Post your own building tips and "how to" ideas here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Kayak Jack
Design Reviewer
Posts: 1186
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:03 pm
Type of boat I like: <-- Please read instructions to the left and delete this text. Then, tell us what type boat you like! :-)
Location: South-central Michigan


Post by Kayak Jack » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:02 am

I'm no expert at this. Two reasons:

1. I don't practice it enough, and
2. I try to not fall out of my boat very often

(Mainly, it's #1.)

Canoes & kayaks Can roll sideways faster than the average paddler can climb on them. So, it becomes a burling contest like running on a log rolling in the water if you do this wrong.

On my kayak, I use a paddle float. Probably most readers are already familiar with this technique, but for the one or two that aren't, I'll bore the rest of you.

On a kayak, there is usually an arrangement of bungees just aft of the cockpit. The design I like best is a rectangle with an X across the middle. This arrangement requires four tie-down points, usually pad eyes that screw to the deck. Running it with one piece of bungee requires that at least one leg is doubled. I double the leg that is the left had side of the rectangle. This provides additional support for the paddle.

After exiting the kayak, you need to roll it inverted to empty the cockpit, pick up the bow to dump water, and roll it upright. This is done while the paddler is bobbing in the water WITH PFD on.

Next, slide one blade of the paddle up under this aft, bungee rectangle and X arrangement. I stick the paddle out to the left of the boat at a right angle. Next, slide the paddle float onto the outboard blade of the paddle so it acts like an outrigger and provides some stability.

NOTE: Some paddler like inflatable floats. I prefer one made of stacked closed cell foam sheets that does not require inflation at a time of emergency. In either case, the float should be tethered to the boat to prevent loss. A long piece of 1/8" bungee works nicely.

Once the outrigger is set, a paddler can begin reentry procedures. Laying flat on the water along side the right hand side of the boat, left arm laying over into the cockpit, and facing aft, swim up onto the rear deck. You can lean some on the supporting paddle, but shouldn't climb onto the paddle as you can break it if you put too much weight on it.

As you climb onto the aft deck, put your knees and feet into the cockpit. Then back fully into the cockpit, turn around and resume the sitting position. DO NOT TAKE IN THE OUTRIGGER YET.

Refasten your spray skirt to prevent more water entering. Pump out excess water, get your senses and breath back, and regain control of your self. Now, remove the paddle from the rear bungee, stow the float either under the bungee or in the cockpit with you, and resume paddling.
Kayak Jack
Doing what you like is FREEDOM
Liking what you do is HAPPINESS
I spent most of my money on whiskey and women - and I'm afraid I just wasted the rest.

User avatar
Design Reviewer
Posts: 1965
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:54 am
Type of boat I like: <-- Please read instructions to the left and delete this text. Then, tell us what type boat you like! :-)
Location: Queensland, Australia

Post by hairymick » Thu Nov 23, 2006 6:25 am

Good post Jack.

This is a vital survival skill and I would recommend all who paddle a kayak to practice it. Same technique can be applied to a Sit on Top :D

JEMWATERCRAFT Swampgirl; Wadefish;Touring Pirogue;South Wind; P5 ;
Laker X 2, Sasquatch 16.5 T-V 15 Okwata 15:
Cobia 15 (under construction)

Post Reply