Paddle A Dory With Canoe Paddles?

Has anyone paddled a NE Dory with 2 people using canoe paddles?  

Wife and I tried again to dual row our dory bare (with no sailing gear) today on a small lake with lots of gunkholing opportunities and I have to agree with her that sitting backwards and using two sets of oars is not easy for viewing nature.  Realize too we each have our own kayaks and are used to paddling facing forward and used to gliding thru the water with very little effort so today we both agreed the dory is not our boat of choice for dual wonder if another use of the dory would be dual paddling with canoe paddles...I would sit in the front seat and she would sit in the back, both positions where the boat is narrower than in the middle (both using stadium seats for back support like in a kayak).

This does not take away from my sailing the dory solo, so this is just about the two of us using the dory like a canoe.

Your thoughts?  Thanks!


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RE: Paddle A Dory With Canoe Paddles?

Paddling a long beamy boat is possible, but challenging. In the picture below, George K and I are paddling my (deliberately) dismasted schooner at MASCF 2012. The beam up front  was just narrow enough that George could use a kayak paddle. I had to use a canoe paddle.

Oars would have been much better. The ergonomics were just wrong. I had to kneel, which aggravated my old knee injury. George's back was not happy either. We didn't go too far.

In the case of the dory, I'd also be concerned about the alternate left/right listing as the paddlers leaned to get their paddles into the water. Not because it's dangerous, but because it'd be inefficient and could get uncomfortable.

Maybe SUP paddles?

Let us know how it turns out,




RE: Paddle A Dory With Canoe Paddles?

   Hey Curt,
I use a canoe paddle all the time, mostly standing. Tandem you'll both likely have to shift to far opposite sides which will prevent you from switching paddle sides easily. Someone will have to learn the J stroke to steer. Sitting at the first and third seats will probably offer better trim. Unless maybe you outweigh your partner by a lot. You'll want longer than usual paddles, mine is 62", but sups will be too long unless you are standing. Now that I think of it that could be fun!

As an alternative we sometimes row facing forward. Think it's called fisherman's position. Pick the thwarts for best trim and use the oarlocks in front of you. I've not been able to develop a really powerful stroke but can move the boat well enough for sightseeing.

Either way I think it's totally doable.


RE: Paddle A Dory With Canoe Paddles?

When money is no object, and when was it ever when dealing with the addiction that is CLC boat building, why no two sets of front facing rowing systems ( ? As my wife always says "why pay $7 dollars for something when you can make it for $68 worth of craft supplies". SEEYA Jack   

RE: Paddle A Dory With Canoe Paddles?

  ". . .As my wife always says "why pay $7 dollars for something when you can make it for $68 worth of craft supplies". "

Here! Here!

RE: Paddle A Dory With Canoe Paddles?


My vote is for the Fisherman's position---position the locls so you can face forward.  It takes a little getting used to, but it soon becomes comfortable.

When I was a boy (in the previous century) there were still small rowing boats, like Peapods, in Maine and the people who used them for such tasks as hauling inshore lobster pots always rowed facing forward.  When they were working around rocks (Maine), looking where they were rowing was a safety issue.  When I first tried the Fisherman's position it felt awkward.  Within a few hours, it felt perfectly normal.

I use a paddle on my Peeler Skiff only because 9-foot oars are hard to stow in a 15-foot boat.  The paddle gives me minimal manoeverability if the motor dies.

Paddles are horribly awkward and inefficient on boats heavier or wider than kayaks and canoes---Polynesian and Amerindian war canoes aside.



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