Good to know

Care

We handcraft Placid boatworks canoes using the finest fabrics, resins and trim. A few simple steps will protect your investment for years of enjoyable paddling.

The gel-coat scuff patch on your canoe is a high gloss finish that protects the inner lamination from incidental damage. A few scratches come with paddling as normal wear and tear, and the champagne color hides them well.   Scratches that go through the gel to the laminate should be repaired.

  • When entering, loading or unloading your canoe, place it parallel to the shore in ankle deep water to load without scuffing the bottom of the hull. Don’t drag your canoe over sand bars and riffles. Lifting over obstacles prevents abrasion and scratching. Scratched canoes have half again the skin drag of unscratched hulls and are less efficient, making you paddle harder.
  • After paddling, clean your canoe with mild soapy water to prevent pond scum build up. Use a non-abrasive household cleaner to remove dried scum.  Scum increases hull friction and makes you paddle harder.
  • The hull may be shined and given additional UV protection with applications of a “303 Aerospace Protectant” type surfactant (basically a water-safe, non-alcohol-based Armorall). It slows UV damage, keeps the hull clean, allows road oil to be wiped off easily, and restores faded gel-coat.   To apply, spray the 303 on the hull, wiping the product on the gel coat with a 303 soaked rag. Then wipe off excess with a clean cloth.
  • Do NOT wax your Placid canoe. Wax slows the hull on-water, and encourages road oil build up.
  • Keep the interior clean with mild soap and water applied by a cloth, sponge or kitchen brush depending on accumulation. Protect the interior from sunlight, and dirt with 303.  (Be aware that 303 can make the interior a bit slippery…)
  • Gel-Coat scratches may be sanded out with wet and dry paper. Flush with water while progressing from 120 to 2000 grit paper. Polish with rubbing compound and apply 303.
  • Deeper scratches may be filled, after cleaning and preparation, with matching gel coat.  See our online store for a color matched gel repair kit. These kits have a fairly short shelf life and cannot be stored over time, so plan your repair work accordingly.
  • Deep scratches in the gel-coat and breaks that go into the lamination must be protected immediately with Duct Tape and repaired as soon as possible. We can repair a broken Placid canoe for you or you can purchase a Patch Kit in the online store.  Please call or email for a repair appointment.

Storage and transportation

  • Before storing your Canoe for extended periods, clean and 303 the hull and trim.
  • DO NOT STORE YOUR CANOE ON THE GROUND. Store it upside down on a rack or saw horses, in a dry place away from sunlight, heat and extreme temperature changes. Protected outside storage is fine but moisture must not be allowed to accumulate between the rails and hull. Cover the canoe, keeping the cover from touching the hull to reduce water spots. And, remember to strap your canoe down. Wind can throw your hull against harmful objects.
  • When bringing your canoe out of storage, wipe the hull with 303.
  • Do NOT wax your Placid canoe. Wax slows the hull on-water, and encourages road oil build up.
  • Keep the interior clean with mild soap and water applied by a cloth, sponge or kitchen brush depending on accumulation. Protect the interior from sunlight, and dirt with 303.  (Be aware that 303 can make the interior a bit slippery…)
  • Gel-Coat scratches may be sanded out with wet and dry paper. Flush with water while progressing from 120 to 2000 grit paper. Polish with rubbing compound and apply 303.
  • Deeper scratches may be filled, after cleaning and preparation, with matching gel coat.  See our online store for a color matched gel repair kit. These kits have a fairly short shelf life and cannot be stored over time, so plan your repair work accordingly.

Wall mounting

Given an unfinished building with exposed wall studs, wall brackets are an easy and safe consideration. If walls are finished, a piece of 2x lumber can be screwed into a stud to provide an anchor for your rack as shown in second photo. The cross piece length must match hull width and wall spacing, but 36″ will be more than enough for anything but largest tandems. One can measure before installation or cut to length later.

A brace should intersect the cross piece roughly at its center and be angled back to the stud at 30-45 degrees. The thirty degree angle is not as strong, but the tighter angle allows more racks to be place on the wall. One may trace the intersect lines and lap-joint the brace, but having the brace intersect the cross piece at an angle works too. Crosspiece and brace bolt to studs and each other with 5/16 or 3/8″ bolts with washers.

Drill 3/8″ holes in the cross piece as close to the stud as possible and just outside the boat’s gunwale, then cut off any excess. A ¼ rope can be tied to the inner hole, passed over the hull, and tied through the outer hole for security.

Rafter (Hanger) Mounting

When one cannot dedicate the wall space Placid Boatworks hulls deserve, hang them upside down from rafter mounts constructed of nylon rope and PVC piping. Spacing is boat critical as the cross bar must not slip off the hull’s stems. Install 5/16 or 3/8″ X 3-2.5″ eyebolts into rafters spaced 2-3 feet in from the stems.

