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Old 09-09-2019, 10:56 AM   #1
saabrian
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Boats

Hi, this is probably a stupid question but...

When I hike to remote lakes and ponds, periodically there is a boat (usually rowboat) sitting on the shore, presumably from someone who does not want a portage every time they use it. Am I correct in assuming that it's not kosher to use it in such situations? Obviously I've never used one but wouldn't mind trying it out if it was considered kosher.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:44 AM   #2
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Lots of older threads on this, but....

Any boat left on State Land is abandoned anymore, it is not legal to store a boat on State Land. Before there was so much attention to the fine details of State Law, folks would drag or snowmobile drag boats and canoes back to ponds they like to fish and leave them so they did not have to hassle getting them in during the season. The unwritten rule in the mountains has always been find it, use it return it to where you found it, surrender the boat if challenged. There are rarely serviceable oars or paddles because they are easy to steal, and porcupines love to chew them for the salt. Also, another "fine detail", you are required to have a PFD whether you found the boat or not. When I am going to a new pond, and I am hoping to find and use a boat, I carry a pfd strapped to my pack, and I use a canoe paddle for a walking stick (a plastic canoe paddle not a fancy wood one.) A lot of these boats are also leaky from being left to the elements.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by saabrian View Post
Hi, this is probably a stupid question but...

When I hike to remote lakes and ponds, periodically there is a boat (usually rowboat) sitting on the shore, presumably from someone who does not want a portage every time they use it. Am I correct in assuming that it's not kosher to use it in such situations? Obviously I've never used one but wouldn't mind trying it out if it was considered kosher.
if its not yours and don't have permission have no right to it
whether you steal it for an hour, or for the day, its still theft
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:46 PM   #4
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Any equipment left on state land for more than three days without a permit is considered abandoned under NYS LAW. It is illegal do abandon equipment in such a manner.
As such, most folks use any found equipment and return it when done.

I personally do not condone abandoning boats at remote waters... if you’re too lazy or infirm to carry your own stuff in AND out, consider a different type of recreation more suited to your abilities.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:34 PM   #5
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Some boats are placed by NYSDEC for the use of people who come to the pond. I was told this by an AFR. A lot of lean-tos have cookware left in them, too I hardly think it is intended for the exclusive use of whoever left it. If it is on public land, and no one is around to tell you it is theirs, it is hardly stealing to use a boat. Take it home with you, yea, you are stealing, fish for an hour, or use the fry pan hanging in the lean-to, hardly.

Gee, I know it was not intentional, but your comment, stripper guy, sounds a lot like those "no anything but what I want, as I am fit and able, and if you're not stay out of MY mountains" elitism that 90% of the elitists deny they are guilty of. I hope to hear whatever tune you are whistling in 30 years or so.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:59 PM   #6
Justin
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I’ve never stashed a canoe or boat but have used many of them that I’ve found hidden on state land over the years. Never once felt bad about doing so, and often make my own Makeshift Paddles. In fact, I usually will look around for one (stashed canoe/boat), and I’m always sure to return it where I found it. Never had any negative issues other than the occasional slow leak. I absolutely despise personal belongings left behind on state land, but if I happen to find an obviously stashed canoe or rowboat at a remote pond I have no problems taking it out for a spin and/or for a few casts.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:30 PM   #7
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Iíve never stashed a canoe or boat but have used many of them that Iíve found hidden on state land over the years. Never once felt bad about doing so, and often make my own Makeshift Paddles. In fact, I usually will look around for one (stashed canoe/boat), and Iím always sure to return it where I found it. Never had any negative issues other than the occasional slow leak. I absolutely despise personal belongings left behind on state land, but if I happen to find an obviously stashed canoe or rowboat at a remote pond I have no problems taking it out for a spin and/or for a few casts.
What Justin said knowing that a Scanoe is heavy and clumsy and a PITA to bring every time.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:33 PM   #8
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I don't consider myself an "elitist" whatever that is, but I've always believed that as my abilities change, I'm perfectly fine with losing access to places I once had access to, knowing that they'll stay more or less as I remember them for future generations. I'm 55 now and can't hike or climb as far as I could when I was 20 or 30, but I don't expect access laws to change to fit my now current physical abilities.
Totally agree I was in my 40s when I came to north America and in my 50s when I had enough experience to do the Lows/Oswegachi route, I am in my early 60s now and doubt I could do it again because of arthritis . Back then I thought "portage Wheels" were for wimps until I used a set on the carry down to the upper dam at Lows during mud season. We all adapt and when we cannot we do something we are capable of
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:59 PM   #9
Justin
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Judging from past discussions on this topic on this forum & in my own experiences over the years it seems clear most of the complaints about the historical Adirondack tradition of using & returning a stashed boat or canoe at a remote pond are from people who do not fish, where the response is usually something similar to...”if I want to paddle a pond I will bring my own damn canoe”.

