DIY Poling Platform: A Must-Have for Every Paddler
This article will guide you through the process of building your own poling platform for your canoe. If you're a paddler who's fed up with wobbling, unstable platforms, or high-cost and limited platforms, this guide is for you. Having a reliable, sturdy, and customized poling platform can significantly enhance your poling experience by providing you with a solid platform where you can comfortably stand and view your surroundings.
Materials and Tools
- Marine plywood (4’ x 8’ x ¾”)
- Two 8’ long by 2 ¾” diameter PVC pipes
- Two PVC pipe caps (2 ¾” diameter)
- Eight 5 ½” long lag screws (1/4” diameter)
- Two 2 ½” heavy-duty hinges
- Two 4” hasps
- Two 4” spring-loaded handles
- One ¼” drill bit
- One ½” drill bit
- Power drill/driver
- Measuring tape
- Safety equipment (gloves, safety glasses, etc.)
Building the Poling Platform
- Measure and mark the plywood according to the design.
- Cut out the platform using a jigsaw.
- Mark the placement of the PVC pipes horizontally on the platform, about 2 ½ feet apart.
- Drill two ½” diameter holes through the platform on each mark.
- Insert the PVC pipes into the holes and attach the caps to the top of each pipe.
- Place the platform onto the canoe where you want it to be, ensuring it is level.
- Attach the hinges to the back of the platform and the canoe.
- Attach the hasps to the front of the platform and the canoe.
- Attach the spring-loaded handles to the sides of the platform.
Securing the Poling Platform to the Canoe
The poling platform needs to be secured to the canoe to ensure it remains in place while you're poling. You have a few different options for securing the platform, depending on your preferences:
- Use lag screws to fasten the hinges and hasps directly to the canoe.
- Install D-ring tie-downs to the inside of the canoe and use straps to connect the poling platform to the D-rings.
- Use bungee cords or ropes to secure the platform to the canoe.
Whatever option you choose, make sure the platform is securely fastened before using it.
Poling Platform Modifications and Customizations
Once you've built your poling platform and tried it out a few times, you may want to make some modifications to improve its stability or functionality. Some common modifications include:
- Adding non-slip padding to the top of the platform for better traction.
- Attaching a rod holder to the side of the platform for easy access to your fishing gear.
- Building and attaching a modular rod rack to the back of the platform for storage.
- Adding a swivel seat to the center of the platform for more comfortable sitting.
Remember that any modifications you make should be properly secured and not compromise the stability or safety of the platform.
Related: Navionics App: Your Ultimate Nautical Companion
What is a poling platform?
A poling platform is a raised platform attached to a canoe that allows the paddler to stand and use a pole to propel the canoe forward.
Why do I need a poling platform?
A poling platform provides greater stability and control when poling, allowing you to navigate shallow or swift moving water with ease.
Can I buy a pre-made poling platform?
Yes, pre-made poling platforms are available for purchase, but building your own DIY platform can be a cost-effective alternative.
What materials are needed to build a DIY poling platform?
Materials may vary, but most DIY poling platforms require plywood, PVC pipes, clamps or brackets, and screws or bolts.
Do I need to be an experienced DIYer to build a poling platform?
No, building a DIY poling platform does not require advanced DIY skills, but having basic construction knowledge can be helpful.
How do I secure the poling platform to my canoe?
Various options are available, including straps, brackets, or clamps that attach to the canoe’s gunnel.
Can I customize my DIY poling platform?
Yes, modifications and customizations can be made to improve stability, functionality, and comfort.
Will a poling platform work on any canoe type?
Poling platforms are best suited for canoes with a flat bottom or shallow arch, and not recommended for those with a deep V-shape.
Can I use my poling platform for fishing?
Yes, a poling platform can double as a fishing platform or casting deck when paddling in calm water.
Do I need any special tools to build a DIY poling platform?
While basic tools will suffice, having a power drill and saw can make the construction process faster and easier.
Amber had always been an avid canoe enthusiast. She loved nothing more than exploring the winding rivers and calm waters of her hometown, especially when poling. But with each adventure, she often found herself struggling to maintain balance and control in the canoe. So, after some research, she came across the idea of building her own poling platform.
With no prior DIY experience, Amber felt a bit intimidated by the prospect of constructing the platform. But determined to improve her canoeing skills, she jumped right into the project. She started by gathering the necessary materials, buying some plywood, PVC pipes, screws, and bolt.
Amber then used a saw to cut the plywood into the desired shape and size, and drilled holes for the PVC pipes to be inserted. She secured the pipes in place using screws and bolts, and fitted the platform with some clamps that would attach it to her canoe’s gunnels.
After several hours of hard work, Amber finally completed her DIY poling platform. Excited to test out her new creation, she loaded up her canoe and headed to the nearby river. As she stood on the platform and began poling, she could immediately sense the difference.
With the added height and stability of the platform, Amber glided effortlessly along the waterway. She was able to maintain balance and control, even in the presence of challenging waters. Amber’s newly built poling platform had improved her canoeing experience in ways unimaginable.
Over the coming months, Amber continued to explore the rivers and lakes near her hometown, often bringing her poling platform along for the ride. As she paddled, Amber smiled knowing she had created a trusty companion to accompany her on her adventures.