Sunday, August 17, 2014

Single Bladed Paddles Get a Tank Test

I've been working on a bunch of single bladed paddles for a number of reasons.  The first is that I was making a single bladed paddle blank for one of my kayak students. And once I got going on that paddle, I thought, why not make a bunch more. The second reason is that when I make double bladed kayak paddles,  I always have some thirty inch lengths of wood left over that I can't use on the double bladed paddles but that are long enough for single bladed paddles.
So I got four paddles roughed in for myself, two are the Aleut single bladed paddles I made out of a double bladed paddle that I had cut in half.  Go back a few posts for the details on that. And two of the paddles were canoe paddles of roughly Ojibwe style.  At least I think one of them is since it's based on lines I took off a paddle I saw at the Ojebwe Museum in Lac Du Flambeau, Wisconsin.
Photo of my SOF canoe at the Encinal boat ramp on SF Bay.  The dark blue part is the Bay.  The medium blue stripe along the horizon is the SF peninsula.
Here's a 3/4 shot of the canoe with paddles spread out for the photo.
A better view of the paddles from the blade end.  The two on either side are the two halves of the former double balded Aleut paddle.  The second from the left has an eight inch wide blade and a length of 64 inches.  The third from the left is based on the paddle in the Ojebwe Museum.  The blade on that one is six inches wide and total length is 68 inches.
And this is a view from the end of the handles.  The two middle handles are based on traditional Ojibwe samples.  The two on the outside are tee handles mortised to the ends of the paddles.  After taking the paddles out I decided to round over the outside edges of the handles some more since I found myself using them with the upper hand on the outer edge of the handle rather than square in the middle as you might think.  This is the kind of thing one discovers on tank tests.
What found on the tank test was that I really liked the Aleut paddles even though they had less surface area than the other two canoe type paddles.  On the other hand, the canoe paddles, especially the one that was 68 inches long worked better for paddling on one side only by transitioning to a rudder stroke at the end of each propulsion stroke.  With the Aleut paddles, I had to do two strokes on one side then switch to the other side to get the boat to swivel back in the other direction.  I'm not sure why that was, it may simply have been that with the canoe paddles with their bigger blade area I was able to do a rudder stroke more easily.

No comments: