BWCA 2010 - Leadership Challenge #2 (Destroyed Canoe) Boundary Waters Group Forum: Wilderness Challenges
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      2010 - Leadership Challenge #2 (Destroyed Canoe)     



distinguished member(3141)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/15/2009 06:21PM  
This is 2 of 12 Leadership Challenges I will be posting. The purpose of these is to get feedback on what you would do under these circumstances. I'm not looking for a "Right Answer" I'm looking to see how the many very knowledgeable people here on would react in a time of decision in Canoe Country.

Challenge #2: (Destroyed Canoe)

Situation: You are traveling in a party of 4 (Combined crew weight of 800 lbs) in two rental Old Town Penobscot 17 foot Royalex Canoes (max load weight of 1100-1150 Lbs). You are carrying 4 large packs, 4 smaller personal packs and misc. fishing gear with a total gear weight of approximately 350 lbs split evenly between the two canoes.

Your current location: Cub Lake. Cub Lake is the geographic center of Quetico Park. Cub Lake is not frequently visited and is 2 days travel to the closest Canadian entry point and 3-4 days travel to the U.S. entry point (Prairie Portage-where you entered and your outfitter is based on Mosse Lake).

Items of interest in your gear pack: You have a standard canoe repair kit of a roll of duct tape (25 yards), Rubber Cement and Superglue). You have over 200 feet of various sized ropes. You have a SAT phone with emergency numbers for Ontario Provincial Police and your Outfitter.

The Challenge: During the night, a large storm moved in from the Northwest with winds in excess of 40 MPH. You had tied the canoes down but only by the bow and left them down near the shore. During the storm one of your canoes was violent tossed against a tree and the resulting damage occurred.

(Thanks to Tom Pinkerton - Uncle Moose for permission to use his photos)

Now What? (please choose one)

a. You are better than MacGyver and you will attempt to repair the canoe and head home. Follow on Question: Which way do you head.. North or South entry points and why?

b. You decide to abandon all but essential gear and put 4 people and the essential gear into one canoe and attempt to head for home. Follow on Question: Which way do you head.. North or South entry points and why?

c. You decide to utilize the SAT phone and call for help. Follow on Question: Who do you call and why?

d. Your idea? (free flow thoughts)

Next Challenge: Broken Ankle.

If you missed Leadership Challenge 1: CLICK HERE
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12/15/2009 07:13PM  
A. I'd do my best to try and repair have nothing to lose by that, other than time and material. I'd then head south toward the outfitter. Avoiding any customs/border crossing issues. If necessary you could do a back and forth shuttle transporting gear and people. That would take a while, but would work. No to the satelite phone for emergency evacuation, but probably would call the outfitter and ask their advice.
12/15/2009 07:30PM  
This one will take more time to think through than challenge #1.

Incredible pictures. Closet thing I had was to winch out a john boat wrapped around a tree in a river. My brother-in-law still has that boat.
distinguished member (360)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/15/2009 07:36PM  
c. i think i would call the outfitter first and see about getting another canoe flown in.
distinguished member(2077)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/15/2009 07:36PM  
Plentiful birch bark and pine pitch in the area?
distinguished member(3141)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/15/2009 07:46PM  
Daniel Boone - I'm sure you can find Birch and Pine Pitch within 2-3 hours of anywhere in the Q
12/15/2009 07:59PM  
1) Cut broken boat down so you have two halves that are evenly sized and fit together. Use duct tape,rope and wood to splint two halves together to make a short canoe. Use rubber cement and pine pitch to seal seam.

2) Put gear in short canoe. Properly packed packs will be waterproof and will help to displace water that will seep in due to poor duct tape job.

3) 4 guys paddle in good canoe towing short boat with gear.

4) Head to your take out point.
12/15/2009 08:00PM  
Sat phone is only used for severe medical emergency imo. Might consider evac if it was early spring or late fall.

Given the pictures hint of warmer weather, might try to repair enough to load with gear. Keep all 4 people in good canoe. tie repaired one along side or pull behind. Make sure everything is securely tied in, in case of swamping.

Go back the way we came in as we know the route and what to expect.

Worst case is we pack all in the one canoe after culling through our packs to reduce unwanted food.

This is fun bojibob.
12/15/2009 08:09PM  
whiteh20 - Good answer.

I was going to choose B, but I like whiteh20's answer.

No need to call an outfitter for a canoe to be flown in, is that humor?

I would not want to be in a canoe that needed that much repair unless it was a big blue sky day on silky smooth waters.
12/15/2009 08:20PM  
Royalex floats- part of the equation but only as far as I have got.
12/15/2009 08:22PM  
I would try to slide one half of canoe inside the other half and tape the inside and outside ends. Thinking this would be more rigid than butting them together. Would also use sticks and ropes to lash gunwales and maybe add another yoke for rigidity.
12/15/2009 08:42PM  
Since this isn't an emergency (yet), A is the clear choice. Only when it's obvious that the broken canoe won't hold up any more would I consider B or C. If our food supply looked marginal, I would try to get the group to agree to stretch rations by another day or two. Not only will the return trip take longer than usual, but our tolerance for wind and waves will be lower, increasing the chance of layover.
12/15/2009 08:55PM  
if you load the packs at the very tips of the broken canoe, it will likely float in such a fashion as to not require much repair, and likely be towable as is.

Would be interesting to experiment a bit with how half canoes float. Many possibilities.

If that doesn't work, using a water proof tarp around the canoe half would be an effective water barrier making it more than capable of carrying the packs safely.

if THAT still didn't work, punching some holes in the sides of the canoe above the water line and lashing the sides together with strong poles would form a very sturdy frame that could support the hull and be made watertight with either duct tape alone, or by again using a tarp or portion of the tarp with duct tape.

For me, it would be more of a hands-on process of experimenting on the real-world effectiveness of each option. I think each could be attempted and tested without much time investment, and since there are no complications such as serious injuries escalating the situation, there would seem to be enough time to have some fun looking at alternatives.
12/15/2009 09:20PM  
Boji- these are good, keep em coming.
12/15/2009 09:35PM  
Hey, that's Kenny lake not Cub- not only is my canoe destroyed I can't read a map.
12/15/2009 09:43PM  
assuming a semi clean break....heated tent stake to bore holes in the hull halves. stitch together with cordage (think frankenstein). cover generously with duct tape. same with the gunnels, bore holes on both halves, reinforce with wood, stitch away.
distinguished member (395)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/15/2009 10:32PM  
B- Head south but shuffle everything out.First 2 people and as much gear as we can fit in the canoe,paddle to the portage, drop off gear and 1 person,while that person portages the gear across the portage the other person goes back and gets the other 2 people and any gear that wouldn't fit on the first trip.Might take an extra day or two to get out.
12/16/2009 05:19AM  
White20 said it pretty good. I would probably loose the better part of a day trying to find the best way to make canoe #2 float. I can't tell you right now what way would be best. Also this depends a lot on weather. Koda also has a good point with rationing the food. Worst case scenario(bad weather or can't make canoe reliably float) I would end up using kevheads suggestion.

Good question Boji. This one took a lot more thought than the last one did. This is fun.

After thought: I will need to be in contact with my out fitter and family. Being home a day or 2 late is very likely. Once you have "fixed" that canoe, it will probably need to be babied across all portages.
distinguished member (191)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 07:20AM  

rlhedlund took my idea about sliding the halves inside each other and reinforcing. But would still be a work in progress to get it right for a day. Then head back with idea of shuffling gear and crew if repair did not take.
Guest Paddler
12/16/2009 07:24AM  
D. I would tell the rest of the group to go back with out me and I would stay in the woods forever. :)
distinguished member(951)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 07:44AM  
just paddle out as two solos :)

In all seriousness, I fancy myself a pretty handy guy and have "MacGyvered" my way out of jams before and would at least take a shot at fixing the canoe enough to get out. I think peole have already given some good ideas on how to do that. If all else failed contact the outfitter to see what they can do to help. As for direction, it would depend on how well the repaired canoe traveled, but likely just the nearest point I know I can find help.
distinguished member(2340)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 08:40AM  
Like this topic a lot. Thanks much for posting this challenge.

First, I would assure everyone in my group that this is not a huge problem and we will get home. Depending on who I trip with, I can see some panic rearing it's ugly head.

Then, we would start trimming gear and getting everyone loaded into one canoe, but not shoving off that day. The gear we leave behind would be packed in a bag, something durable, and lashed to a tree, if the hopes of retrieving it at a future time.

Next, I would call the outfitter, explain our situation, and tell them we are heading out with one canoe, but heading to the Canadian entry point, and to please inform our families that we might be late exiting. Or, if the group is fine with it, heading to the Minnesota side of it all. Depends on the food situation and if it can be streched out to 5 days.

