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Video, of a guy tipping a canoe over in the middle of a Minnesota Lake

at first my prepareness begins with packing the canoe ...

View attachment 139515 . View attachment 139516

Everything that is stowed and lashed down in the boat next to the buoyancy aids
is a buoyancy aid in the event of capsizing!
I don't lash my gear bags, but prefer to line them as close to water proof as possible. If they are lashed into a canoe, you would really struggle to right the hull again. My thoughts.

If the gear bags float, I can retrieve, after getting the canoe up righted, and me back inside.

Truthfully I've yet to capsize a loaded canoe.
Have you ?
With the airbags, I can see that would be a tremendous aid !
I have posted a version of this before, but it seems appropriate to do so here again.

Kathleen and I, since we began wilderness tripping in 1990, have always used a spray deck. We tied our gear in only on our very first day in the Rock Gardens on the Nahanni River, as did the other two couples. None of us ever tied in again. Once when I was tracking up a Class III rapid on the way go the Coppermine River in 1995, with Carey at the bow and me at the stern, our canoe overturned. I belayed the canoe to shore. Nothing fell out. Even our tea mugs were still floating in the bottom of the canoe. Unsnapping the spray deck made it easy to get the packs out, and up onto shore. It was also easy on days with multiple portages to not be continuously tying and untying packs.

Kathleen and I have never capsized on a wilderness trip. We don‘t know how hard or easy it might be to get back into a capsized canoe with a spray deck. On lakes we generally paddle close to shore, and self rescue after a capsize should be straight forward. A capsize in a rapid would certainly be much more challenging. Our tripping days are now over, so we’ll never know the answer. Besides, we don’t capsize. I’m opposed to capsizing on wilderness trips, particularly since we mostly tripped by ourselves.
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I wonder how appropriate normal canoes are for motorized use.

Normal canoes are generally fine to use with motors. One of the first motor canoes was listed in the 1905 Old Town catalog as shown below. They do require some extra thought, care, planning, and practice. The more common approach is to use a motor bracket which can help concentrate the weight closer to the middle of the canoe. This generally leads to a tremendous increase in the stability. Your mileage may vary...


I wonder how appropriate normal canoes are for motorized use.

The very first canoe I ever bought was a Pelican tandem, of normal shape, in San Jose, California. I forget the length, but I had to put it together. I also bought a motor mount and a 2hp Mercury outboard motor.

So . . . my first and highly anticipated use of my new toys was a day outing on a reservoir near San Jose. I put the motor mount behind the stern seat where it belonged. I put the motor on the motor mount. I pushed the canoe out into 18" of water. I stepped into the canoe. I sat on the stern seat. The bow began pointing toward the sky. The stern sank within one inch of going underwater. And I was only about 165 lbs in those days.

The cheapo Pelican went back to the (powerboat) dealer, who was at least grateful that I had saved him the trouble of assembling the . . . toy boat. I kept the motor and motor mount.

I bought a new 16' Mad River Royalex Explorer for $650 from Jeff Jones at Western Mountaineering in San Jose. I used the motor on that canoe several times. Although there was much more freeboard than the Pelican if I sat on the stern seat, the Explorer was till much too stern heavy. I ended up sitting on the wide central seat I had installed for solo paddling and added a DIY extension onto the outboard motor handle. That made the trim much better and allowed the canoe to go faster because the improved trim lengthened the waterline.
I’m opposed to capsizing on wilderness trips, particularly since we mostly tripped by ourselves.
Exactly. Yard sales are no fun when nobody else is around.

