Canoe safety advice

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Canoe safety advice

Postby Versatilehunt » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:11 pm

All,

Two years in to the sport, and I usually walk in, with the dog, any place I can on the shore after December. Usually go around Milford and Stratford (easy to figure out). I am reluctant on taking the canoe due to reading here or conversation that one needs to be careful of the currents. My thought is, if i head out and plan to exit when the tide is coming in or slack I shoud be in pretty good shape.? My dog is steady in there and a kyak may be to small for us, would like to move up to a motor for the canoe or a small boat but I don't whant to be caught up in trouble. Oh yeah, been up in RI and wind was the biggest issue on the ponds.
Thank You
Any experienced advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby native brookie » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:19 pm

Now is not the time to be learning. It's cold, there is ice, and you'll be wearing a lot of clothes. Start next July on a nice windless day when you won't be upset taking a swim. If you find you are comfortable with dog and a load of hunting gear in the summer, try some early season hunts. By the time next cold season rolls around, you'll know whether you are comfortable or not.

I'd suggest forgetting the motor. It won't get a canoe any place a paddle won't, but it will add a lot of weight and instability, unless your canoe is something like a Grand Laker or other big square stern that as designed to be run under power.
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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby Citori16 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:34 pm

Good advice there for sure. Start in the summer. Use that time to get familiar with the area and to get in shape if you need.

I had a good reply but the system logged me out before I could submit. I'll try to remember it.

Wider is better. I have an Old Town Katahdin which almost 4' by 12'. Occasionally I'll use pontoons, but they are a pain in the *** if there is brush in the water. With 2 adults, decoys guns and a dog I can get up to about 4 mph with no wind or current paddling by myself.

Once in a while I'll put a motor on it, but I keep the battery toward the front to maintain balance. You have to register the canoe if you put a motor on it in CT, costs about $7 a year.

PFD's are a must. If I'm by myself, I'll use a foam one so I can swim if need be. The auto-inflatables tend to restrict movement other than back paddling.

A waterproof, floatable VHS radio is a good idea, or at least a waterproofed phone tethered to you.

Make a float plan and stick to it. Give it to someone you trust in case you don't come back when you say you will...they can use the float plan to search from.

A few flare sticks could be real handy if you get in trouble and need to signal.

Going with the tides is OK, but I would avoid the full and new moon tides.

Portable navigation lights also help, especially if there is traffic in the area.

It may seem like alot, but it's easier than a cold death.
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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby UGADawg » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:07 am

Versatile - feel free to give me a call 571-344-4811. If you are in the Fairfield County area I'd be happy to show you a few local spots and give you some help on access.
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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby DUKHTR » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:58 am

all great comments......I hunt quite often with a canoe on the salt creeks.....and the best way to do it with the least amount of work and the highest confidence is to let the tides assist.....go with the tide/current.....even if the wind is against you you will find the paddle easier....in fact, I have actually planned my hunt location around the 'tidal assist' numerous times.
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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby Cajun1085 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:07 am

I hunt from a canoe. I added 2 hp and built a set a stabilzers for peace of mind. I hunt a river that can flow pretty hard after rain or snow. I would have been screwed the other day if not for my 2hp.
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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby Versatilehunt » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:38 pm

I change advice to suggestions. All good stuff. Leaves me to think about things in order to be more prepared. Citori, things i really didn't think about and not a big deal to have, in essence a safety kit more than just a whistle.

I have no intentions of going in open water but salt creeks that I've viewed via satelite view. Planned to head out past two days, crazy hours and will go out Sat afternoon most likely without canoe.

Thanks for the suggestion. Got to learn somehow. gdawg I appreciate the offer.
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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby Broken Paddle » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:15 am

If you put a motor on the canoe, you need a CT safe boating cert.
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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby toolmaker » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:07 pm

I put a motor on my canoe and realized what a pain it is to try and start once in the canoe....it is kind of dangerous actually to reach around and yank the rope start over and over while turned around in this super unstable boat!

if possible I suggest starting the motor while standing in the water,


cold winter water and weather and unsteady dogs and canoes....are a BAD mix....

id use a canoe in those conditions if i could walk in the water in question.....the canoe lets you carry more gear easily....even if it is wadable...it makes life easier...but 5 foot or deeper.....a canoe is just so dangerous.

they do make some 42 -44 " wide canoes....and some come with foam attached to the sides...to make it roll less...an outrigger is even better...

convert an old sailboat...they are SUPER stable and safe....sure they are double the weight of the canoe....but the safety factor is worth it

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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby Citori16 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:43 pm

My motor is electric, but I've often thought about getting a small 2-stroke to put on my flat stern. Batteries are awfully heavy. I don't think I would use a gas motor on a canoe in the winter though.

My old neighbor has a Sunfish that I was thinking of buying to convert to a duck boat of some sort, but I still haven't pulled that trigger. 3 canoes and a v-hull is plenty...for now...though I do like the idea of a poke boat.

Canoes give you options, but they take some extra planning. I have a new spot for next year that takes 30 min by land and 15 by water...pontoons will ensure a safe paddle, maybe even a motor. Can't put the big boat on this water. It's all froze up now.
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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby O2Fsh » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:43 am

I met Versatilehunt in the marsh yesterday. Nice guy! Beautiful pup!!!! We spoke about canoes in the marshes and creeks.

We agree one must err on the side of caution. And, further agreed that hunting near where we were would be acceptable in a canoe. The canoe he has seems wide (as described), although I am no canoe manufacturer expert. I'd hunt out of the boat he described.

I agree with all that hunting out of a motorized canoe is the most dangerous was to go. I believe it encourages one to take chances one would not "paddle" to do. Such as, going too far into the marsh...beyond a distance one could walk back cold/wet. Further, I think it would actually negate the benefits of a canoe. The ability to near silently slip along in skinny water nobody else can get to... the possibilities are endless!

I think a smart hunter, with a small set, could get to and kill (and retrieve), birds safely in a canoe IF he chooses wisely on the when's and where's of his hunting. Start close and move farther out as one's skills/confidence improve.

Dogs in a canoe... I'm not too sure I'd do it with mine. To easy for a dog to dump the boat.

All that being said; I'd hunt with Versitile any day!!!! :beer:

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Re: Canoe safety advice

Postby Versatilehunt » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:01 pm

I appreciate that. Likekwise! Will pm sometime. Sat am's are good. my schedule should be relaxing some.
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