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Old 22 June 2015, 04:49   #1
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Warning about Plastic 'Sit-On' Kayaks

I came across a Kayaker having problems just off the coast between Poole and Bournemouth on Saturday, he was trying unsecesfully to get back onto his plastic kayak like the one in the image. These things are awful if conditions are anything but flat calm.

I went to his aid and put my boat next to his kayak protecting him from a very small swell so he could get back on, problem was he kept falling out as he could not balance 'on' the thing. After a couple of goes I switched my engine off and had him board my rib from ladder at stern and brought his kayak onboard. when I was man handling the kayak I could tell that the air compartment was half full of water and hence less stable than normal.

Took him back to his entry point on the beach. He was absolutely knackered so was very thankfull, his buddies were watching from the beach and did nothing.

So point is, these 'sit-on kayaks' are rubbish, if your going to sea in a kayak you should use the longer types that you 'sit-in' rather than on.

I thhink the bloke learned his lesson.
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Old 22 June 2015, 05:21   #2
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Can't say I agree from my own personal experience.

The sit on top kayaks that I own are far easier to get back on and infinitely more stable than the sit inside kayaks that I have.

Sounds like the kayaker you came across was quite literally out of his depth.
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Old 22 June 2015, 05:37   #3
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Originally Posted by boristhebold View Post
So point is, these 'sit-on kayaks' are rubbish, if your going to sea in a kayak you should use the longer types that you 'sit-in' rather than on.

I thhink the bloke learned his lesson.
I guess that rules out surf boards too!

I have heard that some cheaper models have poor fittings that can crack and allow water to enter the hull void - maybe that was a factor. Overconfident and undertrained might be possible too!
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Old 22 June 2015, 06:30   #4
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TBH sit ins are way worse, unless you have a pump fitted, your stuffed, even if you can re-entry roll or climb in.
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Old 22 June 2015, 06:40   #5
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I think what has happened has water ingress has made it very unstable, I had a similar episode fishing last year in mine, the water was coming in through the rod holders which had drain holes in the bottom, Straight into the air chamber on the kayak!!!
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Old 22 June 2015, 06:51   #6
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I use sit on kayaks in a variety of conditions.

I get off the kayak to relieve myself if in a wetsuit, easy to get back on. The girlfriend came off hers when sunbathing in a sizeable swell whilst I was fishing, she got back on fine. I suggest it's the skill/experience level of the user rather than the equipment that is at fault here, a lot of the kayak fishing forums discuss practicing self rescues before heading out, may be something this individual should have tried/perfected.

Given the entry cost of a kayak I think there's a wide variety of users, from the over prepared with every gadget under the sun to the underprepared in shorts and a tshirt.
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Old 22 June 2015, 07:04   #7
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Your probably correct, the chap in question was probably in his early fities and overweight and had been trying for some time I think to get back on so was very tired. He struggled to get up my boarding ladder and slipped a couple of times, good job I turned the outboard off before I got him to swim to boarding ladder.

So overweight, underfit and lots of water in air space of kayak not ideal. LOL... im sure he learned a good lesson, he was well embarressed.
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Old 22 June 2015, 08:19   #8
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Done the same once with two BIG lads on a jet ski. One could get back on, the other couldn't without turning it over. They could barely tread water when I picked them up.
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Old 22 June 2015, 08:50   #9
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As an unfit , overweight sixty year old I can confirm that these contraptions can be tricky to get back on ! I tried this two seater with my grand daughter last year . The escorts were great . Very professional & safety oriented and our group had a great time . After two hours and back in the harbour the youngsters all jumped off for a swim . Whilst trying to get my crew back on board , I turned turtle and found it quite tricky to get back astride . With the help of small rope loop , and some 3rd party assistance from the escorts , I did manage but it wasn't easy . Like most things practice and experience make a lot of difference .
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Old 22 June 2015, 10:21   #10
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Some of the divers on this side have taken to climbing back onto a sit-on-top from the rear of the craft. Drive up onto the stern, and wiggle forward while straddling the thing. Probably easier for them than a straight kayaker, as they have fins on (more push to get clear of the water.)

That said, I've seen the same as Boris' guy as well, a guy trying (unsuccessfully) to get aboard his kayak for something over a half an hour. Luckily, he was close enough to shore to be able to swim it back to the beach (and probably damn happy that he tried kayak diving close to shore first.)

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