I wonder how appropriate normal canoes are for motorized use.
I briefly used a 36 lb thrust electric trolling motor on my We-No-Nah (18 footish) tandem. It didn't do badly but I found that the hassle of carrying the motor and battery to the launch was more hassle than it was worth. Then again, I actually enjoy paddling a canoe so YMMV...
This is always an option:
Nope. They've never said why but Fascistbook isn't an option for me after they disabled my account. For the most part, I don't miss it as it was quickly becoming an advertisement-filled echo chamber where dissenting opinions weren't allowed. (although it is harder to promote a business without a presence there and I can't shop Marketplace for canoes except by proxy)
I've seen this video before. He is making some bad decisions for sure but I bet this experience kicked up his sea awareness a few notches. I have yet to tip over in any serious situation but there has been a few instances where I have made bold decisions that could have ended really bad. One of the worst was the decision to round a 1/2 mile headland as it was getting dark. This was up in the north Atlantic, arctic Norway where the sea is open to the south-west until you reach Brazil. Sea was calm but it was starting to rain and I decided to round this headland to get back home. The headland runs straight for about 1/2 mile and the cliff is like a polished rock wall that comes straight up out of the sea. The wind kicked up from one second to the next and so did the waves. So far so good, but the waves quickly grew bigger and started to bounce back out to sea from the cliff and things became very unpredictable. I had the wind coming against me from the side and the rain started pouring down. It quickly became darker. I was in my JW Kite with which I'm still not that familiar since I finished it earlier in the summer of 23. I couldn't go ashore because there was nothing but vertical cliff face and I didn't want to turn around in the heavy wind and risk getting a stern hook on top of all this. I decided to push on as hard as I could as I was almost half way. The sea was bouncing up and down under me in a matter that was totally unpredictable. The waves weren't moving from any direction but more like boiling, just straight up and down. I focused on "feeling the boat" because usually things might look bad around you but the actual felt movement in the boat isn't all that bad. This time it was pretty hairy though. The hull was moving violently from side to side at times and came down and landed in the through of the waves with heavy reverberating bangs. I trusted the hull to withstand this beating but felt really unsure if I was going to make it without flipping. As I struggled on I had no plan on what to do if I flipped so my only plan was to make it past the headland, which I did, but it was a close shave. So with that, I feel for this guy who capsized in the lake and anyone else who puts their canoe and themselves in a bad spot. It can happen fast. Glad he was saved and that all was well in the end.

This picture is from the start of that stretch. The headland is not visible from here but is out to the right there.Str01.jpg
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I had a similar experience in an Osprey. We had been cutting portages all day, and everyone in the crew was very tired, so prone to making bad choices. We were on the north shore of Ara Lake, and needed to get to the south shore, a distance of about 2 miles. The wind was blowing from the north, so we were in the lee. I paddled about a half mile to check things out, and the waves looked fine. I guess it's hard to see waves a mile away.

We started across in three canoes, and by the time we hit the middle of the lake, the waves were so big that when a canoe beside me went into the trough, I could no longer see it. I speculate they were rolling around 5 feet high. Fortunately, they were quite far apart, so it was a matter of surfing crests and racing down the side, then repeating the procedure over and over. I knew that if any of the canoes went over, there was no way to rescue them, would have been impossible even for a motor boat.

I didn't take long to get across, under a half an hour, but I was pretty sure something bad was going to happen. We were thrown upon the beach when we landed, and I literally kissed the ground.

So I'm sure we have all made dodgy decisions, but at least we didn't post them on social media and tried to solicit funds so that we could create the next Darwin Award entry.
Water and weather are very beautiful and also very powerful and should not be underestimated.

If you treat them with the necessary respect and attention, all is well. But - woe betide you if you don't ...
I am defintiely opposed to capsizes in loaded canoes on wilderness trips, but it has happened several times.
Once on the John Day River in Oregon my brother and I got completely swamped in very large hay stacks, but we kept the boat upright and paddled ashore with the boat completely full of water.
I am defintiely opposed to capsizes in loaded canoes on wilderness trips, but it has happened several times.
Once on the John Day River in Oregon my brother and I got completely swamped in very large hay stacks, but we kept the boat upright and paddled ashore with the boat completely full of water.
I've done the exact same thing on the exact same river. We managed to sit in a swamped boat and paddle it to shore before the next bend. Somewhere I have a picture of some bemused cows watching us bail the boat out on shore.
My worst was heading out into the Quetico in a tandem with a friend. We were last getting going and the three solos headed across instead of taking the long route along the shore. Mid-May and the ice was hanging off the vehicles from the all night drive up. About 28F with the wind kicking up. Just as I got there the yell went up. "Man in the water." The solos were useless to help in the heavy waves and headed to an island to off load. As I got close to our paddler clinging to packs and his canoe I cautioned him to grab our canoe but to be careful to not pull us over. With him hanging on and legs under the canoe we got to a island downwind in about 10 or 15 minutes. He kept hold of his clothes bag so stripped fast and reclothed. The outfitter there took over and checked him for responses. All seemed OK but as a precaution she took us to the mainland with a houseboat and the emergency room let him go after a few hours of observation. If the wind had not been blowing in toward that island it would have been a different ending!