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Types of Kayaks

By Peter Gitundu

You’ll agree with me every sport requires a gear designed for it. This is no exception with kayaking. However, there are many different types of kayaks available in the market today and makes it hard for you to choose the right one. Just take a moment and read on for some helpful tips on basic things you ought to know about kayaks.

Their origin is traced to be Eskimos from green land and Alaska. They are basically small boats with a similar structure as a canoe. Their main difference with canoes is that paddlers legs are hidden inside, they’ve pointed bows and sterns and they’re fully covered except for the cock pit.

In the past, they could only accommodate one paddler but today’s there are different types that accommodates one to four paddlers at a go. Kayaks are classified into three categories depending on their structure i.e. rigid, folding and inflatable. Rigid are made of fiberglass, plastic, wood or Kevlar. Plastic ones are tough and long lasting while fiberglass are light weight.

If you want a portable one and easy to store, folding ones caters for this though you have to dig deeper in your pocket. However, the price is worth it. They are made of aluminum or wood. Inflatable on the other hand are easy to carry, they are made up of PVC so all you need to do is put pressure with help of a pump and you are good to go kayaking. They are mostly suitable for calm waters and rivers. One thing to note is that paddling one require more effort and are a bit slower. But worry not, the thrill and experience is amazing.

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KAYAK BUYING CHOICES

THE ADVENTURE OF KAYAKING

The Adventure of Kayaking

By Larry S. Kang

Nature has always surprised man with its bountiful abundance of beauty and strength. The mighty seas and the long rivers, twisting and turning, and the fierce rapids have always been intimidating. However, there are those adventurers that master the waters through various means, and kayaking is one of these. In one style of kayak, the paddler faces forward with their legs in front of them underneath a deck, and uses a double bladed paddle. Another style is the sit on top kayak. Most kayaks have a long front and rear deck and differ according to the type of water they are designed for. Ocean or sea kayaking is often done in the open sea, while whitewater kayaking is kayaking down the river rapids.

Kayaking adventures come in various different forms throughout the world. Kayaking enthusiasts commonly engage in whale watching, for example. Getting a glimpse of a gray whale or a humpback whale can be a memorable lifetime experience. Some kayakers have even had the opportunity to go kayaking alongside orcas, or killer whales. In a kayak, you can explore the extraordinary wilderness of the ocean in its fullest beauty. Having your own kayaking adventure increases awareness about the environment, the ecosystem and the need to preserve it.

Kayaking lets you discover and enjoy the enchantment and wonder of the beautiful waters and unmatched skies. Outstanding scenery and wildlife are added attractions which kayaking offers and acts as a total stress reliever. In addition to sea kayaking, kayaking adventures can also include lake kayaking and river rafting excursions. It is not necessary to have some prior experience in kayaking as guides who value safety and training as top priorities are available to cater to small groups of kayaking enthusiasts.

Thousands of plants, hundreds of different birds, and pristine waterways await you when you set out on a kayaking expedition. Like in every other sport, there is equipment that no paddler should be without. The primary equipment obviously is the kayak. The type of kayak largely depends on the size of the water body you plan to go kayaking in. For example, whitewater kayaks are much different from sea kayaks. The kayak you choose depends on what type of paddling you prefer, whether whitewater, lake, or ocean.

The next essential piece of equipment is the paddle. There are different types of paddles for different types of kayaking. A little research online or at an outdoor equipment store can help you choose the right paddle for your kayak. Also needed will be a life jacket, or personal flotation device, for every kayaker. Helmets are also required for whitewater kayaking. So, if you intend to go whitewater kayaking, you should definitely include a helmet on your shopping list.

Now that you have a fair idea of the abundant fun kayaking offers and the necessary equipment for this activity, pack your bags, set out on your kayaking expedition, and most of all enjoy! And, please remember to pack all your safety gear such as your life jacket or personal flotation device to ensure safe kayaking adventures!

Larry Kang is a writer on outdoor recreation topics such as hiking, kayaking, and nature photography. Learn more about kayaking trips [http://www.kayaksandkayaking.com] at Kayaks and Kayaking – Kayaking Trips .

Note: If you find this article useful, feel free to republish it on your website, e-zine, or newsletter as long as the credits above remain intact and the hyperlinks stay active.

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“The most important things are length, width and weight,” Kitt says. “You have to get the right boat for the right job. The main difference is distance. You have to determine how far you want to paddle. A longer boat goes farther with less effort”.

5 Things People Do Wrong When Buying a Kayak

ROGER’S NEW PROJECT IS THE BUILDING OF A PYGMY MURRELET KAYAK FROM A KIT TO PUT TOGETHER.

