Use cases - yak in 2002
For me, I plan to use the yak in the following ways:
Launch from public parking areas without being governed by tide. I can be governed by tide on foot just fine, don't need a yak for that ;)
Paddle short distances (up to 2 miles) before getting out and fishing from outer bars and shoals or inaccessible points, necks or inlets.
Sustain sudden wind, waves, and be able to launch and land in the surfline if needed.
Maintain the ability to progress against the tides if necessary, up current. This depends on the spot I guess.
Tether/anchor the kayak someway so it is secure in wind, current, tide, etc - even when there is no dry land available.
Carry goods in dry storage, reasonable quantity. Watertight backpacks are acceptable alternatives. Safety gear, water, lunch, etc.
Get back in the yak even when tide has risen to waist deep. Have a method of getting in even when the water is over my head, in case of flipping.
Mount a rod holder that is suitable for my best rods without concern for damage.
Easy to mount on vehicle, although this is partly the vehicle and rack in play.
I guess it would be impossible to get all of these, so I have to think about which are most important to least important next...
After I bought a _ _ _ _ _, I tried the following:
- paddling against the current in Chase Garden Creek. Although a P _ _ _ _ is not supposed to be fast, it seemed to be more than adequate against the current. It didn't do anything dramatic wwhen entering the current perpendicularly from an eddy (a canoe would have flipped without a downstream lean).
- anchoring has been discussed elsewhere with some ideas on retreival schemes I intend to try next year. With enough scope a West Marine tiny folding anchor will work in moderate current. Obviously you will want something much bigger if you want to leave the kayak in the water while you fish away from it.
- with a big cockpit you can get in from chest deep water by throwing yourself across the kayak, turning face down toward the stern, getting your legs into the cockpit and rolling over. Didn't try this in deep water.
- in wind and waves it is fine. Somewhat unresponsive if you stay broached to the waves, but no water came in. At a slight angle to the waves it was much more comfortable. Broached was the only uncomfortable angle.
- the polyethelene was slippery when the kayak was on my Mazda Trubute (soccer Mom type SUV)and would lurch around. I opted for some 2x3s to lenghten the distance between tie downs. Surely someone has come up with a simple (and cheap) answer, but the 2x3 roof rack works.
- I have been putting off the surf launch/landing tests. To avoid nasty surprizes I need to try this. I tried this once years ago with a spray skirted whitewater kayak. Hopefully we can learn more this winter from those with experience in this area. My experience simply indicated that it wasn't a great idea, at least with the post storm surf I tried.
The compromizes associated with a high-performance boat are apt to bother you more than the compromizes associated with these general purpose tame boats, I think.
Another thing about boats at this level, they are fun and you don't have to worry about them. Want to borrow one for a week or so? I'm sure that many of us would offer you one (in prime time, but you could do so now if you wanted).
Juro, I think that's about the most succinct set of operational requirements for a 'Yak I've seen. I can't think of anything to add. Some of the features like wet exit/entry are probably a function of practice under safe/controled circumstances.
I would probably sign up for a short course before venturing out on my own.
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