16' boats, whitewater, pins and flotatio

Took my 16’ MR Explorer poling Saturday. Got it pinned in a class II rapid when I let it get sideways above a small ledge. Fortunately it was not a real bad pin. With some rope, a pully and a little help from my friends, we got her free. Got a pretty good wrinkle next to the bow seat but no other damage. Love that roylex.

Sunday we did a class II down river run and another Explorer got pinned. This one was ugly with the open side facing into a strong current and the hull wrapped around a good sized rock. It took about six of us and several ropes etc. to free it up with two broken gunnels a broken seat and a lot of wrinkle on the roylex. The good news is the boater was never in danger and the boat was able to float to the takeout.

I had two small end bags for flotation in my Explorer. I’m thinking that with more I might not have had a problem at all.

The other boat did not have any flotation but I have to wonder, from the way it pinned, if flotation would have made much difference?

Typicaly, I’m in a 12’ whitewater boat with 5’ bags in each end. Knock on wood but I’ve rarely seen a pin where I couldn’t just lift one end of the boat to free it.

Poling, I want the area between my stern seat and my center thwart clear. I know some folks who like to go over the center thwart to trim for down stream.

With that in mind does anyone have thoughts on how to set up flotation in a 16’ canoe to minimize pinning and/or the damage from a pin?