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Old 20 June 2013, 07:20   #1
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Beware of Chinese import kayaks.

I know that some of you guys on here own kayaks and this is some info for anyone looking for a cheap kayak. This is taken from my kayak forum...


This happened to us this weekend
Thread Started on Jun 18, 2013, 10:22pm
Before I write anymore, I would like to point out that this is firstly my first post. That secondly, I am posting here to spread the word about the safety implications on cheaper chinese imported kayaks. Thirdly, this is a true story about events this weekend. Fourthly, my husband is not an experienced pro like many of you may be, he's just started out and although he goes kayaking with someone experienced who can teach him actual method, he relied heavily on a seller to sell him something fit for purpose and seaworthy.
And lastly, if you want to make any ill remark against me and my husband, then do it bearing in mind that we have been through a pretty horrendous four days; I thought my husband was dead. I'm not going to appreciate some attitudes, I'm sure, but I'm not here for advice, I am here to ensure this never happens again. I guess that word of mouth about these things is one way to start.

My husband bought a kayak online three or four weeks ago (a seller on Ebay, one with good feedback and many sales of kayaks and kayak related gear). This kayak is a mass produced Chinese model. On it's first trip onto the water, one of the reel holders came off leaving a gaping hole in the kayak. My husband contacted the seller who sent him a new rod holder and rivets. My husband fixed it on carefully, mindful of ensuring it was sealed in.

The following are his words over what happened this weekend on his second trip out in this kayak:

"The sea conditions worsened and a decision was made to return to shore. My fishing line became tangled up on the buoy as I paddled back in my open top kayak. The kayak capsized, due to my line being tangled up. At this point there was nobody around to help me. My two-way radio (the other one being ashore with my partner) was unable to work as it became waterlogged; it would only send static. At this point I was trying to right the kayak as it had overturned. I turned it the right way up and cut the fishing line which by now was also tangled around me. One rod holder was missing (a different one to the one I had fixed) Panic set in fully when my open top kayak started to sink. The more I tried to get back into it, the more it sank. Eventually, the kayak was horizontal in the water, with just the tip end out of the water. I was in the water for around thirty minutes in rough sea swallowing water. Only my buoyancy aid kept me afloat and despite wearing a wetsuit I was becoming extremely cold and losing my energy. At this point I thought I would die and never see my family again.
I saw my friend suddenly appear from nowhere in his kayak. He came to me and told me that the coastguard had been called. It was stipulated to the third person on shore (who was communicating with my friend via their radio, and coastguard via mobile phone), that he must under no circumstances try to get me out of the water, but he told me help was on its way. At this point I was losing consciousness on and off as my friend kept on talking to me whilst keeping me clinging to his kayak side. By now my kayak could no longer be seen as it was submerged completely. Please note, this should not happen to an open topped kayak. Around 53 or 54 minutes from the beginning of the incident, a Sea King helicopter appeared overhead and rescued me from the water by winchman. My friend was exhausted from the ordeal of the past half an hour; he had paddled frantically to find me then fought in rough seas to keep me with his kayak, and no longer had the energy to return to shore. The coastguards / lifeboat brought him in. They said that had my friend not found me and stayed with me, I would have been dead. I am very thankful to my friend and all the men and women involved with my rescue. "

The kayak nearly caused my husbands death. We had the kayak given back to us, the lifeboat brought it into shore for safety reasons. The design and manufacture is such, that upon inspection today, the remaining three rod holders pulled straight out when a broom handle was pushed into the cup (including the replacement that my husband riveted back into place using supplied rivets). The gaping hole left by a rod holder which needed only a simple capsize to come loose, allowed this kayak to fill up with water and sink. The rivets are next to useless.

The seller has sold thousands of these kayaks.

He gave us a refund for the kayak and offered to pay for all the lost equipment, something that he hasn't so far kept to his word with. The kayak went back to him today to be 'investigated' so all we are left with are pictures, video, and some extremely nasty memories which will stay with us for life. It's not much recompense for what has happened but we will use it to help others, none the less.

We want people to be aware of the safety issues of mass chinese imports; we do not want this to happen again.

That's why I am posting this here, on a forum with a good reputation.

And to finish - no, he hasn't been put off completely... but he plans to spend an awful lot more on another kayak and the next one won't be a cheap chinese import.
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Old 20 June 2013, 07:27   #2
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Can't see owt Steve, link takes you to login page. I hope it's not just another story about cr4p Chinese boats
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Old 20 June 2013, 07:29   #3
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Can't see owt Steve, link takes you to login page. I hope it's not just another story about cr4p Chinese boats
Try now
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Old 20 June 2013, 07:54   #4
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How much do these things cost? Anyone got a link?
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Old 20 June 2013, 08:19   #5
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How much do these things cost? Anyone got a link?
The prices this guy sells them for do not appear cheap to me... Galaxy kayaks. But maybe the quality is..... I believe trading standards are involved now.

It could quite well have been a one off, I guess we'll just have to wait what evidence T.S. comes up with.



Galaxy Kayak | eBay
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Old 20 June 2013, 08:35   #6
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No one here will have a negative comment about the paddlers in this serious event...

Is 2 x large internal fixed Floats in Kayaks, used at sea, not normal practise....?? It should be.

Every time I see a Kayak away from shore, with our UK tides and weather, when I am in my 30 knot boat, makes me think you are braver than I...

Glad everyone is ok, I know what it feels like to nearly drawn.....
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Old 20 June 2013, 08:47   #7
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I believe there are many things coming out of China that are copied from good products but do not have the quality you would expect, we need to be vigilant!
Many years ago my father was a canoe instructor, he taught me & many others to kayak. We always had buoyancy bags in the front & rear sections to give support if capsized & flooded. If at sea we carried hand-held radios in waterproof bags. Is this not normal practise when you go canoeing?
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Old 20 June 2013, 09:11   #8
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Originally Posted by Johnscubanut View Post
We always had buoyancy bags in the front & rear sections to give support if capsized & flooded. If at sea we carried hand-held radios in waterproof bags. Is this not normal practise when you go canoeing?
Most kayak fishermen use sit on tops so no buoyancy bags needed as you would have a job fitting them. These are mainly used in s.i.n.k.s..... open canoes / kayaks.

As for VHF he should have had a waterproof one, and yes it is common practice to carry all the safety gear needed, but hey!! he is new to the sport.. he probably had it in a bag but got it wet while taking it out treading water, lucky for him, he was out with a buddy that didn't leave him.
Our forum like many other kayak sites do promote safety at sea, just like we do on RIBnet
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Old 20 June 2013, 09:13   #9
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This appears to be a "sit on top" kayak. I'm not familiar with them but I imagine they are 'designed' to be one big sealed unit, unlike a traditional kayak which is a shell and can have flotation added. If someone drills holes in it to fit rod holders that obviously affects the water tight integrity.
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Old 20 June 2013, 09:22   #10
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Quote:
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If someone drills holes in it to fit rod holders that obviously affects the water tight integrity.
Yes thats correct Poly, the sit on tops have scupper holes built into the mould to drain water off the top but .... there is a void and if that fills they can sink below the surface for sure. It look like this particular make has, poorly factory fitted rod holders.
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