My thoughts after my third long progressive trip in the expedition Canoe. (8, 23, 41 miles) On my last trip I was finally able to get out in some weather and waves. Conditions rose to 25 mph wind gust and 1-2 foot waves. My top speed has been 8.4 kts or 9.6 mph. I think that this is not as good as I was expecting because I currently do not have a lee board and am getting pushed sideways causing drag. I have noticed a wave off the bow that curls toward the direction of the wind. I do not feel like I am being pushed sideways unless I am going 4 kts or less. At this speed it is noticeable because it takes all the rudder to stay on course and without good speed the skegs on the amas are not going to work well. I will be adding a leeboard while I await the new Hobie mast to arrive after I broke one on the third trip. The skegs will stay because they will work in shallow water where the board will not, places like Florida Bay and the rivers.
The comfort level of the boat has met my needs well, so far. I am able to get up and stand, move into the front cockpit and move about all without feeling like I am going to fall out or that I am sitting right on the water. I have a hard time if I am unable to get up and stretch. I tend to get “Stove Up” as my grandfather use to say. Stiff. So standing and stretching is a good thing for me and being able to do it while still moving forward is a bonus. I suffer from Varicose veins so I can take running better than I can take sitting for long periods of time. Because the sides of the boat are high and I have the cockpits to sit in I get shielded from wind so in the front I can cook while under way as long as the waves are not too bad. I use a Jetboil hung on a support so it swings like a compass. Also on the Suwannee river and the blackwater while on my Hobie TI my thoughts were always on that gater ready to snatch me right off my boat because of being only inches off the water and sitting right on top. Call me Chicken but alone at night on that river makes you think.
Keeping the boat moving forward without being limited to just one method of propulsion was a goal since in the past I have burned out body parts having to use just one such as paddling. In this past NCC challenge I paddled a Class 5 Tri for nearly 40 miles and if it had been a 300 mile race I would not have finished. My arms and back were cooked!. So in this boat I can paddle from either pit, either side. Pedal the mirage drive from the rear. Stand up and use a SUP Paddle or pole. I have not yet installed oars but will be installing them for test.
to be continued…..back to work.