Outrigger Canoe Guideline

Capsize and recovery of the 6-man Outrigger Canoe

To ensure a safe and efficient recovery from a huli or capsize in the 6-man canoe, paddlers must be knowledgeable on the following steps:

The boat has capsized, check that people around you are ok. The steersman should call out the seat numbers to ensure all paddlers are accounted for Each seat has a job to do:

  • Seat 1 and 6 are to collect the paddles
  • Seat 2 and 5 are to go to the ama
  • Seat 3 and 4 go over the hull of the boat by stepping on the iakos then placing their feet on the mucus on the opposite side of the boat. They lean over the hull and grab on to the iakos

When the team is ready seats 2 and 5 push the ama into the air; seats 3 and 4 pull the iakos up and over the hull; seats 1 and 6 either steady the boat in the waves or assist on the ama (depending on weather conditions) while holding onto the paddles. Once the boat is upright, seats 3 and 4 stay with the ama pulling their bodies out of the water onto the iakos at the ama end; seats 2 and 5, and 1 and 6 get into the boat and start bailing right away. Seats 3 and 4 get into the boat once it is more stable. Always bail and lean left.

Paddling in the Dark

All boats must have lights on from dusk to dawn. This is the law. If you go out just before dusk make sure you have a light so that you can be seen out on the water and when you come back to the pontoon when it is dark.

Small boats (OC-1’s, OC-2’s, surf skis) require paddlers to bring their own lights. Ideally you will want to attach a light that is visible for 360 degrees. Otherwise, a clearly visible light clipped onto a cap, an armband, the iako or boat deck will do. These lights are not for you to see with but rather for you to be seen by other boats.

When paddling in the dark with a light on it is still prudent to steer clear of all other boat traffic. Our boats sit low in the water and our lights can blend in very easily with background city lights. Even with our lights on there are times when we cannot be seen clearly. Exercise caution at all times when paddling in the dark.

All OC-6’s must also go out in the dark with a light on.

Please check to see that they are working before you go out. If there is a problem, take an additional light with you.

Boat Leashes

All paddlers of club OC-1’s, OC-2’s and surf skis are required to use a boat leash if paddling outside of Deepwater and Repulse Bay. A boat leash is simply a means to keep the boat with you in case of a capsize. The club has a stock of boat leashes, but other commercial and homemade leashes are acceptable. Attach one end of the leash to the boat and the other end around your leg/ankle. It may save your life, or at least mean you don’t have to swim ashore or back to the VRC, when your boat disappears over the horizon!

Please be diligent about boat leashes.

Care and Attention

Please make sure you are familiar with all of the club Canoes before you take them out on the water.

In accordance with our safety policies, all non-swimmers, those who are uncomfortable about being out in the Open Ocean, or those who have not completed their swim tests, will have to wear a lifejacket while in the boat.

Review the outrigger capsize (huli) and recovery procedure with your crew. If you have not done a huli, make sure you sign up for the next practice or make inquiries as to when this drill will be covered by the coaches.

Ensure that the boat has at least two bailers, four life jackets, a safety kit and at least one spare paddle. All OC steerspersons need to be familiar with the contents of the safety packs; must know how to use a flare; must take a phone with them, programmed with the rescue service numbers.

Any crews going out when dusk is falling are required to have lights on the boat. Be diligent about lights. It is the law!

When storing the OC-6’s at the VRC or other locations, work as a team to pull the boats out and onto the trolleys. When storing be sure to do so tightly so as to minimize space, but also ensure to bail any lying water in the boats, remove all gear and that rain covers are put back on.

Crews are expected to volunteer time occasionally to clean boats as needed. If your boat is dirty after practice take the time to rinse it off, as it will save time and money later.

If any damage has occurred to a boat please report the damages to the boatmaster, so the required maintenance work can be scheduled. Crews are responsible for any immediate and significant damage.


Remove and rinse the sun cover and skirt.

Wash the boat on the dock not while in the water. Empty the boat of all items. Clean the inside of the boat with a small amount of detergent and fresh water then rinse with the hose. The outside of the boat should have the skirt scrubbed lightly with detergent and fresh water. The deck and hull require a lot more elbow grease using the detergent and fresh water. The ama should be cleaned the same way. Rinse off the iakos with fresh water but do not scrub them.

To the do the underside of the hull tip the boat up on its side. Some of the crew will need to support the ama and iakos while others scrub the bottom.

Rinse the entire boat (inside and out) with fresh water. The easiest way to empty the inside is to keep the boat up on its side then bail out the last little bit of water.

Thank you everyone for helping to keep our boats in good order.