What makes and OC1 go - design query

Since I am newer to OC I have potentially a goober question:

What makes the difference in an OC-1 design and how it moves?
From what I've read a longer boat is better for flat water
Shorter boat for chop
More or less rocker also adds to the equation...

So why then doesn't every flat water paddler buy a longer boat for example? And why is the Hurricane the most popular seemlingly right now and win so many races when its short and light? Is it all just about weight of the boat at that point?

Just wondering - thanks and no I aint asking what is the best OC1 - too many of those posts - I want design facts just for my own edification.


Submitted by Matuka Joe on Wed, 05/09/2007 - 9:51am

Theres no such thing as a "flat water paddler". If you paddle, you want surf. Surf is what it is all about. The ocean is always changing, so you want a boat that is flexible to conditions. Hurricane is good in both flat and surf. Dont try to analyze too much, just get a boat and get out on the water, the answers are all out there on the water.

#1 Wed, 05/09/2007 - 11:00am

lol I dont have surf I am a river paddler! :) Get some washing machine small chop though - just trying to get further info into the science of it for my own curiousity. There doesnt seem to be a good source for it and people all just say buy what feels right - well what about what within the laws of physics is right? Just geeking out here for fun.

Recently am liking paddling a Wenonah.


#2 Thu, 05/10/2007 - 9:27am

The paddler makes the OC-1 go. Usually it is the paddler that makes the boat go fast or slow.

#3 Thu, 05/10/2007 - 12:15pm

Ultimately if you look at hulls longer and skinnier is faster in flat conditions by design or hydrodynamics. The Hurricane is a small volume and narrow boat compared to most designs so it is a good flat water small conditions boat. So would be a Huki V1-Z, a Makia , Pegasus etc by that standard. They are pretty close hull wise in terms of size/beam at waterline. As far as weight goes, the Hurricane is light at 26lbs pounds rigged but I doubt that makes any difference in speed as the hull shape/size matters most. If it weighed 30lbs (like most designs) people would still be going just as fast.

As far as the Hurricane winning so many races and being popular that is a "local area" thing. It's popular in the North East US/Canada, but I don't see it winning the big races in Hawaii as its volume is counter productive to surfing as well as other designs. Also quite a few Fuzes are getting out there now and that is a great overall boat as well so I am sure you will see people doing well in racing that boat as well. Every boat design is a trade off between flat water speed and surfing speed.

Karel has won many big races on what many call a large volume boat - The Fusion. Kai is also right up there as is Danny Ching and others on non-Hurricane boats. So ultimately yes the paddler makes the difference.

#4 Thu, 05/10/2007 - 1:34pm

I find the Hurricane can be very nimble on the bumps, so surfing speed isn't always the important thing. Comfort is though, on the longer races.

Cheers Rambo

#5 Thu, 05/10/2007 - 4:13pm

If you're doing well in a race its the paddler that makes the canoe go, but if you're not doing well it because the other paddlers have faster canoes.

#6 Thu, 05/10/2007 - 5:13pm

exactly! the other situation is if the paddler does well its cause of the paddler but if he does poorly its cause of the coach.

#7 Fri, 05/11/2007 - 11:35am

okay, lesee...........

1) What makes the difference in an OC-1 design and how it moves?

Roscoe sez it's da length of the hull, hull width and shape and da waterline - you can have a long canoe, but due to the rocker of the hull, parts of the hull may not always be in the water.

2) From what I’ve read a longer boat is better for flat water, Shorter boat for chop -
Roscoe sez generally speakin', yes.. but see previous opinion.

3) More or less rocker also adds to the equation…

Roscoe sez yup! Rocker is directly related to a canoes ability to drop into waves. So everything "nemo" paddles would have lotsa rocker. :)
eg a Teva nui or Surfrigger has almost no rocker while a C-Lion ST has rocker at the rear of the canoe, whereas Hawaiian designs have it throughout. Pahoa Kolea, Fusion, Viper etc..

Poops and PittBrah are right - ultimatley the paddler makes the canoe go ( and let's face it Karel could cross the channel in a Rubbermaid container with a spatula for a paddle!)

have a good weekend !

#8 Fri, 05/11/2007 - 1:03pm

Openocean, your comment made me think of a Surf magazine story years back. Someone told Kelly Slater a door was impossible to surf. A door like in your house kind of door. So he got one paddled it out and ripped sh$t up on it. The pictures were awesome.

#9 Fri, 05/11/2007 - 1:54pm

hey first time comment,
but would love to know wich issue that was in.

#10 Fri, 05/11/2007 - 2:37pm

Thanks guys that's what I am gettin' at. Canoe not paddler. Design has to count for something or everyone would paddle the same boat or heck we' all be paddling around in wooden boxes (or on doors as above). I know the paddler is the engine but say we strapped a robotic paddler on several different canoes in the exact same conditions - dat's what I'm talking about! I know that cant happen and said I was geekin' out. :) But hey in the middle east they have robot jockeys for camels!!! What next?!?

Okay and to continue this topic again with said robot paddler - lets put him at 150 pounds with parts and paddle. How does position of the seat affect the OC-1 go equation on long or short hull boats, or does it?


#11 Fri, 05/11/2007 - 9:18pm

seat placement on a canoe directly impacts trim. the best example i can share is the demo day our club did to decide on a club OC-1. we looked at hurricanes and C-Lion STs .The telling moment was when three of our tallest paddlers tried the hurricane. at 6'4" and up, these guys had to slide the seat to the end of the track, and weighed so much as to dip the rear of the canoe level with the water ( no freeboard) smaller guys didn;t have this problem, but the hurricane was doin' wheelies and was hard to sustain glide.

seat placement is definitely part of the equation. The key was selecting a canoe that had enough range in seating to accommodate the entire club: shorties and giants..