After getting the gear trimmed and everyone comfortable with being in one canoe, THEN we would see about fixing the other canoe for the rest of that day. If we can get it working somewhat, then we would change our plans for loading. If not, we can still all fit into one canoe.
After that, I would make a big meal, a real belly filler, and enjoy the last night at our campsite.

The next morning, early, early, early, well in advance of the sun rise, when the odds are that the lake is super calm, we would head out. We would take our time, rationing food along the way. We wouldn't hurry to paddle, because of how low the canoe is riding, but we could go a fair distance before the wind picked up. The sat phone would stay attached to someone and in a waterproof case or bag, just in case something even more catastrophic would happen, we still have an out. And if we had to stop early in the day due to wind, two people would set up camp, while the other two fished for dinner. If we caught fish, that is dinner for that night. If not, then we dip into rations.

Slow and steady, we get home safely.
distinguished member (436)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 08:44AM  
I'd probably go for b and then immediately mount a gear rescue upon getting back to my outfitter and securing a new canoe - if they would actually give me another one:-).
distinguished member(752)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 08:57AM  
I would try and fix it first and then go with kevheads thoughts. Exactly what I was thinking and so I am not going to type it again.
distinguished member(14135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
12/16/2009 09:17AM  
How about none of the above, I pull my canoe completely out of the water at night and turn over no matter what the weather conditions are, so it wouldnt have happened in the first place, but now if a tree fell on the canoe thats a different story. As long as your not overloaded human weight wise in the other canoes, repairing the canoe well enouigh to carry your gear seems like the most viable option.
distinguished member(3436)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 09:59AM  

Leapfrog out with all 4 people and gear, leaving damaged canoe behind(assuming canoe looks like picture).

Carry all 4 people to next portage then 2 go back for gear, then over the portage then do it all over again.
Trade off going back at each portage so you share the work.

Will take longer but all get out safe and sound. Notify Rangers/RCMP when exit then figure out how to get canoe out(if needed by dog sled ion the winter).

12/16/2009 10:06AM  
Since that's Uncle Moose's pictures...what did Uncle Moose do?
distinguished member(2340)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 10:09AM  
Uncle Moose found the canoe like that. Wasn't his.
That Guy
distinguished member(532)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 10:29AM  
D.) Free flowing thoughts. A combination of above answers. We would try to repair the damaged canoe. It would be nice to have the craft at least floatable so that it could be towed behind the remaining canoe and house all gear allowing the four of you to ride in the in tact boat. In the case this is not possible and with a proper weather outlook, We would divide the gear as necessary into groups of two. Two would paddle, two would stay. We would either send a man back for the other two members,(a leap frog approach), every lake or mid lake until we found assistance or a better idea comes along.
distinguished member(1168)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 10:39AM  

1.waste no time with the broken canoe, who wants it now anyway?

2. begin the slow task of shuttling out.

3. since you are really in no danger no need for the sat phone

4. Once you get close to the EP you could ditch two guys and have the other two go out to get assisstance or just continue the process of shuttling. The way I see it is you screwed up you fix the situation and get your own self out.
12/16/2009 12:29PM  
Several good suggestions above... here is my response:

d. Your idea? (free flow thoughts) – Leap frog back to PP leaving the trashed canoe where it lies. Perhaps it could be rigged to float but I would never depend on a repair that extreme for critical gear or people. Travel will be slow but not impossible.

Accept the kindness of strangers if encountered and offered but certainly not depend on it. (Why ruin somebody else’s trip if it is not a life/death emergency, but some other people might really get into helping out… it takes all kinds)

You indicated 3-4 days travel to PP but did not indicate when you would be expected back to the outfitter or PP. Perhaps the SAT phone would be used to indicate the cause in our delay to the outfitter if we aren’t going to make it back in time. If food is an issue (and we aren’t catching fish… not likely? ) then perhaps a call to the outfitter is also in order.

Continue to try and enjoy the trip and deal with whatever other hurdles are presented.

12/16/2009 12:58PM  
Side question...for those trimming gear, what would you trim?
distinguished member(1168)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 01:57PM  
why trim gear? You are not screwed at all. Your just very slow now. Nothing in the situation is that scary. I would be much more worried about the bill waiting for me at the outfitters for that broken canoe.
12/16/2009 02:38PM  
I'd have to try #1 first, however if that didn't work out I'd go for #2 and go south to my outfitter. Then I could return later and get my gear back.
distinguished member (209)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 02:48PM  
Do you really think you could get two canoe halves stitched back together in the bush with only 25 feet of duct tape and some rope, and that the contraption would float well enough to be loaded with gear and towed back in? I think you'd have better luck carving a dugout canoe by hand with a pocketknife.

