Joined: June 2005
||Posted: Mar. 09 2007,15:05
It seems to me that the incident illustrates some vexing issues, namely that for many the thought that kayaking can be potentially dangerous, particularly on sunny days when no storm is in sight, is "laughable" or a chicken-little approach to having fun.
Thus, we get newbie recreational kayakers going out not wearing a PFD, have no experience in navigating any boat when current, seas, or boat-wakes are present, and have no idea how to get back in kayak if it happens to capsize. And worse, they do not even recognize that swimming in an active channel where large slow-to-stop vessels are present, is not recommended and can be dangerous.
Yes, the probability that something bad is going to happen when recreating on water is very low, but it is not zero. And no one seems to understand, that a kayak is basically metastable when upright and is very stable when upside down with the kayaker in it.
If you go over, you either are in an SIK wearing a skirt, stay in the kayak, and use a recovery technique to get back upright, or you plop in the water and need to get back in. If in an SIK this can be particularly challenging, particularly in confused seas of a tidal navigation channel when the first thing you should do is get the water out of the SIK cockpit. That takes some practice.
So my question is why in the warm waters of Florida, would a rental fleet for inexperienced kayakers include SIKs, even if they are the relatively wide beam and have good primary stability. We need to get the message out of how difficult it is to get back into the kayak if it goes over.
Finally, very few understand that the wide-beam kayak, with great primary stability is more likely to capsize in a steep wave than a narrow, low primary stability kayak, provided the kayaker is experienced and alert and keeps the kayak upright, which can not be done in a wide-beam boat. So, a rental fleet consists of wide beam kayaks with great primary stability.
(Capn's Log: nice post, thanks for taking the time. Thoughtful and true)
Edited by Capn Jimbo on Mar. 12 2007,17:14