Upstream end in first

-- Last Updated: May-04-07 1:58 PM EST --

Wha Ho, Pilgrims;

Figger'd ah'd jus' throw tis little observation in... Amazin' how many new folks ta paddlin' movin' water do de opposite, but waan landin' on shore in movin' water, bring de upstream end of de boat in first. Tis way de current won't swing yer boat around an' maybe dump yer in de drink. Sorry, no shootin' irons involved.

Fat Elmo

Are you saying to bring the bow into
shore first? That is assuming your paddling downstream, going foward with the bow in front of you. Are you saying to “steer” the front of your boat onto the shore and then bring the stern in?

wat ever end

– Last Updated: May-04-07 12:44 PM EST –

of yer boat is upstream waan yer come inta shore be it bow or stern - doesn't matter - comes in first. If yer be pointed upstream wit yer bow, dat should go in first. If yer pointed downstream wit yer bow - yer stern comes in first.


So it’s doing a 360 degee turn as you
come into shore and the “back” will just come in on it’s own?

Don’t quite

– Last Updated: May-04-07 1:01 PM EST –

understand dat last statement - 360 degree? Wat ah'm gittin' at is dat when yer pulling inta shore either yer pointed downstream wit yer bow or if yer paddlin' upstream ye are pointed upstream wit yer bow umless yer backpaddlin'. De upstream end - lets say it's yer stern if yer be comin' inta shore paddlin' wit yer bow downstream - comes in first. If yer paddlin' upstream yer bow comes in first.


That would be an eddy turn.
What Fat Elmo is saying is, if you are padling downstream, and want to pull in to shore, then back-paddle so that the stern hits shore first. If you want to turn the canoe around (as in an eddy turn), that is fine too, if you have the balance thing going for you in fast current. Just be sure your bow is pointed upstream and you are stable before you bring the boat into shore. Otherwise, if you just plow onto land with the bow before it is pointed upstream, the stern swings around and you become somewhat unstable.

Of course, if there ain’t no current, it don’t matter what end of the boat you come to shore on.


Why not just turn your bow upstream
as you approach your landing? Doesn’t take a stroke of genius to figure out that it is safer to make landing into the stream than with it.

We sailors have known this forever when docking under sail, but dealing with wind instead of stream flow. No matter what the direction of the wind relative to the dock, turn into the wind just before you make it to the dock, so you can luff off and lose headway. (easier to draw it than type it)

Yeah but…
What about when you’re sailing on the river and the current is flowing south while the wind blows north!?!

Should I just turn my boat inside out?


Oh, I got it now. It seems like the
natural way of doing it. It’s what I do a lot of the time, depending on conditions. Thanks.

Yer welcome.

– Last Updated: May-04-07 1:53 PM EST –

Mr. Suntan;

Ah' knows it be common sense ta paddlers wit a little movin' water experience, but it be somethin' dat newbies may not be aware of. Seen it happen on many occasions. they land downstream end inta shore first, current grabs upstream end which is stickin' out inta de current, swings it out an' over they go. Reckon'd ah'd jus' post it in case they weren't aware of it. Should have made it clearer dat wat ah' wuz referrin' ta wuz de actual landing on shore. See ya on de Delaware one o' these days.


Which ever is stronger
If you’ve been noticing a strong current flowing opposite of the wind (I guess it could happen on a river, but I don’t sail rivers), before you make your approach to your landing, point your bow into the wind and stall out. The wind should be pushing you backwards. If the current is pushing you forward instead, you know it will be the dominant force when you make your landing.

Clarification please
So are you suggesting ferrygliding in to shore? What if there happens to be an eddy where I want to get out (which hopefully there is). I’m gonna get bounced back into the current by the fence line on the eddy.

Not for those of us with a bone on bone
left knee.

For me the starboard side always has to be parallel to the shore, but for what it is worth, I always like to have the bow against the current when coming into shore on a river.




– Last Updated: May-04-07 3:50 PM EST –

S ^
H c
O u_B
R r___O
E r_____A
L r_______T
I n
N t
E ^

“Doesn’t take a stroke of genius” (?)

– Last Updated: May-04-07 4:09 PM EST –

The quoted statement is true for anyone who's been on the water a while and thinks about what's going on, but if you've ever watched a new paddler, or even a big group of new paddlers, they invariably do exactly what Fat Elmo is saying not to do: crash into the shore and get spun by the current. Heck, most of the casual paddlers in our local club have been doing that for years and still haven't figured out why it's so awkward, even though they've seen others do it the "right" way numerous times.

Here's another observation. Inexperienced tandem canoers exit the boat this way: the bow paddler steps out and drags the boat way up the bank, so that the center of the boat is well out of the water. When the stern paddler trys to climb out, he finds himself on a virtual tightrope because the boat is so precariously balanced on the tip of the bow and the narrow bit of stern that's in the water. These paddlers will do that over and over again for years until somebody points out that leaving the boat in the water, supported by water (or with one edge on the shore), makes the boat a lot more stable for climbing out.

I think your arrows are backward
Are those arrows that show which way the current goes? If so, you are landing the boat at the opposite angle that you should be.


– Last Updated: May-04-07 5:33 PM EST –

I am one of the newbies, and I paddle with other newbies, so, I don't get the benefit of someone else's experience. Keep those little jewels of information coming!

I guess having gotten into paddling

– Last Updated: May-07-07 12:39 PM EST –

after having been a sailor for a long time, I just can't relate to new paddlers. I think there are few people who have never been on a sailboat before that would rent or buy one and try it out alone. Most people start out sitting in the boat and are allowed to man the tiller, or take in a sheet, until they get the feeling for it. In sailing no one is a skipper their first day on the water, but that is exactly what happens in paddling for many - many think "how hard can it be?" Just a cultural difference between sailing, which has a strong connection to the traditions of the sea, and paddling, which doesn't so much.

stern always exits first
The stern always exits the canoe first. If the bow exits first the weight is unbalanced and the sternman risks a greater chance of taking a dump whether the canoe is left in the water or pulled on shore.

Stern exits, steadies canoe, then bow exits.

Do what you need to do
There are a number of variations on FE’s method. In every case you need SOME speed through the water in the upstream direction, so technically, this is a ferry. Your actual travel direction relative to the riverbank can be upstream, downstream, or stationary, but relative to the water, your boat is moving to at least some degree against the current.

If there’s a strong eddy along the shore so that the current there is reversed, you’d angle your boat the other way, but in that situation you probably want to combine your landing with an eddy turn or the current reversal will try to do that for you anyway. The ferry principle applies no matter what you do, so just adapt accordingly.