Canadian Canoe Capsize

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Canadian Canoe Capsize

Post by Luke_ »

Hi All,

I would like some advise please, I took me and my friend down the estuary in my fathers Canadian canoe, the conditions were perfects, a nice out going tide, minimal wind and 9 dregees air temp. We were having great fun until we capsized and had to swim the canoe to the bank. I have had 13 years experience competing to a high level sailing in small boats and yachts so felt very confidant with being on the water in a Canadian canoe.

I noticed that a few seconds before we capsized the water around the main channel was getting pushed out and the surface was having an unusual pattern. I saw this and did not consider it a massive concern, a couple of stokes later the canoe flipped hard to the left and we fell in out of know where.

Is this a think that can happen when the tide/ current is behaving usuals or was it me being an ideate and just digging the paddle too deep in the water and flipping the canoe, which I'm sure I did not do?

thanks in advance for your help.



Chris Bolton
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Re: Canadian Canoe Capsize

Post by Chris Bolton »

Canoes tend to be narrower than racing dinghies and less ballasted than yachts, as they don't need to resist the heeling moment from the sails, so they do rely more on keeping balance. If you cross from still water into a current, the effect is similar to standing on a rug when somebody pulls it sideways; it puts you off balance and if you're not used to it you can capsize. Experienced paddlers anticipate the effect by heeling away from the current. If you're going to do more canoeing I suggest you join a club or get some tuition.

You said "a nice outgoing tide" but I'd be wary of an ebb tide in an estuary; if you can't get to the bank you're out at sea. A flooding tide is safer. The unusual pattern on the water sounds as if it could be wind against tide, but you'd recognise that from your sailing.

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