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P Doug (WA)

Quick Stonefly question

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P Doug (WA)    16

Planning future projects, which had included building the FreeB14, but,,,  I just love the looks of the Stonefly!  The quick question is well 16 ft. of material cover the Stonefly?  I have the material, which I purchased for the FreeB.  I'm thinking the canoe may be easier on my back also for rowing. 

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Hirilonde    174

 I'm thinking the canoe may be easier on my back....... 

Really?  Everyone is different, but I find a kayak very comfortable and low impact because of the back support.  It might just be that you haven't got your positioning (back band, foot pegs, seat or cushion) adjusted well or you are still tense due to not feeling totally at ease in the boat.  Everyone is different, but you might want to paddle both a kayak and canoe a few times now and compare.  Of course, if looks or room and a passenger are a consideration then you should certainly build accordingly.  I am not a vain person.  I like jeans and a flannel shirt.  But when it comes to boats vanity is a big part of the joy for me.  Looks alone is reason enough to build any boat in my opinion.

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Kudzu    108

Yes, that should be plenty of fabric.

 

I with Dave on the back issue. Canoes hurt my back. But you can buy/build seats with backrests and you will want something!

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Hirilonde    174

But you can buy/build seats with backrests and you will want something!

Yeah, but that is really the way to poor stability.  Your weight is just below the gunwales and you lean over the side to paddle.  Granted, a good paddler doesn't lean much, but it does require some to get a good stroke along the side of the canoe.   Kneeling in the bottom is the best way to paddle, with your butt up against the thwart.  But kneeling or sitting you lean to the side, and this is what I find hurts my back now that I am slightly older than before.

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rodbuilder    0

As far as the back goes it all depends where your back hurts.  I will take a canoe over a kayak any day on flat water as far as comfort.  I have three compressed discs and with a good back rest and leg room (I mean from floor to butt really) it helps mine.  The trick with canoes is learning to paddle efficiently and without leaning, it’s not taught but you would be amazed the difference in leaning and not leaning.  As far as stability, it all comes down to design and load.  A canoe or kayak designed for 250lb with super stability can be very unstable with 175lbs or 400lbs.  Height above CG (center of Gravity) comes into play more when the boats get narrow.  From a look without seeing more details on the design the stonefly looks as though it should be a decently stable boat, with a load.  With little weight it looks like it would be unstable.  It looks to be able to handle a seat off the bottom with a back rest, but I have not studied the plans.

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Hirilonde    174

The canoe stroke is most efficient when you use your whole body and the paddle is close to the boat.  This is done far better kneeling than sitting and certainly not with a back rest.  I can paddle and turn both directions solo without changing sides by using an efficient J-stroke and occasional sweeps.  The J-stroke can not be done well at all from a seat.   This is not to say a leisurely paddle can not be done in a comfy seat.  If covering distance is important it will be done kneeling.  It comes down to what the purpose is.  Any boat and comfy accomodations works if just lolling around is the reason for going, which is certainly acceptable.  But let's not pretend it is efficient.

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DURRETTD    6

I learned long ago that it's important to paddle in a kneeling position. It said that quite clearly in the scouting books. Then I learned how uncomfortable kneeling can be, so I sat on a pad in the bottom of the boat. My center of gravity was low and I could stroke close to the gunwale, lean as needed, and feel secure.

 

I got pretty good with a variety of strokes and could paddle in any direction I wanted without changing sides. Then I got tendinitis in my left elbow, so I switched to a double paddle.

 

Now I paddle an ancient Mohawk Pack canoe with a double paddle while sitting on the bottom using the thwart as a back rest. It isn't classically correct, but it's very effective and very comfortable.

 

 

Your mileage may vary. Experiment.

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Hirilonde    174

I learned the same way, in Scouts.  I found kneeling quite comfortable then as long as I used a pad like a gardening mat under my knees.  Now that I am older this is not so true.

 

Double paddles are a whole different animal.  I don't think now I would use a regular single paddle even for conoeing exept in tight quarters like the narrow meandering Wood and Pawcatuck rivers in my area.  With the double paddle in a canoe the only consideration that may not be designed in is the elevation of the gunwales compared to your position.  Here you just have to figure out a way to get a good relative height in the boat, or build a Stonefly.

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P Doug (WA)    16

Okay, I'd like to build it just because I like the looks of it, Plus maybe I could put a seat in it that sits just a little higher than a kayak and that would help my back. and maybe not...

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Kudzu    108

I think a Crazy Creek Chair would be a good choice. Or something similar. Just buy a pre-made  canoe seat and use it on top of it.  

 

BTW it always draws lots of attention. I think it is my best looking design. I always take it to the shows.

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Hirilonde    174

Okay, I'd like to build it just because I like the looks of it, Plus maybe I could put a seat in it that sits just a little higher than a kayak and that would help my back. and maybe not...

There ya go.  I think the most beatiful thing about SOF is seeing the frame.  A canoe does this so much better than a kayak.  If you can get a canoe to paddle well and be back friendly you will really have something.

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pbuckner    2

A double paddle for a canoe just needs to be a little longer than your average kayak paddle to eliminate a lot of the leaning. There is also an aid to the kneeling paddler called a tuffet which supports your butt and shins, taking the wieght off your knees. you can make one out of foam. If you can get ahold of "building Sweet Dream " by Marc Pettingill you can see a good picture of one.

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