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43 votes
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How efficient is travel by canoe?

The canoe has three huge advantages: it works in the absence of paths or trails it can carry enormous loads adding paddlers to it makes it go faster The first is probably the most important. I've ...
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42 votes
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Are longer kayaks faster than shorter ones?

Executive summary: All else equal, a longer boat will have a greater hull speed. A greater hull speed means less drag and hence greater speed for a given amount of "paddling effort". Hence, longer ...
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31 votes
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Surfacing out of a sunken ship/submarine - Survival Tips

Even though the question describes a hypothetical and unlikely situation I think it has some merits as it is somewhat relevant for SCUBA diving also: it describes an emergency uncontrolled SCUBA ...
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28 votes

Are longer kayaks faster than shorter ones?

The narrower the beam, the less paddling resistance the boat will have. For any given weight capacity, the longer boat will have a narrower beam. (The widest part of the boat, where the paddler ...
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24 votes
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Is it possible to 'live off the sea'

Theoretically, it might be possible to survive on fish, rainwater and desalinated seawater. In one 1930 experiment, two men survived for a year eating exclusively meat without experiencing any health ...
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24 votes

Surfacing out of a sunken ship/submarine - Survival Tips

First and foremost: Don't Panic At 30m, you'll be fine if you can free yourself within about 20 minutes and know what you're doing. That being said, there is a good chance you won't know your exact ...
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22 votes
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How do you go upriver in a canoe?

Upstreampaddling can be very exhausting, but in genereal it's more predictable than paddling downstream. I got my knowledge purely out of experience and not out of books, i paddled down the whole ...
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21 votes
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To locals without a tide chart, how surprising are tides?

Tides are generally not surprising - they do not change much in amplitude from one day to the next, and the peaks happen slightly less than an hour later each day. The amplitude of the tides mostly ...
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20 votes

To locals without a tide chart, how surprising are tides?

As someone that lives, works, and plays in a coastal area in Florida, I can say that I qualify as a local. The answer is nearly never. You would hardly ever be surprised by the tide. It becomes a lot ...
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20 votes
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Why did Lewis and Clark use square rigged boats?

From the article you've linked, they were under sail a little more than one-tenth of the time [on the river]. Perhaps that could have been a bit greater if they were schooner- or lateen-rigged, but ...
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19 votes
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Life Jacket for a person without arms?

The expensive way is to get a harness lifejacket. The cheap way is to fit a crotch strap to a lifejacket (type 2 pfd), this is a standard part and I believe most lifejackets have fittings for one. ...
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  • 7,757
19 votes

What is a 'Whitecap' and why should I be concerned about boating in them?

White caps are named for the white caps at the top of waves. White caps are sign that the wind is picking up and that the weather conditions are getting worse and look like this at low wind levels. ...
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18 votes

Renting a boat for overnight in ocean?

I want to rent a boat (not a pontoon, but one with a sleeping area, bathroom etc.) which I can use for an overnight stay in open ocean. I am an absolute beginner about boats and don't know anything ...
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17 votes
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How to carry a bicycle in a canoe?

With a large enough canoe, you can simply put the bike in the canoe, albeit somewhat precariously. What's more common though is for people to bike their canoe to an input, lock up the bike on shore, ...
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17 votes

How do you go upriver in a canoe?

These are main things that you would do. For most flow: Paddle upstream: What you'll do most of the time when there isn't much flow. Eddy-hop: Moving between the relatively still/upstream flowing ...
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  • 1,425
17 votes
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What do life jacket ratings mean (Type I, Type II, etc)?

There is already an answer that gives the basics, and this official page from the Coast Guard adds several details, so here is my summary. The system of ratings for Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) ...
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  • 5,158
16 votes

How to carry a bicycle in a canoe?

Thank you to nhinkle who posted the answer that showed it is possible to put a bike in an canoe. I have something over 100 miles of canoeing with a bike and a dolly in my canoe now. I started with ...
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16 votes
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Sleeping in an inflatable boat

I would suggest not sleeping on the boat. Apart from the safety issues this will bring up - the boat could slowly lose air, or could start drifting away, the water could rise, ... - it will not ...
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16 votes

What's the difference between an oar and a paddle?

According to Wikipedia, a paddle is held by the person and an oar is connected to the boat in some manner, such as a rowlock.
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16 votes
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What's the difference between an oar and a paddle?

There are a few fundamental differences between oars and paddles. One main difference is the position of the user relative to the direction in which the vessel is moving. Oars are used to propel the ...
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16 votes

Life Jacket for a person without arms?

I think the best bet for a person without arms (assuming we aren't talking rough water/offshore use) is a type 2 life jacket. Specifically the type that look like an oversized bib. These jackets don'...
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15 votes
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What is the hand-pedal device called on an Open 60 sailboat?

It is a 'on-station grinder', a centralized station for turning the winches of the sheets (lines) attached to the clew of a sail. They are multi-speed, meaning you can have a serious mechanical ...
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15 votes

Renting a boat for overnight in ocean?

You've got quite a bit of study before you are ready for this kind of voyage. I am not how far off shore "open ocean" means to you, but if it's anything beyond swimming distance to shore, you're going ...
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15 votes

Are longer kayaks faster than shorter ones?

As a general rule, yes Consider a boat weighing 20kg, a paddler weighing 80kg. You're now displacing 100litres of water, the way in which you displace that volume has a lot to do with how easily the ...
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  • 7,757
15 votes

Is it possible to 'live off the sea'

... can someone gather/hunt/farm all of the nutrients required to be healthy whilst never having to land again? Nutrients yes, healthy not likely. A 1000 days is a grueling journey. Reid Stowe, whom ...
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14 votes
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How to anchor a raft on a river

If you want to remain stationary, you need a solid anchor, and the best option is going to be to attach to a tree or something that you can securely fix to on the bank. Not knowing that river, I can'...
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  • 24.4k
14 votes

How do you patch/repair an inflatable dinghy while still underway?

Depends where the hole is and how big it is, but: First, determine if it's necessary to try and patch the hole in open water. If you're close to shore, then go ashore and patch it there. If you're ...
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13 votes
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Camping on a uninhabited island in Sweden's skärgård near Gothenburg

Some considerations I can think of: Legality As long as it is not a nature reserve or a military restricted area, it should be allowed. You could probably check with some authority if it applies to ...
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  • 4,319
13 votes
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How do choices in design of a paddle-craft influence its handling characteristics?

Ay-yi-yi! This is a very broad question, a true answer to which would probably require a PhD in hydrodynamics or years of relevant engineering expertise. Note that the interplay between these design ...
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