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The LHCOCC Unlimited Canoe (Mahana) is a highly refined watercraft that is designed to operate in a variety of water and weather conditions. But to do so safely, whilst maximizing the canoes capabilities, the crew(s) and steersperson(s) need to be well-trained and focused on the job at hand. The Club coaching staff is responsible for conducting a training/qualification program available for all Club members that wish to paddle in the canoe and/or participate in races.


Club coaching staff will conduct a series of training sessions tailored to qualify all club members who wish to paddle in the unlimited canoe. The sessions will cover the knowledge required to be a safe and effective paddler in the unlimited canoe, and will cover all of the important issues listed in this document.


Unless notified otherwise, training sessions will be conducted at the club canoe storage area, on the beach, and in the unlimited canoe. Most training sessions (except for paddle technique) will be conducted during/before/after regular club practices.




Unlimited canoes have significant design and handling differences from the Bradley and other outrigger canoe designs. They are designed for racing, and like most machines designed for racing, demand a higher degree of crew and steersperson training and attention to details. Some major differences that will be covered in the training sessions include:

Gross Weight

  • The unlimited canoe’s gross assembled weigh is approximately 185-190 pounds.

  • A Bradley canoe’s gross assembled weight is approximately 425 pounds.


  • The unlimited canoe is very stable as long as the ama is rigged correctly and is on the water.

  • If the ama rises significantly above the surface of the water, the canoe may huli – and that huli can be very fast and sudden.

  • Proper crew balance paddle management and situational awareness is essential – for all crew seats – especially for the steersperson.

  • Construction materials/repairs/ Hull/Ama damage control:

  • Primary construction materials include Carbon Fiber, epoxy, wood and a thin layer of paint – keeping the gross weight of the canoe to a minimum. The hull and ama are very thin and can be damaged very easily. Carbon fiber is brittle and very expensive to repair.

  • Rocks, paddle blades, clothes with metal zippers, etc. can damage the canoe. Improper foot gear, and sand on foot gear or bare feet will damage the interior finish of the canoe. The hull and ama should NEVER touch a rock or other surface that can cause damage. Dropping the canoe shall be avoided at all costs.

  • Do not allow your paddle blade to hit the canoe. It can and will damage the canoe!


  • The canoe will be stored between two Bradley canoes.

  • Three cradles will be placed under the canoe and an additional two cradles under that ama.

  • The canoe and ama will be covered after each use.

  • The hull and ama will have additional tiedowns anchored to the ground to minimize wind damage.

  • The outside of the canoe and ama will be wiped down with clean towels after each use.

  • All sand/dirt will be carefully removed from the interior of the hull.

  • Bilge pump batteries will be removed from the canoe and stored after each use.

  • Polishing and ultraviolet inhibiter will be applied only when needed and supervised by a coach or Club officer.


Transporting and Launching

  • When transporting and launching the canoe, ONE person should be in charge of the operation.

  • A two-wheel cart will be used to transport the canoe to and from the water.

  • Do not lift the canoe until directed to do so by the person in charge of the operation.

  • The canoe will be placed on the cart by lifting it clear of the cradles and placed on the cart with no part of the canoe touching the ground. The center balance point for the cart axle is marked on the inside of the hull.

  • Lift the canoe at each seat location by placing your hand/hands under the seat.

  • One person can carefully lift the canoe from the bow and/or stern location.

  • Do not lift the canoe by placing your hands on the top combing except at the two imho cowlings where the I’aku’s attach to the canoe.

  • The ama should be lifted by two people – one person at each end.


Rigging Requirements

  • Major rigging adjustments will be made by a coach and require tools to accomplish

  • Installation of the iako’s into the hull require that two spring-loaded indents are placed into their respective holes. Carefully sliding the iako’s (front and back are marked inside of the hull-side of the tubes) into the holes in the canoe and aligning them with the indents often requires two people working together.

  • The ama’s are attached by sliding the iako’s tapered wedge into the ama and locking it in using the washer and threaded bolt attached to the ama.


Cockpit/Seating Design/Splash Covers/Adjustable Footrests/Paddle Holders

  • Each cockpit is shaped differently, has specific paddler responsibilities and is in a different location respective to the overall balance and stability of the canoe.

  • Splash covers are marked with their seat number on the inside fabric of the cover.

  • Installation and removal of splash covers will be supervised by a Club coach or officer (they are subject to damage).

  • Splash covers will only be used for training and when water conditions warrant their use for safety reasons.

  • Each cockpit has an adjustable footrest and requires adjustment for each paddler. The footrests should be adjusted and locked from the outside of the canoe. The footrests, when properly set, should result in your knees being slightly bent when sitting in the seat, with both feet on the footrest.

  • Footrest adjustment requires that two adjustment levers be flipped open and the footrest be slid backwards or forwards to conform to a paddler’s needs. Do not use force. After adjustment – relock the levers.

  • Each cockpit has a rubber paddle holder located on the cowling in front of the cockpit.

  • The paddle holder is attached to the canoe with two nylon bolts. They can break if you force your paddle in or out of the holder or grab the holder whilst entering or leaving the canoe.


Crew/Canoe Equipment

  • Each cockpit/seat shall have a hand bailer that is readily accessible to the paddler in that seat.

  • A life jacket shall be worn or stored directly under each seat.

  • The canoe will be carrying a tow rope if recommended by a coach/steersperson.

  • During SCORA or non-SCORA races a towrope shall be installed in the canoe. Crew members will be taught proper towrope use.

  • A running light shall be installed and turned on prior to dawn and dusk


Crew Entry and Egress

  • DO NOT enter/sit/stand in the canoe unless it is fully afloat.

  • Clean feet BEFORE entering the canoe.

  • One foot in center of canoe hull. Butt on the seat. Other foot into hull.

  • Entry/Egress – stay in your seat until asked to get in or out.


Paddling Technique

  • Correct paddling technique is essential to realize the full potential of an unlimited canoe.

  • A light weight hull has less glide than a heavier hull having less kinetic energy. A quick recovery will minimize the paddle time in the air.

  • Paddle training will be an essential part of qualifying in the unlimited canoe.

  • Paddle training will be conducted by the Club coaching staff and will be an essential part of the qualifying process. Especially for those who may wish to race in this beautiful racing canoe.

  • In a unlimited racing canoe, it is essential that the crew be well trained, practice proper paddling technique, maintain situational awareness at all times – even when paddles are up and the canoe is not moving.

  • Idle chatter whilst paddling an unlimited canoe can cause lack of communication, missed communication that can result in very bad consequences.  


Huli Recovery

  • Huli recovery training will be conducted on or near the beach.

  • The Club documentation will be used to conduct the training.

  • In the event of a huli, SCORA Race Rules require that all crew be able to climb back in a canoe.


Steering/Crew Management

  • All Club steerspersons will receive additional instruction and practice in steering and crew management in unlimited canoes.


Misc. Notes

  • Partial list of maintenance/modifications that need to be accomplished asap.

  • Manufacture and Installation of canoe hull, iaku, and ama covers.

  • Proper tiedown to minimize wind damage.

  • Installation of towrope tiedown points.

  • Manufacture and installation of flag/running light pole.

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