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Old 28-11-2012, 17:38   #1
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storing kayaks on deck?

An interesting point was made on a thread on inflatable kayaks, and in order to protect that thread from deadly drift I'm posting this as a new thread.

Daddle made the point that he prefers using inflatable yaks because he wouldn't want to store a regular yak on deck. This on a Santa Cruz 50.

I routinely store my yaks on deck, and have been amazed at how well behaved they are up there. Every once in a while, however one of them manages to snag a jib sheet.

Is it an acceptable practice to store kayaks on the foredeck when venturing offshore? Are there best practices for doing so? Things to avoid?

Please advise.
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Old 28-11-2012, 18:10   #2
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

We carry two large Cobra sit on top kayaks; we used to carry them stacked on the foredeck, but they were always snagging sheets. so we made racks for them to stand vertically outside of the stanchions towards the stern. Bent aluminum rods mount on brackets on the stanchions, hold the kayaks standing on side edge. When going into marina or dockage, can lift kayaks onto deck and take off racks..... very convienient!!!!

I hear the blue water purists screaming about windage and rogue waves as I write this, but this is on a beefy 52' Kanter with welded top railing between the stanchions. These are also large kayaks, so would work with smaller ones with less beefy stanchions.
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Old 28-11-2012, 18:18   #3
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I'm in the clear foredeck camp, the dinghy goes on the cabin top between the mast and dodger. I'd have no problem with yaks on the side deck though on a boat larger than ours though.

I change headsails, so that's what the foredeck is for.
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Old 28-11-2012, 18:49   #4
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

We carried a sit on kayak from Malaysia to California and never had any problems with it lashed to the lifelines midship. My philosophy was that if it ever became a problem, it was going to sacrificed to King Neptune.
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Old 28-11-2012, 18:53   #5
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

Hers another option, BTW this boat just returned from a long cruise including a trip to the Louisiades. The kayaks are on the cockpit roof
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Old 29-11-2012, 08:29   #6
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

I prefer kayaks lashed low off the stanchions to RIBs on davits offshore. I think that there are safe ways to do it, just as some lash or affix solar panels on the rails to be raised at anchor.
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Old 01-12-2012, 16:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Factor
Hers another option, BTW this boat just returned from a long cruise including a trip to the Louisiades. The kayaks are on the cockpit roof
I had considered an option like that, but ended up putting the solar array where the kayaks wanted to go. The one concession we made to keeping the yaks on the foredeck was to purchase Eddyline kayaks which have rudderless designs. Didn't want the sheets ripping off a rudder. And these yaks are made of polycarbonate, so we don't have to worry about the big boat and the little boats messing each other up.

Our basic cruising mode includes two 15' yaks, two folding bicycles, and a 10' RIB. Wouldn't want to try this on a much smaller boat. But it's nice to have multiple ways of getting around once we reach a destination, so I don't mind sacrificing a bit of side deck to make things happen. For us, the yaks are a big part of our cruising enjoyment.

Still....
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Old 01-12-2012, 16:54   #8
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

Bash, we've talked kayak stowage before. I mentioned we did our last cruise with a big kayak stored on the stern rail and it went great, no problems at all. Don't really foresee any either. I've been planning on getting another 'yak for the other stern rail, and finally made my pick. Found a really killer deal on the last of the 2012 stock at the dealer, they just got the 2013 shipment in. I know you are a serious paddler, what do you think of these things? I've rented one and it seemed like it would be a great toy if I can get it all stowed. But I'm a fairly novice paddler, compared to you. I think you know the other boat is a Cormorant with all the bells and whistles.





