Depending on the type, small boats have various advantages and disadvantages. They are usually intended for swimming under certain conditions. Therefore, they should not be used under conditions, for which they are not adapted. Some boats, such as the traditional coracle, they are only suitable for quiet ones, slow flowing water, other – like modern inflatables, can be used under conditions, in which most of the boats would be useless.
A boat with an engine
A flat-bottomed boat powered by an engine is perfect for sailing wide boats, rivers that are not too rapid. You can travel long distances on such a boat.
The overboard engine loads the stern. Therefore, when the propeller is sunk in water, and the boat is long and narrow, there must be ballast in the bow for balance.
The engine slightly reduces the boat's displacement.
Modern pontoons are perfect even in difficult sea conditions. Researchers and travelers eagerly use them. The pontoons are steerable even in stormy seas, flooded by waves. However, floating ice and other obstacles may pierce the float chambers of the pontoon. While sailing in a motor-driven pontoon you have to load its bow, so that it does not float too high, because it may tip over, especially when bumping into waves.
You have to know how to make this boat; it consists of a wicker frame woven into a semicircular bowl and an animal skin or tarpaulin stretched over it. This type of boat is only suitable for very calm waters, sheltered from the wind.
The traditional Eskimo canoe turned out to be the best type of boat for tourist trips. Extremely durable, the most modern sports mountain kayaks are built according to the Eskimo prototype. Kayaks covered with impregnated linen or leather are not as durable as those made of fiberglass, but much lighter. So they can be moved through difficult-to-cross thresholds and rapids. Rowing and steering a kayak, which is loaded with luggage or thrown by strong mountain streams, requires a lot of dexterity. A canoe without a keel can easily tip over.
■ Always wear a life jacket on board, and when you don't have it, stuff empty bottles into pockets.
■ Secure each piece of equipment by tying it to the sides with a rope, mast or deck.
■ Do not overload your boat.
■ Do some research along the river, which you are going to swim, before launching a raft or boat on it.
■ If you are using an engine, speed up the boat, until it glides flat on the water surface, then slow down, so that the beak does not start to rise too much.
1 Take the debts, strong stick, cut green shoots and knots with a knife. Sharpen it into an oblong wedge.
2 Tie two shorter poles on the sides of the pointed end. These will be paddle feathers.
3 Press the third short stick into the gap between the two side sticks, until it fits snugly into the notch on the long stick. Tie everything up tight.
The finished oar may need to be re-knot when swimming, because a soaked string often loosens.