systems you buy come with directions. Thigh strap systems use 4 anchors, the Mohawk system shown uses 2 anchors.
In general the outside anchor is positioned mid calf to ankle bone and far enough away( toward the chine) from the calf to NOT cause entrapment. The inside anchor is placed about 5" back from the knee, adjacent to or sometimes under the saddle. If you're winging it, kneel in an outfitted boat that you admire and measure for a similar placement in your boat.
e. Place and mark the d rings (anchors) for the air bag strap. Usually a 48 " bag requires an anchor approx. 48" from the mid point of the bow and stern. etc. etc.. Again make sure that the d ring pads are marked bow and stern with 4 reference marks on the pad and boat bottom.

Next p3 FOR GLUING UP | p4 FINISHING TOUCHES  | p1  BACK to outfitting

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