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Smcdermott 06-30-2004 01:27 PM

Getting in and out...
of a sea kayak.

I have been using my sisters kayak the past couple of weekends to get around and I am curious if there is a trick to getting in and out of the boat if you are in water that is a few feet deep. I am assuming that if you were going to paddle in deep open seas that you would wear a spray skirt and learn how to roll to upright yourself. But what if you want to get in and out in say 2-3 feet of water. The compartment is rather small and you need to sit on top of the back of the boat and slide your legs in to get in. No problem in a few inches but a different story in a few feet of water with nothing to hold on to. Any advice greatly appreciated. I have had the boat in my possession for a few years but just got around to giving it a test drive. Great tool for accessing seculuded wading areas for the previously shore bound angler.


Penguin 06-30-2004 09:40 PM

Imagine a self-rescue in deep water! In December...
The ease of entry/exit is a major reason why sit-on-tops and craft like the Pungo are so popular...But there is a workable solution that you really should be friends with!
Here's the deal...
Unless you have the cerebellum (balance) of a barn swallow or a Cirque de Soule acrobat, get yourself a foam paddle float...(there are cheaper compact inflatables but you don't want to have to blow them up when everything is cold and wet and upside down!)...the foam is readytogo NOW...
It slides over the blade and secures with the wrap of a strap...
Once in place, use the paddle & float as an outrigger...extending the floaty end and holding the paddle shaft behind the cockpit as you mount your butt on the shaft and rear of the cockpit...wiggle yourself into position while leaning into the outrigger...and do it over and over until it becomes familiar.
The float can also be used in an advanced maneuver to achieve a modified roll...
The paddle float (held at the ready under a decking bungee for quick access) can be pulled from its' docking spot and used instead of the paddle to perform the roll.
But, first things the entry/exit drill until it works (and have a teathered bailing device handy so that if you ever have to do a self rescue in deep water, once back in the cockpit you'll be able to lighten the watery load before you get undeway...
Paddling a Yak full of gas is like trying to herd cats!
I hope this helps!

Adrian 07-01-2004 07:20 AM


Welcome to freedom :D

Good stuff Pete. One question though - does the Yak have integral bouyancy - some sort of airtight compartment? If not, then self-rescue might be tricky when swamped with H20. You can get an inflatable bouyancy tank that fits up in the bow.

Smcdermott 07-01-2004 07:45 AM

Thanks Pete and Adrian. I believe the yak does have an inflatable buoncy device so I really should get that in place. I believe it is sitting deflated in the rear hatch right now. I have been looking at some of the SOT models on the web and they definitely look like they are probably a better solution for me, mostly transport from spot to spot and offer more amenities if I do want to fish from it (did someone say Albies). I am just not sure I can make the commitment right now so I will try the paddle float idea. There are some flats I was thinking of accessing that just don't offer the convience of an attached shoreline so hopefully this shouldn't be an entry in deep water just a few feet where a slight difficulty getting in and out is more of an annoyance than a safety issue but I should be prepared for the worse.

Thanks again,

Nick 07-01-2004 08:24 AM

SOT's rule in my book. I wear waders anyways, so there no inconvenience. Albies from the yak are SAHWEEET!

I'm looking to upgrade my Frenzy if anyone has any knowledge of a used SOT for sale...


Penguin 07-02-2004 03:04 PM

Thanks to some shoulder problems that help to qualify me as a "slightly handicapped/moderately decorated multi-phracas VET", I have not been paying proper attention to a certain tan/sand 14'2" Heritage Fisherman SOT hanging in the darkened rafters and, given the proper incentive, this could be an excellent opportunity for a test demo?! :lildevl:

Doc Duprey 07-02-2004 03:33 PM

Getting in and out...

Hmm...if the shoulder is back in battery, maybe a 'yak expidition on the bayside phlatz could be scheduled during our August pilgrimage to "the Far Side"?

Best regards,


Penguin 07-02-2004 10:47 PM

Doc...A BaySide YAK attack sounds like a great idea...Let's do it!

Regarding Sit-Ins and taking gas...
Those silly looking inflatable cones that you place in the snoot and tail of a sit-in are worth their weight in crab meat as they will displace the internal space that would otherwise fill with water in the event of a dump.
By filling as much available space as possible with these inflatables, you make the boat float like a cork...this displacement makes the YAK unsinkable and much easier to deal with since it won't hold nearly as much gas/weight as a boat with NO cones.
Sealed bulk heads are GREAT since they perform the same displacement goal but by filling the space up front as well, a self rescue will be much more user friendly!
There are cones that have side compartments to store dry goods so the space is not wasted...and some that act like dry bags...whatever!
A SWELL and SAVY compliment when outfitting a new boat!

Adrian 07-03-2004 04:19 PM

Yak attack clave :smokin:

Not that I need an excuse. I'd love to paddle the bayside having sampled a hint of its true potential.

Doc Duprey 07-03-2004 06:07 PM

Getting in and out...

I like the way you think!

Vacation on the Cape for us is August 8-22, so as the time gets closer, we should plan exactly such an event.

Stay tuned!

Best regards,


MarkDoogue 07-10-2004 10:39 PM

I'm selling this virtually unused Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 15 touring yak to finance the purchase of a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 Angler sit-on-top.

If anyone is interested it's only seen fresh water for one weekend, not salt, ever. It comes with a cockpit cover, an awesome Bomber Gear spray skirt, a bilge pump and an extra day hatch cover that has a Scotty fly rod holder mounted to it. The yak is really easy to paddle and it flys.

I want to be able to paddle with my 4 year old so I need a sit-on-top. It just isn't safe to have him in an enclosed cockpit with me. Here's the boat I'm looking at. Hopefully I'll have it on the water within a few weeks.

Adrian 07-10-2004 10:53 PM

Nice rig Mark.

WS has done a great job on the new Tarpon designs - too bad they did it the season after I bought mine :roll:

Hope to see you on the water sometime this season.

FishHawk 07-17-2004 03:41 PM

Doc I would like to join you and the crew on the Far Side. Will watch the Forum for the dates. Long time no see. FishHawk :smokin:

MarkDoogue 07-23-2004 07:39 PM

Picked up that exact Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 Angler on Tuesday night, same color (it's called "sand") and everything.

The best part was when I got to the register. Even though the boat had just come in that day, and, they had just hung it up in the store two hours prior to my arrival, it still rang up as on sale!!! :biggrin: :biggrin: The guys looked at each other, looked at the price tag, looked at the clock and realized they were closing in 10 minutes and decided......why fight it.....take the credit card and get this guy out of our store. :D :D :D

I got if for $170 less than I expected to pay and a full $350 less than I got for my Cape Horn 15 kayak. Life is good.

I'm taking my four year old out in Quincy bay this weekend, dependent upon the weather of course.

Moose 07-23-2004 08:40 PM

I can remember asking my sister for the secrets to getting in and out, but kayaks were never part of the game plan :chuckle:

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