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Paddlers' Place Discussion Forum New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  Just a guess
  Posted by: pblanc on Mar-06-14 5:07 PM (EST)
 

but I suspect once a heavier boat is paddled up to speed on flat water it probably requires no greater effort to keep it at that speed than it does a lighter one.

Conceivably, in a downriver race requiring little maneuvering a heavier weight could present a slight advantage.

In whitewater, heavier weight can be a real disadvantage, not only when it becomes necessary to accelerate the boat from a standstill, but also when it is necessary to exit the current with significant downstream momentum and come to a complete stop, in a smallish eddy say. A heavy boat such as a tandem may develop so much downstream momentum that although the current differential may turn it upstream, the eddy current might not be strong enough to arrest its downstream momentum, and the boat might slip backwards out of the eddy even with both members of the tandem team vigorously paddling upstream.

Same thing often happens in a solo boat that has taken on water. I don't know of many (any) whitewater open boaters who feel having water in the boat enhances its performance.

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