I think everyone is over-estimating their backcountry repair skills here a touch. A minor tear in the Kevlar, sure, use some duct tape and limp out. But two canoe halves? I don't think soggy duct tape has that much holding power.

Only option is to shuttle out, IMHO. Not sure how you end up getting the broken canoe out once you get yourself out.

12/16/2009 02:58PM  
I wondered the same thing, then realized there's 75 feet of duct tape (25 yards). That's enough to work with.
distinguished member (220)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 03:12PM  
First I would try to repair the canoe and use it to tow gear, paddling out the way we came in. My initial thought would be to seal off the broken halves with a ground cloth or tarp and duct tape and makes two small "canoes". If that fails, I would shuttle paddlers (in 2s and 4s)and equipment. For my crew of college buddies, it would probably just add to the adventure.
member (24)member
12/16/2009 03:48PM  

A Royalex canoe could survive a nuclear explosion.
rookie in 03
distinguished member (415)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/16/2009 07:31PM  
along with whiteh2o and rlhedlund's suggestions i would try a couple poles weaved over the end thwarts and under the portage yoke for support and a shock absorber over the repaired seam
distinguished member (360)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/17/2009 07:25AM  
why is a sat phone only for emergency? i know a spot i wouldnt activate. fishnfreak is correct the weight problem is not an issue.
distinguished member (254)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/17/2009 11:31AM  
I'm with Kevheads. A shuttle system seems like the most realistic option. I don't think all the duct tape and rubber cement in the world would make doing a repair a safe solution. Why make the situation worse by trying to be John Wayne.
12/17/2009 12:24PM  
#1- following Whiteh20, and rlhedlund's model. Possibly Kanoes idea would work also. A trip rule- ALWAYS have duct tape.
distinguished member(607)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/17/2009 02:08PM  
Considering the guys I trip with, we wouldn't leave anything behind. We would fix the canoe enough to be useful. I saw pictures of a repaired canoe that was split in half - they used rocks in the bow and stern to take some pressure off the seam when traveling. This sounds like a challenge that our group would actually enjoy once we all got over the shock of the rest of the trip needs to be focused on getting out safe instead of whatever else we had planned.
I think sliding one end into the other and stitching it together is the smartest way to try and repair it. Pine pitch, rubber cement, etc. could be used to try and keep the water out. I would probably try that first and maybe even add in whatever I could come up with between the two halves to form a sort of gasket that when pushed together would slow the water coming into the canoe.
12/17/2009 03:55PM  
It's important to preserve options. If the canoe could be fixed, the group wouldn't have to resort to leap-frogging or leaving something behind - at least as long as the canoe still worked. That would save time, energy and the group's spirits. It would still be a good idea to create a food reserve, possibly by rationing.
Rapid Runner
distinguished member(622)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/17/2009 06:31PM  
fix it and limp on the direction would be the easiest way out.
12/19/2009 07:00AM  
Do my best to repair, use for towing gear only. Also agree with the leapfrog technique. Wouldn't use the phone as not life/death emergency yet. Liked Kyles ides. And i would head south back to the outfitter.
12/19/2009 08:09AM  
I like Kanoes approach. 3-4 days travel will become 5-6 days, but you'll make it out intact.

Been there.

Canoes can still float with an astonishing amount of damage.
distinguished member(931)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/19/2009 11:07AM  
If the canoe is salvageable and safe to use for carrying gear its a no brainer, move gear with the damaged canoe. BUT if it is not, vacation is now over and it is time to start shuttling your way out. I would head to the nearest entry point that had the least amount of big water to cross. This is about safety not challenging your Mc Gyver skills. If you do not want to shorten your trip and you have a pocket full of cash call the outfitter and have a canoe flown in and the trashed canoe flown out.
12/19/2009 01:27PM  
I'd start the gear and person shuttling process. It won't be quick but it'll work.
distinguished member(688)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/19/2009 05:10PM  
call the outfitter that's what you have a SAT phone for..

