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in: Manly Skills, Outdoors, Visual Guides

September 22, 2017 Last updated: October 15, 2018

How to Right a Capsized Canoe

how to right a capsized canoe illustration step-by-step diagram

Canoes aren’t likely to tip over, at least when used by calm people in calm water. If you’re not overloading your boat with too much gear, or paddling toward whitewater to satisfy your hunger for adrenaline, then you can trust in your canoe to deliver you safely to and from shore.

It’s actually near the shore that you’re most likely to flip your boat — when entering or exiting the boat and significantly shifting the balance of weight. If you do flip the boat near land, simply drag it in and deal with it in shallow water, where solid footing will give you a leg up on getting your boat upright and clear of water. But, accidents can and do happen in deeper water. If you find yourself on the wrong side of your canoe, and you can’t get the boat back to shore, here’s how to turn things around whether you’re with a friend or paddling alone.

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Illustrated by Ted Slampyak