Care of Gear

Please make sure your team members treat Aoraki Dragons boats, equipment and facilities with care. New boats cost around $12,000 each; maintaining them takes a lot of time and effort. This is especially important at the Lake Rua venue and Kaiapoi ramp, where the boats have incurred significant damage. Please take great care getting boats into and out of the water. To that end:

  • The new boats (stored in the shed, or on the trailer at Owles Terrace) are not to be used for training purposes
  • Lift and manoeuvre the boats using the hand-holds inside of the boat; not by the seats theyre likely to rip out
  • The boats are heavy! Please take care when lifting. NEVER put your body under the boat when lifting
  • Slowly wheel the boat on the trolley down the beach or ramp.
  • When the boats are out of the storage area, make sure the compound/lock-up is secure while youre out on the water weve had thefts from our storage areas during recent seasons. Scramble the combination lock so that passers by cannot know our codes
  • Please wash and sanitise the boats after use!
  • Dont bang paddles on the side of the boat as this will damage the freshly painted & refurbished gunwales.
  • Please dont rub wax on any part of the boat.
  • Sweeps should instruct crews to brake well before any beach or ramp; approaching slowly to minimise damage on grounding.
  • Boats should be bailed of excess water before storing. At Owles Terrace, Dunedin and Blenheim, hose the boats down inside and out, and then bail them prior to storage. Boats at Kaiapoi should be covered after training.
  • Boats should be left either supported on tyres at both ends or left on a trolley with the nose resting on a tyre.
  • Use the covers at venues if available
  • Place all bailers and sweep oars back in the storage facility and remove all rubbish
  • If you have an accident with any of the equipment, please fill out an Incident report form and inform your Aoraki Buddy as soon as practicable. Accidents do and will happen, but the sooner we now about these then we can complete repairs as they are needed


  • At the ramp, put the stern in the water, while the boat is still on the trolley and push the boat down the trolley into the water so that it doesn't make contact with the concrete ramp
  • With the boat fully floating, only load a sweep and a couple of paddlers at the ramp, before paddling over to the pontoon for the remainder of the crew to load.
  • When returning, please unload all but a couple of paddlers and the sweep at the pontoon before they paddle over to the ramp. On approaching the ramp, brake the boat to a complete stop before reaching the ramp, before the paddlers and sweep disembark. Then lift the bow onto a trolley and slide it along the strops into the balance point; avoiding direct contact of the boat on the concrete ramp at all times.
  • When there is a King Tide is in at Owles Terrace there will be a flood protection barrier in place at the ramp. Loading then requires crew to hold onto the trolley, the back end of the boat shall be lowered so the front of the boat is high. Push together up and over this barrier, this requires a full crew to complete safely.

Lake Rua

  • Wheel the boat and the trolley onto the wooden ramp. Just before the trolley reaches the water's edge, lift the bow and slide the stern into the water.
  • Preferably sit the nose on a rubber mat. If you rest it on a tyre, beware that this makes it wobbly for paddlers walking into the boat. You may rest the hull on the wood SO LONG  AS there are no stones etc. Do NOT slide the boat on the ramp.
  • Remember to lock the container door and compound gate, scrambling hte padlock code.
  • After training, slow the boat right down as it approaches straight in to the ramp. Nose the boat up at virtually zero speed. Caller, Strokes and a couple of seats walk out, with someone weghting down the bow on the ramp. When the bow lifts (weight is at the stern of the boat) have all paddlers sit down and float the boat further up the ramp. Again, sit on the nose while the rest of the crew walks out.
  • Lift the boat up and onto the trolley. 


  • wheel the trolley into the water on the main concrete ramp until the boat floats off. On return, bring the boat to a halt and slowly glide in, until seat 1, 2 and the caller can get out. Take all care to avoid damage from the concrete ramp.



  • please take special care on the slippery and muddy riverbank, washing off any mud off the boat after use.


  • Take care to protect equipment from the salt water after use.
  • Ensure the boats are placed tight against the bush/tree.

Your Own Gear

Although Aoraki Dragons provides all the big stuff, when paddling, teams are expected to provide their own:

  • Water sports clothing, including team paddling tops and any other uniform items for race days
  • PFDs; Aoraki expect teams to use their own set of PFDs for all training and events, although some are available at the Owles Terrace, Kaiapoi and Lake Rua training venues if you are short (or forget them). PFDs are also available for teams who do not yet have their own set.
  • Paddles many teams use basic wooden ones for training and local events, but IDBF Specification 202A paddles are required for the National Championship regatta. Speak to an Aoraki Dragons representative about buying paddles
  • NZDBA are agents for Hornet paddles & coordinate New Zealand orders to help reduce freight costs. Please see the NZDBA website for details and contact for further information. Visit the Hornet website for their full range of equipment including seat pads, grip tape, paddle tip guards etc
  • Tents, chairs, tables, BBQs etc. for event days (noting that tents and chairs are supplied for the National Champs).

Assitance From Teams

Over the last decade, much of the work associated with managing Aoraki Dragons, maintaining the equipment and running events has fallen to a small number of people all volunteers. While this has produced the strong association, we now have running excellent events, to continue its on-going development and enhancement, we need to spread the load with all member teams helping out. The two main areas where we appreciate your ongoing help are:

  • At regattas/events we will designate certain roles to Aoraki Dragons teams on a rota basis at events: unpacking of boats/equipment, car park marshalling, crew loading, boat/equipment pack-up, etc.
  • Working bees at the end of the season to clean and pack boats and equipment for the winter, as well as assist with boat and equipment maintenance tasks this is something for which we ask all crews to provide at least 5 volunteers.

Beyond this, all team managers, or delegates, are expected to attend the Aoraki Dragons AGM. Managers should, of course, be encouraging all their team members to attend: this is an important part of the sports local development and a way for all participants to have their say in the management of the sport in the South Island.