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   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      Loading Solo Canoe     
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member (6)member
09/16/2018 12:28AM  
I am wondering how to load a solo canoe without having the bow grounded. With a tandem, one can hold it and the other can load it while wet footing.

With a solo on a rocky beach with the waves lapping at it, it seems like it would be hard on the finish. Any wisdom is appreciated. I just got a new to me Wenonah Encounter and I want to learn.

My first Canoe.
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member (6)member
09/16/2018 12:39AM  

By the way, this was my first time in a canoe.
09/16/2018 07:06AM  
Congratulations on acquiring a solo canoe as your first canoe. Most people, I suspect, buy a tandem as their first. I carry a 30-foot rope (a "painter"; 3/8-inch polypropylene braided core) to always tie the boat to a tree or bush or rock while I load the canoe wet-footing. I've never worried about scratching the boat on a rocky shore with wind and waves coming in, but if you are, then you could carry a second rope to use as an anchor rope.
member (6)member
09/16/2018 11:22AM  
Thanks Ausable,
Not worried so much as "not sure" about how to do it.
I am just trying to learn as much as possible about technique.
I am really excited about my new Canoe and will train with it
until I am ready to go Tripping.........
09/17/2018 09:39AM  
Congratulations on your new boat - it's beautiful. For loading/unloading, if there's any great tricks out there I'd love to hear about them. Unfortunately when solo paddling, I just think the boat is going to have to take some knocks. At some point, you have to take your hands off the boat to get packs out, and the waves are going to knock it around a bit. I *try* to find places where I can let the boat bump up against my legs or a log or brush while I quickly toss packs ashore, but there are some situations where you just can't win, so you just have to bite your lip and get it over with. The first hundred or so scratches are the worst.
09/17/2018 12:14PM  
Have some skid plates installed front and back. I Portage the canoe first and usually put it half in the water and throw my small pack in the boat to hold it in place. When I come back with the large pack I’ll get the boat in deeper water and put the pack directly in the boat. I’ll then pull it to where it won’t blow away while I grab paddles and put on my pfd. Hope this helps.
distinguished member(4562)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
09/17/2018 02:52PM  
I do much like TomT.
Get little things in, then put boat fully in the water and load the two heavier packs. ( I keep food/kitchen separate from gear/clothes)
If there is room, I like to align the boat parallel to the loading point, then push off as I enter the boat.
09/17/2018 04:19PM  
My solo boat is scratched......part of the game even though I wet foot. Dump your packs on shore CLOSE to where you load. Throw the front load in to gently ground the bow and hold the boat until you can grab the second pack and throw it in the stern end.....the bow lifts, allowing you to push off and hop in.

Keep your paddle near your side to possibly reach out and snag a canoe trying to drift off between packs.....grab the paddle when loaded and use it as a cane to steady yourself as you hop in.

You'll learn to vary your technique depending on a shallow/gently sloped landing verses a deep water, rock edged landing.
member (6)member
09/17/2018 09:48PM  
Thanks for all the replies, GOOD info from all. Boat is not new and has some wear on it. I just want to do my best to only add necessary wear to it.

Really pumped on this little boat. Going tomorrow for two days of day tripping. Overnighting in a state park. Only way to get near water. Really want to learn about trim and be good at it.

I've had two CCS tarps for 4-5 years and I have always wanted to use it with a paddle. Now I can as I have a paddle. Must be the kid in me. Thanks again.
09/18/2018 01:11AM  
I paddle wood/canvas canoes. Dragging it up on the rocks is not an option, nor is having it float away. I ALWAYS tie my canoe up at portages, however it is near impossible to keep it from the rocks. Scratches are unavoidable.
distinguished member(2451)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/18/2018 07:53AM  
Congrats on the new canoe. I bring the packs close to where I will place the canoe in the water. Then I get the canoe when ready to load and place a pack inside whether it's the front or back. Unless it's really windy I don't worry too much about the canoe floating away. You will get the hang of it soon enough.
distinguished member(753)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/19/2018 10:49PM  
I have a Prism. I carry one pack and a five gallon bucket. Everything else is lashed to the boat (fishing poles, tackle bag, fish locator). When I get to the portage, nothing touches the ground except the bucket. I set the bucket on shore or in shallow water with the handle sticking up so I can grab it. I lash my paddle, move and secure the yoke, put on my pack, shoulder the canoe, grab the bucket and go. Reverse the process on the other end.
distinguished member (211)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/22/2018 09:21PM  
I am tempted to try the 5 gallon bucket some time. Sounds like a decent way to single portage, which is nice.
distinguished member (234)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/25/2018 07:39PM  
Load in parallel to shore rather than perpendicular.
distinguished member(635)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/26/2018 10:11AM  
kona: "Load in parallel to shore rather than perpendicular. "
That's especially good advice in a solo, but good advice for a tandem too. I've always wondered why more people don't load parallel - almost everybody else I see loads the canoe perpendicular. Parallel works really well.
09/26/2018 12:18PM  
+1 on the rope to tie off the canoe while loading and unloading. You'll use it more than you think. Never felt the need to have external skid plates. Embrace wet footing.
09/26/2018 12:23PM  
A nice ride, easy to see how you would want to take care of it.
Hopefully we could experience little or no wind or current at the landing, but if it does occur...there is the rub. Nothing worse than stepping back to pick up a pack and the boat has floated out about 5 feet already and moving fast. Tie it down if it is not on solid ground.
The landing itself dictates where and in what orientation the canoe will load and unload. I have waded into waist deep water to tie up along some brush when wind was high pushing against a rocky landing. I also consider a landing and departure point that might be different from the actual loading point. Finding those spots is itself a learning curve.
Major issue is you will get some scratches, better have that than a boat that floats away or is drawn into a current over some falls. Eventually you will likely get some skid plates.
member (26)member
09/26/2018 08:22PM  
I have both a bow and stern line attached, each being 20-25 ft long. I usually keep the bow line coiled and within easy reach by attaching to the thwart in front of the seat. Anytime I exit or enter the canoe I have the line in hand. Depending on the landing and wind conditions I often run the line under the thwart or seat which keeps the canoe parallel to the landing before tying off to a rock or tree. When solo one thing I don't want is to turn around to see my canoe sailing off into the sunset without me. I have a new kevlar (last year) and have tried to keep scratches to a minimum but I have come to the realization that scratches are inevitable and just adds character!
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