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Old 09-23-2018, 08:41 PM   #1
beartooth91
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Quick Advice Needed for Hornbeck Canoe

Hello Everyone -

Kicked off my first fishing since early June with a trip to Rangeley, Maine. Got here mid-afternoon. Took the Hornbeck into a pond....first time I've used it at all. Took my fly gear but opted to paddle around the pond for an hour or so to get to know the boat. I have some issues and questions.......

1. Carrying it works great without a day pack....not so good with my Osprey Kestrel daypack. Looks like the top of the pack cocks the bow down. Can't really see what's going on but think the top of the pack is hitting the backrest. Not good when going up a trail. Got to figure this one out.

2. Boat seems "tippy". It does seem to roll a bit....more than I expected it to. Don't really have anything to compare it to since its my first. How easy/hard is it to roll it over (with you in it)? Curiously, it seems most stable when its gliding through the water......

3. I don't and have never had back issues.....the foam back rest is going to give me back issues! What's the fix?

4. I should have bought taller wading boots to get in/out of the boat. I'm going to have wet feet all week.....

I'm up here until/through Friday depending on weather.....several ponds I want to hit.

Mark
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:46 PM   #2
Wldrns
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1. For short distances, most people carry the Hornbeck on one shoulder. Not difficult with a smallish day pack,more difficult with a larger multi-day backpack. I use a custom made removable carry bar that I install at the balance point of the canoe (which is not at the back brace thwart), with a lightweight aluminum bar going from the bottom of my pack to a point on the gunwale near the stern. Or you can use a hand line going from bow to stern held at your hip to control tip up/down.

2. naw, the Hornbeck should not feel particularly "tippy". Learn to use the minimal roll to your advantage for steerage. Going around sharp turns I heel the boat way over, such that the bow rides up and the stern will audibly "break lock" and skid around the turn. I have many hundreds of miles in my Hornbeck and have never had an issue with stability, even when on big water with high wind and waves, including on Lake Champlain. Keep all weight as centered as possible and the bow and stern will "bob" up over waves without plowing through and potentially taking on water (I divide weight between backpack behind me and separate dry bags under my knees when it gets rough. At the worst I might take on annoying water from paddle drips, not ever at all from tipping. Most boats will show increased stability when under way with some forward velocity.

3. I have had unrelated back issues in the past, but paddling the Hornbeck does not seem to aggravate it in any way, not even during a 7 day 185 mile trip across the Adirondacks.

4. If you are a a serious canoer, you will have wet feet, accept it and get used to it. If you are worried about capsizing, what are you doing wearing waders? Seems unsafe to me.

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Last edited by Wldrns; 09-23-2018 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:37 PM   #3
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I carry the Hornbeck over one shoulder. I use the bailing sponge as a shoulder pad. I do a double carry, since I'm prone to foot problems otherwise. On day trips, often just the canoe one time & the pack & stuff the other. On camping trips, the day pack & dry sack one time, and the canoe with paddle & other stuff inside (some attached to the canoe, like the pfd).

I change position from time to time which helps with the back. The only time I've capsized was once when I was careless getting in from a rather high seawall. Highly embarrassing since it was a group paddle with people I didn't know yet. I came up to find 12 paddlers staring at me & wondering if they should be worried. Otherwise it handles all kinds of conditions, and fits in places bigger canoes & kayaks wouldn't, besides the carrying advantages. The only thing it isn't good at is speed, certainly not a racing boat.

And yes, wet feet are unavoidable. By the way, if I'm going to be walking a lot, esp. carrying, I find that wet shoes (and not highly open sandals like Tevas) are helpful. For trips with longer carries I manage to squeeze some hiking sneakers into my gear.

Hope you enjoy your Hornbeck as much as I do!
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:37 AM   #4
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Wet feet --- In cold weather I use NRS Mukluks, others are also available. Neoprene waterproof knee high boots, I think they are $89 or so on line. Mine run big, if your between sizes go down not up..
If your boat feels tippy lower your seat if possible, and of course just get a few hours of seat time and you and your boat will become one.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:47 AM   #5
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If the water is truly cold, I wear Chota Quetico Trekker boots, which look like hiking boots (but are not) along with waterproof neoprene socks. Chota has a couple of different models, including high top neoprene mukluk style as well (similar to NRS) for deeper water.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:59 AM   #6
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Learn by doing---the sooner the better. Get in about 4 feet of water or more and purposely tip it over. Once you see how far you have to go to actually get it to capsize your ride will definitely improve. I have a Slipstream Wee Lassie, to carry it's very comfortable to use a detachable yoke with the stern forward and steady the boat with either hand on the thwart.
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:16 PM   #7
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I bought a classic Hornbeck 12 a couple years ago and have used it on several four day fishing trips(all cold weather). I have not had the feeling of it being tippy.

