What about canoes or other boats?

We use kayaks, canoes, and other small boats in our work. We work very close to nature - hands on all the time - and these small boats get us where we need to be. Without them we would just be "For The Birds".
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This is a technical area. but boats do tend to generate strong opinions. Please stay on-topic and be civil and respectful to others. We are all here to help birds and wildlife remain healthy and alive, even if our opinions may differ.
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What about canoes or other boats?

Post by PaddleBear » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:59 am

Well this is kayaking for the birds, but "for the birds" is the most important part and we welcome anyone who will come out and help. If you've got a canoe, use it. I owned canoes for decades and if I had owned one a year ago when we started this, that's probably what I'd be using now. Canoes are quite versatile and can really get around well in tight spots. I once wanted to cross a log that was across a narrow channel. So I sat way back, ran my canoe up onto it, crawled forward so the canoe teeter-tottered, then paddled it off the other side. Couldn't do that in my Hobie Oasis kayak!

A canoe has lots of available volume for stowing your tools and the line and litter you recover. Though they do get a bit wallowy if heavily loaded.

A canoe might not be the best thing for line gathering in larger waters - mainly because of the distance you sometimes have to go to get to your work area. But you could fit a motor to it and you've solved that problem. In fact, I bet you could solve just about any difficulty that might arise in using your canoe just by posting a question here.

Stand-up paddleboards
For smaller lakes and closer work areas, I think a SUP would be great. Why? Because you can reach higher into the brush. And going ashore would be a simple matter of stepping off/on. Hobie even makes "Pedalboards" which are basically SUPs with Mirage drive units adapted to them. This would increase your range, give you more exercise, and you could still stand up. Not sure about pulling the drives in shallow water, I've never actually tried one of these boards.

Small outboards and rowboats
Depending on your terrain and vegetation these might or might not work for line gathering. You could certainly get the line from the outer edges of the shoreline vegetation, but in some lakes - like ours - you need to thread your way into that vegetation to get to most of the line and a wider boat would simply not go there.

If your area has a Kayaking For The Birds group, then there may be times when they could use the cargo carrying capacity of these wider boats. There is an area of our lake which is only accessible at high water. And it is at the downwind end of the lake. So there are mountains of trash that have blown into the brush back there. We tried to get it out last winter at high water, but only made a small dent in it because we were limited by how much we could bring back. If we could have shuttled back and forth to a larger boat nearby we could have removed most or all of it.

Other boats
What kind of other boats? I suppose if you had a cruising boat you could anchor it in an area and use a small boat to gather the line.
--Brian Godfrey
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