#12 Sat, 05/12/2007 - 2:25pm

Damnit this discussion in headed into FLAMES OF HELLLLLLLLL!!!

Just get a boat that you're comfortable in and the worry about the only thing you have control over....YOURSELF!! Train like a muther and NEVER NEVER NEVER blame your equipment for you sucking ass. If you suck ass its cause you suck ass, not because of your boat, seat position, paddle, lack of roid use, bitch girlfriend or that damn hemmroid that just won't go away.

Good god.


#13 Sat, 05/12/2007 - 9:44pm

sorry you feel so negatively about this posting poops. Was just curious about the physics. I like knowing how things work. Seems like this has runs its course anyway. And of course ist a poor craftsman that blames his tools obviously - but then again a much better job can be done pounding a nail in with a hammer rather than a screwdriver.


#14 Mon, 05/14/2007 - 9:33am

Matuka, thats not a good analogy. Comparing boats is like comparing different types of hammers. A screwdriver in this example is like hmmmmm paddling a sailboat?

Your question about physics is a valid one, sorry if you took my postings the wrong way, I was responding more to the others than yours. Paddlers tend to get caught up in their equipment rather than what's really important.....BEER. DRINK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!! BEER!


#15 Mon, 05/14/2007 - 10:27am

Long waterline = higher theoretical hull speed.

But also:

Long waterline = larger wetted surface area = more resistance

Therefore the long waterline canoe can reach higher top end speed, but the paddler has to overcome a higher resistance at all times, also at low and cruising speeds.
The formula for wetted surface area is: (beam at waterline)square + length at waterline

Thus, changing the beam has more effect.
The Hurricane is actually 15'' wide; there must be other factors, probably less rocker, that make it glide so well - in the flat.

The trim is also very important; when your boat 'squats' - as described for the big Hurricane paddlers, the resistance goes up.
A correctly trimmed boat has the bow point down slightly at rest, while the bow goes up and therefore the stern starts to squat slightly at top hull speed.

In case canoes would be as affordable as surf boards people would probably have a few different boats and use them according to the weather conditions; for now, I paddle the boat that I have.

#16 Tue, 05/15/2007 - 2:22pm

ah with ya now poops. Ok btw so a sledge hammer vs a ball pein (see I dunno even how to spell that one). :)

It is of course the paddler that makes it go though. And until I can make da boat move better I'm sure my coach is gonna stay on my back - I wouldnt have it any other way. :)


PS: beer after I race but not during training up to. :)

#17 Tue, 05/15/2007 - 5:44pm

I gotta agree with poopoo....it's the engine; not the canoe.

Ultimately, you'll need to use a canoe that you feel comfortable with in flatwater or raging surf. I've seen a really good paddler use an ancient Pacific 24 OC1 that required the iakos to be rubber strapped to the hull for a NorCal race. He creamed almost everyone.

#18 Thu, 05/17/2007 - 2:23am

one thing that doesn't make a canoe faster is the ama, which is considerable drag. i'm a bit surprised to see the popularity of oc-1 racing in places like calgary and sacremento. nem0 hit it on the head, if you got an oc boat, you should be in bumps, big hairy ocean going bumps! or the best your local wind swept lake can offer. if you want speed, try a racing kayak, amaless canoe or surfski... if you still want drag, add some fishing gear. the ama only increases speed when factoring in the time it would take to right/bail/restart a huli'd boat.

as for the question about rocker, i don't know for oc-1 boats, having only tried a few different designs. but having built and ridden many surfboards, it's well worked out that more rocker=slower; the rocker acts like a plow. the benefit, of course, is that the nose stays above water taking off on steep waves where one might might not want too much speed anyway, for instance to stay in a section. i imagine the same is true in a canoe coming down steep chop, that the nose may be quicker to resurface and reduce drag from its submarining. so in that sense, it's faster. however, i haven't seen many paddlers "drop" into waves, certainly not very often. mostly they glide into something that's still pretty swell shaped.

it's too bad that many of oc-1 boats don't allow more "rigging" flexibity for the ama such as one can get when when rigging most oc-6 boats. drop the nose for real wind chop, raise it for glassier days until it's just a little whisker feeling the water off to the left.

#19 Thu, 05/17/2007 - 1:15pm

A straight note to the post donalds. Prolly one of the reasons the fast chaps are, therefore note of their is amas hardly the water fast. I remind, me as I tended on to dig into kanaka running and I saw younger with the beginning of running. It took dozens of notices on both sides and its ama knocked hardly even the water. Treasures that its balance became so good that it was able, to eliminate the counter acting force one ama.

Gerade eine Anmerkung zum Pfosten der Donalds. Prolly eins der Gründe die schnellen Kerle sind, also ist Note ihrer amas kaum das Wasser schnell. ich erinnere, mich an als ich pflegte, in den kanaka Rennen zu schaufeln und ich sah Jüngeres beim Anfang eines Rennens. Er nahm Dutzende Anschläge auf beiden Seiten und sein ama klopfte kaum sogar das Wasser. Schätzen, daß seine Balance so gut wurde, daß er in der Lage war, die Gegenkraft eines ama zu beseitigen.

Just a comment on Donald's post. Prolly one of the reasons the fast guys are so fast is their ama's hardly touch the water. i remember when i used to paddle in kanaka races and i saw Junior at the start of a race. He took dozens of strokes on both sides and his ama barely even tapped the water. Guess his balance became so good that he was able to eliminate the drag of an ama.

#20 Thu, 05/17/2007 - 5:07pm

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