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Home > The Gateways Network > Tools > Water Trail Toolbox > Managing a Water Trail > Water Trail Toolbox: Workboats and Tools
Water Trail Toolbox: Workboats and Tools

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:

  • rakes
  • shovels
  • Pulaskis
  • weed whips
  • brace and bits
  • axes
  • rock bars
  • scythes
  • cutter mattock
  • bow saws
  • lopping shears
  • peaveys
  • chainsaws
  • brush saws
  • files
  • sharpening stones
  • screwdrivers
  • wrenches
  • pliers
  • vice grips
  • socket sets

Maintenance crews also will need cleaning supplies for toilets, paint and brushes, lubricants, garbage bags, hardware, and lumber.

Safety Equipment

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) and (http://wfa.net).


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