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Old 23-05-2011, 18:01   #46
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

I never "intentionally" go out on my kayak at night or in low visibility weather of any description, but if it creeps up on me unexpectedly... My hearing and sudden acceleration is excellent, and the sailboat approaching has more stability and a higher point of observation. I would hope that we could avoid each other by using careful helmsmanship appropriate to the low visibility at the time.

When out on our trimaran, if motoring, I go to great pains to avoid crab pots too, as it would SERIOUSLY damage my drive train. A kayak is MUCH more visible than a crab pot! Just keep a sharp eye out for EVERYTHING in poor visibility...

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Old 23-05-2011, 18:11   #47
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

Back in the sixties, I was working as a skiffman outside of Prince Rupert, BC on a seineboat. It was just around dawn when we made a set in thick fog and I powered away from the mothership with the line attached to the end of the net. Once the cork line hardened up, we began towing in the usual large semi-circle. The seineboat was out of sight but from the angle of the cork line, I was pretty sure where I was relative to the larger boat. Just as we were buttoning up, I caught sight of a kayak paddling towards us from INSIDE the set. The guy was pretty surprised to say the least. We left him inside the set while we pursed up the seine then got him into the skiff and lifted his kayak over the cork line. He claimed that he was camping on the shore and thought he was paddling along the shore line (we were about half a mile off the shore). Often wondered how much a 'lb' he would have fetched from a cash buyer. Probably not much for his brains! Capt Phil
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Old 23-05-2011, 18:19   #48
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

The only way to think about being safe in a kayak in boat traffic is the same as the only approach to staying alive on a bike: Always assume the other guy is going to do the stupidest thing possible.

That's hilarious about the purse seine!
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Old 23-05-2011, 18:25   #49
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

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As mentioned earlier the issue is that there some who paddle who just don't think. Not that sailors ever make those mistakes
The problem is that about 99% of them have no big-boat experience whatsoever, so they have no clue that they are hard to see and that big boats can't maneuver on a dime. A lot of them are completely ignorant that there is such a thing as rules of the road or what buoys even mean. I see them lollygagging around in the middle of Buzzards Bay in the fog right where the tugs and barges are coming through, and they apparently have no clue as to the danger they are in. My wife and once pulled about four of them out of the Westport River (tidal) in Massachusetts when they capsized due to their unfamiliarity with strong currents, etc. We were on a catamaran and we fairly quickly were able to fish them and most of their gear out of the river, and then handed them off to the harbormaster who said he has a lot of problems with inexperienced people heading out into the ocean who have no clue.

Now, that is not to say that there aren't very experienced sea kayakers out there who know what they are doing, but there is definitely a problem in the sport with folks who are clueless about the ocean.
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Old 23-05-2011, 19:18   #50
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Originally Posted by Kettlewell

Now, that is not to say that there aren't very experienced sea kayakers out there who know what they are doing, but there is definitely a problem in the sport with folks who are clueless about the ocean.
That is something we can agree on! There are way to many credit card captains who have no clue what they are doing. The difference is that the credit limit for a cheap POS kayak and cheapo paddle is much lower than a sailboat or even chartering one--- so there are more of them.

Hence my migration away from the sport.

Bill
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Old 23-05-2011, 19:21   #51
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

Around this part of the world, many of us both sail and sea kayak. Walk the docks in most Alaska harbors and you are likely to see quite a few sailboats with kayaks on them. It is actually a great combination for exploring.

In my experience there are some idiots in all kinds of vessels, including sailboats, kayaks, powerboats, and personal watercraft. Most people aren't really idiots, but are often simply inexperienced and poorly informed.

There are some efforts being made to educate both kayakers and other boaters about how to coexist on the water. For example in Prince William Sound a group of sea kayak outfiters has partnered with Chugach National Forest to put out a brochure: http://www.alaskaseakayakers.com/PWS-kayak-brochure.pdf

Upthread there were a couple of tongue in cheek comments about kayaks as speed bumps. I will offer the reply (also tongue in cheek) that kayakers camping in big bear country have been known to carry big firearms. A couple of rounds of 44 Magnum from that speed bump will put a serious ding in your gel coat!
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Old 23-05-2011, 19:39   #52
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Re: Being sensible...

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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
I cannot see a right of way issue here. They are always going to be the vulnerable, slow and not especially maneuverable vessel so to me they have absolute right of way.
(Glad to be back "on track.")

Sir, I disagree. Kayaks are vulnerable, yes, but they are fast and maneuverable. My 35-foot trawler is only capable of 7+ knots and has much less maneuverability. As I've said, kayaks and such are stealthy, hard to see, and have no privelege. While I will make every effort to avoid them, they need to keep away.
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Old 23-05-2011, 19:52   #53
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

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"One could infer that a "vessel under oars" should be treated as a "sailing vessel" since it is permitted to display the same lights as one ..."

