Getting in and out of the boat: Canoe vs Pack Boat

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For wilderness canoeing situations, above and/or below rapids, very rocky campsite shorelines, etc. I was wondering how one compares to the other as I have zero experience with pack boats.

Thanks,

Gerald
 
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I pretty much get in a canoe/pack the same way. I have an aversion to standing in the boat and then sitting and wince whenever I see some one do it, I will place a hand on each gunnel and move my torso onto the seat.

The boat doesn't move much and there is little chance of tipping .. plus very little stress on the hull IMO.

Brian
 
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place paddle across gunwales in back of you. keeping pressure on the paddle on both sides but bracing it against the bottom swing feet out and get up. Reverse for getting in.
 
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Depends on the Pack Boat. Hornbecks and Slipstreams are a little fragile and the builders have put out a few you-tube videos on how to enter and exit by not pressing down on the gunnels. I had an early Compass pack boat that had creases on one side from having buckled. I have never had any such issues with my Swift 13.6 or Placid pack boats and enter and exit as I would any canoe as Cruiser describes.
 
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I have two Placid Boatwork canoes (a Rapid Fire & Shadow) and when using a dock I enter them like you would a kayak; i.e. paddle behind me across the gunwales the boat with a transfer of my weight from dock to seat. Due to some shoulder issues getting in is easy enough since gravity moves the process along. Unfortunately, the reverse process makes me look a lot like a walrus beaching itself; not pretty. For that reason, I prefer to launch/land from shore whenever possible. With that I place the canoe in water deep enough where I can stand with one leg in the water while controlling the canoe. This allows me to place my butt down without the canoe sliding out from underneath me. When I get back I slowly approach the shore with my one leg over the gunwale. As soon as I can reach the bottom, I stop the boat and lift myself out using my paddle for stability if I need it.

Not sure if that all makes sense but hopefully you get the idea. It's just one way of doing this. I'm sure you'll find something that works well for you.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
 
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Not sure if this is similar to Snapper's method, but wth the boat floating in fairly shallow standable water I will often enter by backing up to the canoe (Hornbeck or Rapidfire in my case), and gently lower my butt onto the seat while both legs are still over the gunwale with feet still in the water, then swing my legs in after my butt is securely planted. This a favored entry method from beaver dams. It may take some practice, as you have to not sit back too hard or far, or you will continue to roll out on the other side and get totally wet. Take my word for it.:( Otherwise, but only with the Hornbeck, which is the only canoe I have that I may use a double blade paddle with.... I place the paddle across gunwales in front of the seat, with one blade gently resting on the shore just enough to stabilize the canoe as I tip it (very gently) toward shore. Then I step in on the centerline as I would with any other canoe. A modified version of this works when using a single blade too.
 
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Thanks all for your replies.

I was really wondering about portage take outs where the current is very strong, trying to pull you passed the landing and all things have to be done quickly and without spilling. Situations you can meet in the backcountry at high water.

G.
 
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A fellow guide instructor (a good "friend", really) often likes to make the point of turning the discussion over to me during canoe instruction to describe or demonstrate the proper way to enter or exit a canoe from a deep water sharp rocky shore in both current and high wind. The answer is "wing it". :eek:
 

Glenn MacGrady

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It's easier to enter and especially to exit any paddlecraft that has raised seats, such as traditional open canoes, compared to the same shape paddlecraft that has a seat on the bottom, such as a kayak or open-deck kayak such as a pack canoe. In addition, given that most pack canoes are specifically designed to be paddled from the bottom with a kayak paddle and technique, they are typically shorter, narrower and tippier with perhaps less free-board than traditional open canoes.

Of course, as described by others above, one can learn to enter and exit a pack canoe with practice. But, to give a black-white answer to the simple question, my experience is that, in general, it's more difficult and clumsy especially for older, heavier, weaker or out-of-condition folks. Their main virtue is lighter weight -- or speed, for the one's designed for racing.
 
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I have owned and tripped a lot in both pack boats and hung seat canoes. For me a canoe with a high hung seat is much easier to get in and out out of especially where the water is deep next to where you are entering or exiting. I can put my feet under me to raise up to step out onto the shore and lower myself onto the seat getting in using my leg muscles. In shallow water in a pack boat i swing my legs over the side, touch bottom, and lean foreword and stand up. Turtle
 
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There is also the walrus roll over method but it needs to be done fast in moving anything.. Roll over on your belly and get on all fours kneeling and step out. And pray someone with a camera is NOT taking a picture of your butt. You can climb in this way too.
 
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Entering a canoe at 70yrs old, as I am, is more of a challenge, than ever !
I wear knee boots, wade in as far as I can. place my right foot in the center, (entry from the Port side), with bent knee, grab the gunnels, slip my rear onto the seat. With my Left hand on a paddle, braced against the bottom, of lake or stream, to steady, I raise my Left foot , shift a little for comfort, and I'm off.

I find this keeps my center of gravity low, and minimizes tipping over !

Exiting. Left foot out, spin to the left. If on solid footing, Put my weight on left foot, again holding the gunnel with my left and stand.

Getting out always seems more difficult !

This may not be much help Gerald ! But at least you know you have company fighting this Getting Older thing !

Good Luck ! And keep that Paddle wet and your Seat dry !
 
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being able to enter/exit in deep water or a dock really opens up paddling and campsite opertunities.We paddle many local spots in hung seat solo canoes that others are not able to take advantage of. this type of entry/exit is possible in any type of craft, but for me easier with a hung seat. I have a kayaker friend that can do it from a 4' bank, but he's the exception. Turtle
 
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I have a pack boat that I have used on a couple of extended wilderness trips and I treat it like I would my Kevlar canoes when it come to loading/unloading - floating in the water. I also step into it, holding on to the gunnels. Those boats are very stable and strong. Of course, I’m only 115 lbs dripping wet, but my paddle partners are usually in the 170 lb range and they step in as well with no adverse consequences.
 
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The link to the video by Teaching Drum Outdoor School, posted by Duct Tape above, is interesting, as are the comments, which are overly snarky.

I got to say, I really liked, in principle, the technique demonstrated for getting in and out of a pack boat to a low flat shoreline with a steep drop off and not much current. To get out, put hand on shoreline, put your outside foot in the center of the boat, stand up and step right out with your inside foot first. "Don't touch the boat [gunwales]!" To get in, bend down, put hand where foot is, put outside foot in center of boat, and step right in and sit down while balancing/leaning on arm/hand. He makes it look easy. Starts about the 2:00 minute mark.

No footbraces and sit crosslegged. Looks like he is using the pack canoes mostly in fairly small, tame waters.

I've always assumed one is much better off with double blade paddle for pack boats. This fellow's single stick paddles are unusual: Short shafts with big, fat blades. He calls them beavertail and ottertail, but I do not think most would agree. I would take a second look at pack canoes if I thought I could efficiently and practically single stick 'em.
 
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