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Best portage yoke for a Prospector canoe?

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  • Best portage yoke for a Prospector canoe?

    I'm portaging a 55lb 16.5ft prospector. It has a fairly decent ash yoke which I pad with a lifejacket.

    Last week I saw some canoes from St Regis Outfitters that had a more simple wooden yoke and some pads bolted on.

    Think I might need to upgrade my kit. Ideally, I'd just unscrew the wooden yoke from the gunwales and replace it with an aluminum thwart with bolt-on pads. (Yes the wooden yoke looks cool and woody, but on multi thousand metre carries every ounce counts...).

    This could be a DIY project for next winter, or maybe y'all could suggest some good suppliers?

    Saw some good ideas in a thread back in 2016 "Canoe seat options, and a portage yoke rant".

  • #2
    I have these on all my canoes. Standard on all my Swift, and I added them to other canoes I have.

    plus one of these

    have worked well for me well for me.


    • #3
      I've tried many different things, including the one above, and I'm not a fan of it. The issue I found is that little pad slides around, particularly when you are popping the canoe up on your back with a pack on. The sharp sides of the contour also dig into my trapezius muscle. YMMV there.

      I've also tried the suspension system type yoke pads with an aluminum frame and padded shoulder support, but they tend to get caught on backpacks when loading and unloading. They are quite comfy with no pack though.

      Then I found this:

      By far the most comfortable with a pack on and doesn't get caught or shift. You glue it to a flat yoke with contact cement. Weighs nothing.


      • #4
        Take a look at CVCA pads - they come in bolt on or clamp on versions.


        • #5
          Thanks for the suggestions. Looks like the rutabega pads come from the same factory as the CVCA pads.

          I do already have a pretty decent "deep" shaped wooden yoke. But it tends to dig into the back of my neck and slide around. Not a show stopper, I survived the Saint Regis - Ochre - Mud - Fish carries, but I'd like to more comfy.

          As far as the suspended ones getting tangled in backpack goes, I usually don't have one ... if we're going ultra-light on long carries Mrs Spork carries everything in one pack.

          It occurs to me that the rutabega/CVCA types might interfere with my cartopping. Anyway I'll update with a review of what I end up with.
          Last edited by Titanium Spork; 08-17-2018, 05:38 PM. Reason: Pond, not Creek, big diff!


          • #6
            What makes my yoke more comfortable for routine portages is some closed cell foam (portion of sleeping pad) I permanently taped around it. For long portages I bolt on homemade pads with several inches of foam. Look up design from Cliff Jacobsen.

            Small pieces of "non-slip" foam (meant for under carpet), work to prevent slipping on portages pads plus even the bare surface of my royalex canoe.


            • #7

              peoples shoulders are shaped differently, so my comfortable yoke may not be yours. I have shoulders sloped up to my neck, so a yoke bearing only on the outside of my shoulders works best for me--like the ones with 2 individual pads on the sides. An old fashioned horse collar type PFD can also make a good shoulder pad.