Uhh, how do I tell whether a kayaker is on a port tack or a starboard tack? I believe the above USCG inference doesn't make it. Perhaps the Colregs presume kayakers and such users of stealthy (small, low-silhouetted, noiseless) vessels will use common sense and avoid other vessels.
My cut is that if they show a single white light at night...they are to be avoided as in an "overtaking situation", anchored vessel....or the problematic white light on the end of a dock.

Rule 2 also would suggest that good seamanship and the general prudential rule would advise you to avoid if the kayaker seen in ample time.

The rules also infer that good seaman take action LONG before a collision situation may exist..

that all said...in open water it's pretty easy to avoid manually driven vessels as long as they can be seen (meaning showing that white light at night which power/sail vessels must avaoid)...if they are operating in confined areasfrequented by larger craft and not lit up like a roman candle...the Dawin should get his due.
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Old 23-05-2011, 20:12   #54
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

I agree with psneeld.
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Old 23-05-2011, 20:15   #55
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

Unless you are in to planting limpid mines in the middle of the night, I can't for the life of me see why anyone would be paddling around fairways frequented by power boats (or boats under power). A kayak being used on a sunny day up a river estuary, quiet anchorage or engaged in sheltered coastal exploration sounds like a fun way to spend some time. Unless you have a death wish, when the sun goes down,stay out of harms way... you may not only ruin your own life but the life of those aboard the vessel who runs you down.
There are many other ways to do away with yourself than playing chicken with a boat underway at night... just my opinion... Capt Phil
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Old 23-05-2011, 20:15   #56
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

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Originally Posted by AK_sailor View Post
Upthread there were a couple of tongue in cheek comments about kayaks as speed bumps. I will offer the reply (also tongue in cheek) that kayakers camping in big bear country have been known to carry big firearms. A couple of rounds of 44 Magnum from that speed bump will put a serious ding in your gel coat!
Please shoot some warning shots first so we'll know you are out there.
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Old 23-05-2011, 20:17   #57
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

interesting..very interesting...my 2cents.

Kayaks are vessels.Kayaks are propelled.Doesn't matter,steam,mice in a wheel,or a paddle...why?because unlike sailboats,they have the whole compass to steer in.Also,they are not "encumbered" by their means of propulsion...a sailboat has no control over her means of propulsion,the wind.(There are other reasons too but I won't stick my neck out)
FYI As soon as a sailboat puts an oar in the water,she becomes as kayaks and speedboats in the rules...and...
sailboats have the right of way (so-called) over kayaks unless of course,overtaking them.

So why the confusion per sailing vessel lights?It's because a small sailing vessel is allowed to use a mere flashlight,a zippo lighter,etc.(please don't argue visibility)This is because they are considered not to have the means for more of a display,due to their size.

A large galley is another question as to lights.She should carry proper MV lights even if kerosene ones,because she has the "capacity" shall I say?
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Old 23-05-2011, 20:31   #58
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

HappySeagull

Like I said earlier: I'd treat them as motorboats.
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Old 23-05-2011, 20:47   #59
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

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interesting..very interesting...my 2cents.

Kayaks are vessels.Kayaks are propelled.Doesn't matter,steam,mice in a wheel,or a paddle...why?because unlike sailboats,they have the whole compass to steer in.Also,they are not "encumbered" by their means of propulsion...a sailboat has no control over her means of propulsion,the wind.(There are other reasons too but I won't stick my neck out)
FYI As soon as a sailboat puts an oar in the water,she becomes as kayaks and speedboats in the rules...and...
sailboats have the right of way (so-called) over kayaks unless of course,overtaking them.

So why the confusion per sailing vessel lights?It's because a small sailing vessel is allowed to use a mere flashlight,a zippo lighter,etc.(please don't argue visibility)This is because they are considered not to have the means for more of a display,due to their size.

A large galley is another question as to lights.She should carry proper MV lights even if kerosene ones,because she has the "capacity" shall I say?
Sort of...but in subpart II, steering and sailing rules for vessels in sight of one another it usually spells out "power driven vessel" which by definition means machinery....so while I might agree that sailing vessels may have the right of way over a manually propelled craft (although that's a stretch in my book....it would not relieve you of rule 2)....kayaks are definitely not the same as a power vessel in crossing and meeting situations.

no confusion with sailing lights...in fact a power vessel not capable of more than 7 knots only has to show a white light (supposed to be permanent 360" but to an approaching vessel a white light is a white light so my guess is the rule makers want ALL vessels including sail to avaoid small craft in the open water situations....rule 2 again.
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Old 23-05-2011, 21:04   #60
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Re: Kayaks and Death Wish

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)....kayaks are definitely not the same as a power vessel in crossing and meeting situations.
True, but they have no special privelege over any other vessels like sailboats have over motorcraft. People-powered vessels have no rank; they're "beneath" all sail and engine-powered craft and they should consider themselves fortunate to be considered in the same light as engine-powered vessels.

If we get tired of this subject, perhaps we could discuss sailboards and such.
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