12/20/2009 03:41PM  
At the Quiet Water Symposium at Michigan State I saw a canoe made completely out of saplings, duct tape and a cheap blue tarp. They had paddled it. I think that canoe in the picture could float again. Won't be very efficient, but quicker that a shuttle. I'd do pretty much what Kanoes suggested. Test it before heading out. If it fails the test do the shuttle thing if necessary.
distinguished member(992)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/29/2009 02:19PM  

I would choose D -- free flowing thoughts.

First of all, I wouldn't try to fix the broken canoe. IMO, it's trash and I wouldn't take the time to try and fix it and possibly compromise safety.

Second, I wouldn't load four people into one canoe, just like I wouldn't trust a repaired canoe. I would ration food for two people who would be left behind for three days. I would leave most of the gear with them. I would take the two fittest paddlers, provide them with food and minimal gear, and have them head north to the nearest Canadian entry point. My thought of heading through waters not yet traveled is that, if we were good enough to paddle four days into an isolated lake, we're good enough to paddle a two day journey in about 1 1/2 days since we would be paddling with minimal gear.

As we got closer to the entry point, we would encounter others who would direct us to an outfitter where we could secure another canoe. Towing the new canoe (rather than soloing two tandem canoes) we would return to the two previously left behind and paddle back to the U.S. outfitter towing the two pieces of broken canoe.

I would return the good canoe plus the broken canoe to the outfitter and load the Canadian canoe onto the vehicle. If two or three needed to be home sooner than the other one or two, they would head home while the other(s) went to Canada to return the "borrowed" canoe.

I would only call if we were going to be late getting home or late getting back to the outfitter.

I know this seems logistically cumbersome, but I would try to make this ordeal into a safe new adventure.
member (9)member
12/30/2009 12:07PM  
Shuttle using one canoe and enjoy the fishing and camping on the way out. Take the planned route toward the exit point so the outfitter and others would know where we were. Would not use the SAT phone unless an emergency.
jb in the wild
distinguished member(2651)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/30/2009 08:55PM  
Shuttle out, just another experience to chock up to your wilderness outing.What dosn't kill us makes us stronger and hopefully smarter.
The Lorax
distinguished member(935)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/03/2010 08:37AM  
Use my camp tarp (mine is two layers of plastic with a crosshatch of "dental floss" type string for reinforcement, very tough) to fashion a canoe out of saplings and all extra line. Just enough to take one person and a pack or two. Proceed with caution ealry before the winds come up keeping a more close eye on the weather to the nearest EP.
distinguished member(1722)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/05/2010 11:21AM  
I'll assume the weather is good and my 3 partners are strong, young men. (I normally travel with my elderly father or my wife and 4 daughters. In thoses cases, I'd pick a different solution).

First, I really enjoyed reading every one else's answers. I learned a lot and have modified my answer based on some of their answers.

Now, I would spend a day trying to get the broken boat to work. I would use the rope, duct tape, and strong sticks to work as splints. I also liked the idea of stitching the halves together.

Next, I would put as much gear and people into the good boat as it could safely handle. I would put the rest of the geat at the front and back of the bad boat. I would try to make these packs water proof and try to make sure they floated.

Then, I would start to paddle out the way that I came in. I don't want any surprises.

Since I have a sat fone, I would probably call the outfitter before doing anything. I would explain my plan and discuss my options with the outfitter. With his experience, it is very likely that he would have a better solution.

Old Hoosier
distinguished member(636)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/07/2010 09:49PM  
Since I don't like leaving any gear behind (did that in an emergency on the AT once), I would immediately abandon the broken Royalex and start shuttling people and gear out the way we came in. Travel on quiet water only and take your time - even fish your way out. You have plenty of food and time, so make the best of it.

Definitely NOT use the phone. This is not a catastrophe, but simply an inconvenience. Even with women and children I would not call for help. These real life situations are great learning opportunities. Thankfully, they do not happen often, but why use the phone and destroy the experience?
senior member (91)senior membersenior member
01/07/2010 11:03PM  
I pick A as try to repair canoe by wrapping rope around gunwales with poles and stitch two flat wood pieces at bottom. Watertight canoe with duct tape. If repaired canoe feels is sturdy, no hurry to go back to outfitter.
distinguished member (285)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/08/2010 06:26AM  
I'm with Cedarboy.

My first inclination would be an attempt to fix the vessel. Quite a few great ideas but realisticaly while most remedies would make the canoe float I think the stress on the canoe would make portages frustrating.

