Getting thrown off a horse--or canoe

When I used to ride in BFE, I used to have a lead rope going from the horse to my belt. I did a drop loop and tucked it into my belt and left the tail end sticking out about a foot or so. I did this in case my horse dumped me (which happened a few times), I could grab that rope with my left hand as I was going over, thus avoiding a long walk back or saving me in case of injury.

WW canoe people seem to like a single rope, front to back, so when you go, you can grab that. I so do not like that as the rope and the canoe make a loop and loops get caught on things. What I do is do what I did with the horses, one rope at each end, then hanging in the middle using that same ‘pull loop’ I used. This way when I go over, I can grab one and be wiht my canoe.

Any thoughts on this?

What is BFE?

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I’ve whitewater canoed over much of this country, from Class II to Class V, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone running a rope from bow to stern. Have you got any more info or pictures of this setup? Curious to learn about it, because it sounds like a horrible idea.

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I’ve never seen whitewater boats with any such lines, only sea kayaks. Different animal in a different environment.

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Nor have I. I know some whitewater open boaters who eschew painters of any kind on their boats for fear of entanglement.

The Canadians and Brits seem to favor a fairly long painter stowed in a bag secured at the stems of their boats, long enough to use for lining the boat through a rapid.

My practice has always been to use a painter about the length of the boat itself or slightly longer, attached to a grab loop running through the hull itself. The painter is looped under a double shock cord that runs through the deck plate. On boats that do not have a deck plate large enough to secure a coiled painter on, I loop the painter under the cordage of my flotation bag cage between the inflated bags and the cordage in such a way that I can pull out as much length of painter as I might need.

I do know some very experienced whitewater open boaters who attach only a very short length of painter to the stems of their boats that hangs just above the surface of the water. This is just enough length that they can grab onto with both hands if they swim and need to self rescue the canoe or enough to use to tow a swimmer safely into an eddy.

A painter is very useful to tie the boat up to when needed but also for self rescue. I understand the concern regarding entanglement, but with the painter looped and secured under a tight double shock cord it will stay in place even it the boat gets tossed around in a big hole. I have used a painter many times for self rescue. If swimming with the boat I pull loose only enough painter to be able to easily hang onto the boat. Pushing a swamped canoe out of strong current into an eddy is not easy. It is often easier to pull the painter out, swim into the eddy, get your footing and then pull the boat in after you.

I would advise anyone using painters to avoid tying any knots or loops in the ends of their painters. They can and do get caught up in rock sieves which can hang the boat up in a place you can’t get to. Keep the grab loops short enough that you can’t get your whole hand through the loop. Likewise with any loop knots like bowlines or figure eights that you use to tie the painter to the grab loop.

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Okay for lakes. Forget about it in moving water.

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Bad idea in spades. Any rope or wire fixed at both ends presents a twist knot danger if something like an arm or leg is put across it. Ask any dead animal hanging with a snared leg from a wire fence.

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Bum F*ck Egypt, aka in the middle of nowhere, waaaay out there

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Pblanc has it. I’ve seen 2, different people in different places. The only thing I can think of is they saw a canoe set up with one front and back, but for transport, they tied them together. Or bought one that was set up like that and they just kept it that way. One line was sun bleached so it was kept knotted.

I could see these used in the open water as people rarely wear a PFD and if they go out and there’s a wind, the canoe might get away from them. For people alone, solo doing rivers that have some WW I can see it, but not tied together as like the horse rides, it may be a looong walk out.

I did take a pic of one of them, but don’t know if I can find it. I’ll see what I can find in my bazillion file picture folder…or surf the net to find something.

A young man died trying to run these tubes when his canoe got pinned and his foot got tangled in the painter line.

Pratt Dam

They had to bring in a crane with a huge metal plate to block the tube and get him out. Extreme example, and they shouldn’t have been trying to run those tubes anyway (there is an easy portage), but after that I took the painter lines off my whitewater boats, and off the stern of my other boats. The fewer lines I have to get tangled up in the better.

I’ve thought about taking them off the bow of my flatwater boats too, but I do use them to tie down the boat on the car, and they are nice to have when you take a break,

By the way, the kid who died was paddling with his father who flushed through fine - can’t imagine…

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That pic reminds me of one of the reasons for trekking rivers–you find really interesting and/or beautiful places that you wouldn’t get on foot.

It’d be interesting to know more about the setup of those lines that kid had. If the end is just flying free and have no stop knot at the end, it shouldn’t catch on anything unless it became a series of loops and one was twisted and a part of him got into that. But that’d have to be a long line not to mention being very the odds very stacked against something like that. But people do win the lottery.

The loops at each end of the canoe would be a higher probablity of getting snagged on something as some of them can be bigger than need be, IMHO.

the best way to carry bow and stern painter lines, is in a tight coil bungeed corded to the deck.

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As always the exchange of info is so thought provoking.

I have bow and stern painters and am always in slow water or lakes. I find them both very useful and have them stored coiled under the retention for my air bags. I like the front in my canoe run back to reach from the cockpit area to grab on exit.

This thread has me rethinking how I store them. I have a empty area in front of the air bags and the opening where the carrying handle is. I think I will use that area as a storage locker for the painters and just have enough out to access the end in the rear and run along the side to grab in the front.

The least sticking out the less likely catching them on anything.

I also now attach them to my grab loops but will attach them to the handle. That way hitting something with the bow couldn’t snag them. If I need to line using them and they are too high it wouldn’t be hard to move them down. Or if I’m using them to drag the canoe out of the water the handles seem strong enough.

If you take a swim you might find that with the canoe inverted it can be difficult to reach your painter if it is attached to a carry handle or carry thwart. If you can secure the coiled painters under snug shock cord loops there will very little painter exposed where it is attached to your grab loop.

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I wouldn’t even trust that. A free length of line can get wedged between logs/rocks/… (just like a jam cleat used on sailboats).

That’s the way I have been doing it.

I bring them straight up and back coiled under a tight strap.

I do have a loop on them. Loop or knot seems to be the same IMO I also have a small float just below the loop. It helps finding it in the water and gives a little weight to cast it if needed.

I don’t do any fast water.

I have heard webbing is a better choice because it’s less likely to snag, easier to flat coil under a bungee, less twisty, etc.

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Strapping would work ok. I have trouble getting knots out of it though. I use them a lot getting it out of the water and up banks. So mine are good size line.

I’ve never seen a canoe with such lines.

What I have seen in an instructional video from NOC as well as on solo boats of several WW instructors is different: The painter is tied to the grab loop at the stem, then brought to the center of the boat running on top of the bag cage. It is then looped and loosely tucked under the bag cage from the center with the end sticking out a good bit.

The explanation given to me was that when you dump in a solo boat both you and the end of the painter are in the center so it’s easier and quicker for you to grab than if the painters were secured to the ends of the boat.

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