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How to row a canoe for fishing or excercise, the cheap, fast row boat

Picture of How to row a canoe for fishing or excercise, the cheap, fast row boat
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Want to make your canoe a fast rowboat? canoes are cheap , I got mine for $150 from Craigslist.org, the double ended shape of a canoe is excellent for rowing, and you won't sacrifice the ability to paddle your canoe when you want to. If you look at early rowing shells they closely resemble canoes, so the shape is right for speed.
The idea of folding gate hinge out riggers is one I saw in a small boating magazine called 'messing about in boats' (MAIB), I just adapted it to a Coleman canoe. It can be done to any small boat that is rowable, however you don't want your oarlocks more than 4 feet apart, for ease of rowing. (I have read some people say up to 5' is ok, not for me though)
I have been rowing my Coleman canoes for 5 years now, the pictures of the red canoe are from the second canoe I modified, the first (green ) was returned to my dad as it was his. He just paddles the canoe now and the extra hardware and outriggers don't interfere at all, in fact he doesn't even notice they are there.
As I have the canoe set up here it is intended for at least one passenger in the back, otherwise you will need almost as much ballast as you weigh, as your weight is ahead of the center of the boat. For easier handling and speed you want the stern of the boat to be an inch or two deeper than the bow, otherwise the boat tends to 'spin out' without constant attention. My wife and kids make perfect ballast, and when she wants she paddles for speed or exercise.
I traded a 15' canoe I bought that same day for the 17' canoe, both canoes were found on CL. (craigslist.org)
 
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GoDu22 years ago
Cool!
carlos66ba4 years ago
Excellent instructable. I always thought that adding real oars would make a good canoe go faster! Hey: for some added power, can you make the seat slide (like in racing boats)? Might be difficult to accomplish (you'd need some good rails) but this will make you use your legs for extra power (legs are much more powerful than arms!).
Sorry for being late to this discussion - but a friend of mine used the rails and sliding seat from an inexpensive (Craigs List) exercise rowing machine in his dory, and they worked great. Quick and easy way to do it. Have to figure out how to attach it in the canoe; his dory bottom plywood was plenty thick enough to be able to screw it in.
could you mount the oarlocks directly on the gunwales, or would that be to narrow?
rowerwet (author)  ComplacentBard3 years ago
yes you would need much shorter oars, ok for slow trolling for fishing, but not the best for speed or distance, kind of like riding a 21 speed bike with the gears stuck in the lowest gear. you want as close to a 4 foot oarlock spread for a 7 foot or so oar, which works out to what an average human (1/4 horse power) can do comfortably.
Lokisgodhi4 years ago
A suggestion if you ever do another one of these.

Instead of hammering down the ends of the tube, you could grind them down to a taper over a 12 to 18" length so they fair into the curve of the hull.   
rowerwet (author)  Lokisgodhi4 years ago
hammering the ends to a tapper was to keep the exposed hands (in this case of my wife) from hitting any sharp edges, as these are hollow tubes, grinding the ends to a taper would have still made two edges to cut or hurt the hand if it was bumped into the side of the boat by the paddle.
I also only found this out after we tried paddling and she got a "bite" out of her hand, a hammer solved that quickly.
carnivore4 years ago
As an avid fisherman & paddler , I find your ible to be inspiring.I will be rigging my Osage cargo soon & there will be aluminum angle & barn hinges involved. as well as mesh anchors & rod holders. One question , in the pic for step 2 there appears to be a pen&split ring in the base of the hinge . whats the purpose ?
rowerwet (author)  carnivore4 years ago
I found that when backing (dragging the oars to stop) the angle that the oar blades are held into the water (with the tops slightly ahead of the bottom so they can be lifted out easily) causes the out riggers to rise and pop the oar out of the oar lock. installing the pin keeps this from happening. on my dads canoe I never did the pin I just learned to twist the oar so that it was pulling down into the water to keep the out riggers down, but the pins are faster and don't require thinking (just instinct).
rowerwet (author) 4 years ago
the guy who had the gate hinge outriggers on his boat also built a sliding seat that used pocket door rails and hardware, I have thought of doing that also but if I do it will most likly take away the use of the canoe as a canoe. (paddling requires the front seat where it is) Also for the way I use it this is the best as my wife and 3 kids ride in the back and she can hand food and keep order easier with them all together.
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