Last edited by Justin; 09-09-2019 at 09:14 PM..
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:48 PM   #10
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How many rotting canoes and rowboat left behind is ok? 1? 50? Pharaoh Lake used to have 1 or two at every lean-to. Some in good shape, some not seaworthy.

If you owned a $1000 Hornbeck, you'd carry it out!

I'm with SG on this!
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:58 PM   #11
Justin
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How many rotting canoes and rowboat left behind is ok? 1? 50? Pharaoh Lake used to have 1 or two at every lean-to. Some in good shape, some not seaworthy.

If you owned a $1000 Hornbeck, you'd carry it out!
I’m ok with one or two. A bunch of unseaworthies were helicoptered out of Pharaoh Lake a few years ago (I have photos). I’ve only found a couple since then, one is/was used & stashed by DEC. Never did find a Hornbeck yet, I wish, fingers crossed.

Last edited by Justin; 09-09-2019 at 10:11 PM..
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:10 AM   #12
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Just to clarify, I never said anything about stashing things, but the question had to do with using things one finds stashed, like the cookware in the leantos on the NPT, or the boats that (according to the ranger I spoke with) are even sometimes left at remote sites by DEC. I did not oppose stashed boats before because they were useful (I never encountered a pond with more than one). When I am camped at an area, like MRP, where I leave the nearshore of the pond and camp back away from the pond along the road, I leave the boat at the pond for the duration of my trip (generally 3 days or less, no permit needed) as hauling the boat in and out is PITA, and will cause more wear and tear to trails than leaving it back away from the water a ways. I suppose if I am ever so fortunate as to ID an extra 1000+ for a Hornbeck, I'll carry it in and out as it is too valuable to be left alone, especially with Justin prowling the woods. I'm 68, and it is a constant source of astonishment at how rapidly the powers diminish in the later years!
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:38 AM   #13
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... it is too valuable to be left alone, especially with Justin prowling the woods.
If I plan to leave my canoe unattended for an extended period of time Iíll usually leave a note with it in black magic marker on a piece of cardboard stating please donít take my canoe, Iím nearby & will be back soon.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:13 AM   #14
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I don't believe that the DEC places boats on remote ponds for free use of the public.
Maybe not anymore but they definitely used to. Some of those small green aluminum tub looking rowboats are still around & still seaworthy.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:14 PM   #15
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I've used the occasional found boat as well, and never gave it a second thought. I think the majority of backcountry travelers would. It's all part of tge adventure....Will it float? Yes it does, good I'm taking it for a spin. Btw, a pole works surprising well as a makeshift paddle even if you can't touch bottom.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:25 AM   #16
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I've read in older books about the tradition of using hidden boats at remote waters, but I never tried it myself. I don't fish, so I had less incentive than some. Now I take a canoe with me and very much enjoy traveling that way, but I know it doesn't leak and will probably get me where I'm going. My other concern about using hidden boats when I found them was that the owner or someone who claimed to be the owner might come while I was out on the water and be vexed, not that it would probably really matter but I tend to think that the kind of folks who leave boats in the woods are probably not the most community-minded and might not be very nice about it.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:56 AM   #17
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...I tend to think that the kind of folks who leave boats in the woods are probably not the most community-minded and might not be very nice about it.
Zach
I actually met the owner of a stashed rowboat once. I told him that I had used the boat a few times in the past & always returned it where I found it. He was actually very nice about it & said that’s why he & his buddy left it there several years ago for others to use. We had a pleasant conversation. He knew it was illegal but didn’t seem to care & neither did I, nor did the local Ranger.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:04 PM   #18
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I actually met the owner of a stashed rowboat once. I told him that I had used the boat a few times in the past & always returned it where I found it. He was actually very nice about it & said thatís why he & his buddy left it there several years ago for others to use. We had a pleasant conversation. He knew it was illegal but didnít seem to care & neither did I, nor did the local Ranger.
Yep, theres more important things then a boat left behind. It might even come in handy some day.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:16 PM   #19
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I actually met the owner of a stashed rowboat once. I told him that I had used the boat a few times in the past & always returned it where I found it. He was actually very nice about it & said thatís why he & his buddy left it there several years ago for others to use. We had a pleasant conversation. He knew it was illegal but didnít seem to care & neither did I, nor did the local Ranger.
I'm glad it worked out so well for all concerned. I just didn't want to take the chance, I guess.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:38 PM   #20
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I've never used one but have seen them. Usually bring my own. But, as long as it's being used, and most are, I have no issue with it. The problem is that some are left in too obvious places and get damaged. I've seen them destroyed by rocks and bullet holes. Stash them in a place where they're not obtrusive and if someone finds it and uses it they s/b expected to put it back the way they found it.
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