Open Canoe Painter Lines

Decked Canoes, Open Canoes, as long as they're canoes!

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Post by philcanoe » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:44 pm

Most obvious concern is, getting ensnared in a loose painter..
    ^~^~^ different strokes ~ for different folks ^~^~^

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    Post by SkeeterGuy86 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:07 am

    i have 2 removable painters on my Skeeter .... i usually keep 1 on the boat when i am on the water ... and like Alex i just usually stuff the painter up under the deck and let the airbag hold it in .... i have seen times where i have swam where a painter helped because i could let go of the boat and hold onto the painter to get into the eddy

    here in the south east god paddles on the left and that's how he made our rivers ~ oc1paddlr

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    Post by Larry Horne » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:52 am

    Yukon wrote:I am interested to know why that is so scary- Larry In 20 years I have never had a problem and that is 20 years of paddling and 15 years or so of teaching with a fw thousand students and a whole lot of swimming. I can see the potential. I am also not of the mind that because that is the way we do it, does not mean its the only way or the right way. If there concerns or thoughts that they are scary I am happy to rexamine the way we do things or adapt or analysize and its great that is what one can do here
    If ropes in water don't scare you, then we are simply from different planets...Can you breathe under water? I can't :wink:

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    Post by avlclimber » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:55 am

    I have many times tossed my painter to a stressed out swimmer in class I-III terrain to tow them to shore. nice to have it there, not sure how I would have helped them otherwise, I don't want them grabbing my gunwales.

    My canoe was once rescued from shore from a recirculating hole because the painter had come loose in its thrashing and was easily snaggable with other ropes and no one had to approach said dangerous hole.

    Tons of quick tie-offs and self rescues. It's easy to tell someone else what to to if their boat flips (how to self rescue crash course.) Sure it's an old-school system and perhaps less applicable on modern shortboats. But it is really nice to not have to swim the Gnar (a) right next to my boat that might squish me or (b) abandon it altogether unless it's necessary. (especially if you are forced to go with Kayakers and are trying to prove yourself self-sufficient and not rely on their (hopeful) rescue of your gear on your inevitable and occasional flip when you don't have your roll yet...)

    It's pretty easy to tuck it away when not in use. Mohawk has a great system for this. Personally I've never had a problem or a hint of one with a loose painter (though I suppose I could imagine a situation)

    Lots of people use rope that absorbs water and doesn't float for their painter, and that seems like a lazy and poor choice.


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    Post by yarnellboat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:47 am

    Krikkit, Not fair! You only clipped part of my sentence... I included and whatever works for you.

    If I could go either way on painters, but my partners prefer that I have them (as is my case), then I'll go with them. That's the way folks seem do it around here, with no problems.

    I like them. But I have them bungeed firmly under a releasable triangle set-up, and they don't come loose in the water unless I grab them. I am not a fan of just stuffing them under the deck plate or alonside the airbag.


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    Post by Eli » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:00 am

    I don't use them on my little canoes, but I do with canoes over about 10 feet long.
    These days I only use one and it is on the stern...novices probably should use both.
    I personally don't like seeing them tied in knots or stuffed deep under deckplates or under airbags. I tuck small bights neatly under each lacing string so wherever I grab it, I get it all.
    I don't like it when I grab part and the rest pulls on my lacing or catches on my deckplate. I want my painter to come free so I can hold the end and jump up on a rock to pull my boat up behind me, or to lead my canoe through a passage I don't plan to paddle, or to pass the canoe out for a swimmer to grab and be pulled into the eddy.
    I feel the appropriate length for me reaches from the stern to the front of the saddle. If I plan to line my boat, I add my throwrope (which I wear on my waist).
    They can be very useful...probably most importantly to secure the canoe to the car at the end of the day...
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    Post by Jim Michaud » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:25 pm

    One of my favorite tricks while swimming is to push my canoe to one side of a midstream rock and swim to the other side while holding on to the end of the painter. After meeting up with the canoe in the eddy I can usually climb up on the rock, empty the canoe then hop back in. This worked real well once on the North Chick in some real nasty rapid where I would have been beat up if I continued downstream.

