Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Old Town Pack Canoe 1st Paddle

It's been a dull winter here in Southern New England.  I wouldn’t even call it winter to be honest.  I’d call it an extended fall.  We had one storm in October and a few "storms" since then but the snow generally melts within a week.  That means the ponds and lakes are, for the most part, open.  The downfall is that the wind has been around 20mph with gusts of 30mph every day for the last month or two.  Today the wind was around 6mph and it was a warm 38degrees, so I took the Pack out for a paddle to get a feel for it.  I took a 240cm double blade paddle and a cheapo square wood paddle.  I paddled in some light wind and maneuvered between and around some thin ice chunks, which pissed off the local geese and mallards.  When trying to launch the canoe without getting wet it can be a bit tippy but once you get in and adjust yourself it’s smooth sailing, this won’t be an issue in the summer though.  With a solo canoe you generally want to paddle with an animal tail paddle (Otter or Beaver) or a double blade due to the short length of the canoe.  The double blade did the job well into the light wind and kept the canoe going forward.  With a C-stroke the cheapo square wood paddle kept the boat going straight as well.  The C-stroke just felt right while paddling.  I will only use the double blade when i’m trying to get somewhere fast or it’s very windy.  With an Otter tail paddle the canoe will be a dream to paddle.  I paddled both kneeling and sitting to test the tracking ability, which was good enough for a 12‘ canoe.  Overall it was a good time out paddling and learning the canoe for the upcoming tripping and fishing seasons.  I bought longer seat bolts to lower the seat since that was a common complaint of the Pack.  After paddling I don’t see the seat height as an issue.  Old Town may have lowered the seat for the new production models, but I don’t have an older model to compare it with.  

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