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Canoeing FAQ's

What do I need to bring?

We will supply boats, paddles and buoyancy aids and wetsuits, as well as life jackets for babies and toddlers. You need to bring:-

-       Swimwear and towel. (not normally needed for canoes and rowing boats)

-       Sun cream, sunhat and water bottle (on all but the coldest days)

-       Spare clothing

-       Shoes that can get wet – such as wet shoes or old trainers.

-       Waterproofs, fleece and hat – on all but the warmest days.

-       A drybag or dry case for your phone (if you intend to take it on the lake). These are available to buy.

Will a family of 5 fit in a canoe?

Usually not, if it is not windy and there are 2 small adults and 3 children then it may be possible to fit in a 17'4 canoe.  This decision can only be made on the day, when staff can assess the weather conditions and the total load in the boat. 

I have hired a canoe for 4, but there are only 2 seats! Why?

Most of our canoes are fitted with 2 seats, some with 3.  Extra passengers should kneel.  The lower the weight is in the boat the more stable it is - so there is a good argument for all passengers to kneel! (especially if the wind picks up!)  We do have some seats that can be fitted to provide a third seat - please ask if you want one.  

Will I get wet?

It is always possible for a canoe to capsize, although this is rare if you listen to the instructions given and take a little care (we have 2 or 3 canoe capsizes per year).  It is always worth bringing a change of clothes just in case! (If nothing else than to protect against Murphy's law!) 

How long will it take to get to the island?

It depends on how fast you paddle, how many are in the boat, the length of your boat and the wind direction.  Most boats will get to the lingholm islands in 10-15 minutes and St Herbert’s Island in 30-45minutes.  It is possible to do it faster, or to potter and take a lot longer!

Why cant I use the canoes today?

We only restrict canoe usage for 3 reasons usually because it is to windy!  Occasionally (out of season) we may restrict it if rescue cover or first aid cover is not available.  This only happens very occasionally (once every few years), when  the rescue / first aid person is sick.  If it is to windy for canoes, kayaks may be available (they sit lower in the water and are less affected by wind)  although there will come a point where kayaks are also unavailable.  

If it is very windy or cold then we have to be much more careful and will risk assess on a case by case basis and may impose extra restrictions or limit hire as we see fit. 

Can I take my dog?

Yes as long as they are water friendly!  Most dogs are fine in canoes.

Any other questions?  Pop in, call 017687 73082 or email  See also our general FAQ's here.