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Exiting a canoe on shore

Stop the boat before hitting shore. Be careful not to hit any rocks.

  • With one paddler:
    • Put one hand on each gunwale and walk down the boat’s centerline to the bow. Stay low as you walk.
    • Continue to support yourself with the gunwales as you turn around and step out backwards onto the shore.
    • Note: As you step out of the boat, be careful not to push it back into the water.
  • With two paddlers:
    • The bow paddler exits first and then holds the boat in ankle-deep water. This makes the boat more stable for the second person to exit. Also, rubbing the ground damages boat hulls over time.
    • As the bow paddler steadies the boat, the stern paddler walks forward and exits. Be sure to hold onto the gunwales.
    • Note: On a steep shore, avoid bridging the boat such that you have a space between the bottom of the boat and the water. In this situation, the boat is not stable and may capsize as the stern paddler walks forward.