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How to Launch and Land a Canoe Smoothly


The best places to launch or land a canoe are beaches or other shallow shorelines. This will allow you to walk your canoe out into the water and step into it while it's floating. Docks can also work well, as long as they're no higher than the gunnels of the canoe. Much more than that and you'll have to make a precarious step downward.

If you're paddling tandem, one person should stabilized the canoe in the center while the other person gets in or out. Make sure that when you're getting in or out that you keep your center of gravity as low as possible.

Sometimes you won't just be able to step into the canoe, but you'll have to walk down it's length. The trick to doing this is to keep your feet over the center line of the canoe and to hold your paddle across the gunnels as a brace for balance. Staying low, you'll then walk forward and slide your paddles and hand along the gunnels until you can sit down or step out.

Something else to consider is that if you have wind or waves to contend with, you're best off launching directly into both.


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