getting up steep banks

Just wondering if anyone has used a pulley system to help get a canoe up steep banks along rivers. Where I live the local river’s banks are mud and the river is not really accessable except kind of at rural bridges where the banks are about 15 feet up and have a sharp angle. I can scramble up these, but the canoe is a lot of work pulling with a rope and balancing myself and the canoe. I’ve been thinking about a pulley with a tree and going at it. Might be easier. Anyone have thoughts? Easier landinds are not really an option in most places.

Sounds Like a Little Mechanical
help would make landings a whole lot easier. I am not sure a single pulley would be of any benifit. However you would get a mechanical advantage if you used two pulleys, and would be able to apply the same work on the canoe with half the effort put in by you.


We have used pulleys
to get boats up steep banks in the past. On a few occassions we have opted to just rig one pulley and use a vehicle to pull boats up. Works just fine. We were able to get up this steep hill a few years ago with 10 boats in about 45 minutes.

Two pulleys are easier. Carpet under the
boat helps things slide better and protects the boat. Also, the carpet keeps erosion down because your not tearing up the bank. Keep a strip of carpet rolled up in the vehicle and use it when you need it.

One pulley will do it if …

– Last Updated: Feb-20-06 3:18 PM EST –

... the pulley is attached to the boat and you do the pulling from the top of the bank. Chances are you have to climb the bank first no matter what sort of pulley system you use, so staying up there to do the pulling might be okay. Doing it this way would require one-half the amount of pulling force as having no pulley at all, but of course you'll need twice as much rope.

Using two pulleys, one anchored to the top of the bank (along with the far end of the rope), and other to your boat, would require the same effort (one-half the total pulling force), but you'd have the advantage of being able to crawl alongside the boat to work it over rough spots, in case that's a problem.

A small block and tackle may work. You
may also want to look at come-a-longs. I’ve seen them with straps rather than cable. The lever on the come-a-long should help. The main problem will be keeping the boat upright while pulling it up, they tend to twist.

Having the pulley
down at the boat and on a swivel keeps the boat upright most of the time. Yo do need to ‘walk’ them up sometimes though.

Winch on truck

– Last Updated: Feb-20-06 4:07 PM EST –

I want a winch, one of those winches that mounts to a class 3 hitch so I can use it on the front or the back of my truck... that sucker would come in handy for many things.

Not a cheap solution, however...

come along
Check at a ranch supply for a come along that uses rope. Mine has an open spool and will feed any length of 1/2" rope.

Try an electric boat winch. Much
cheaper, but not too good for more than the kayak. You would have to figure out a way to mount it, though.

A ratcheting tie down
Would have the advantage of stopping the boat from slidng all the way back down if you lose your grip