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Old 01-12-2012, 17:07   #9
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

We often travel pretty far with two inflatable kayaks lashed alongside the cabin top where they wedge in nicely inside the inside shrouds, and still leave good room around the mast for working. You have to fasten them down pretty well to keep them from catching the wind. I personally do not like going offshore with anything blocking the foredeck. There have been too many times I have had to go up there to deal with something that wasn't expected, even if the weather is decent. Of course, in bad weather anything on deck can catch green water and be a problem. I might do it for a short 200-miler offshore with a good weather forecast, but I wouldn't do it going to Bermuda.
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Old 01-12-2012, 17:38   #10
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

Yes, all anecdotal points. Except on the largest cruising boats I don't think it wise to store kayaks and other stuff on the deck. When conditions go bad those items may be your undoing. Consider a solid wave coming across the deck. Or a sudden knockdown that puts the rail in the water. Certainly if one is cruising around tranquil paradises, But in the middle of the night do you want to be dealing with a kayak that, at the worst of times, suddenly comes bursting thru the dodger into the cockpit. Or perhaps over the side in a tangle of lines.

Same goes for the dinghy on the foredeck. Sure mine is often there inside the Philippine Islands, but only if I had a larger boat with a proper cradle would I carry the dinghy out at sea where the weather can have it's way with it.

If I must carry fuel jugs on the deck, which is very rare, I use them as fast as I can. I will not risk waking up to all my fuel jugs trailing behind the boat with my lifelines and stanchions.

The snagging of sheets (for those who actually sail) is a big drawback, too, as Bash mentions. Plus it doesn't look sailorly...

It's clear decks for me when offshore. The only items not down below, seriously, are the dodger and winch handles. She looks like the pictures in the sales brochure.
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Old 01-12-2012, 17:43   #11
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

Quote:
It's clear decks for me when offshore. The only items not down below, seriously, are the dodger and winch handles. She looks like the pictures in the sales brochure.
I agree this is the ideal on passage, though it isn't always achievable. I have a friend with a big aluminum boat that has big self-draining lockers with flush hatches located on the side decks for things like fuel jugs. Really neat way to do things.
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Old 01-12-2012, 20:07   #12
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

I'm going to use the Garhauer Kayak racks that fasten at the bottom of my stantions. I have a sit on Dagger Frolic yak. About 10ft. long and somewhere around 45lbs. I have an HR 35 center-cockpit and with 10' 3" beam. Deck space is minimal. The Livingston 8' dink lives on the foredeck with its stern covering the foredeck on the cabin top and it's bow wedged against the windlass. The boat already looks like the circus is in town. I can hardly wait to see it with the yak.
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Old 01-12-2012, 20:36   #13
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

[QUOTE=daddle;1098039]I don't think it wise to store kayaks and other stuff on the deck. When conditions go bad those items may be your undoing.[QUOTE]
I agree with Daddle, lashing anything to the deck when there is a possibility of heavy weather, particularly offshore, is a dangerous practice and smacks of the 'fair-weather', percentage sailor. Murphy, at sea, is the admiral of the fleet and he will punish severely, those who give him even the merest opportunity.

On the other hand, I suggest that those who tow dinghies, or go offshore with a dinghy in davits, should take little heed as Murphy already has you in his sights.
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Old 01-12-2012, 23:21   #14
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Re: storing kayaks on deck?

Anything stored on deck can get ripped off by green water. That includes a liferaft. You will seldom take really big green water over the bow unless you are lying to a drogue from the bow. That's something I would never do, in any case. When things get really bad, most will be running away from the waves, not into them. If the dinghy/kayak get ripped off they will be going overboard forward where they won't cause any damage in the cockpit area or to the crew.

When you have a small boat, that is in small compared to Daddle's, you have to accept some risk in carrying a hard dink. We found two dinks to be necessary with two of us on board. If one person went ashore the other was stranded. Having the second dinghy gave each of us mobility. Carried a small hard dink on the foredeck and a deflateable aft of the mast. Never a problem but we didn't see much bad weather and never tried to beat into it. With modern weather forecasting and common sense, bad weather for most cruisers isn't going to catch them out. NZ to Polynesia excepted. So, if you want a hard dink, which I do, it's got to go on the foredeck. The same goes for a kayak though storing a rigid one will require storing along the rail. That probably isn't as secure as a conventional dinghy in chocks on the foredeck, however.

One possible solution for relatively secure deck storage of a dink is to incorporate it into the dodger upside down aft of the mast. Have seen a couple of boats with the dinghy stored that way by cutting the dinghy transom so companionway hatch could slide into it.
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