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Thread: Well I never, did you ever???

  1. #1
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    Default Well I never, did you ever???

    Tracking and Lining.

    Within my usual band of buddies we have only ever heard one one person (me!) actually using tracking and lining for real in order to undertake a journey, and then only twice.

    We have all practised for it, mainly for star or coaching awards, just for the sake of jumping through the hoops.

    But really, in the UK, who ever, and more to the point, where ever, is T&L used for real?????
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  2. #2

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    Agreed, lining and tracking has largely become redundant since we all started canoeing down rivers for fun and we set up cars for shuttles. But what's wrong with lining and tracking or poling for fun?

    We often go out and pole up rivers when the levels are too low for a downriver float trip. We still have a great time out on the water while others have decided a day in the boat isn't feasable. Some of the group who can't pole up the rapids do indeed end up tracking.

    I have actually used these skills for real. Lining works great against those impossible to paddle against headwinds both on rivers and open water. I've also had to pole up a rapid to get to a fellow paddler stuck on a rock.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prospector
    Agreed, lining and tracking has largely become redundant since we all started canoeing down rivers for fun and we set up cars for shuttles. But what's wrong with lining and tracking or poling for fun?

    .
    I agree entirely with that, and often do it myself just for fun. What I was really getting at was where can it be used for 'real', as part of a journey? And who is doing it?

    I have looked at a number of journeys where on the map it would seem reasonable, but on the river bank impossible, usually due to trees. I have resorted to wading and pulling on a painter in these conditions, but that is hardly tracking!

    I'd hate to see the skill die out, but so far it has proved to be almost a non event. Poling is a different matter: every open boater should pole!
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  4. #4
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    Default Lining & Tracking

    Hi folks,

    I use the pole lots and like it ver useful. I have started going out and going up river instead of down. Well only when I need to return to the vehicle.
    I have lined down things when we have had a load onboard, it is the dead weight securely fastened in that is a concern when there is a potential large impact. A loaded boat is not that manageable in technical drops etc.
    Tracking has been useful when following small watercourses/drainage channels where there is a considerable amount of sediment on the bed, 'low impact'. It really comes into it's own when traversing watersheds, but then not many British paddlers do this, we try to keep our journeys simple and not hard work. As Tenboats has said we also have a problem with tree lined banks, learn the skills you never know when they may be useful. There are plenty of books that explain the idea of lining and tracking, and any 4* paddlers should have knowledge if not the experience to show you the rudimentary bits.

    I urge you all to try some upstream exploration instead of just going with the flow.

    And for those that like paddling the steep stuff there is always hoisting the boat onward and upward just to get that spate drainage channel.

    Paul B.

  5. #5

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    Originally posted by tenboats1
    I have looked at a number of journeys where on the map it would seem reasonable, but on the river bank impossible, usually due to trees. I have resorted to wading and pulling on a painter in these conditions, but that is hardly tracking!
    That's a tricky one. Canoe trips are generally about using the most appropriate technique for the environment and conditions. When moving upstream this ranges from paddling to poling to wading to tracking and then portaging depending on the flow etc. Really the same applies when travelling downstream but for some reason most people only seem to paddle or portage. I think this is a real shame and missing out on so much fun.

    On open water you have to cope with the wind instead of water flow. Poling, wading and lining all work here too. Did I mention sailing??

  6. #6

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    we track every time we go into Loch Langavat (Isle of Lewis) from the North on the short stretch of river thats between Loch Faoghail Charrasan and Loch Faoghail Kirraval. How well we do it is another matter (as i've never really read up on technique but gone for the intuative approach) but hey its a response to your query. The next river section to Loch Airigh an h-Airde is for poling and the next bit around eilean mor is a right mix so a nice wee variety to get you off into the heart of darkness as it were

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquanaut
    we track every time we go into Loch Langavat (Isle of Lewis) from the North on the short stretch of river thats between Loch Faoghail Charrasan and Loch Faoghail Kirraval. How well we do it is another matter (as i've never really read up on technique but gone for the intuative approach) but hey its a response to your query. The next river section to Loch Airigh an h-Airde is for poling and the next bit around eilean mor is a right mix so a nice wee variety to get you off into the heart of darkness as it were
    I've done this twice without getting out of the canoe (paddled most, poled the rest, except for the portage round Eilean Mor). Tracking might have been easier, but slower? Depends on the water level.. I was there early May both times.

    we shouldn't talk about it on a public forum though..............that is the best open canoe country in the UK, bar none. Shhhush.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1
    we shouldn't talk about it on a public forum though..............that is the best open canoe country in the UK, bar none. Shhhush.
    no its not its crap and I would never advise people to come here canoeing - you can tell its rubbish cos no-one (or very few folk) bother

  9. #9
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    Did some linig in Whales moving back up through a tricky rapid to play about in but never on a trip. Have occasionally been tempted to line through a lock but never have a windless with me. Out of interest how do you guys tie your lines. When I did my 3 star the coach I was wiith recommended never to use the painters but to tie a bridle (made by splicing a rope) so that the join is under the boat This enable s you to move the boat by lifting slightly wheras by using the painter you are dragging the baot into teh water and creating more resistance. it is also easier to rescue a situation if teh boat turns. Try it its really effective.
    Regards

    SuperNova

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by supernova
    Out of interest how do you guys tie your lines. When I did my 3 star the coach I was wiith recommended never to use the painters but to tie a bridle (made by splicing a rope) so that the join is under the boat

    Yes, bridles are the way to go. I have made dedicated bridles for each of the boats I'm likely to T&L with because it is faster and easier, and as they are made from tape they are low profile and can be left in place for those line on - line off situations. I keep them wrapped round the seat so that I can never forget to take them.

