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Canoeing 101

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Zippered Belly Cover on IQ Gunwale System

The IQ Belly Cover is designed for multiple purposes.

  • One is to increase the heavy weather capability of your canoe by providing what amounts to an oversized deck to your boat.
  • The Belly Cover is equipped with bow-stays to provide an arched shape to shed water and waves.
  • The Belly Cover will also keep rain and sun off your gear and equipment.
  • It is adjustable fore and aft and is “collapsible,” allowing it to be pushed out of the way when not desired yet firmly attached to the canoe.
  • It can also be pulled back towards the stern paddler to provide some coverage from sun and precipitation. 

Zippered design makes installation and removal quick and easy as well as providing partial access to gear protected by cover. Simply unzip zipper as far as necessary and flip cover open to get to desired equipment. 

  1. The Belly Cover comes in two parts. There is cover with boltrope sewn to one side and a second length of bolt rope to which zipper has been sewn. The boltrope is sized so that the round bead fits into the slot on the outside of the IQ Gunwale. 
  2. There is a widened slot in the gunwale just behind the deck on each gunwale to allow the boltrope to be inserted. 
  3. From bow of canoe, slide boltrope with zipper into outside channel on starboard (right) side of hull. First insert end with zipper starter and slide boltrope completely into channel. 
  4. Insert bolt rope attached to cover into outside channel on port (left) side of canoe, making sure to start with end of cover with zipper starter. Insert full length of boltrope into channel. 
  5. Mate the zipper starters and zip parts together. It is easier to make zipper slide if you do so with cover untensioned. Start with cover positioned in front of middle of canoe and zip completely. 
  6. Once cover is fully zipped, slide back onto canoe to desired position. The cover can be pushed forward or pulled back or somewhat compressed while installed if you require less coverage depending upon weather, water, or wave conditions. 
  7. To access contents, unzip zipper enough to allow access to desired gear and flip cover out of the way. Once you have obtained what you needed, rezip the cover closed. 
  8. To remove cover, gently pull cover towards the end of canoe.  With stays on cover relaxed, unzip zipper. If zipper binds at stay intersection, rezip it a couple of inches and pull quickly past stay. Remove both components from channel and stow securely. 

NOTE: IT IS REQUIRED THAT ALL IQ MODULES SUCH AS THE BELLY COVER BE REMOVED BEFORE CARTOPPING YOUR CANOE.  Do not sit or stand on the Belly Cover and avoid placing heavy items on top as well. 

NOTE: The Belly Cover should be removed for solo portaging.  It can be pushed towards end of boat behind paddler but beware that it can snag on obstructions, possibly tearing the cover or upsetting the portager’s balance. 

NOTE: As with any outfitting component added to a canoe, there can be increased risk of entrapment.  Do not use Belly Cover to provide shade for sleeping children due to elevated risk of entrapment. Take risk into account, be prepared for it and prior practice is strongly recommended to minimize this risk. 

NOTE: The Belly Cover is not designed for dedicated whitewater use. It is intended for use while tripping or touring. A capsized canoe with Belly Cover in place is in greater jeopardy of becoming caught or snagged on obstructions. It is recommended that Belly Cover be removed before running any whitewater of consequence. Use your judgment in determining your ability to safely navigate specific whitewater with Belly Cover in place.