Boat Width/Stability vs Height

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harry56
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Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by harry56 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:43 am

Looking at buying a first boat at some point in the future; lots of ww kayaking and tripping experience but minimal OC1. Wondering about good first boats - would likely buy used, so options may be limited.

More than anything, i've been looking at boat width. I'm fairly short (~5'4", short torso) and have found kayak/cockpit width was always critical to comfort. Am i thinking about this correctly for OC as well? Where's the trade-off for boat stability?

Out of curiosity, how would an Ocoee (Nova craft) be for a first boat of someone my size (140 lbs) - would mostly be river running around southern Ontario. How about a Vertige?

Thanks.

Peter K.
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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by Peter K. » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:10 pm

Just my $0.02, but I think you will find the Vertige a bit of a barge. It is quite a bit larger and heavier than the Ocoee and is overall more stable. It also does not have the distinct chines of the Ocoee which means it will not carve into turns as well and will tend to skid. You are right that wider boats have a better first moment of stability, but I think you will not be happy with a Vertige over the long run as a 'yaker who already knows how to use their edges.

Paddle Power
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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by Paddle Power » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:48 pm

I agree, the Vertige is a big boat. I use it for self supported whitewater river trips.
On the other hand, the Ocoee is a classic ww canoe. Definitely not a beginner boat but because you have ww kayak experience it might very suitable.

Welcome to OC1.
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Sir Adam
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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by Sir Adam » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:35 am

Depending on your budget you might want to check out the "Echoee" as well. I'd recommend a smaller, or lighter (or both) boat in general given your weight, but it will depend on what type of water you like to paddle as well.
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Peter K.
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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by Peter K. » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:30 pm

The Echoee is definitely the Cadillac option. I do love mine, but they are expensive and there aren't likely to be any on the used market.

Another option might be a Zephyr. It is light, and sort of like the Ocoee in form, but more rounded, wider and more forgiving. The downside is that the Twin-Tex material it is made from is very difficult to repair requiring expensive two-part adhesives. Old ones also start shedding fibreglass fragments from the inside of the hull resulting in itchy legs the day after paddling.

pier
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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by pier » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:51 pm

There is a Sascho used boat, for sale, could be a good boat if you are small, I tried the Zefir I don't like the construction material, but it is a good boat, very precise and soft in the transition from primary and secondary stability, a very good design

harry56
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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by harry56 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:44 pm

Thanks for all the insight and responses, it's helpful. Perhaps i can re-phrase my question another way - am i overthinking the importance of width when it comes to reaching for offside strokes? That's what i'm primarily concerned about given my height...will there really be that much of a noticeable difference between a 25" wide boat vs. a 29" wide boat when it comes to reach and comfort on the offside?

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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by Sir Adam » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:05 pm

Yes, and there is more of a difference in an open boat, particularly a high-sided open boat.

Stability will be based on seat height and boat design (same boat or very similar hull design with a lower seat will be more stable).

If you are short of torso and arm you should focus more on the width at the gunnels though, and not the actual waterline boat width; boats with some tumblehome will be easy for cross strokes.

Another boat to toss in to the mix is a L'Edge or L'Edge Light if you can find one. I'm primarily a decked boater, but paddled one in Costa Rica a few years back and had a blast (at that point I was around 160 lbs and 5'7' or so).

A Phantom (again, if you can find one) is another boat you may want to watch for (weight wise).
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DougB
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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by DougB » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:11 pm

If it's of any interest I have both a Vertige and Ocoee and live in Southern Ontario (Cambridge) if you wanted to compare first hand. As others have pointed out I wouldn't recommend the Vert as a dedicated WW boat - mine is also used for multi day self supported river trips. The hull shape (chine sharpness) will have as much or more to do with stability than boat width itself. For example, and MR Outrage will have a greater secondary stability feel compared to an Ocoee of equal width. As for boat width - you can always play with the dimensions and pull it in a bit by cutting a thwart down if you find the reach too much. This leads into my next point, regardless of your size, you will find the Nova Craft version of the Ocoee unstable as a beginner. The NC version is much narrower than the original Ocoee or the Echoee. If you pick one up, I'd recommend widening it to about 26" - 26.5 (outside RX - outside RX) in the center of the hull. The Outrage is also a good boat to start in if you can find one. I paddle with someone about your size who has no issues with cross strokes in it.

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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by Paddle Power » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:23 pm

So we have Harry, an experienced ww boater I.e. he understands how a boat can move etc. who is also concerned about reach/cross strokes. Because you should gain ww canoeing skill quickly with your ww kayak experience you’ll be using cross strokes right from the get go. Plus at140 pounds you could also give thought to the overall canoe weight. Plastic canoes are heavier to move around than composites or royalex.

There might be a trade off in terms of width and stability vs height. With a wider or more stable canoe you might be able to have a higher saddle which would help your reach.

Food for thought.
Brian
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harry56
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Re: Boat Width/Stability vs Height

Post by harry56 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:57 pm

Thanks again - DougB, sent you a PM. I'm in the Toronto area.

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