More than likely your organization will need a workboat to carry out some maintenance
work and monitoring activities on the water trail. Several kinds of watercraft
are available, but some make better workboats than others.
Large, stable canoes are suitable for paddle trails, but freight canoes with
transoms for small gasoline engines or electric motors are better.
For trails on large lakes or the ocean, make sure the boat is large enough
to go safely through choppy waters and powerful enough to cover long distances
at reasonable speeds when the boat is loaded. Aluminum boats are a good choice,
because they are relatively light and they can withstand repeated beachings.
They also can be powered by relatively small gasoline engines or electric motors
and can be easily towed and launched.
Make sure your workboat operators are well trained not only to operate the
boat but also to care for the boat, gear, and trailer. The handbook, North American
Water Trails, has additional information about workboats.
Hand and Power Tools
Maintenance crews need a variety of hand and power tools. You may be able to
obtain some of them through federal, state, and local technical assistance programs
and donations from partners and businesses.
Here is a basic list of tools:
- weed whips
- brace and bits
- rock bars
- cutter mattock
- bow saws
- lopping shears
- brush saws
- sharpening stones
- vice grips
- socket sets
Maintenance crews also will need cleaning supplies for toilets, paint and brushes,
lubricants, garbage bags, hardware, and lumber.
Equip maintenance crews with safety pants, gloves, and boots; hard hats with
ear and face protection for work with chainsaws; rubber gloves for handling
human waste; and well-stocked first aid kits.
Make sure the work crews receive training in the use of all equipment and in
wilderness first aid and CPR.
For more information, see the Student Conservation Association's Lightly on
the Land: The SCA Trail-Building and Maintenance Manual, published by The Mountaineers,
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Seattle, WA 98134, and visit (www.redcross.org)