    I find painters real useful while steep creeking but I don't usually bother with them on easier rivers. I'll also use them if I have to haul the boat up a steep bank at the take-out.

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    Post by pblanc » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:14 pm

    I like that trick Jim. I have always tried to keep the boat and me on the same side of the rock.

    I am going to have to try that. If nothing else, it will provide a good excuse. I can say "I swam intentionally. I was trying out something Jim Michaud suggested".

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    Post by TNbound » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:18 pm

    I think I'm with Eli on this one. None of my short boats (i.e. Prelude, quake, c1s) have painters. They are easy enough to grab by the grabloop on the end and swim with. Bigger boats however, such as a Genesis, XL13 and Old Town Charles River all get 10ish foot painters. Sometimes a short throw bag under bungee on the end is helpful to keep line stowed neatly and ready for action.

    "I'm gonna run this one river left I think.... So far river left, that I'm gonna be on the bank. With my boat on my shoulder."

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    Post by mahyongg » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:34 pm

    I use painters on my Spark. I also know a guy who got caught in his painter looping around neck and leg, stopped swimming actively when he felt it, and survived swimming a III+ drop with one bruise - from knee upwards to his chest. D8

    - I cut my painters so they don't overlap in the middle. There have been reports of painters knotting themselves together (a lot of overlap probably)
    - I stuff my painters under the airbag cords in neat loops, so I can basically just reach onto my airbags from the water and pull them out if I'm besides my boat for example
    - When swimming in a self-rescue size river, I sometimes pull out my painters after righting my boat to control the ferry angle of my boat when swimming to shore/safe eddy
    - In a larger type river C2C-rescue situation, painters help others to handle / grab/ reach my boat, also with their paddle handle (reversed paddle) from the water - not necessarily what your group does at all, so handle this info accordingly
    - I had swims where a lenght of painter allowed a short swimming burst free of my boat's (+water) weight to push myself through an eddy line and reach the eddy from where I could pull in the boat. This requires a longish painter in most cases..
    - I will think about just using one, short painter on the stern (for the occasional swimmer pulling) for some rivers, but for now I like to have the option to pull out a painter on either side of my boat - don't want to have to turn around the boat if I ever should need a painter when swimming..
    - My painters don't easily come out on their own - they may in more aggressive water conditions and I might get rid of them for that kind of waters
    - I'll outfit my boat better in the future (sidewall foam, bigger airbag) so it doesnt take up that much water, which helps when I'm not in it as well.. so less need for painters for "boat control"
    - When I have my roll ready for action (or should I say, IF?) I'll likely re-think some of the above about the necessity of painters for self-rescue
    - Painters are no tie-in ropes or haul-ropes, they are often used for that but I would not suggest just adding them for those purposes - just attach a rope as needed if thats all you use them for

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    Post by Yukon » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:46 pm

    Loose ropes in water scare me. But properly secured ropes do not. I make sure I carry a knife and encourage others to as well. I have also practiced cuttting rope while swimming- not an easy task.

    I think different rivers and regions need one to think about things and pro-s and cons of them. One trip I did I actually tied my canoe to me so I could jump on shore and reel the boat in after I got secured. Smartest thing to do- NO- but a lost boat could have had serious consequences. As we were only 1 boat 50 miles from nearest road making a first descent.
    OH- only 1 boat- yup- here sometimes u either go alone or you dont end up going at all. Solo- solo paddling puts a whole new deck of cards on the table.

    I once was swimming with an aftershock with a bag clipped in to the top deck mounted grab loop, with a blown front air bag- talk about interesting swim- the harder i tried to swim the deeper the boat would dive under the water.
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    Post by Craig Smerda » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:47 pm


    Please elaborate...

    philcanoe wrote:... know a fellow who lost a finger, because he didn't have a painter.

