new kayak

Posted by: Jimshaw

new kayak - 06/05/10 05:20 PM

My knees hurt canoeing because I'm generally kneeling and sitting on a foam saddle. We were going someplace and the foam saddle blew off along a freeway I guess, so anyway I haven't been canoeing this year. Today I was driving by the pawn shop and saw two canoes out back and stopped to look at them. One was way too small for me but the other one had a molded in seat and didn't hurt my knees. The guy who runs the pawn shop said he wanted $250 for it, but nobody has any money so he'd take $175. So anyway I traded him an old shotgun for it and threw in a compressor I don't need and some old reloading dies, so he was happy and I got the kayak. Its 12 feet long made by Wilderness Systems and has a Carslisle kayak paddle and a spray skirt. I can hardly wait to try it out, but as this is the land of glaciers lakes and rivers, it will be easy.

the best part maybe the molded in beverage holder. But what exactly are the other two molded in holes for, right where you sit? blush
Posted by: MarkNM

Re: new kayak - 06/06/10 10:58 PM

hmmmm...drain? i have a ride on top with similar holes...i think they may just be from the mold to be honest...but a redbull can fits in it...

also that molded seat looks alot like some ride on top seats you might be able to get a really nice padded seat may want to consider something if water way collect in the seat a bit...maybe dremel a lil hole
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: new kayak - 06/07/10 01:51 AM

It has a spray skirt. The top is completely sealed.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: new kayak - 06/07/10 08:37 AM

Jim, those other two holes are simply to keep the seat shaped and provided support against the hull. I've got a fleet of 4 yaks and one has a seat similar to yours.
Your next project: Greenland paddle. Once you carve and use one, you'll never go back.
I just finished my second one.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: new kayak - 06/07/10 11:45 AM

Interesting paddle. Seems most modern paddles are very flat. I prefer thick canoe paddles with an airfoil shape because they have lift. I assume that the Greenland paddles also have lift due to their thickness. I am a canoer with 50 years experience and many paddles, this is my first kayak. I want to try it wit my favorite canoe paddle too. I've learned to rotate the canoe paddle instead of making "j" strokes, simply rotate at the end of the stroke.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: new kayak - 06/07/10 12:35 PM

Kayaking/Canoe paddling is very different. I do both. The difference is that you will be a foot or two closer to the water and a canoe paddle will be a pain to switch sides. J strokes don't work in kayaks because you are closer to the center of the boat. If you had a skeg or rudder, you could probably get away with a single paddle but why?

Kayak paddles...I have several. You want something with the lowest swing weight possible. For European paddles, I like Werner Camanos but there are even lighter ones. Each blade is paper thin but very stiff and strong. They have a fair amount of "cup" and "wing". "Wing" paddles are popular for racing. A Greenland paddle is a different thought process. The surface area is spread out in a long narrow blade, as compared to a wide Euro paddle. You'll make more strokes but you won't feel like you are paddling through molasses, you'll notice you are less tired at the end of the day, yet you are probably ahead of the pack. Very much like bicycle gearing....little chain ring, big sprocket, for climbing hills, or 'spin'. There is a "revolution" going on right now toward Greenland style paddles. Greenland paddles cheat wind well, (why Euro pladdles have the ability to "feather") and are much easier to "roll" the kayak upright, since the blades are already oriented correctly. Plus, $15 and a little woodwork compared to $260 makes some difference too. cool

Knowing you, Jim, you'll be carving your own paddle in...3...2...1...about now. grin
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: new kayak - 06/07/10 11:04 PM

What kind of wood did you use for your paddle? What would you recommend? In a canoe I like a large wooden paddle with some thickness, like the traditional ones carved from wood. I hate plastic blades in canoe paddles. So I take it you hold your hands much closer together?
Posted by: Dryer

Re: new kayak - 06/08/10 12:40 AM

Just about any wood works well. My first one was with yellow pine and works great. Pine is heavy but you can thin it out to lower the swing weight. The paddle I just finished is western red cedar. Cedar is the lightest strength/weight wood out there but dents pretty easily....which I don't care. Grab a 2x4 you have on hand and cut away anything that doesn't look like a paddle.
Trust me, thin kayak blades are what you want on the carbon/glass/plastic store-bought paddles. I made my cedar paddle blades about 3/8" thick at the tips but its quite light weight and springy. The pine paddles worked out to about 1/4" but are probably 1/3rd heavier than the cedar. I use a skill saw, jigsaw, and power planner to get things close, then to a belt and orbital sander. I don't like 'shoulders' on the loom, just nice smooth curves. Spar urethane or tung oil for the finish only 2-3 coats. Sand no smoother than 220 grit....a little roughness seems to be easier on the hands.
Follow the directions in the link above and you can't go wrong, which includes measurements to fit you.
Here are some beauties! (mine all about function)
Posted by: MarkNM

Re: new kayak - 06/08/10 09:00 PM

Hmmmm...I need to visit you guys...I have a feeling my paddling could probably use some efficency work

the past two years i've ditched the canoe paddle, for the standard euro style kayak paddle whilst in canone...helps me by not having to switch as much and i feel like i have more control...granted i have to lean a fair bit when I need to really move....

i always dominate the pack...but i imagine i'd do that without a paddle as well grin
Posted by: kbennett

Re: new kayak - 06/09/10 08:54 AM


Nice deal on the boat.

Don't use the spray skirt unless you actually need it -- kayaking in heavy surf, etc. If you want to use it, spend some time practicing your "wet exit" -- getting out of the boat when you are flipped upside down. It's a lot different with a spray skirt. Do this is calm water with a buddy. Most flatwater paddling in a recreational kayak does not require a skirt.

A spray skirt is useful in a sea kayak when the paddler will edge or lean the boat for maneuverability -- keeps water from coming in the cockpit during the lean. Same thing in a whitewater boat. Of course a skirt also lets the paddler Eskimo roll if needed.
Posted by: kbennett

Re: new kayak - 06/09/10 08:55 AM

Oh, and that Werner Camano paddle is on my holiday wish list. Schweeeeet!
Posted by: Dryer

Re: new kayak - 06/09/10 09:56 AM

Yes...good advice on spray skirts. I usually paddle a sea kayak (17ft.) but in flat water. I bet I didn't use a spray skirt but 3-4 times all last year, even in winter. I'll use 'em in rain, to keep warm in winter, to practice rolls, and white water. I've never needed to roll the boat in an emergency and I can count white water ventures on one, the skirt usually stays home or behind the seat.
Wet exits and entries are very different with a fact, getting back in a kayak after bailing out can be a huge challenge if you have no training.
So, many low volume boat paddlers will use a skirt and learn to roll, to avoid having to climb back in, which sometimes is impossible if there is a lot of wave action.

Take a local class if you can find one. Much kayak technique is easy but not intuitive...such as getting in/out of the dang thing grin...and a day workshop will save you a year of frustration and an aching back.

Jim, the boat you bought is wide, stable and dry. You'll have a blast with it.
Posted by: mockturtle

Re: new kayak - 06/16/10 04:19 PM

I agree about the skirt. I have an Eddyline Merlin 13.5'carbonlite touring kayak. Since I don't kayak in the ocean, I never use a spray skirt. And I like access to the stuff in the cockpit, including my feet and legs.

You wouldn't like my paddle, a Swift, very, very light--about 28oz. I've tried a Greenland paddle and don't like it. But others I paddle with wouldn't use anything else.