1. I use an Osprey Atmos 65 ag pack pretty much fully loaded EXEPT for the very top part of the pack along with the carrying yoke from horneck. If I load up the top of the pack it won't allow the yoke to ride on my shoulders. I use gear ties to attach the paddle(split in half) to the yoke and back brace so most of the wieght of the paddles is behind me, this gives me two handles if I need to hold it going over rough terrain.( One handle on each side of my head.) Wish I had a pic sorry. This also off balances the canoe so it wants to tip back so I tie two peices of papacord from the bow and use clips and clip each cord to the shoulder strap of my pack. This holds it in place. I can walk hands free most of the time. I know others have come up with other way but I really like this.

2. What model do you have maybe the other models are more narrow and therefore a little less stable? I'm no expert. I know mine is 29".

3. I am 29 and in pretty good shape. I get excruciating pain in my glutes after about 1 and a half hour of paddling I just get out and take a break that's the only fix I have found for that.

4. I started using just really tall boots untill I was in the same boat as you. It took me two trips to finally say I will never go without chest waders again. I know I might get torn apart for this but I have stayed 100% dry on my last 2 trips. If you wear a good WADING BELT it will actually create more floatation worn with life jacket of course. When I bend over with my waders on and belt my legs are big air bubbles. I have went over my head in a river and stayed afloat. Alot people will say it would be way to hot to hike in waders but if its cold and you just wear underwear or stockings under them it's not bad. Better than cold wet feet. I hiked 14 miles in one day last spring with waders and full pack. I just buy cheap $80 breathable nylon. Oh and I don't wear wading boots, I buy trail running shoes about 3 sizes to big to fit the wader socks. This is pretty comfortable.

Last edited by GreenHorn; 09-24-2018 at 06:43 PM..
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:44 PM   #8
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After logging my first day of fishing - yesterday - and about 3 hours today before the downpour started; my initial findings in regards to the canoe as follows:

1. When trolling, I missed approx. 6 or 7 fish (did catch two others). In a tube you propel with your feet and you have the rod in your hand. When a trout hits - instant reflex of you setting the hook. With the canoe.....that extra 1-2 seconds to drop the paddle, pick up the rod, and set the hook **seems** to make a big difference in hooking or missing. This is discouraging as I don't have a good answer.

2. The normal (fly) casting and retrieve is difficult as I'm finding even a small breeze blows the stern around.

3. Yesterday morning, I messed around in shallow water trying to see how far it'll roll each way. Seems to roll easy to a certain point. Getting more comfortable.

4. My day pack rides pretty high on my back and it appears the HDPE framesheet top is hitting the back of the carrying yoke causing the tip forward. Since I believe its the top of the framesheet which is hitting; unpacking the top pocket didn't help (I did try it). I got limited improvement by loosening the shoulder stabilizer straps (which tilts the pack backward a bit), but the problem is still there. About 3/4 of yesterday's trail is a beaten path with a climb so I need to come up with a solution for it.

I certainly miss the control the tube gives me. On the plus side, I don't have to worry about snappers and freezing in the water. Water temps up here are 59-60F with the last two days' highs in the low 50's so I would've been cold in tube even with thermals.
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:26 PM   #9
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Nice feedback. Your frustration with trolling flies in any solo watercraft is shared by all of us (or somebody is not telling!), and may account for the growing popularity of peddle kayaks!
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:35 PM   #10
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I'm not sure if this will help because I have only done it with spinning gear trolling and it sounds like your using fly gear but what I have learned to do in order to get a good hookset is, Instead of instantly dropping the paddle and reaching for the rod, ( I have the but of it secured in a holder) when I see the tip starting to bend I paddle harder for 2 or 3 seconds untill I know it's set good and then reach for the rod.

I would imagine casting a fly rod out of a canoe Instead a float tube would be alot more difficult not being able to control your position with your feet. Especially with any wind.

Sorry to hear unpacking the top of the pack didn't help. I just thought it would because it sounded exactly like what was happening to me at first, pushing the bow down. Hope you can figure it out.

Best of luck - Jason
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
1. For short distances, most people carry the Hornbeck on one shoulder. Not difficult with a smallish day pack,more difficult with a larger multi-day backpack. I use a custom made removable carry bar that I install at the balance point of the canoe (which is not at the back brace thwart), with a lightweight aluminum bar going from the bottom of my pack to a point on the gunwale near the stern. Or you can use a hand line going from bow to stern held at your hip to control tip up/down.

2. naw, the Hornbeck should not feel particularly "tippy". Learn to use the minimal roll to your advantage for steerage. Going around sharp turns I heel the boat way over, such that the bow rides up and the stern will audibly "break lock" and skid around the turn. I have many hundreds of miles in my Hornbeck and have never had an issue with stability, even when on big water with high wind and waves, including on Lake Champlain. Keep all weight as centered as possible and the bow and stern will "bob" up over waves without plowing through and potentially taking on water (I divide weight between backpack behind me and separate dry bags under my knees when it gets rough. At the worst I might take on annoying water from paddle drips, not ever at all from tipping. Most boats will show increased stability when under way with some forward velocity.

