Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Me on my annual trip to the Travo slides in Corsica. Photo by Harald Glanz

I've been wanting to write something about this for ages, but haven't because I have been too busy going to the river...

Leading the way down the Upper Golo. Photo by Harald Glanz

NevaFull is my name for an old idea of Pete Orton's, at the 1994 Rodeo pre worlds in Augsburg Germany he drilled some holes in his Ocoee, I don't know how well it worked. OK the problem is simple when I paddle white water in my canoe water comes in the big hole in the top, so drill some small holes in the side and make it self bailing, Bingo!

Me still sliding on the Travo. Photo by Harald Glanz

The process is kinda easy, will almost certainly invalidate the warranty on your canoe and will strike fear into your heart when you start. Get out on the water and measure the waterline in the side of your canoe when it is empty, or get a friend to do this as bending over to draw on the canoe is tricky whilst keeping it flat and not falling in.

I weigh about 80KGs(176LBs) and my holes are 145mm above the hull of the SpanishFly, my Taureau is about the same.

Take a big drill, I used 33mm, and drill a few holes, I did 3 on each side, just above the empty waterline mark. Now when your boat fills up with water, Gravity and the buoyancy of the canoe will empty most of the water out for you.

The holes are about 70mm apart, the middle hole is in the middle of the canoe.

I have tried this with a Taureau and a SpanishFly so far and it works a treat, in fact I almost can't believe how well it works, I haven't had so much fun in a canoe for years, tearing my down the river without a care in the world, with almost no water I never have to get out to bail and even in the middle of tricky rapids I have a nearly dry boat, amazing! I don't know if this will work on bigger canoes because I haven't tried it yet, but when I find a donor boat then I will be racing at it with my drill!

It's kinda hard to explain any more about this idea but if you have got any questions please drop me a mail.

So with that done and dusted I am gonna load up my truck and head over to the Euro Armada in Imst for a few days.

Happy paddling,