Days 10-11 – 7 more hours

I cut one roll of wire (3 come with the kit) into 3.5 in lengths and made ½ in. staples per the instructions. There is a reason for this. The panels are held together with the staples but the internal forms/supports need longer wires. If you cut them all you will need to buy more wire. I did use about 1½ spools for the hull staples. Half a spool was used on the forms/supports and I have one left for the deck. My work table is now in its prime. It is the perfect height and size for wiring the hull. The 2′ width is great for working one side and then the other. Once I got started it was hard to stop. This is the most rewarding part of the project to date. You just watch the hull come together.

I must comment on the fit of the components. Pygmy does a tremendous job of cutting the panels to the exact shape. Everything fits. A couple of forms/supports to install in the bow and stern and on to the next step.

Another comment; the instructions say to place some cardboard boxes under the first panels you wire to raise them off the surface. I used plastic flower pots and it worked even better.

I cut one roll of wire (3 come with the kit) into 3.5 in lengths and made ½ in. staples per the instructions. There is a reason for this. I must comment on the fit of the components. Pygmy does a tremendous job of cutting the panels to the exact shape.Another comment; the instructions say to place some cardboard boxes under the first panels you wire to raise them off the surface.

Days 12 – 3 more hours

Finished wiring the hull. Added the spacers to the forms so the hull could be inverted. Tightened all the wires. Remember I said that it was so great to see the hull finally come together? That was before I started tightening all the wires. What a tedious job!

Gluing the joints comes next. I am really pleased as to how straight the lines came out. I do have a suggestion when tightening the wires. I used a linesman’s pliers. They are a little heavier than most and make a very nice hammer (please tap gently) in repositioning the panels as you tighten the wires.

Finished wiring the hull.

Days 12-13 – 5 more hours

Took a few days off to go camping with my kayak club. Starting gluing the hull, first day did the general overview and the second went back, propping the hull up so I could get the vertical edges. A bit messy project. I don’t see any other way to get it done. I anticipate a bunch of sanding prior to glassing. Getting the correct consistency with the wood flour takes some experimenting. It’s handy to actually go look at honey before you try to make the epoxy look the consistency of it.

Starting gluing the hull

Day 14 – 2 more hours

Removed the wires tonight. Hot glued the supports and everything stayed together. Wow. I had tried not to use epoxy near the wires. There are too many examples on “You Tube” where the wires get permanently epoxied to the boat. I have some gaps to fill but all the wires came out good. Nothing worthy of a photo today.

Day 15 – 2 more hours

Started sanding the hull. It is really hard to imagine how much epoxy drips down the side of your work, no matter how careful you are. The instructions say to file the bow and stern clean, well that is an understatement as to what really needs to be done. I tried just about everything and finally got out the orbital sander with 60 grit paper and went to work. It’s working! Probably got about 2/3 to ¾ of the hull darn smooth. I am really surprised how much epoxy had worked itself under the wires. I don’t think I will have much to fill in later. Tomorrow I will try to finish sanding the hull.

Started sanding the hull. I will try to finish sanding the hull.

How to Read a Tide Chart & Sassafras 12 Canoe Project

How to Read a Tide Chart

By Karen Ellery-Jonesand MD Jones

We live on Cape Cod and often go kayaking in the tidal rivers and marshes that the area is famous for. Having a good understanding of tides and currents makes our kayaking trips safer and more enjoyable.

The simple fact is that some of the creeks and salt marshes we most like to kayak just can’t be paddled at low tide. The Mashpee River, for instance, can empty out surprisingly quickly when the tide goes out – sometimes by as much as several feet in the space of an hour or two. You don’t want to start your journey at the wrong time and find yourself too far upstream when the tide turns. You may end up having to carry your kayak out for miles because the river has suddenly become too shallow to paddle.

Tides are caused by the gravitational effect of the moon and, to a lesser extent, the sun. They rise when the moon passes overhead, and again when it passes underfoot (on the other side of the earth). That’s why there are two high tides and two low tides every day.

Of course, in a perfect world, this entire cycle would take exactly 24 hours. Then there would be no need for tide charts because high tide and low tide would occur at exactly the same time each day. But the moon takes approximately 24 hours and 50 minutes to completely orbit the earth so a tide that peaks at midnight on one day will do so again a little under an hour later the next.

Because kayakers have to paddle under their own steam, the timing of high and low tide is not the only thing they need to worry about. The direction that a tidal current is moving in at any time in between high tide and low tide is also an important consideration. These are called flood currents when the tide is coming in and ebb currents when it going out and they can be surprisingly strong, particularly on Cape Cod.