The bow hanger is a solid triangle of rope and pvc pipe; the rope must slip through the pipe. Cut the PVC pipe an inch longer than the hulls gunwale width where the hanger will fit. Tie one end of the rope to the eyebolt, slip the other end through the cut PVC length, then adjust the rope length to fit the canoe and tie it off to the eye.

The stern hanger needs a loose end and 2 eyebolts spaced hull width apart on the same rafter. Cut another section of PVC pipe; tie one end of rope to the eyebolt and run the other end through the pipe. After insuring adequate cross bar drop, tie a loop in the rope close to the crossbar. Then tie a loop in another section of rope and join the two loops with an inexpensive snap link. Adjust the drop of the second loop by tying it to the second eyebolt.

In use, place the bow upside down on the pipe in the fixed hanger, then lift the stern and clip the ‘beener into the hanging loop. The hull rails are stable on the cross bars and the hangers cannot slip off either stem.

Car Topping  – Traveling With Your Placid Boatworks Boat

Strap canoes to the crossbars using 1″ nylon straps with padded stainless steel cam buckles. Pass the strap under the far side of the bar, doubling it over the hull. Double loop the free end around the near side before tensioning it through the cam lock buckle.

Excess strap webbing must be trimmed so as to not reach tires; melting the new end. Loose ends can be tied off or looped under the strap.

Bow lines limit sideways bow movement in the windstorm created as a vehicle runs down the road. Loop two individual ropes or straps around the front grab bar and attach to the vehicle to limit side to side bow movement and backwards hull slippage. Web loops tied to the frame just under the hood are more secure and wider attachment points than hooks under the bumper and prevent ropes from rubbing paint.

Double cut foam blocks suffice to carry a single hull on a vehicle with factory roof racks. The blocks are positioned on the cross bars, and the rails slipped down into cross cuts. Strap the hull down as above, using double bow lines.

A canoe may be strapped to vehicles without roof racks using the same foam blocks. Two straps run through the car doors or rear windows (open the doors before running straps through). Position the blocks directly under the straps and use double bow and double stern.

Selecting the right paddle

Paddle selection is important to paddling efficiently. Paddle grips and shafts must fit the hands comfortably to reduce fatigue. The blade needs careful shaping with relieved shoulders to work closely under the canoe. Tips must be rounded to enter the water cleanly at the catch and reinforced for strength. Edges must be tight, side panels smooth and the center rib evenly fared into both faces for the paddle to slice through the water smoothly. Blade size must match paddler cadence and strength.

Selecting a Double-Blade Paddle

Double-blade paddles optimize performance in kayaks and pack canoes. Blade size should be kept smallish to reduce strain, and the shaft should fit comfortably in the user’s hand. Double-blade paddles must have adjustable feather for both left and right hand control and must be as light as possible because horizontal strokes require supporting the paddle in front of the body.

Because canoes are higher and wider than kayaks, a longer double-blade paddle is required. Lengths that reach the water easily over high gunwales and keep paddle drip out are generally in the 220-240cm range. Shorter lengths require an aggressive vertical stroke that deposits water in the canoe. Counter-intuitively, taller paddlers fit shorter paddles and smaller paddlers need longer paddles to submerge the blade in the water over the gunwales. A shouldered boat, such as the Spitfire, allows a slightly shorter double-blade paddle to be used than a constant flare, or “bubble-sided,” boat due to the decreased width at the top of the gunwales.

Smaller blades and a high cadence are more efficient over distance than larger blades. Most importantly, select a light paddle. Single-blade paddles are supported by their own buoyancy. Double-blade paddles, especially when used at low angles, are held in the air by the paddler, and ounces count.

Double-blade paddles used in pack canoes should be fitted to the paddler in the boat.

Selecting a Single-Blade Paddle

A straight paddle improves comfort and control for kneeling paddlers. The blade should fit the paddler’s strength and intended cadence. The shaft should be nicely oval, filling the hand comfortably, and the top grip fit will aid control.

A bent paddle optimizes performance for sitting paddlers by moving the effective stroke aft, alongside the seated paddler’s thigh, with a twelve-degree bend. As the stroke is closer to the paddlers body and effective torso rotation is reduced by sitting, the bent blade should be smaller than a straight blade, but oval shaft and top grip should, again, fall comfortably to hand.

Selecting a single-blade paddle of proper paddle length to fit your body, paddling style and canoe is easy. We fit shaft length, from the grip to the throat, where the shaft joins the blade. Blade length doesn’t matter.
With a firm grasp on the top grip, support the paddle upside down, allowing the grip hand to drop, until fully extended downward. The blade should be above the head; the shaft directly in front of the paddler’s nose.

The position of the paddle throat, where blade and shaft meet, is the key to paddle fit. Straight paddles should fit the paddle throat to the hairline or an inch higher, as kneeling paddlers need the reach to start the forward stroke in front of the knee and to reach cross strokes.

Bent paddle shafts should fit the paddle throat to the bridge of the paddler’s nose. Sitting paddlers stroke from knee to hip and rarely use cross strokes. Shorter shafts place the blade underwater.