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Kayaks for real
Old 03-29-2005, 04:06 PM   #1
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Kayaks for real

I am back from Maine, visiting my parents and brother, and bro and I went out in the 2 person sea kayak. 1 foot waves, wind at 10 knots.


from the kayak - Islesboro, ME


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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-29-2005, 04:39 PM   #2
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Re: Kayaks for real

That, and it helps if you're sitting in it.

Apparently I confused everyone with the food, animal and kayak pictures. If you guys are sitting off to one side eating pancakes off a bunnys head, its all my fault
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-29-2005, 04:49 PM   #3
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Re: Kayaks for real

Looks like fun! Wasn't it cold in Maine this time of year?

I'm trying to plan a 3-day kayak trip with 10 people in the San Juans this summer.

(That's the San Juan Islands, not the San Juan Mountains, just in case anyone was getting ready to be a smart @$$ about that).
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-29-2005, 05:18 PM   #4
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Re: Kayaks for real

Er, 3 foot waves, not 1 foot. My brother kept saying naughty words because this kayak didn't have a rudder. I think it will soon.

No pancakes, but my brother is wild about bunnies (member of the House Rabbit Society). In fact, he sent me that first bunny with pancake photo long ago.

Now all we need is a bunny with a pancake on its head, paddling a kayak.

It is chilly in Maine, now - snow still on the ground, but one great advantage - no tourists

I think the San Juan Islands would be fun. Even bigger waves.

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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-29-2005, 07:33 PM   #5
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Re: Kayaks for real

Not up to my usual standards, but I have to go watch a chick flick with the wife in 2 minutes...


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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 10:39 AM   #6
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Re: Kayaks for real

I was going to reply with pictures of my own kayak and a recent posting by my club: California Kayak Friends (www.ckf.org) about, no kidding, a trip to Death Valley as there is unprecented water ther this year. (I know, I've seen it and regretted not taking my kayak on that camping trip, just for the pictures).

Kayaking is wonderful, it calms my soul. After paddling a while the Wriggly Chewing Gum commercials and the like just stop coming up in my head.

arrete said in part: Er, 3 foot waves, not 1 foot. My brother kept saying naughty words because this kayak didn't have a rudder. I think it will soon.

Double kayaks without rudders are called "divorce boats" for a reason. Took my first double kayak out with my wife long, long ago and it soon had a rudder added. Maybe why we are still married? A single is different. A rudder is OK but you have to be able to paddle without one or you can get in bigger problems if the rudder ever fails. And I assure it will ONLY fail when you least want it to. I speak from experience and having to swimm that stupid double plastic kayak back to shore in some nice size waves and try to explain to my novice sister why she got soaked on a "perfectly safe" outing.

Yakers--Yes! Lets talk about kayaks! and not even as alternatives to SWRs.
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 10:59 AM   #7
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Re: Kayaks for real

Quote:
Double kayaks without rudders are called "divorce boats" for a reason. Took my first double kayak out with my wife long, long ago and it soon had a rudder added. Maybe why we are still married? A single is different. A rudder is OK but you have to be able to paddle without one or you can get in bigger problems if the rudder ever fails. And I assure it will ONLY fail when you least want it to. I speak from experience and having to swimm that stupid double plastic kayak back to shore in some nice size waves and try to explain to my novice sister why she got soaked on a "perfectly safe" outing.
How different is kayaking from canoeing? *I've never kayaked but I've done a lot of canoeing. *Is the paddling much different? Yeah you're swapping sides every stroke but is the stroke much different? *Is the directional stability with two paddlers that difficult in a kayak?
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 11:09 AM   #8
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Re: Kayaks for real

Kayaking is one of the RE pastimes I'm cultivating in anticipation of the blessed day. On spring vacation last week (Wrightsville Beach NC) I did a kayak rescue and recovery class (capsize and get back in). Also spouse did a beginners class, and son and I went out on a double. Fun. After I gain some skills I'd like to try fishing off the beach in a kayak. When I have the time, that is.

BTW, I did all the paddling on the double, with no rudder, and it seemed manageable. Maybe the longer doubles want to track straight and resist turning?