All but the fittest of kayakers can be left quite weary if they have to paddle too long against a tidal current. Add in even a modest 5-10 mile an hour headwind and you can be left exhausted and frustrated before your journey is over. That’s where a tide chart comes in. It can help you time your trip so that you are paddling, as much as possible, with the tide, rather than against it.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say your tide chart tells you that low tide is a 6:00am. You plan to take a trip that you know will take you inland, and last about three hours. In that case, make sure you leave no later than 9:15am. That will give you the three hours you need to reach your destination paddling with the flood current all the way. That same tide chart should also tell you when the next high tide is (probably at about 12:15pm). Not long after that, the tide will start to go out again and you will have a little over six hours to paddle back with the ebb current helping you along the way.

In coastal communities like Cape Cod, tide charts are printed in all the local newspapers and magazines, and there are also a number of specialized websites that publish them online. It’s a good idea to get hold of one before you plan any kayaking trip and make tide information an important consideration when mapping out your journey.

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Sassafras 12 Canoe Project

Days 47-49 – 6 Hours

I don’t know about the rest of you but 2 hours of sanding is about all I can do at one time. It has taken me the last three days to almost complete sanding the interior of the hull with the 80 grit paper. I have one more plank to complete on each side. There isn’t enough room to allow me to use the orbital sander, so it’s all by hand. Hopefully there will be enough room doing the outside.

three days to almost complete sanding the interior of the hull with the 80 grit paper.

Days 50-52 – 6 Hours

More sanding each day until the interior of the hull is smooth and the exterior’s lower planks are done. The stems are almost completely done but still a lot of exterior to complete. A note on power sanders: They work fine on large flat areas but when the planks start to curve to the stems, you can easily lose control of them and gouge right through the fiberglass. This is by far the longest portion of the build and I don’t know how it can be rushed.

More sanding each day until the interior of the hull is smooth

Days 53-56 – 8 Hours

Not a lot to show you this week. Lots of rough sanding and I am still not completely done. The hull should be ready for the fine sanding next week and I expect that will go much quicker. It is really scary how quickly you can find yourself completely through the epoxy and into the wood. The planks are not flat. They are conforming to the sweeping shape of the hull, but my sander is flat. I will make sure that all surfaces are sealed before I go much further. I have a few divots to fill as well. It is starting to look pretty good. The stems are looking very good.

Lots of rough sanding and I am still not completely done.

Day 57 – 2 Hours

I finished the rough sanding today. After moving the boat to the large room, I cleaned the small one. What a mess. Epoxy dust everywhere. I have been using dust cartridges in my respirator since I started. I really recommend you do the same. I have some resealing and divots to fix and I will get back to the fine sanding. I set the decks and thwart in place for the photo. I am out of town for most of next week so not much will get done. See you again in two week.

I finished the rough sanding today.

“The most important things are length, width and weight,” Kitt says. “You have to get the right boat for the right job. The main difference is distance. You have to determine how far you want to paddle. A longer boat goes farther with less effort”.

The least expensive kayak is the “right” kayak!

When I first opened I had a customer who bought a kayak. The next year he came back and got a better one. The same happened the next year and the year after. The lesson I learned from this is to make sure you have room to grow as a paddler. Had this customer bought a better right kayak the first year he might not have ended up with a garage full. ( This is a little tricky since if you get a kayak that is too advanced you could become discouraged.) TJ.

Ask the dealer! Most dealers will have sold hundreds of kayaks and gotten feedback from their customers. Any reputable dealer will recommend the right kayak he/she thinks is best suited for your enjoyment. After all, do you want to take advice from the most knowledgeable person in the room or the least knowledgeable? LM.

Test Paddling – As a rule, I think test paddling is not a good way to choose your next purchase.Some times I insist the customer tests the kayak first especially if I think the kayak is too advanced for them, but usually beginners who test paddle will under buy. They buy the right kayak they feel comfortable in today and a month later regret buying such a basic boat. I can’t tell you how many people have come into my shop after buying a totally inappropriate boat for what they want to do and tell me I test paddled it and it was stable. If you do test paddle, listen to the Pro. They have seen hundreds of beginners and if they say you can handle a more advanced kayak you most likely can. After all they don’t want to sell you some thing you are going to be complaining about. TK.

Paddling Festivals/Shows – If you have never been to one I highly recommend going. There are usually dozens of manufacturers reps there and these shows are a good source of information. Now for the bad part, the vast majority of shows are put on by one store. When you get there it looks like a bunch of competing dealers, when in fact there is only one. It doesn’t matter which kayak you buy it all goes in the same cash box. Some shows like the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Fest have competing dealers. I really like these shows as you can get some seriously good deals at them. CF.

“The most important things are length, width and weight,” Kitt says. “You have to get the right boat for the right job. The main difference is distance. You have to determine how far you want to paddle. A longer boat goes farther with less effort” Read More Kayaking CNY