Lining a Rapid

I’ve seen this referenced a couple of times in threads lately, related to the many uses of painters. Can someone give me the Dummy’s Guide to Paddling description of this.

To most people, “lining” is …

– Last Updated: Apr-01-07 11:37 PM EST –

... holding the rope attached to one end of the boat while the boat drifts through a spot they don't want to try paddling through. I don't call that "lining", just "walking the boat". "Lining" the boat, the way I understand the term, is making use of both the bow and stern lines to steer the boat in and out around obstacles, in much the same way you steer a kite that has two tethers. By this process, the boat holds position quite a bit downstream from where you stand/walk along the bank, but how far the canoe is positioned from shore is under your direct control as you change the length of the two lines to change the angle of the boat relative to the current. You can control the course the boat takes whether you are simply controling its downstream drift or dragging it upstream. In strong current, you want your lines attached as low as possible, with the best and most fool-proof attachment being right on the bottom of the hull, using a harness attachement ("harness" is just a fancy name for a two-point rope attachment that runs from one gunwale to the other under the hull, with a knot or loop dead-center on the bottom). With a harness attachement, the boat can never flip if caught by a really strong cross-current. Any attachement point above the water line CAN flip the boat, and an attachement point at the top of the boat is LIKELY to flip the boat in strong cross current. If all you do is use one rope to guide the boat's drift, the boat will trail with the current and flipping is not an issue.

Great explanation
thank you.