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6/25/2018 9:06 am  #1

6 person group- 2 or 3 canoes?


I've got a 4 night trip planned out from Cedar to Traverse with 3 couples (guys are ~200lbs each). I've done many trips with 3 canoes, but this year we were thinking of getting 17ft expedition kevlars and trying to fit in 3 people per canoe.

This would save us money and effort with the portages.

Is this a bad idea? Will we end up being too overloaded? 


6/25/2018 9:14 am  #2

Re: 6 person group- 2 or 3 canoes?

Depends on the amount of gear you will be bringing. I've done Cedar with 3 & gear in a boat and the lake can get pretty choppy. If unsure I'd play it safe and go 2 / boat.


6/25/2018 9:46 am  #3

Re: 6 person group- 2 or 3 canoes?

One other consideration - the person in the center may should not paddle.  They have to reach pretty far from an inconvenient position to get a paddle it the water, and can shift the balance of a loaded boat in a pretty big hurry. 


6/25/2018 10:28 am  #4

Re: 6 person group- 2 or 3 canoes?

Having 3 people in a properly sized canoe isn't a problem. On a flatwater trip with 5 people having 1 canoe with 2 paddlers and a 2nd canoe with 3 paddlers can be a good fit. Here are some considerations for the route you are taking that might bias you towards taking 3 canoes with 2 paddlers each. 

1) Cedar to Travers is a white water run on the Petawawa River. Are you planning on running any of the rapids or are you planning on portaging all of them? 

2) This is a river trip which gives the edge to 16' canoes over 17'+ canoes for maneuverability.

3) While no one plans on wrecking a canoe, 3 canoes with 2 paddlers each provides a greater safety factor in the case of an accident than 2 canoes with 3 paddlers each. 


6/25/2018 1:07 pm  #5

Re: 6 person group- 2 or 3 canoes?

+1 on 3x 2 man canoes. Not only for the items mentioned above but also sheer comfort. 3 dudes in a canoe can get real old real quick.


6/25/2018 2:06 pm  #6

Re: 6 person group- 2 or 3 canoes?

Three people in a boat worked well on a trip I did with two AO staff from Kawayamog to Opeongo Lake.  We had a kevlar Swift Yukon which is a pretty big canoe.  We did encounter extremely windy conditions on the last day of the trip but we only had to paddle across Merchant Lake and Happy Isle to get to the water taxis pickup.  Having three people definitely made for easier portaging than if there had only been two of us.

I also did a trip with seven people to what is now Wabakimi provincial park and having one canoe with three people was definitely an advantage if  someone was unable to paddle.  In our case it was a self inflicted injury -- one member of our group had a "party" half way through the trip and consumed a wineskin of rye.  Needless to say he wasn't of much use for paddling the next morning!


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