Weather would also play a role. Too big a chop on the water would make it a risky matter. If that thing cracks open with all your gear in the middle of the lake you've got another challenge to overcome.

01/08/2010 07:56PM  
Fix the canoe. Discard excess gear. Put three in the good canoe with the most crucial equipment and one in the repaired canoe with other gear sealed in waterproof bags and strapped in. Tie a tow line from the stern of the good to the bow of the broke.

Without checking the map, I would say go the shortest route and least ascending of contour, no rapids.

Of course if the repair works out well, why spoil a good adventure? Just alter your route and stay out. Maybe basecamp an extra night or two.
01/11/2010 07:46PM  
1. First I would be pissed and say a few choice words.
2. I would get over it, and then forget about fixing it.
3. Leave two guys at camp with ample supplies, probably more of
the "not so needed" gear would be left at camp with these two.
4. The best in shape two would hi tail it to outfitter and get help.
with light wight neeeded essentials only.
5. We would figure the rest out after back at outfitter how to
the other two out.
6. Probablly would get my friends with a Black hawk Helicopter to
swoop in and save our sorry butt's. (ha, ha)
or call Clark Kanoe, Clark Kent's younger brother and he could
fly over and save the other two...but actually we would go back
with two canoes and get the other two guys.
distinguished member (221)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/20/2010 01:56PM  
I would pick A.

I would try and cut a little narrower than another and "slide" the smaller piece into the bigger piece of the canoe.

Punch a couple holes above the water line to tie the the two halves together and then do my best to duct tape below the water line. You may have to add some long wood sticks an inch or two thick to support the bottom.

I would try and place all the bags in their and stay close to shore as I was heading back. Depending on the "flotablility" of the canoe, I may leave right away thinking it will take an extra day or two to get out or I may just say heck with it and stay my intended lenth.
01/21/2010 01:35PM  
If I got the canoe to float again I would put two people and all the bags in the good canoe. The other two unburdened would paddle the repaired canoe. Keep close to shore and make sure the leaky boat has something to bail with. I think the two in the repaired craft could keep up with the loaded craft. I think you could travel faster that way. Towing a canoe is like pulling in a giant Zara Spook.
02/03/2010 10:09AM  
d. Your idea? (free flow thoughts)

There is a lot of options since no one is injured.

Lets look at the easy way out, call the outfitter and let them figure it out(pay bill when they rescue you).
Nothing is mentioned about what tools mite be at hand (me)lock blade knife, Gerber Scoutmaster multitool, hatchet and saw. Cut off jagged edge to make it fit together (overlapping)for ease of duct taping together. Cut/break gunwales to fit together, carve holes in side below gunwale to stitch saplings (sacrifice live trees to save lives) to both gunwales. Carve holes across bottom to stitch both halves together. use the smallest diameter rope then carefully apply tape covering seam and rope. Cut three, 4in saplings, 8 ft long, split in half. Taper the ends and tie together leaving 3 in between each slat. Put it under the canoe like a raft ( to give it some support and flotation) tie the front to the front seat and the back to the rear seat and across the center to the yoke. All the gear goes in the good canoe. No rapids and no heavy waves the tape won't last forever. If the fix will last two days to nearest entry point it mite last three days to outfitter. Two people could Finnish paddling to outfitter and return with a canoe, saving both equipment and money. If the fix doesn't work it will still cost the same for a rescue of two people regardless of weather it is 10 or 30 miles, then use the sat phone.
distinguished member (247)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/04/2010 09:31AM  
definately try and repair canoe maybe even just the larger piece form it like a scanoe. put all gera in it if it doesnt float like it should 4 guys paddling the good canoe would make towing it farly easy. wouldnt be ideal but would get you and your gear out.

head south to outfitters
02/23/2010 01:27AM  
I am going to use multiple choices of the available here. While I realize that this is not an "Emergency" type of emergency, I would still start with the SAT phone and call the Outfitter. I would let them know what has happened and ask them what they would like me to attempt.

After that I think (unless told not to) I would pack all of the gear into the one remaining canoe and let the weaker paddlers take that. The two stronger paddlers will do the bow float thing like MWD1976 has in a picture. This, just to keep from everyone and all the gear from being crammed in one canoe.

