Canoe

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jgurney
Posts: 515
Joined: 10 May 2009, 8:34am

Re: Canoe

Postby jgurney » 2 Dec 2017, 10:15am

I have an inflatable two-seater kayak which I can transport in my cargo trailer. I've mainly used it on the Thames, but have taken it on the Basingstoke Canal.

On canals, at locks you would usually lift it out and carry it round, unless there is a larger boat going your way and there is space for you to fit in with it. On larger rivers locks often have specially built slipways, sometimes fitted with rollers, etc, or again canoeists take up left-over lock space with other boats.

On the inflatable v hardshell issue, there are lots of factors to consider:

Inflatables win on transport and storage. Inflatables take up a lot less space, and allow getting to distant waters without a car. They also allow for one-way trips, taking the canoe by train or bus and coming back by water, so you don't spend half the day going back where you have already been. (Also useful for inconvenient situations like a time I got caught by the Thames tide at Brentford: I could make no progress as the water was flowing one way as fast as I could paddle the other, so I landed, deflated the canoe and caught a bus).

There are two drawbacks to inflatables. One is that because of their squashy nature they will never have quite the speed or manoeuvrability of a hardshell of the same quality. This may not matter if you do not want to do racing or slalom courses. The other is their vulnerability to the cyclists old enemy, punctures. The usually have multiple air chambers, so a puncture will not mean that you sink on the spot, but a canoe with one chamber flat becomes a cumbersome raft that is an effort to paddle or steer, so they are always best avoided. The main consequence is that an inflatable is not well suited for backwater exploration. A hardshell canoeist can venture off the main channel into creeks and streams where brambles, shark sticks poking up from the bed, and debris such as scrap metal and broken bottles pose too many hazards to inflatables.

kwackers
Posts: 13379
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Canoe

Postby kwackers » 2 Dec 2017, 10:17am

jgurney wrote:There are two drawbacks to inflatables. One is that because of their squashy nature they will never have quite the speed or manoeuvrability of a hardshell of the same quality. This may not matter if you do not want to do racing or slalom courses. The other is their vulnerability to the cyclists old enemy, punctures. The usually have multiple air chambers, so a puncture will not mean that you sink on the spot, but a canoe with one chamber flat becomes a cumbersome raft that is an effort to paddle or steer, so they are always best avoided. The main consequence is that an inflatable is not well suited for backwater exploration. A hardshell canoeist can venture off the main channel into creeks and streams where brambles, shark sticks poking up from the bed, and debris such as scrap metal and broken bottles pose too many hazards to inflatables.

Good points!

PH
Posts: 7385
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
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Re: Canoe

Postby PH » 2 Dec 2017, 12:09pm

jgurney wrote:..shark sticks poking up from the bed,

I'm not going anywhere there's sharks :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol:

jgurney
Posts: 515
Joined: 10 May 2009, 8:34am

Re: Canoe

Postby jgurney » 3 Dec 2017, 10:44pm

PH wrote:
jgurney wrote:..shark sticks poking up from the bed,

I'm not going anywhere there's sharks :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol:


Sorry, should have read sharp sticks - but to the inflatable boat user they are just as much of a menace.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 5535
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Canoe

Postby Tangled Metal » 3 Dec 2017, 11:39pm

Psamathe wrote:
The current star courses are aligned with the Euro Paddle Pass scheme so there is consistency across Europe. Of course the scheme they are now consulting on would break that equivalence!

These days you don't need to do the previous level before doing another level i.e. you can go straight from 1 star to 3 star (I'm not sure about 4 and 5 star thought).

Ian

Personally I don't think aligning with other countries isn't necessarily a good thing. UK paddling always seems a bit different somehow to Europe to me. I think Bcu should tailor their courses to the UK needs. I'm not sure knowing two different boat styles is relevant if you only do whitewater paddling in a kayak.

Doing star awards in my day didn't need to be in order. I certainly didn't. I went out with my club a few times and they said I should do proficiency not one or two start right from the beginning. After a change in their course system the proficiency became 4 star. However it was kind of less useful than 3 star. You needed 3 star for trainee instructor status and often whitewater centres needed 3 star qualification. So I stepped back and got the lower 3 star award.

I found it all pointless in the end. I helped teach kayaking within the clubs I had joined for years without any instructor qualification. Nobody asked me for my paperwork and I worked under instructors and senior instructors up to E2 or 3 examiner status. Besides your kayaking mates judged you on abilities on the river. If you're good enough you got invites for the harder trips. If not you often got encouraged not to go or not even hear about them.

I've not tried inflatable canoes and kayaks (other than on a disabled course I helped in while waiting for the disabled kids to arrive. These were on loan from a quality inflatable manufacturer based in Lancashire. A producer of rafts (leisure and trade use ones) and inflatable kayaks / canoes. They were fun on a reservoir messing about. I'm doubtful the inflatable kayaks are much fun on UK rivers. Not fast paddling on larger rivers. Whitewater they'll be less maneuverable I'm sure. Canoe touring on flattish rivers might be OK

Psamathe
Posts: 10092
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Canoe

Postby Psamathe » 4 Dec 2017, 10:05am

Tangled Metal wrote:.... I'm not sure knowing two different boat styles is relevant if you only do whitewater paddling in a kayak.
.....

I would agree and BCU have been aware of this requirement dissuading people from bothering to do 2* but it's taken them forever to bother to get round to thinking about removing that requirement! (I guess they've had too much to focus on with the racing - their real focus!).

One of the difficulties they have with persuading people to bother to do their training awards is "why bother?" It often costs money, takes time and for the few I know who have bothered - they don't learn skills they didn't already have and regarded the courses as a waste of time and money.

In practice certainly some clubs are very lax about qualifications of supervisors (not relevant to my own club).

I never bothered to do my 2* because I have no desire to spend 1+ days doing capsize drills in a canoe - the extra day costs money and time for a type of boat I've tried and decided is not for me. And I'm told I already have beyond the kayak skills required for the 2* so I'd be just paying the money to be taught and assessed in something I already know to get a bit of paper that I don't need.

BCU have a real challenge and their focus on racing is getting in the way of their addressing that. Everybody I know is only a member of the BCU for the waterways license and would not otherwise join.

Ian

Ruadh495
Posts: 413
Joined: 25 Jun 2016, 11:10am

Re: Canoe

Postby Ruadh495 » 4 Dec 2017, 10:51am

I let my BCU membership lapse years ago. I'd have kept it for the waterways license but there's no waterways around here that are on it. Plenty of canoeing, all on tidal water.

I was never an Instructor, so lapsing isn't a problem. BCU Instructor qualifications are voided if your membership lapses...