Tracking Verse Yaw
Posted by: CEWilson on Oct-23-12 10:26 AM (EST)
Course keeping. tracking is often misunderstood. The best computed indication of course keeping in block co-efficient; the block composed of a hull's waterline length, it's waterline width and draft, all in the same units. The less of that block the hull fills, the better it will track. To simplify we can just the length to width ratio since draft is pretty similar; USCA racers have a L/W ratio of 7. Most solo canoes have numbers between 6 and 7 so can be expected to track pretty well.
The issue in solo course keeping is paddler induced yaw. To 1. Not paddle with a vertical shaft, 2. Stroke along the curved rail rather than parallel to the keel line, 3. Carry the blades to or behind the body, results in misdirection. Sweeping forces turn the hull offside, away from the paddleblade, by pulling the stern towards the blade.
To reduce that Yaw designers often minimize stern rocker, but it isn't to make the hull track better, it's to reduce the effects of poor paddle technique. Note the profusion of newer canoe designs with differential rocker.
Bow rocker is inconsequential; we need do something very different to pull or push the bow off course. Bow rocker enhances turning and increases forward speed.
Hence, the best step towards better tracking is likely to be a paddling lesson.
But, back to OP's boat search. Armed with burden data, I'd try to locate a good used composite Argosy, Nomad, Osprey or YellowStone Solo. Rubber performs too poorly to bother with, Baboosic, DragonFly and WildFire have too much stern rocker for this first step. Kee 16, Nomad and SRT are too rare to be available used and withing price constraints. Happy hunting!