Chapter 3 X Vessel Operation
BASIC RIVER RUNNING TACTICS
1. Before you go , know the level of difficulty of the river, and the land marks of the take-out point. 2. Launch the craft into the current facing upstream. Stern person gets in first while bow person holds craft against the current. Before heading downstream, become familiar with the craft and how it handles, and “warm up” with some basic maneuvers in calm water.
3. Avoid fallen trees , brush, and bridge abutments. Even in slow water, these hazards can be deadly. When approaching obstructions, plan well in advance. Portage may be necessary (carrying boat around obstacle). Use a backstroke in large waves to crest the wave gently and avoid swamping. 4. Your craft may “wrap” around an obstacle sideways. Know how to “highside” to prevent a “wrap.” To avoid being trapped, you can climb on top of the obstacle or your boat or abandon the boat and swim. 5. Capsized? Stay at the upstream end of the craft to avoid being caught between it and any obstruc tion. Keep your paddle if possible, but don’t take chances saving equipment. If it improves your safety, leave the craft and swim to the nearest eddy.
6. Avoid waterfalls , low dams, and dangerous rapids. A flat horizon line in the river may indicate a waterfall or low dam. Portage all of these areas.
Downstream V 8. Downstream V with large stationary waves indicates gaps between rocks.
Upstream V 7. The point of the up-stream V indicates rocks.
9. To avoid being swept into a
Take-Out 10. Don’t miss your take-out point. Head for shore, turn into current and forward ferry to shore. Boater in stern should be last out of the craft while bow person holds craft against the current.
rock or other hazards on a curve, position the craft sideways to the current. Paddle strongly through the curve close to the shore opposite the hazard.
California Course for Safe Boating
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