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Submitted: 04-23-2010 by Yanoer
My 1987 Vagabond is the F/N construction and saw most of it's use before I bought it 7 years ago. I'd use the lighter kevlar construction more, if I had one. I use mine solo exclusively for short outings and day trips.
I removed the front seat, installed a foot brace at the back set of holes for the front position of the front seat. I sit on two 3.5" thick square boat float cushions placed with the back edge just on the front edge of the back seat. This is where I get the best response with the 48" bent shaft Zaveral paddle. The Vagabond responds quite nicely to control strokes with this trim. Single blading from the back seat also works, but the bow is a little too light without some ballast toward the front and I usually paddle with no added load. The Vagabond responds very, very nicely to control strokes from the position just in front of the rear seat.
Kneeling with knees on back seat and butt on rear of cockpit trim also works, but ballast is needed up front to improve trim.
I shortened a portage yoke to fit between the screw holes for the front seat and place it in the back two holes of the seat mount, secured with two of the seat bolts, to portage the boat with decent balance. I move the yoke forward one set of holes while paddling to secure the spare paddle shaft and whatever else needs secured.
The Vagabond is relatively unaffected by wind when compared with undecked canoes. The downward slope from cockpit to stems allows the car hood & trunk lid to open farther than with standard canoes, when it's on the rack.
It's an ugly, spartan boat, but don't discount it's handling capabilities without experimenting with trim first. Trim makes a big difference with the Vagabond.
I'm 5'6", 155 lbs and have 14 other canoes & kayaks.
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