Questions for the canoe (and fix-it) guys

ninemileskid

Explorer
Sep 14, 2014
218
138
I just acquired a Coleman canoe, plastic, about 15' 7" overall. I have a couple of questions, and probably a few more down the road. How do I determine what length paddles I need? I've asked three people and gotten three different answers.
The seats are cracked. They're plastic, riveted to aluminum tubes that run from gunwale to gunwale. I'm thinking the easiest and cheapest fix is plywood and zip ties but I'm open to suggestions.
Thanks.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,837
2,142
Coastal NJ
Couple of ways to determine paddle length as it depends on the style of paddle; straight or bent shaft. The link is a pretty good one, a good canoe shop or rental livery should be able to help as well.

http://www.paddlesandoars.com/PADDLE-SIZING-GUIDE.html

As far as the seat, I would use something more sturdy than zip-ties. I would re-rivit or use nuts, washer, lock washer on counter sunk bolts. Coleman was sold to Pelican and they do not offer older parts. Might find some seats on EBait.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,530
2,420
59
millville nj
www.youtube.com
I have always been the stern man on canoe trips and the stern or steering person needs a longer paddle then the bowman for increased leverage.I always liked a paddle about chin length when set on the ground vertically.A bow paddle I like about shoulder height.I like my paddle a little long so you can dig in on a tight turn without leaning over so far you unbalance the canoe. A kayak you can really lean into a turn as long as your back upright by the end of your stroke because the displaced water of the stroke is being shoved down and under the boat which allows the paddle to act as a temporary brace till your momentum runs out.Then you either straighten up or get wet..
I don't know a thing about fixing a plastic boat other then videos I"ve watched where they fix kayaks with any kind of plastic that can be melted ,a propane blow torch and a putty knife or other implement for spreading melted plastic.Seems to be pretty straight forward on a kayak at least but I"ve never tried it,let alone on a canoe. They also use cardboard or something as a backing to hold the plastic from falling through till it hardens.Once you get a back then fill to thickness desired.
 

Jason Howell

Explorer
Nov 23, 2009
146
55
Sitting position, seat height, and paddling style all matter here, but I want a paddle that's hand grip does not exceed the height of my chin when the paddle blade is fully submerged in water . This makes a big difference for my elbow during a long journey.
 
  • Like
Reactions: manumuskin

Trailwalker

Scout
Sep 5, 2023
37
25
(ex-piney) in Florida
I just acquired a Coleman canoe, plastic, about 15' 7" overall. I have a couple of questions, and probably a few more down the road. How do I determine what length paddles I need? I've asked three people and gotten three different answers.
The seats are cracked. They're plastic, riveted to aluminum tubes that run from gunwale to gunwale. I'm thinking the easiest and cheapest fix is plywood and zip ties but I'm open to suggestions.
Thanks.
I like your moniker "ninemileskid". Knew it sounded familiar and just couldn't place it until today, but I dig the Tennessee Jed lyric nod.
 
Top