3. I have had unrelated back issues in the past, but paddling the Hornbeck does not seem to aggravate it in any way, not even during a 7 day 185 mile trip across the Adirondacks.

4. If you are a a serious canoer, you will have wet feet, accept it and get used to it. If you are worried about capsizing, what are you doing wearing waders? Seems unsafe to me.

I have a Hornbeck and a Gregory Baltoro 65L pack. I wish I had a carry bar like yours. Do you have instructions/plans for making one that you would be willing to share?
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:58 PM   #12
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Beartooth

1) I had to modify the yoke so my Osprey 48 liter pack wouldn't hit the seat when carrying the boat overhead. I put some thick yoke pads on it to raise it up. If you don't want to do this you may want to try a canoe backpack from Cooke Custom. They appear to be shallower in height. I also use a rope attached to the bow and a hip belt that I made so I can carry it hands-free. The best method is a rigid pack like Wldrns shows but they are not big enough to carry all my gear for multi-day trips.

2) You'll get used to the boat. I never felt mine was tippy and I've been through some rough water with it. Just keep using it.

3) Yeah the seat isn't the most comfortable. I need to get out of the boat every 2 hours or so to stretch my legs on bad days. Some days it doesn't bother me. Sitting on the hull of the boat is just not comfortable for long stretches but these canoes are not built for comfort.

4) I use Kokarat Nomad kayak boots and have never gotten wet feet.

Enjoy!
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:11 AM   #13
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Beartooth

1) I had to modify the yoke so my Osprey 48 liter pack wouldn't hit the seat when carrying the boat overhead. I put some thick yoke pads on it to raise it up. If you don't want to do this you may want to try a canoe backpack from Cooke Custom. They appear to be shallower in height. I also use a rope attached to the bow and a hip belt that I made so I can carry it hands-free. The best method is a rigid pack like Wldrns shows but they are not big enough to carry all my gear for multi-day trips.
I had my wife take some pics, yesterday afternoon. Looks like the yoke bar butts are hitting the pack's shoulder straps, causing the tip forward.





Any suggestions?
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:38 AM   #14
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Looks like you could start by flattening the ends that are hitting the straps and see what that does.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:02 PM   #15
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Unfortunately I think that the way this pack fits you might not be compatible with the carrying yoke. If it were me honestly I would try a different pack and get one that is sized right for your torso ( unless the one your using is already) this is just a theory but it looks like the pack should be resting flush with your back and the straps should form more of an upside down U shape wich would allow the yoke shoulder mounts to rest flush on the straps and not push on it.

Im getting my gear ready for my next trip so I'll try to get around to getting a pic of how mine fits and post it.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:23 PM   #16
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...but it looks like the pack should be resting flush with your back and the straps should form more of an upside down U shape wich would allow the yoke shoulder mounts to rest flush on the straps and not push on it.
Yes, there's a gap because I had loosened the shoulder stabilizer straps which makes the pack top swing a bit back. With those same straps tightened, the front of the pack and / or the (HDPE) framesheet hits the butts of the yoke bars. Its actually worse when those straps are cinched up. I get a little improvement with keeping the straps loose. Not a complete workaround though.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:26 PM   #17
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Try a few lengths of foam "pool noodle" on front and/or rear the angled supports. That helped mine fit better. If you have a straight (vs curved) yoke, you may need more tweaking, including to avoid hitting the back of neck (or pack).
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:17 PM   #18
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And yes, wet feet are unavoidable. By the way, if I'm going to be walking a lot, esp. carrying, I find that wet shoes (and not highly open sandals like Tevas) are helpful. For trips with longer carries I manage to squeeze some hiking sneakers into my gear.
I see many mentions of wet feet in this thread, how are people getting wet feet? If you use the side entry/exit techniques on Hornbeck's youtube channel for docks when you encounter a difficult shoreline, one shouldn't get wet feet with a decent pair of waterproof hiking boots.
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:58 PM   #19
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I see many mentions of wet feet in this thread, how are people getting wet feet? If you use the side entry/exit techniques on Hornbeck's youtube channel for docks when you encounter a difficult shoreline, one shouldn't get wet feet with a decent pair of waterproof hiking boots.
Your right it is possible to do it without getting wet feet using that method, however in my opinion I find it easier to just wear waders and know that I can jump in and out of the boat in 1 - 3 feet of water and know I can't get wet and I don't have to worry about scratching the bottom of the boat.

I had one to many experiences of one wrong move and my day is ruined with wet feet on a 50 degree day. Maybe I was just doing it wrong I'll take a closer look at that video.
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:02 PM   #20
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Try a few lengths of foam "pool noodle" on front and/or rear the angled supports. That helped mine fit better. If you have a straight (vs curved) yoke, you may need more tweaking, including to avoid hitting the back of neck (or pack).
Does this work by raising the yoke a bit?
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