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7/19/2018 10:22 pm  #18


Re: Centering yoke pads

Overall, I think there isn't much downside to having a painter as it only takes about 30 seconds or less to untie mine. This is something I do regularly because I don't have the luxury of owning my own boat (yet somehow we spend twice the cost of a quality boat on our annual family vacations ... some day !). My painter has a bowline on one end that I use to feed the other end through, such that it is looped around the "front handle" of the canoe. The other end is tied in a simple buntline hitch to a thwart or seat. My painter often serves double duty as a small clothes line at campsites.

 

7/20/2018 6:07 am  #19


Re: Centering yoke pads

Dontgroan, I can appreciate your position.  While many of us profess to acknowledge and consider alternative points of view (myself included), it is difficult to really change your own opinion and even more difficult to change the opinion of another. 

I am truly happier for you that you have found a solution that is superior to your previous condition than I am for suggesting it.  It was one of those little tricks that actually paid off and makes portaging substantially easier.  My first effort at finding something like that was to utilize a tump line but I never found it as helpful as the painters.  As males, we have a deep-rooted desire to receive recognition for the massive tasks we complete...such as putting dirty clothes on the floor next to the hamper, putting a dirty dish near the dishwasher or hiding a fingernail clipping under the sofa cushion instead of on the coffee table.  Our torture is not being recognized for going the extra mile and we must silently tolerate it.
;-)

 

7/20/2018 5:14 pm  #20


Re: Centering yoke pads

PaPaddler wrote:

A Painter is a long, lightweight cord (think paracord thickness) tied to the bow and the stern with enough slack so that when the canoe is resting upright the line could hang outside the boat and just about drag in the water at the lowest point.  When you pick up the canoe and place it on your shoulders, you can then grab that painter and use it to manage any pitch rather comfortably.  I personally like the canoe to be ever so slightly bow-heavy so that I am putting just a small amount of tension on the painter and pulling the stern towards me.  It keeps the canoe level when portaging and also tends to keep the yoke in a sound position on my shoulders.

I was rather surprised at your statement that you like the canoe to be slightly bow-heavy but if you have a line running from bow to stern I can see that that would be workable.  I run a line from the bow, under the bow seat and tied to the yoke.  This arrangement requires that the boat be slightly stern heavy otherwise you are having to use a hand to hold up the front of the canoe which of course is exhausting.  I should give your method a try!

I was leading a week long trip with three other people and we had my boat and one of our canoe club boats.   When we hit the first portage on the Little Madawaska after traveling from Cedar to Radiant the other man on the trip asked to switch canoes on the portage.  I only had to carry that boat a few meters to realize that it was bow heavy and a real bitch to carry.   I strapped something to the stern and it was ok after that.  That other fellow on the trip was a pretty tough French Canadian to carry that boat over the tough portages from Cedar to Radiant without complaining!
 

 

7/23/2018 11:54 am  #21


Re: Centering yoke pads

Hi Yellowcanoe,

I guess that technically, if the boat is just slightly bow or stern heavy, attaching a painter to the opposite end and within reach of a relaxed arm during portaging would work.  The reason I prefer it slightly bow heavy is so that the small amount of force I am applying to the painter attached to the stern simultaneously is keeping the bow up but also puts a small amount of force forward to prevent the yoke from drifting backwards off of my shoulders.  The yoke cannot slide off my shoulders forward (unless I have been decapitated) so my force on the painter just continues to keep the yoke in place instead of having any tendency to slide forward.  If I need to pitch the bow down, I just reduce the tension on the stern end of the painter and allow the canoe to pitch downward.

A painter would work well on a perfectly balance boat, but in that case I would definitely want a painter that runs both towards the bow and the stern to adjust the pitch when ascending or descending hills on a portage.

In the end, what it really does is allow your arms to hang down in a comfortable position or, at the very least, to rest as Dontgroandaddy described - with the elbow bent at roughly 90 degrees and using the painter line almost as an armrest.  It's not as comfy as sitting in a recliner, but a huge improvement over holding on the the gunwale which quickly fatigues my arms.

It is these sorts of over-analyzed solutions that result from doing the Dickson-Bonfield portage too many times.  I had many painful, awkward, tiring hours to consider the challenge, the options and the solution. 

The only hassle I have ever found was with the first few uses of the painter I would sometimes get it tangled up when hoisting the canoe onto my shoulders or when loading the canoe.  It didn't take long to figure those issues out though and I've been happier ever since!

It's funny what pain and difficulty we will endure without solving the problem (as you described with the Cedar to Radiant portage) - we expect portaging to be challenging but it doesn't have to be quite that bad!

 

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