    Everyone wants to tell you want if... what if they come undone.... what if they wrap around you.... what if I want to line my boat... what if I need to lower it... and on and on. But Jim Brown might say - what if.... I didn't have to reach under a gunwale, to grab hold of my boat... ooops there's it goes, bye bye digit. (real story)


    Just goes to show if something can go wrong, it will one day. I like being able to get away from a fully load canoe (if need be), and let it pendulum over to the side. For me getting a rope out of a bag, or attaching a line are adding additional unnecessary steps - at the most inopportune of time.
    or this.... ... re=related

    I don't disagree that a few chunks of rope can come in handy now and then but my line of thought (pun intended) is that if I flip and if I swim... it's pretty unlikely that I'm ever going to have the time, thought or instinct to fish or feel around for some chunk of rope to potentially get dragged around the river with. Furthermore... if the rope is tucked under a deckplate or inside a bungee cord... am I going to undo the rope so I can grab onto it before I swim? If the rope is truly "secure"... isn't it going to stay secured even when the boat is upside down under the boat while it's rifling down the river?

    If I feel it's safe enough to grab onto anything while performing my Mark Spitz impersonation... I'm going to grab onto the biggest and most buoyant object I can... and that's the actual boat no matter if it's 6ft long or it's 16ft long.

    Then again... maybe the places I think I could potentially go for a swim are different than the places other people posting are going to swim... so I guess it's all subjective. Personal mileage may vary... no gaurantees are expressed or implied... etc.

    I openly confess that rope of any kind in that has the potential to dangle or drag around in whitewater just plain freak me out with the exception of a well placed throw rope which I've had the pleasure and good fortune to catch a few times over the years when I really needed it. Phil & Eli were both at one such occurence. On another occassion (incident) I was getting worked in a not so pleasant hydraulic and had to unwrap a throw rope from around my chest, neck and head that I became entangled in... fortunately the first rope was then pulled away and a second rope was sent in that I was actually able to catch... the second one most likely saved my life.
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    Post by Larry Horne » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:24 pm

    Yukon wrote:Larry
    Loose ropes in water scare me. But properly secured ropes do not. I make sure I carry a knife and encourage others to as well. I have also practiced cuttting rope while swimming- not an easy task.
    OK, but the painter that you pull out ain't secured anymore, and IT is the one that's gonna get you. Just make sure you can reach and use that knife with either hand, cuz your dominant hand will most likely be wrapped up in the painter.

    Smerda's post said it PERFECTLY. I'll leave it at that.

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    Post by delhonroc » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:26 pm

    Thanks everyone. I'm learning.  Lots to consider. My bow partner is new to ww; I've just this spring come over from the dark-side with the Caption, tripple saddle.  I paddle most often with C1's. 

    What started this painter question?  My bow partner, being new, wanted to take the safety course from Charlie Walbridge a few weeks ago, sadly the class was full. However, painters were a course requirement on OC's.  Before I drill holes in my decks, I want to see some bungie setups, to keep them properly stowed. As for learning how to use them, I've got to practice. 

    Self rescue is my goal. It's swimming with a swamped canoe that frightens me. The tripple saddle in the Caption prevents my roll, as it creates a water dam. 

    We will tandem on class II & III for the time being. She really liked the release on the North Branch, Barnum to Bloomington. I really like the Caption.   

    So, if any members will post pics of thier paintier stowaway systems, i'd be thankful.  As for learning how to use them, I'll enjoy reading any member's thoughts.
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    Post by pblanc » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:53 pm

    If you have your painter coiled and stowed under a tight bungee cord, or better yet, a pair of bungees on the deck plate, it will stay put even if the boat is upside down, at least in the type of whitewater I run.

    You don't pull the painter out until you need it and then, you don't have to pull it all out. If you pull on the end tied to the grab loop you can just pull out a little and leave the rest stowed.

    If I swim with my boat, I am going to get to the upstream end as quickly as possible which is what I assume most people do (unless the abandon the boat). I'll stick the paddle under the lacing of the bag cage to get it out of my hands and hold onto the boat by the grab loop (not the painter) just as if the boat didn't have a painter.

    When I spot an eddy that I can swim into I will pay out the painter so that I can swim aggressively using both hands, but holding the end of the painter in one. Once I am secure in the eddy, I will pull the boat in by the painter.

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