If that does not work I think I would try to McGyver the broken canoe by slipping the two halves together, lashing them with rope and seeing how watertight I could make them.
04/18/2010 01:13AM  
A. Repair the broken canoe with whatever works. Superglue, extra support (wood) and carefully use the duct tape as there's only 25yds of the stuff. Max load (or even overload) the 'good' canoe and minimally load the repaired one and carefully head out. While staying in the most calm water whenever possible. If it takes extra days, so what. North or south? Since I am from the US, I will assume south is where the vehicles are so that is where I will head.

**btw** I am replying before reading the other posts, even tho I am obviously late to the party.
07/28/2010 03:38PM  
First question, which ones lost their canoe? Those 2 are screwed. Nah seriously sounds like 2 of you will survive and cut the other 2 loose, you never wanted them along anyway, they knew better. Just Joking.

With one broken Canoe, the trip is over, we all need to safely get to the closest exit point. The best time of day is early morning, when water is glass. I call the outfitter on the Sat phone and let them know what we are attempting and when we will be leaving in the morning. Good Night Sleep, eat well and assure everyone this is just part of the fun.

Make sure the calls are made and ask them to consider your plan, make sure they understand what you are doing and they agree, you don’t want them to over-react, heck maybe a new canoe will be flown in, and the broken canoe can be flown out. You don’t want the Canadians to launch a rescue, stay calm and discuss the options
Here’s my plan:

First lash the two pieces of the broken canoes together to make one short canoe, I have no reason to think it would be safe to put people in this, but I would waterproof 2 packs with the duct tape so that they float, these I lash to the outside of the short canoe with sticks across the top so that the packs add buoyancy to the broken canoe. I will not leave a mess for the next campers. Tents, tarps and flys will help in making the canoe waterproof and able to carry gear, the glue and Duct tape help here.

Shuttle service, the crew out with one fresh paddler between each leg. This will be easiest part of the trip. On the first leg we pull the improvised canoe with the floating packs and gear, this is the hard part make sure it is seaworthy and that all gear makes it out. We might need it if something else like Leadership challenge 3-12 happen.

Ist leg: 3 people (A, B and C), in canoe with A and B paddling, take them to the first portage. Drop off B and C with gear. They begin next portage if required.

2nd leg: Person A returns for guy left behind.

3rd Leg 3: 2 People (A and D) paddle to portage point. Paddler D portages Canoe and A has to just carry himself, he is tired by now.
Rinse and Repeat camp as necessary and enjoy the outdoors.
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03/07/2012 09:01PM  
I'd put it back together using spruce root, birch bark, and pine resin mixed into pitch. One or two days and I'd bet a case of beer I'd have it floating. Pretty? most likely not! But ontop of the water yes. (well I'd like to think so anyway)

Taking a couple of split branches to make new gunwhales with inside and out. Split them down the middle with our knife.

Then drill holes in the hull 3-4 holes next to each other in atleast 3-4 places over about 4 feet in each direction, directly under the existing gunwhales.. Pull spruce root up out of the dirt and split it in the center and clean and soak in the water for awhile..

Then use the split root to lash the new gunwhales to the canoe halves. Tying to the two halves back together this way....

Repeat this process in 3 seperate places along the hull lashing 3 sturdy split sticks to the hull to give it support and hold it's shape. ie. a inner keel, one on each radius. Extending atleast 3-4 feet front to back past the broken section and securely drilled and lashed to the hull.

Then melting down pine sap on a hot rock set on a slope by the fire... Mix in crushed charcoal and deer droppings or crushed up fine vegetable matter for fiber. Mix this into a paste to make pinepitch..

Fill all holes drilled with pitch. Cover whole area with a good piece of birch bark. And lash it to the hull. Then coat all lashing and any bark cracks or splits with pitch....

Put remaining pitch on small sticks and wind into small balls to save for the next few days along your trip. Two days on shore and this work should be complete. And ready to continue your trip without losing anymore days or having to cut it short. If you don't push through big waves/rough water. And just take it easy. I'd bet this method would put you floating about normal. Although it would look really funny... Pitch may need touched up in the evenings or touch up any leaks. By warming the pitch up by the fire and spreading it on the leak..
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03/08/2012 09:33PM  
And if this method failed. I'd make a whole new temporary canoe out of saplings, and lashings. Then cover it with my tarp and lash it to the frame work. Crude but effective. Much like a umiak skin on frame boat. But smaller to make a canoe. I have a 15' very lightweight but strong tarp I use to cover my whole canoe to sleep underneath it. Usually tied up in my bough. And a roll of simulated sinew is always in my pack. Any leaks again would be taken care of with pitch.
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