Recently my friend Gill demonstrated his boarding ladder and paddle float boarding system: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=35810
Great idea, but there were a few questions left unanswered. How difficult is it to right the boat? What if you don't have a boarding ladder and paddle float? How does this work out in deeper water?
We wanted to know these things, so we found some not-to-bright guy wandering by who agreed to jump in the lake and get back in the boat for a free meal.
1. Past the point of no return...2. Grab the boat
before the wind blows it away and get yourself oriented to your new environment. Develop your plan of action.3. Right the boat
. Kick your legs out. On the narrower Adventure, you may be able to pull yourself across the bottom and grab the opposite side. For the beamier boats, you can grab a Drive sprocket. As you pull your legs forward at the hip to gain leverage, pivot the boat toward you.
As you can see, the front Drive location didn't provide enough leverage for our demonstrator with the tandem Oasis...
He found it much easier to do from the middle of the boat.
Be sure to remove your fingers from any holes (so they don't get bent backwards) and keep the boat under control as much as possible as it flips toward you so it doesn't smack you in the head.4. Reboarding
. Here's a sequence of what happens next. Legs out, slide yourself up and over the rail (picture a seal sliding up onto a rock). Back pedal to keep your legs from swinging under the boat. Bring one knee up and then the other.
After this, you can take your time repositioning yourself. The Oasis has plenty of stability, unlike the narrower boats that will capsize back on you if you don't get enough weight across the boat initially.
If there are two aboard, your partner should be on the opposite side to limit boat listing. It's important to let the boat lean though to make less of a hurdle for the boarder to cross the lower rail until he/she gets at least one leg in.
Our friend "Einstein" agreed to repeat the exercise in the front cockpit for a free dessert. We wanted to see if there was any difference. Since the boat is narrower there, there wasn't quite as much stability. On the other hand, it was easier to reach across and use the other grip. In both cases, the paddle presented no significant obstacle.
Remember this is a slide across maneuver, not a pull up move. Try to get your torso across the beam as much as possible with the first motion, especially on the narrower boats.
In rougher water, it might be best to swing the boat around to locate yourself upwind from the boat so it doesn't try to run over you as you board. This will help keep your legs out as the wind and water push the boat away from you. This also places you on the gentler side of any chop. Or, if you need to, you can try facing the boat upwind so any effect of chop is neutralized. The boat may be hard to hold in this position however.
When you get done gloating, you can pedal around and try to collect any belongings that are adrift.
Hope you try it for yourself rather than just rely on these pics -- it's much easier after the first time!
PS. With all hatches closed, the Oasis collected a gallon or two during this exercise -- no big deal. Remember though that open hatches can flood boats fast -- always keep them closed when not in use!