Beluga Saddles ?

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jscottl67
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Beluga Saddles ?

Post by jscottl67 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:58 pm

I am going to redo the outfitting on an old Dagger Ocoee (presently Mike Yee outfitting). I am starting to like the idea of a longer saddle instead of a pedestal and was looking at their site since a link is posted here. Not many dealers in the US, but thought someone probably has used one before.

This is what I am looking at possibly getting. Any experience with these or pros/cons I should be aware of?
http://belugaworld.com/?p=produits.item&pid=43&pg=4

The Ocoee has been pinched and cut 4" on each end and has wood gunnels with fairly light weight thwarts. Is this going to present a challenge?

Thanks in advance.

Jeff

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Jim Michaud
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Post by Jim Michaud » Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:29 pm

I have a Beluga saddle installed in my Vertige-X. I paddled Whitesells for many years so I got use to that type of saddle. The Beluga saddle is much lighter and holds you in much tighter than the Perception saddles that were in the Witesells. There are a couple of downsides to the Beluga though. You have to shape the wings to fit your legs. If you adjust it to fit your legs for summer paddling it gets too tight when you're wearing a lot of clothes during the winter.

The second thing is that my boat is hard to carry. The Perception saddles use to fit nicely on one shoulder but my boat with the Beluga saddle doesn't sit on my shoulder at the balance point. The Vertige-X is a heavy boat so this may not be a big problem with the lighter Ocoee.

One upon a time I put a Perception saddle in a Prophet which didn't work out very well because the Prophet was a small boat. I would suggest making sure that the saddle height of the Beluga saddle isn't too high for your liking.

Jim

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Post by Paddle Power » Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:15 pm

I have not used the Beluga saddle but I know someone who taught a ww course out of town and used a boat outfitted with the beluga saddle while teaching the course. He loved it.

I think it would work fine in your boat.
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philcanoe
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Post by philcanoe » Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:07 pm

Make sure it's long enough to fit between your thwarts. The only one that I've seen had to be extended, in order to fit under both thwarts of a Spanish Fly.

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saddle and Spanish Fly

Post by Wendy » Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:24 pm

Phil is talking about my SF. despite needing to lengthen the saddle I really like it, a lot. I had a Prophet with a Perception saddle and have a Zephyr with Mike Yee. I agree with above comments, but this is the most secure I ve felt. Just get the foam carved out enough to put knees way out. I find the best way to carry with it is helmet off, backwards, on shoulder.

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Post by Detonator Function » Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:59 pm

the Beluga Appaloosa is awesome. Gives you great control and is very easy to get in and out of. Don't shave too much off until you are absolutely certain what level is good. You can adjust the footbraces to change things up. Also remember that your muscles tense and relax a lot while paddling, so there is no one level of foam that will be invariably perfect. The thwart/saddle combinations is a great stiffner for the boat and is also pretty simple. My recommendation is to go for it - you will most likely love it.

I'm actually just about to get one myself for a Detonator (hence my screen name).
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Post by Detonator Function » Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:15 am

O, also: the only place you can order these things is through The Outside World. Since I work there, I've been working to get some saddles in the store for sale. However, if you would like to get anything from Beluga, give us a ring (706-265-4500). You can ask for Cory (me) if you want someone to talk to about it.
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jscottl67
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Post by jscottl67 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:48 pm

thanks for all the replies. I've gotten some additional measurements from Beluga so that I can make sure everything will fit just right. :) Now, just to take time to measure everything on my boat to make sure it fits ;)

I'm about 95% sure that I'll be going this route on the saddle. :)

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Post by Detonator Function » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:12 am

Cool. It may be good timing too - The Outside World is just about to order some, meaning your shipping would be less. Since it has to come over the border, customs likes to charge an awful lot - however, I believe it's a flat fee. When you're ready, let us know. If all else fails call or email me at cory@theoutsideworld.net
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and plan to put a pump in

Post by Doug McKnight » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:40 am

its imposible to bail with that saddle.I demoed a Zephyr with that installed, the fit was very snug but I think the seasonal concerns are a good point. Doug

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Post by philcanoe » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:24 am

philcanoe wrote:Make sure it's long enough to fit between your thwarts. The only one that I've seen had to be extended, in order to fit under both thwarts of a Spanish Fly.
It also had to extended in order for footbraces to be attached to the saddle.

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Post by jscottl67 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:41 pm

Doug...I use an electric bilge in the canoe, and in looking at the site, there are cutaways at the bottom of the saddle for water to pass from side to side.

phil - on the saddle I am looking at, the footbraces are already attached to the saddle.

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Beluga Appaloosa Saddle

Post by dixie_boater » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:08 am

You shouldn't have a problem fitting that saddle in a Ocoee. I have one in my Caption and really like it. Just locate the thwarts where they need to be for the saddle location.

With a bilge pump I would be careful where you locate the pump. The water pools near the center...close to those cutaways on the bottom of the saddle. The pump may need to be installed in the saddle before you install the saddle in the boat.

I added several PVC water pass-thru tubes to my saddle. That greatly improved water flow when rolling or swamped. Otherwise water will pool up in front and behind the saddle which makes rolling more difficult.

I used Perception saddles for years. The Beluga version is lighter and softer, quite an improvement over the hard plastic Perception. To get the best fit I sanded the thigh hooks before I installed it in the boat. I laid a couple of knee pads down on my basement floor and knelt on those with the saddle to best simulate kneeling in the boat. Sanding a little at a time and checking the fit frequently helped to get the saddle just right. I can adjust the foot pegs when I wear a drysuit with thick pile pants and still fit pretty tight.

I ordered mine from a Canadian dealer and it wasn't cheap that way. The shipping costs were high because it makes a large parcel when wrapped up. I'd get it from a local store and save on s&h costs.

Michael

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