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Thread: Anybody boat or canoe?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Belle's Avatar
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    Anybody boat or canoe?

    My husband got to go swimming not too long ago for PT. Now that we are not so afraid of the water ...one of the things we used to like to do was go boating or canoeing. I was just at the NCPAD website last week and they describe canoeing as a good activity (just wear your PFD), but no mention of how to transfer to the canoe...also, we were not invited to a friend's boat party over the 4th of July we think because they weren't sure if we could get on their boat.

    Any solutions/suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Belle

    I've been on lots of boats fishing (mostly row boats with a 20 or so hp engines) and in a few canoes and kayaks. Kayaks are great because they (at least the ones I used in Maui) had a higher back and I was able to paddle due to the support. In Chicago we have a great disabled sailing program (Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program). The sailboats are specially modified with accessible lines, anti-tip keels (sp?) and seats the swivel on a kind of pendulum from side to side (port and starboard for you sailors) so I can actually sail the boat myself with another DA or non-DA person. They also have a big kind of transfer board or will assist your husband if he needs help. Don't know if they have something similar in OH but you and your husband could sail a boat together eventually with a program person on board or just sit back and enjoy the sail. I haven't done it in a while but it was a blast and he could even start to race competively if he liked it.

    Back to boats or canoes or kayaks. A lot will depand on the boat and the dock or shore where you get in and launch. I usually had a friend around or would ask some stangers to help toss me in the boat. I used to sit in my wheelchair sideways in the small fishing/row boat all the time. Looking back and after one very scary experience with really bad weather and huge waves that crept up on us your husband might be better trying to sit lower in the boat. A lot will depand on level of injury. I'm a c8-T1 and don't have the greatest balance in the world. I bought a seat that you can attach to a row boat and that worked pretty well. I think I got it from a local sports store/boat store. It had arms rests and a back on it and swiveled so I could move around a bit. It attached to the bench in the row boat. I used to hang around with friends that had boats and they would also bring me on board and put me in one of the seats on the power boat. My brother-in-laws parents have a fairly big sail boat and I've been on that a number of times. You might want to find a way to politely bring it up and say you would like to go next time and as a group you should be able to figure out how to get in and where to sit. I also never had a problem with people lifting me on the dock and handing me to another set of people standing inside the boat. Had too many good times to worry about getting hauled around but that's me.

    Last Friday my fiance and myself were going to go ocean kayaking and snorkeling with the giant sea turtles in Maui. When we got to the shore where we were taking off from 8 foot undpredictable, periodic swells were coming in. The guide was a bit concerned and we got our money back and went for a nice breakfast instead. We watched the rest of the group launch with no issues but I was still glad that I made the decision not to go. Knowing how to swim and wearing a lifejacket is smart. When I was younder I didn't do either and fortunately never I never ran into problems. Believe me, one bad experience is all that it takes to find safe boating religion. Only time I was glad I didn't have bowel control because I'm certain I would have had a messed up pair of shorts that day. Just be smart and safe and I'm certain you will have a lot of fun.


    Steve

  3. #3
    Senior Member Belle's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve!!!

    I think if he transfers into a canoe with the canoe on the ground it will work. Then shove off into the water. I don't think he'll have enough balance to row or paddle but that's ok.

    How do they get you into a rowboat??? There's usually a grade change (the boat is lower in the water than the dock). I can't think of a safe way to try that!


    *************
    AB wife of T8 complete para

  4. #4
    Belle, your husband being T-8 shouldn't have any problems getting into canoe/kayak etc. I am c5/6 and recently went kayaking, and how they helped me in was first placing me onto edge of dock (sitting) next to the kayak, then lowering me in. I was tandem paddeling so the other poerson went in first, helping to steady boat also. There were paras who were in kayak alone, and they entered similarly- first out chair onto edge of dock, then lowering themselves into boat. Your husband should be able to paddle at his level. If there is any balance problem, he can place some padding around back for support, but I would assume this might be just initially, until he gets sense of balance and gets used to paddling. At my level I had balance problem, but was still able to paddle (without ending up in water!). This was my first time in a kayak so was shaky, but felt that after some more tries and getting comfortable with where/how body is placed for better stability and finding best placement of hands on paddle (which was duct taped to hands), I should do well.

    anyway, good luck and have fun when you get out there!

  5. #5
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    Belle

    Can get in 2 ways. One person under the arms and one under the legs then they both would carry me into the boat. If the grade change is too significant for that the 2 people would hand me off to another 1 or 2 people in the boat who would sit me down. Hope that helps.

    Steve

  6. #6
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    Belle, You might also want to consider outrigger canoeing. This is becoming more and more popular, and is ideal for people with balance issues. The ama - the outrigger - makes the canoe very stable for loading in and out of the canoe and for paddling on the water. Outrigger canoeing lends itself well to adaptive paddling. Accommodations can be made for people depending on their level. I've paddled with paras and quads. Temporary seats can be added to the canoe, and belts and straps help with stability. Look up outrigger canoeing in your area in Ohio. There may be something near you. It's catching on around here.

    Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
    ~ Arthur Ashe

  7. #7
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    you might want to check out a Gheenoe. Much more stable than a canoe.Started with a 26 foot tritoon/pontoon boat, went to a 25 ft Parker, now I have a 35 ft Bertram. Love the water and fishing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Belle's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas!

    I think it would be hard for just 2 people to lift him, lol. He is 230 lbs.! We huff and puff with 4 of us (we are working on getting his weight down, but in the meantime...). He could probably manage to sit on the dock and go from there with extra people to help. I like the outrigger idea too.


    *************
    AB wife of T8 complete para

  9. #9
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    I use an Elkhorn lift from Spectrum Pools. I mounted it on the boats but you could mount it on a dock.

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