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Submitted: 07-07-2006 by kencanoe

I've paddled a bunch of rental canoes and sold my Penobscot 16' to buy a prospector 17' r-lite wood gunwales. This is a large capacity boat that handles best with some weight in it. Paddling solo I fill a few dry bags with water. Some flexing on the bottom...expect this with R-lite. I pulled off the gunwales and gave them a coat of tung oil (this is what they use at the factory)...I cut an inch and a half off the center thwart to make it 34.5 inches wide with more tumblehome...I shimmed the center thwart to tilt back and it feels better (less slide) when I tilt the front of the boat up when portaging...(at 67lbs this is about the limit of what I want to carry these days) I moved the seats four inches toward the center. Reinstalling the seats I snapped a few bolts (got tung oil on the threads, oops!) I drilled half inch holes into both ends of the decks for drainage (when the boat is flipped upside down the water now has a way to drain) I may add wood spacers to the inwales for drainage...still thinking about it. Changing the shape of the boat voids the warranty so I am not recommending this. So far I just paddled in the pine barrens...heading to the Adirondacks in August. I'll write a follow-up after that.
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