Paddling enables people of all ages and abilities to experience nature with unrivalled closeness and variety. Adventures range from brief outings to challenging treks, but even the simplest trip can quickly lead to danger if proper precautions are not taken. No matter what type of canoe or kayak you're using, there are basics every boater should know. Always wear an appropriately rated and sized personal floatation device (PFD). Learn your craft: start slow and seek proper instruction. Practice your skills, rescues and first aid techniques in a variety of conditions until you are thoroughly familiar with them. Dress for the water temperature. Weather conditions can change quickly, turning a warm afternoon's paddle into a challenge to remember. If you prepare to get wet, you'll stay warm whatever nature brings your way! Protect yourself by learning to read water and weather, and never leave shore in conditions for which you are unprepared. Consult local tide charts and maps, talk to experts and be aware of weather forecasts. Never paddle alone. Let people know where you plan to go and when you plan to return. Finally, be on the lookout for potential hazards such as other boats, weather and other natural dangers. These paddling basics will help keep you safe, warm and just where you want to be–on the water!
When transporting your canoe/kayak, take care to avoid potential damage or distortion to the hull. A good rack system allows you to transport your boat on the top of your vehicle safely and securely. To avoid damages, you will want to add some foam padding to your roof rack or invest in a padded canoe/kayak cradle. Remember... damage caused by canoes/kayaks flying off car roof tops or deformations caused during transport are not covered by the warranty.
- To avoid loss or damage, remove all accessories before transporting the product.
- For your safety and to avoid unnecessary scratches on your car, all but the shortest boats should be car-topped by two people, placing the boat on a quality roof rack. Practice common sense lifting techniques, using your legs, not your back to raise the boat onto the rack.
- Once the boat is on the roof rack use a pair of straps or ropes to secure the midsection of the product to the roof rack, taking care not to overtighten.
- Each end of the boat should be tied to the bumpers of the vehicle. However, be careful not to cinch down these bow and stern lines too tightly as that will increase the likelihood of hull warpage.
- If your boat extends more than 3.5 feet (1 meter) behind your vehicle attach a red flag to the hanging extremities to alert fellow motorists and pedestrians.
- To transport multiple boats, use a stacking bar and appropriate padding.
- After a long day on the water, DON'T FORGET YOUR BOAT IS STRAPPED ON THE ROOF. You do not want to drive into the garage with it still on the rack. It may sound strange... but it happens.
Storage & Maintenance
We recommend the application of a good coat of Protector 303 over the entire surface of your kayak/canoe.
Repeat the operation several times during the season.
KAYAK: You can also coat the seals and rubber compartment covers with Protector 303 to maintain their flexibility.
The best places to hang your boat are from the ceiling of
a garage or under a veranda. However, you must suspend
it properly and never hang it from the toggles.
KAYAK: Hang your kayak using straps positioned underneath the bulkheads which are the firmest parts of your kayak. For tandem kayaks, position a third strap at the centre of the craft.
CANOE: We strongly suggest using a harness system or 2'' wide nylon straps. Hang the canoe upside down and place the harness/straps around the entire hull of the canoe allowing the weight of the canoe to rest on the gunwales. If possible use a strap on the bow, one on the stern and one in the center to evenly distribute the weight. **DO NOT HANG THE CANOE BY THE CARRYING HANDLES.** These handles were not designed for that type of use and could cause damage to your canoe.
Storage on Sawhorses
If you choose to store your boat on sawhorses, use sawhorses with a soft covering or place foam blocks over any hard surface on which the kayak would rest. It is advisable to secure your boat to the sawhorses using straps. These straps should not be overly tight. There are different kinds of sawhorse shapes: H, X, Y or L. Use your imagination and make
your own! Ensure that they are of sufficient height to be used for cleaning or working on your boat.
KAYAK: Remember to position your sawhorses under the bulkheads to better distribute the weight of the kayak.
CANOE: Always place your canoe upside-down on the sawhorses.
Winter storage is relatively uncomplicated. Your boat can be stored outdoors in a protected location or in an unheated building. It can be hung from the ceiling or rested on foam blocks or sawhorses. The main thing is to store the boat in a location where it is protected from the accumulation of snow, exposure to ultraviolet rays and possible blows. We strongly recommend to inspect and clean all your equipment. This small attention will ensure that you'll be ready whenever you feel to paddle next season!
Avoid storing the boat too close to the ground. This will also keep small animals from choosing to rest there in winter. You can package your kayak or place it in a bag to protect it from dust and scratches. In such case, ensure that the bag is dry.
KAYAK: Don't forget to open the compartments.
CANOE: Always store your canoe upside-down.