so heres the thinking about buying my first one man and i'm not too sure whats the right dimensions for me and if its the right one man. My friends selling a John Martin 24' man for $900. I'm 6'1" and weigh 195 lbs. Is this one man the right size or am getting into a bad investment. Some people say just buy it and start paddling until you get good....need help.

Submitted by brn_skn on Tue, 05/27/2008 - 6:13pm

for 900, buy it, paddle it, and then sell it later when you need another boat. can't lose money unless you run into the reef while you're learning

#1 Tue, 05/27/2008 - 6:17pm

Do not settle for any canoe. It's best if the canoe is water tight and with no cracks or dings that jeopardize it being water tight. If it is water tight and seaworthy than $900 is a good price for your first canoe. It's important to try it out on the water. Ask your friend if you can test it out. Get a good feel for it. Spend enough time on it so you can see wether or not the canoe suits your height and weight. Ask questions about the history of the canoe EX how old is it, were there any repairs done to it, etc.

#2 Tue, 05/27/2008 - 7:05pm

Second SyrusG's remarks; demo-paddle it for a while then inspect for leaks and cracks. You'll also know how you fit into it. $900 ain't a bad price for a trainer but what you save potentially may cost you in time repairing and money in parts....been there more than once...

#3 Tue, 05/27/2008 - 7:15pm

I concur with Syrus and chineboy
To pressure test, put the canoe on stable racks, using very soapy water and a sponge and compressed air, shoot a little air into the draing hole (if need be, seal the hole with tape and slice a small hole thats just big enough for the air nozzle want to maintian air pressure.) Being careful not to over infalte and "pop" a seam. Go all around the seam, iako tubes, screws, rudder cable sleeves......anything that is a hole in the laminate, with the super soapy water. If you know the air is escaping, periodically shoot a touch more air into the canoe to keep pressure. If there is any "bubbling" of the soapy water, mark it with a grease pencil. A couple leaks are probably likely and I would say the canoe would be worth the $900. If you find it to be a sieve, I'd steer clear or be prepared to spend another $300-500 or more.

#4 Wed, 05/28/2008 - 8:38am

Yeah, definitely be careful with air compressor. I use a small electric fish tank air pump, no danger that way.


#5 Thu, 05/29/2008 - 2:49am

Even less still, just blow into the drain plug a few times .... if its quiet, you will hear leaks ,,, then do the soap water to look around ......... DO NOT shove the HP hose into it ... above guys are talking about 1/2psi or less and only for a second of 'inflation'.

#6 Thu, 05/29/2008 - 3:09am

Blow by mouth a good amount of pressure into the hole (but don't kill yerself) then see how much air comes back out the hole. Do it again and quickly put your thumb over hole and hold it for a bit. If there is significantly less pressure left then you've got leaks to check for and discuss with seller. Aquafiend has experience with this stuff and has the touch with HP air, I'd prolly blow the thing to pieces with it so be carefull.

#7 Thu, 05/29/2008 - 3:34am

good'd probably seperate the stringer from the hull first, then blow a least thats how I learned to finese it:-) Luckily it was my own paddleboard.

#8 Thu, 05/29/2008 - 7:04pm

blow the thing up and get a Zephyer...

#9 Thu, 05/29/2008 - 9:43pm

This may seem like a strange question, but what is the fastest OC-1 in flatwater (rivers and calm lakes)?

I ask this because we have a race here in the Midwest known as the world's longest non-stop paddle race called the Missouri River 340. It's 340 miles from Kansas City to St. Louis. Last year, Dave Anderson from (Oregon or Washington) won the men's solo division in an OC-1 and I'm interested in making the switch.

I'm not realistically ever going to be near any ocean or the Great Lakes, but we frequently race on the Missouri River and I'm wanting something faster than my QCC700 XL, but a boat that I can single blade. I don't want a ski because my single-blade technique is much better than my double blade and I'm simply more comfortable with a ZRE in my hand than anything else.

What say you all?

Dan "Osprey" Grubbs
a land-locked paddler

#10 Sun, 07/06/2008 - 1:24pm

You have to know this is going to bring out the the best of comments !

But on the serious side .........its not the boat its the motor

I would have to say the hurricane is best for flatwater but you need to use a slightly higer rate to keep it gliding and I can't imagine paddling that far on it w/o modifying the seat for comfort .

#11 Sun, 07/06/2008 - 2:56pm

Whats the fastest boat YOU can paddle on flat water? Theres your answer! Technically I think Kai won the shortest race of the year in that 2 day race in Oahu a couple months back but I dont think anyone will tell you a Scorpius is the boat for you.

#12 Sun, 07/06/2008 - 3:19pm

Yeah, OCsprinter, we have boat debates all the time in our racing forum. I understand that there are many opinions. They can be fun dialogues as long as everyone remains civil.

But I thought that maybe the thought that the boat would be exclusively on flatwater would narrow things down a bit.

I've never paddled an OC or a ski, so I'm really in the dark here. I'm really wanting to stay with single blade, so I've ruled out a ski.

I appreciate any advice the group affords.

Dave, if you're reading this, I'd love to hear your insights about how your Kaimana performed on the river last year during the race.


#13 Sun, 07/06/2008 - 4:38pm

He's from Warshingtun. I think he used a kayak paddle on his oc1 in that race-I know he used the kayak paddle in the Texas race and also on the Lake Okanagon race (60+ miles). I think he likes the stability of the oc1 as opposed to the ski, especially when he's probably falling asleep during those crazy long ones. In the Texas race, he paddled for twenty hrs, slept for a half hour, then paddled for twenty more hrs. to win that one.

#14 Sun, 07/06/2008 - 5:07pm

Dave Anderson used both types of paddles during the MR340 last year.

As I've read different reviews of different boats, it seems that different boats perform differently in different conditions. There has to be an OC-1 that is faster than others in flat water, doesn't there? I don't know that, but it seems logical. I could be all wet here which is why I'm looking to the expertise of all those on the forum.

Regarding stroke rate, I'm usually at about 65/min. I'm 5' 10" and about 180 lbs. I would think that because of the debris and other conditions of the Missouri River, I'd want a kick up rudder. Again, is that possible?

#15 Mon, 07/07/2008 - 8:37am

Basing suggestions on physics of solo paddling boats, things to consider
are -

Minimum drag makes for more speed along with a higher stroke rate/cadence,
but you don't want to go the logical route to achieve this...... an ama adds
weight, causes drag and the single blade limits stroke rating.

When the rules allow for any weight and type of craft, then for the winner
to be an outrigger just proves the superiority of it's paddler over his

Your man Dave Anderson's rudder survived the course last time out, so maybe
he was using it to help steer while he flew the ama at times he was using
the single blade... if not taking advantage of the double blade's rating

Maybe you can beat him if you find a lighter craft than a
hurricane, which also has less wetted skin area and you can fly the ama for
the whole distance......... assuming that you weigh less than him and area better
paddler too.

#16 Mon, 07/07/2008 - 9:44am

Dan, Dave Anderson gave a full review of his race on either or the MR340 forum, can't remember which one, but if you do a search or ask on either someone will point you in the right direction.

If it was me doing the MR340, i would choose a Hurricane also but with a K1 rudder fitted so that it would hide in the Hulls rocker shadow. The extra length of the Hurricane iako's also allows use of a kayak paddle on the Ama side should you choose to paddle with one.

What this guy did to win the race was to paddle with his eyes closed as much as possible to fool the body into a sleep response, thus delaying fatigue, Carter Johnson also did this to win the Everglades race on a Surf Ski last year.

Cheers Rambo

#17 Mon, 07/07/2008 - 1:29pm

Rambo - That stuff is for real?? I mean I would never try it in the ocean but it just interesting.

#18 Mon, 07/07/2008 - 3:32pm

Thanks much for the info, Rambo. My 4-man team will practice this closed-eye paddling in the two middle seats. Then, we can rotate through seats 1 & 4 to keep everyone rested.

I'll go see if I can find Anderson's write up. Thanks for the heads up on that.

Cheers all,

#19 Mon, 07/07/2008 - 4:45pm

I've also been reading about surfriggers. I know mentioning surfriggers seems to be a touchy subject here with some, but I'm so new to these boats that I want to explore all options. I've read some of the threads about this, but it seems they are also a good option for this large river.

Thanks for indulging my questions,

#20 Mon, 07/07/2008 - 4:53pm

What's a surfrigger?

#21 Mon, 07/07/2008 - 6:46pm

frigger? i hardly even know her.

#22 Mon, 07/07/2008 - 11:25pm

Jim, a surfrigger is basically a OC-1 but with a cockpit instead of sit on. I guess they are New Zealand based.

#23 Tue, 07/08/2008 - 4:55am

A "surfrigger"

Check out the pics...

Looks like a V-1...

#24 Tue, 07/08/2008 - 7:32am

Also built in the US here

Friend of mine had one. Fast skinny flatwater boat with a longer waterline than current popular OCs. I have paddled this boat and its skinnier and longer than the Hurricane for sure. Not too great in the bumps though ;-)

#25 Tue, 07/08/2008 - 11:53am

Surfrigger was also made as a sit on top with rudder and used as a Sprint boat at the Aussie World Sprints in Townsville some years back.

#26 Tue, 07/08/2008 - 1:16pm

Dan, you may want to peruse my blog about the 404km Murray River Marathon i did earlier this year, lot's of info about river racing in an outrigger and even a movie.

Cheers Rambo

#27 Tue, 07/08/2008 - 2:40pm

Surfrigger is half a va a - the tail half was taken from a vaa and opened up
to mate with the nose end of a hull with more volume than an outrigger
canoe. This was an early attempt to use greater hull volume for downwind
runs -- a trend which shows to have reached a limit with the latest Molokai
winning OC's, which are slower in flat water because of their hull volume.

A Surfrigger will probably beat a fusion on flat water if paddled by equal
paddler power - well. this is what is happening in NZ anyway. But a
Surfrigger is not the fastest flat water boat either.

A hurricane has hull volume closer to optimum for low drag if the paddlers
weight is not too great. This is mostly because it is shorter, but this makes it
unable to track well and cannot be paddled rudderless like a Surfrigger

#28 Tue, 07/08/2008 - 3:26pm

This is all great information. I do appreciate it! I've always found paddlers to be helpful people no matter where and what they paddle. Thanks!

Rambo, I'll be sure to check out the blog for additional information about using these boats on long river races.

Maybe I'm way off base here. Maybe the best boat for these races is a surfski, but I personally don't want a ski. I'm just exploring ideas, and an OC or surfrigger seemed to be the best option.

Don't get me wrong, I love my QCC700 XL kayak. I'll paddle that till I die. But, I'm a better single blade paddler and so I'm looking for the right boat to race in these long races with my favorite ZRE blade in hand.

Thanks all!


#29 Wed, 07/09/2008 - 9:28am

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