Dry exit

May sound simple, but for me it’s not…with early spring paddling & ice cold water that I’d rather NOT get into…

Advice sought for techniques for getting out of the boat without getting wet.

Both for slowly sloping areas, where the water is too shallow, and for deeper areas where there might be a rock/log/edge of the river or whatever to brace against and get out.


Val in CT

boots and platforms
Two ways at least, Muckluch quicktie boots by Chota and a two by four min platform you place into the water and put in trunk. A number of canoers locally use this method very nicely.

Hopefully you are wearing immersion protection. They make neoprene dry socks and farmer johns are cheap at overtons and could save your life. Every year good paddlers die on a warm day in cold water.

Boots plus technique
To keep your feet dry, Chota Mukluks or something similar.

To keep from tipping the boat over, technique. In shallow areas, just pull your legs out on each side simultaneously while still sitting in the kayak, then stand up straddling the boat. Unless you have a small cockpit, this should be very easy to to do. If the cockpit isn’t quite wide enough to pull both legs toward you simultaneously, pull one leg up, then cock the hip and pull the 2nd leg up. Just make sure you put both legs down outside the hull at the same time.

In steeply sloped areas, use your paddle placed crossways behind you as a brace. Every kayaking how-to book has pictures of how to do this. If you take a lesson, it is one of the first things they teach you.

for a dock or ledge…
i’m no expert kayaker but i use an ocean cockpit boat that i regularly launch from a heaving deep water dock on a messy bit of water–so i know a thing or two about dicey ingress/egress.

think about what your dominant hand is first. if you’re right handed, obviously try to enter and exit from that side.

if possible try to work from the lee side of the ledge, dock or log–the wind may want to blow you away from the dock but water will be calmer. you can always toss a short length of line over the ledge to grab the boat once you’re out if it drifts.

to lift myself from the small cockpit i always carefully place my outboard hand behind me on the back of the coaming at centerline. the dominant hand goes on the ledge or dock. i then carefully lift myself using equalized pressure on both hands.

from there it’s all a blur as i extract one leg and then another from inside the boat–i’m assuming you have a normal sized cockpit and don’t have to fuss with such things.

the hand behind you at center back of the coaming is really the key.

my $0.02, your results may vary…

Beach it!! Like a landing craft…
This should put your cockpit area in less than ankle deep water or less.

Paddle easy,