Kayaking looks like a great RE activity - simple, cheap, good exercise, and gets you out into some beautiful places.

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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: Kayaks for real

Hyperborea aksed: How different is kayaking from canoeing? I've never kayaked but I've done a lot of canoeing. Is the paddling much different?

Really very different. You sit in a kayak different than kneeling in a canoe. The paddle is completely different and the strokes are different. That being said, I really hate to admit it as a kayaker, but a good canoest has much better paddle technique.
Then there are some small canoes that get paddled with a double paddle. And most eskimos (inuits?) used both single and double paddles. But the seating position is the key difference. Canoes are great for carrying a lot of stuff. Kayaks are like a Miata and canoes like a pick up truck, both do certain things well. Its easy enough to try one, a lot of places on oceans, lakes and rivers rent them.

All this applies to ocean or sea kayaks. White water boats are a different story which I know a lot less about. On white water I use inflatable rafts.
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: Kayaks for real

How different is kayaking from canoeing? I've never kayaked but I've done a lot of canoeing. Is the paddling much different? Yeah you're swapping sides every stroke but is the stroke much different? Is the directional stability with two paddlers that difficult in a kayak?

Kayaking is similar, and you will find that many of the techniques transfer. I think kayaks are generally more efficient in the water and easier to carry by yourself on land. With the right skills, you can take them in rougher water than a canoe. Surf kayakers ride ocean waves to shore - try that on a canoe. The skinny kayaks are tippier than canoes I've paddled, but you can choose the level of stability you want. Because you are seated lower, you feel closer to the water. I like the sensation.
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 11:22 AM   #11
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Re: Kayaks for real

I have a small, single person river kayak that I use for rivers and small bodies of water. No rudder, easy to maneuver, and easy to drag around myself because it is so lightweight. I only started kayaking a couple of years ago. I have used a canoe my whole life and have taken a number of long trips in the boundary waters in northern Minnesota and Ontario, going back to when I was a teenager. I know my canoe strokes and can navigate through fairly difficult rapids. When I was growing up we even rigged a sale on our canoe. Kayaks are still new to me and I haven't done any significant white water yet. I probably won't without a class since I don't have a teacher. I find canoeing and kayaking very different.
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 11:29 AM   #12
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Re: Kayaks for real

They're different, but if you've paddled a small boat you can manage a kayak.

I've also seen some heavy-duty single person inflatable kayaks that looked really really good. Never paddled one, but there was a lady that looked like she was in her late 70's that used to paddle one around one of the rivers near my old mcmansion. Had it in her little wagon, pulled it out, dropped it in and started paddling. I saw the same model in Costco a couple of years ago and it seemed to be pretty well made, very thick material. A possible idea for someone who wants to try the sport for cheap, doesnt have a huge vehicle or want to fiddle with tie-downs, and/or cant manage a heavy boat.

This is the one I saw:
http://www.paddling.net/buyersguide/...oattype=Kayaks
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 11:41 AM   #13
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Re: Kayaks for real

The Stearns brand kayaks that TH has pointed to are supposed to be pretty good. I have thought about getting one to take on trips where it would be difficult to transport the canoe or hard body kayak. I also have heard about folding kayaks as well, but haven't looked into them. Anyone try the inflatables or foldables?

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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 04:28 PM   #14
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Re: Kayaks for real

My significant other and I have done both multi-day canoe-camping trips and kayak trips.

I actually feel much more stable in a kayak - the reverse of what most people seem to assume. In a kayak your body is at the water line, and it really takes a lot of wave action and/or poor paddling to dump, especially a double.

With the canoe, on the other hand, I feel much tippier (is that a word?) because I'm sitting up so much higher above the waterline. Plus stuff has a tendency to slide around and we have a tendency to get sloppy with packing after 2-3 nights whereas with the kayaks everything's very carefully sized to fit in the limited storage hatches (no folding chairs and coolers, like in the canoe!!).

As far as the divorce factor - we seem to be able to steer, control and manuever as a team much better in a kayak than a canoe.

