tied to yer boat????

Lee Schneidermann

Well-Known Member
Dec 6, 2007
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
bearridge said:
bearridge said:
I wonder if he didnt git tangled up in some loose rope?
There's a little river here in eastern Iowa that is littered with aluminum canoes bent in half from hitting what y'all call "strainers".
I don't think it makes a bit of difference if you're tied to the boat or not. Once the water pins you, you're done.
Situational awareness is the only thing we have to keep out of those circumstances.
It's only conjucture on my part, but as a father, I'm guessing he was probably trying to keep his son from going into the strainer when he got caught into its grip.



Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
way down yonder
Lee Schneidermann said:
I don't think it makes a bit of difference if you're tied to the boat or not.
Friend Lee,

I reckon we jest gotta disagree on this. I hope none of ya'll ever turn bottom upwards in fast movin' water tied ta yer boat.


The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard. Steven Wright


Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
Central , Florida
Being tied to you boat is a great idea , it will make it a lot easier for search an rescue to find your body. A boat is easier to see then a dead body submerged in the water under a bunch of trees , branches and the rest. :roll:

The two guys on the St.Marys River ( Bear I'm sure you remember that trip) , when they hit the strainer they leaned away from the log and brush pile , the canoe filled with water and over it went depositing them and there gear in the river.
The were able to get away from the boat and the strainer by swimming in the tree , stump , branch filled water. If they would of been tied to the canoe , which went under the strainer and woodland trash , then down river , they would of not been in to good of shape , or breathing , just towed along with the canoe underwater.

By being able to move with out a restrictive line attached to them , all they did was get wet , embarrassed and cold which is a lot better then the alternative.

Personally I don't mind camping early , building a fire , getting them warmed up and drying there gear , actually it was fun because they were still with us.
I do not like transportating bodies out or off of a river , didn't like it when I had to do it for the office and still don't.


Lee Schneidermann

Well-Known Member
Dec 6, 2007
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I have no argument that tying yourself to a boat is a really bad idea on most inland waterways. Trying to navigate thru a strainer is an equally bad idea. My only point was that it takes very little moving water to pin a body to an immovable object. Once it has you, you won't coming home for supper.

I do see some benifit to a tether if you're in the ocean or a big lake. In that case it may SAVE your life rather than take it.



Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2005
Queensland, Australia

As an alternative to tying yourself to your boat on open stretches of water, try using a paddle leash. Tie the paddle to the boat. in the event of a capsize, on open windswept water, an unteathered boat will sail away faster than you can swim.

Your paddle tied to it acts like a drogue, slowing the wind drift down.

I know precious little about paddling moving rivers so can't contribute here.

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Mick, I thought that one out a few years ago. Conclusions I came to then (am open to new information here) was that:

A loose paddle will not float very fast at all and can be caught by a swimmer (even an old, fat one) in a PFD.

A loose boat will scoot at wind speed minus 1-2 mph

An old, fat swimmer in a PFD don't move all that fast, or far

I always carry a knife on my PFD to cut loose of entanglement (and beat off extraneous, bothersome, admiring women)

Upshot was, that I figured the least worst technique on open water in high wind was to keep that damned boat tied to me, and carry and extra paddle.

After the discussions of (the possibility of) drowning when caught by high water while asleep, I will carry the EPIRB on my belt. I suppose it could be helpful if bullies or bad guys raided camp too?

Deer Slayer

Active Member
Sep 4, 2006
Tying oneself in on moving water is suicide. Consider being tied in when you bowman over compensates on a draw/cross draw stroke to dodge a pillow on a technical CII+ run, thus allowing the current to flip, and oilcan the boat....the thought of being dashed and bashed on rocks tied into a runaway boat that will eventually get pinned gives me the willies.....

As for strainers, which reminds me, I've gotta do a preseason scout of the river we'll soon be running for those beasties....will need a new chain for the chainsaw, and another come along.....