An Eventful Upper Millers Run

We got plenty of rescue and boat wrangling practice yesterday including from a couple of young guys who thought that rec kayaks with no skirts or flotation were OK on a somewhat remote class II-III run.

I felt bad for the swimmers but found the practice useful and instructive.

Open boaters, if you are going to put painters on your boat, PLEASE make sure that they can be deployed quickly and easily. I got very frustrated twice when a painter on a lose boat was tangled in the float bag lashing.

My apologies to anyone who heard me cursing. I was not mad at you.

A swamped rec yak in a class II+ rapid has surprising majesty, not to mention mass. I opted to stay clear until it stopped on it’s own. Lucky for the owner it pinned, lightly, with the cockpit down above a nice eddy near the shore.

Apparently the grab loops on rec yaks are not strong enough to be usefull in even a light pin. Fortunately Dan had a huge biner on his throwbag. I was able to clip that around the cockpit coaming and Dan and the owners bud were able to free and recover the boat like they were landing a fish. I always thought that huge biner was goofy. Now I’m looking for one.

It’s tough to tuck a painter under your knee in a decked boat. Another reason why open boats are better.

With a little luck you can tow an OC1 across a wide II+ rapid holding the painter with your paddle in your bottom hand. Still I see a rescue vest with cowtail in my future.

A question for you decked boaters. You’ve towed a boat to shore. But the eddies are tiny with just enough current that you can’t quite secure the damned thing. In an open boat I’d jump out and tie the runaway off. What do I do in a decked boat?

Loops on WW boats are stronger

– Last Updated: Apr-10-11 9:49 AM EST –

Not sure this is a whole answer, but the loops on our WW boats are considerably stronger in terms of how they attach etc than in many long boats. I suspect your question is part of the reason. There are also bolted in metal bars on many WW boats - intended to lock the boat to a rack, but probably good for tying off as well.

The one thing - I can hop out of an open boat a lot easier than my little Inazone. The latter is a more careful extraction until I have been in her several times. People in creekers may have an easier time there. :-)