The first few months of our relationship we did a 22 mile canoe race, in a canoe not meant for racing, and I had no idea how to steer, so I insisted on being in front. (Wrong choice). When the relationship survived that, I decided he was a keeper

Now the really interesting issue to discuss is the double kayak vs. the two singles. I really like my single boat, but just don't have the strength and stamina to keep up with a male. So he ends up puttering and I end up exhausted. With the double, we get further with less effort from me. But you loose the freedom to putz around, take a little detour, check out something that seems interesting, or just stop paddling and sit completely still and alone in the middle of the water... plus I think two single boats have a bit more stowage than one double maybe? I've never actually checked.

I have a fiberglass boat, and would be concerned about taking any sort of inflatable or sit-atop model out into anything but very calm water within swimming distance of shore...

I have an Eddyline Raven - I'm not sure if they still make them - mine's about 10 years old.

http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/p...res/begin3.htm

Yes, let's talk Kayaks, not SWRs!
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 05:36 PM   #15
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Re: Kayaks for real

Hey, thanks for all the kayak information. I haven't canoed in a number of years now and my wife never but we're thinking about trying it out with a rental this summer.
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-30-2005, 06:20 PM   #16
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Re: Kayaks for real

Martha asked about folding kayaks and Sheryl about single VS double kayaks.

I have had a bunch of kayaks- plastic, fiberglass, wood and folding. I currently have a Folbot single and double. http://www.folbot.com, (and a wood Pygmy single http://www.pygmyboats.com) One of the best sites for information is: http://foldingkayaks.org/ And there is a book by Ralph Diaz The Complete Folding Kayaker. Have a look at these and feel free to pmail me a message if you want my take on anything. Folding kayaks are great, they are stable, very seaworthy, can be sailed and ar, of course, poatable. One made it accross the Atlantic. They are the boat of choice for Arctic expeditions and military commandos so don't worry that they are made out of fabric, they are tough.

As to the single VS double-this in one of the most classic questions in all of kayaking. There is no one right answer. I prefer paddling a double with my wife. She prefers two singles-thank you. I go out with my younger son and the double is great. When my older boy is paddling I cannot keep up with him. The advantage of a double is that one person can take a break, fish, look at birds with binoculars, rest, get food and any number of things. A double carries a lot, ours will carry 600 lbs of people and stuff, somewhat like a canoe. A double will tend to sail better than a single. A double is more stable than a single. A double is faster if paddled by both people, slower when paddled by one.

A single is much easier to roll than a double, almost impossible to roll a double. A single needs a rudder much less than a double. It is sleeker. But most of all, you are on your own which is why a lot of people go out, to get some alone time. A single is much better if you are going to surf waves or go into caves.

If I were starting out and intended to paddle a lot with another person I would start out with a double and then add a single. Now you can go out with one, two or three people. And you can have one in a single and one in a double.

I could go on but I'll just wait and see if there are any specific questions.
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-31-2005, 06:04 AM   #17
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Re: Kayaks for real

Thanks Yakers--great resources on the foldables. I will poke around and let you know if I have any questions.
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-31-2005, 12:17 PM   #18
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Re: Kayaks for real

There are some kayaks on sale in the current Sierra catalog.
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-31-2005, 12:38 PM   #19
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Re: Kayaks for real

I think I've said this before, but I'll throw it out here again...if you're just starting out, try renting a couple of different models in the types of water you'll be putting the one you own in...see what you like.

When you find one you like, check the same rental place at the "end of the season", they'll be selling their rentals for pretty good prices. And they're all pre-dinged!!
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Re: Kayaks for real
Old 03-31-2005, 01:29 PM   #20
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Re: Kayaks for real

I bought my river kayak as a demo. Got it for half price. We bought our most recent canoe from an outfitter who sells their used canoes when they don't look so pretty anymore. Got a great kevlar canoe for a great price. We also have an old wooden canoe that belonged to my grandfather.

Before we had an aluminum canoe that we kept at the beach on lake superior by our house. It was in the sand dunes, at least 150 feet from the water. Big storm, dunes changed, never found the canoe.
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