    Bridles do not work if you are above the canoe as at the Deanston Weir on the River Teith. I watched as everyone negotiated this problem with ease, attaching their lines to the painters/grab loops. I could see that it worked very well, but thought I'd try a bridle for the sake of comparison.

    Not only did it not work, it failed rather convincingly! Still, you don't progress by always following the crowd. But sometimes it is as well to follow common practise!!!
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  11. #11

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    At present I'm trying to cut down on the number of 'bits' I carry. Therefore I use the painter as a bridle. With the painter still attached as normal run the free end under the seat, over the gunnel, under the boat and tie it to the other side of the seat. You can tie a loop at the keel line of the canoe and attach your lines here. You can even mark the painter with a permanent pen at this point so you know where to tie your knot without having to turn the boat over. Over time this will result in more wear and tear to the painter but it's quick and easy to set up.

  12. #12
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    I use a tape as bridle too but most of the time its not a bridle its just a tape attached to a thwart. I use is at a kind of painter but in the middle of the canoe not at the ends. It comes in very handy.
    Rogue

  13. #13
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    Default Well I never, did you ever???

    Hi,

    4 points worth thinking about, just ideas.
    1)Painters should not really be any longer than the length of the boat, and some would say they should only go as far as the centre thwart. Mostly they are not bagged, just lying (neatly in the boat?).
    Swim lines are longer and bagged, they are attached to normally the same point- the recovery loop at the bow/stern. NO KNOTS on the free ends.
    2)Rigging tracking lines using knots either throwline or dedicated lines. put your toe on the end of the rope or bag, slide your hand along the rope up in the air (approx 8' for me). Pinch the rope at this point, pull the rope so that it is double (bite of rope) with the pinch being the end. Halfway down this double bit pinch here and tie an overhand not (bog standard knot). Now you have a loop, a short length and a long length. Attach this to the seat/thwart at the upstream end of the boat making sure the knot is at the centre point of the hull in the water, try and make this tight (not sloppy). You may need to use more rope if you have a wide boat. A ver simple and effective method of attachment.
    3)Using swim lines as tracking lines-quick method (variation on Prospectors way). Pass the line under the seat/thwart nearest to that end on the offside of the boat (river centre) and pass it under the hull and straight to shore (no knots). At the back of the boat you can use the same system or just straight from the recovery loop. Very quick and simple, no knots for conversion of lines and will suffice for most short uphill stretches in the uk. Big rivers in Canada used a proper tied system as the rapids tend to be much longer, the boat may get stuck and spin, so you need to be able to sort these issues out.
    4)Keep your ropes free of knots along there length and keep them bagged seperately. If you cannot afford multiple lines do not worry. Build your system up over time, try different throwlines out, look at the type of rope available. Rope is not just rope, some have better qualities (kermantle rope that Palm use in there better bags is excellent) not the flat rope used in most economy bags in my opinion. I would suggest a painter on the front and a throw line on the back as a minimum for personal paddling. If using throwlines for swim lines always attach the bag to the recovery loop, as the bag will snag on rocks and potentially kill your boat. The same goes when you use them for tracking, bag at the boat end.

    Sorry to repeat some of the points already made.

    Paul.

  14. #14
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    The last time I did any serious lining was when I was canoeing to an island off the coast of New Brunswick. On the inside of the island was a shallow lagoon and when the tide went out we lined for about 4 miles along the beach to make better time in the shallow water. Once around the tip of the island into the open water we put back in, avoided some breakers at the point, and then with a tail wind canoed to a campsite for the night.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by supernova
    Did some linig in Whales moving back up through a tricky rapid to play about in but never on a trip. Have occasionally been tempted to line through a lock but never have a windless with me. Out of interest how do you guys tie your lines. When I did my 3 star the coach I was wiith recommended never to use the painters but to tie a bridle (made by splicing a rope) so that the join is under the boat This enable s you to move the boat by lifting slightly wheras by using the painter you are dragging the baot into teh water and creating more resistance. it is also easier to rescue a situation if teh boat turns. Try it its really effective.
    I'm not up on the nomenclature - like all you trained canoeists - to the point where I'm sometimes unsure of what you are talking about. But I have let a canoe down the rapdis using a line. I had to do it all the time when I was young, running a trap line. There is definitely some skill involved in this. My grandfather was quite proficient at it, and poling as well.

    As to where to attach the rope(s), we always used to bore a hole and put in a little piece of pipe (suitably calked) relatively low on the bow and stern. We did this because, as you say, pulling on a rope attached to the top of the canoe causes the canoe to dig in. When I've done this more recently, I've used plastic PVC pipe. Seems like if you have the rope attached low - the canoe is much more responsive.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

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