Everglades Exploration Network

Here is the system that I have learned from my friend Alex. Most of you probably have a similar version and adapt it to your particular boat. My solo canoe is not very stable at rest so getting onto a platform at very low water levels a difficult process. This was also a problem when I arrived at a chickee with my touring kayak. It got so problematic for me that I refused to camp on these platforms when using the kayak. So for those that are balance impaired....my photobucket presentation:




This can be adapted to use with a touring kayak just keep the ropes centered and your weight towards the platform when standing.


Now if someone would post a picture or two of  anchoring a boat away from the platfom using a trolley.

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Thank you Vivian for taking the time and post this, I'm planning a few trips this season and chickees are on my list.

Well I was hoping for some help where there are no ladders. Securing the boat is not so much of an issue as doing chinups..
It's easy to anchor a boat out from a chickee or any other shoreline in a way that allows you to retrieve it without getting wet. The written description that follows may seem more complicated than it really is. All you're doing is creating a loop with your anchor line with the boat in the middle, you can pull your boat to the anchor or back to you from the anchor depending on which end of the loop line that you pull.

You need: a large stainless or galvanized ring and at least 150 feet of anchor line.

At the anchor you need to fasten a large stainless ring, found at most marine stores. The anchor line will pass through this ring. I fasten my ring to the anchor using a stainless or galvanized swivel. You'll need a good length of anchor line, at least 150'. I pass one end of the anchor line through the ring, then fasten one end to the bow and the other end to the stern.

To use the system you take the boat out to where you want to drop the hook. Drop it and then reverse the boat back toward the chickee, paying line out as you go. (make sure the other end of line is attached to the stern or you will lose your anchor if all the line pays out). You don't really need to reverse the whole way to the chickee, just enough to make sure the bowline is clear, it's relatively simple line management that gets easier once you've done it a couple of times. At this point the boat should be at the chickee and the anchor is,say 50 feet out in the channel. Now you've got the anchor line tied to the bow, it runs up to the ring at the hook and then returns to your stern line. The anchor line is simply passing through the ring on the hook. To move the boat back to the anchor you simply pull on the end that's tied to the stern. The boat will slowly head back out to the open water where you don't have to tend to it banging up against your platform at night. You'll end up with a double line that you tie to the chickee.

Once it's tied up you can rest easy knowing that you've got 2 lines tied to the boat. Now you can relax, enjoy the evening sunset colors and perhaps a cocktail. Now if you happen to have left the ice in the cooler on the boat - pull on the bowline while paying out the sternline (and next time bring the ice cooler on the chickee).
Perhaps a section or two of this product. 5 foot sections. Just happened to get a sale flyer from Bass Pro Shops as I was reading this thread.

Hmmm...have to find a hunter who is done with their treestand for my trip! Those look good..better than dragging my dock ladder which isnt used in the winter. Thanks!
Kim, in my pictures I showed the boat stabilized next to a ladder. When I first used this method it was by looping one line around a support post and I used horizontal wood support under the platform as a step up. Having the boat stable really helped to load the boat from the platform and get down into it from above.

If you have a rescue stirrup from your kayaking gear, maybe it could be extended to loop around one of the posts?

Most of the chickees I have come across lately have ladders so maybe the park is realizing these as a necessity for paddlers?
I will sketch this out while I read it later this week. Thank you for the explanation.
Being generally mechanically oriented as I am, this seemed like something that could be used or modified pretty easily to solve your problem.
Bear in mind that it might need to be modified, but there are plenty of folks out there with the skill to modify a product like this ladder to make it work for you and your particular need. Right from the start I would probably add some sort of plate that would slide in to the slat between the first and second board on the chickee to act as a hook.
Hi Vivian.
Good to see you on this site Roger! Do you have a picture of the pulley system you used on your last through trip to bring the canoe out of the water?
I didn't use a pulley system on this last trip because I was in my 32-lb kevlar Swift Shearwater solo canoe. But when I took my 17' aluminum Grumman several years back I brought along two blocks-and-tackle, looped them with rope over the cross beam on the chickee and hoisted the canoe up level with the floor. No worries about tide fluctuations at night. Also, on my most recent trip, the first five days were on beaches, from Cape Sable to Shark Point to Highland Beach, and then the last five days were on chickees along the Harney River, Shark River, and Joe River. I was fortunate to arrive at the chickees at high tide so there was less then a foot between the water surface and the deck of the chickee. I simply pulled my canoe up onto the chickee once I offloaded some of the heavier gear. At the Harney River chickee especially, there could be a 6' drop from the chickee deck to the water at low tide during a full or new moon.
hey roger, how is that new canoe and how fast does it cruise? Do you think it's as fast as the voyager? I'm finding the voyager easily keeps up with or beats many recreational kayaks on the long haul . Of course it could be the engine. It will not keep up with a long narrow cruising yak. I'm finding it tops out just above 6mph. I can do 4mph all day and several hours between 4.5 and 5. mph.

I was checking out the Jensen up in Suwannee it is realy fast but does not look great for camping.

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