Just bought a 20' chestnut now what?


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I just bought a 20' chestnut.I think its a ogilvy special? Here is my problem. We a going to Moosehead lake for 2 weeks in Sept. So I thought I would give it a test run today. I put a 2 hp. outboard on and went out on the lake near my house. It was blowing 20 knots but not a lot of waves. What a handfull. I nearly gave my father a heart attack. It was alright heading upwind or downwind but any other tack the leeway was impossible. I felt like a leaf on water. Do these boat need 1500 pound of dead moose in them to be stable and track well or are they design more for rivers? Should I put a keel on it? I don't want to ruin it because we might want to canoe on the allagash some day. oh by the way we have four little kids hence the need for a 20 footer.
I'm going to say yes.

1500 pounds of dead moose sounds about right.
A live moose is not recommended.
Don't worry about a keel. It was just one of those days.
I'm curious to know how much weight was in the canoe and how it was distributed. In my experience, any canoe will spin like a weather vane in a 25mph wind if lightly loaded or trimmed unevenly. And if you are being propelled by a motor instead of a paddle...well that just exaggerates the problem. I paddle a 22ft ogilvy...mostly on rivers, but I think getting the ogilvy's characteristic nose in the water as much as possible will help.


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I agree with what Jimbo said, and yes,
these canoes were designed for river use and to have as little draft as possible, ie, to use as little water depth as possible to float.

And so it makes sense that they can be swung around with little effort.

"I think getting the ogilvy's characteristic nose in the water as much as possible will help"
My father was in the bow and he weight 220, I was in the stern with the motor. I weight 200. When I was running downwind it was impossible to turn around. I would get about 90 degrees then the boat would go completely sideways. 100% leeway. Lucky there wasn't any waves or I would probably barrel roll. I don't want the native Moosehead laker to be watching for shore wondering if the flatlanders for CT can get any more stupid. I grew up on a river one mile from Long Island sound but canoeing on large lakes is new to me . I just want to be safe.
Ogilvy is a very flat bottomed boat. I own an 18-footer. Lightly loaded it just skims over the water. 20 knots winds are pretty stiff for a canoe of any sort. In 20 knot winds, you are just a sailboat out of control. Adjust your plans for the conditions.
Dittos above. As you bring the boat around into the wind, you need to shift weight forward in the boat to get the bow down, deeper than the stern. This will allow the stern to weathervane and bring the bow into the wind. To move across the wind you will need to head into the wind at an angle so your slipage to leeward is compensated by your progress into the wind. Think of the wind as current in a river; to cross the river you have to paddle upstream at an angle to prevent getting blown downstream. The big thing is to keep the upwind (or upstream) end of the boat deeper than the down wind (stream) end (which of course is counter-intuitive!). Of course, 20 knots of air is great for sailboats, so its better to stay nearshore in a canoe....
Even then, if you have a motor in the stern and a person running the motor in the stern, you have to shift a lot of weight to the bow to get bow heavy.

You could try club-hauling. Throw the person in the bow overboard with a rope attached (like an anchor) then pivot on the anchor/paddler.

There are all sorts of problems with that tho. Pfd or not, for example.