I finally finished my version two kabes and took them out for a spin this weekend. They worked great! Not perfect yet, but I got the canoe moving as fast as I did when sailing, minus the really scaring tipping to the side.
There will be a version 3 eventually, as these aren’t quite there yet. The main problem is that they aren’t tall enough and unless I’m being pretty gentle they tend to roll over the top. I’m not excited about the way they are tied on, but after fiddling around for a while I was able to figure out the setup you see above. It does a fairly good job of holding it down and against the kabe but is also easy to unhook without untying.
I put a board behind me that overhangs the sides of the canoe so that when I’m down rowing and want to paddle I can rotate the oars forward and set them on the board. Then I spin around, climb into my canoe seat and start padding. Its the best of both worlds.
I’m playing with the idea of a sliding seat, but unless I add some sort of outrigger to spread the oarlocks apart I’m not sure its necessary. Currently they are 3′ apart and with my long arms I can handle the full movement of the oars without hardly leaning at all. Of bigger concern is the toll that rowing has on my back, so that’s probably where I should focus my attention. Maybe I need to spend some time at the gym this winter!
Here’s the whole thing in action: