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In Sea Kayaking, , comprehensive guide for those who travel the open waters in the Southern Hemisphere, Philip Woodhouse, Australian paddler and Royal Australian Air Force veteran, shares his years of experience, technical training, and military teaching skills.
What began as a personal reference was soon developed as a training manual, recommended by the Victorian Sea Kayak Club to its membersand East Coast Kayaking to their patrons and Australian Canoeing students.
Sea Kayaking covers boat design, kit requirements, paddling skills, health and well-being, meteorology, the ocean environment, navigation, communications, conservation andminimal-impact camping, conservation, seamanship, electrical bilge pumps, solar panels, light sources, boat repairs, leadership, risk management, basic safety and survival strategies , as well as a brief overview about the history and various types of canoeing.. There is also a comprehensive glossary to assist the reader in understanding the terms and concepts discussed in the main text.
Woodhouse's work differs from most manuals about sea kayaking in that it is written from the perspective of someone who paddles the Southern Hemisphere. As such, the major differences between the two hemispheres-weather patterns, navigation, laws, and terminology-are discussed, as well as compared to their Northern Hemisphere counterparts.
In the end, paddling skills are paddling skills, hypothermia is hypothermia, and twenty-five-knot winds are twenty-five-knot winds. A three-metre tidal range can still produce a long haul across mud flats when the tide is out-and landing through two-metre surf is still scary (though a lot of fun), no matter where you paddle.
|Product dimensions:||8.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.78(d)|
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A Guide for Sea Canoeists
By PHILIP WOODHOUSE
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013 Philip Woodhouse
All rights reserved.
Parts of a Boat
"A ship is always referred to as 'she' because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder."
Chester W. Nimitz
The deck is a permanent covering over a compartment or hull of a boat. It can be described as the top covering of a kayak, which extends from side to side (gunwale to gunwale) and fore and aft. Deck profiles may be flat, ridged or curved. Ridged and curved forward decks have the advantage of shedding water, after a bow plunges through a wave.
Seam line refers to the join line between the hull and deck. It is desirable to have the seam sealed on both the inside and outside of composite material boats (e.g. fibreglass boats). Some manufactures do not believe external seams are required but experience in the VSKC has proven on several occasions that they are. The outer seam can be retro-fitted at any time.
Deck lines (aka perimeter deck lines) are cordage around the perimeter of the hull. They are required around the forward and aft decks. The suggested deck line diameter is 6 [+ or -] 1 mm. They are used when paddlers raft-up together or in rescue situations. Closer to the cockpit they are used to attach items like the removable deck compass or to secure items like a spare paddle bag to the aft deck.
Deckline fitting (aka fairlead) is either an integral (being formed into the deck during construction) or a separate fitting, fitted to the deck with bolts, washers and nuts (fasteners). Fairleads are used to run and secure the deck lines.
Shock cord (aka bungee cord) is elasticised cordage, made from rubber strands covered with a synthetic material sheath. It is used to hold items on to the deck. It should not, be solely trusted to keep items on the deck. If items are not attached by a lanyard, they will more likely than not, become lost overboard from under the bungee cord when a powerful enough wave hits the deck.
Cleats are a deck fixture used to fasten the running-end of cordage. Several types and variations are found, but the common two types for kayaks are the jamming types and the cam types. Jamming cleats are used to hold tension on control lines, such as the drop-down rudder's deployment line. Cam-cleats are often used, for securing a sailing rig halyard.
Hatches come in various shapes, types and sizes depending upon the make and model of the kayak. Hatches are the access points to the forward and aft compartments. Depending upon the quality and condition of the hatch covers, the compartments are either watertight or weather-tight. On selected designed kayaks, the aft hatch access point is behind the paddler's seat. It is advisable to have a lanyard attaching the hatch to the kayak. The Valley rubber hatches, which act somewhat like the sealing lids of kitchen storage containers, are most desirable; however, there are comparable brands used by various manufactures. Other designs are the use of a neoprene rubber cover, stretched over the hatch, with a fibreglass cover secured over the top. The fibreglass cover makes a useful table when camping. Rafter kayaks on the Sea-Leopard, effectively use strong rubber backed marine vinyl with a bungee gusset as covers, eliminating weight and excess items.
Dayhatch is normally the small compartment behind the cockpit. The hatch is offset from the centre-line, on the deck, to facilitate opening whilst seated in the kayak. The term can also be applied to the smaller forward cockpit hatch on some kayaks, which acts more like a car's 'glove-box'.
Skeg control if required is located on the topside of the deck, near or behind the cockpit. The control is usually a sliding knob connected to a cable. The cable runs back through the rear compartments to the skegs actuation mechanism. By varying the position of the control knob, the position (depth) of the skeg can be adjusted to suit the situation.
Rudder deployment control if required is usually located on the aft side of the cockpit or just behind. Some kayaks have the deployment control fitted behind the cockpit and it requires a bit of dexterity or fumbling around to find the deployment/retrieval knob. Often there is a jamming cleat fitted to enable the rudder to be locked down. However, paddlers often do not use the cleat or because of its location, fail to notice the rudder control line is not secured. This results in the rudder, not being fully deployed into the water, but left to trail along, in an inefficient position.
Toggles (aka grab handles) are attached to a kayak's bow and stern. They are required for portaging and manhandling the kayak. They assist in preventing a kayak slipping out of your grip.
Towpoints are the structurally sound securing points that may or may not be fitted to a kayak, when you buy it. If the manufacturer does not fit them, you will need to improvise and fit suitable tow points. They are used when you tow another kayak, and not when you are being towed.
Spray deck (aka, spray skirt, spray cover, skirt) is the flexible and removable cockpit deck worn by the kayaker. Made originally from sea mammal skins, they are now made from neoprene synthetic rubber and other synthetic materials.
Cockpits are the part of a kayak, where the paddler or passenger sits. It is the aperture of the cockpit, which distinguishes a kayak from a sit-on-top kayak. Cockpits come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, depending upon the kayak and the manufacture's design preference. The top edge of the cockpit is surrounded by the combing, under which the elastic (known as the rand) from the skirt fits. The aperture shapes of cockpits vary, but broadly can be classified as either keyhole style or ocean style. Ocean style is based on the round Greenland Inuit kayak design and are often associated with low volume cockpits. Other shapes employed for the cockpit aperture are elliptical, round triangle and 'D' shape.
The point of interest to consider is: 'the cockpits required volume to fit a paddler in, verses excess space'. The less excess volume, the less water there is to remove if flooded. In addition, if you are snug and comfortable inside the cockpit, you have better control.
Being snug and comfortable inside the cockpit is a primary consideration. Kayaking is not about enduring pain, discomfort or numbness in the limbs, through poor ergonomics. If you are too loose you will slop around, even if it is only a small amount, and therefore you will not adequately transfer your energy and controlling forces into the boat.
Thigh braces are extensions on each side of a cockpit, for a paddler to brace their thighs against. In calm and or gentle sea conditions, a paddler can sit with their legs relaxed and have free play (slop) between their body and the boat. When required the paddler can brace (lock) their lower body into the boat through the thigh braces and remove any free play between themselves and the boat. Thigh braces assist in controlling the boat in a turn and or lean, by allowing the paddler to transfer their energy and controlling forces into the kayak. In rough water, they assist the paddler in controlling the kayak. In a roll, thigh braces assist in the transference of energy from the hips and thighs into the kayak, particularly during the 'hip-flick' phase.
The seat is one of the most important parts of a kayak. Seats are made from composite materials, fibreglass, foam rubber or a plastic like polyethylene. A poorly designed or ill-fitting seat is the source of great discomfort; obviously! In this situation, some paddlers tough it out, others look around and either get an ergonomically designed seat or make their own. Having a slightly raised forward portion on the seat, helps alleviate pressure on the buttock and thighs. Ensure your seat helps you maintain proper body posture for paddling, that is, you are sitting up straight and not slouching. Another seat term encountered is the podded seat. This refers to the back of the seat forming an aft bulkhead and can be associated with low volume cockpits.
Footrests are need for the paddler to maintain proper body posture and are vital to the transferring of power, from the legs on body rotation, when paddling. The paddler should be seated comfortably with their feet resting on the footrests. When required, the paddler can tension up, using the footrests, and brace themselves inside the boat in a snug position.
Rudder pedals (aka foot operated tillers) come in a variety of configurations, depending upon what the designer thought up and the manufacture sourced and fitted. The types of rudder pedals vary from the toe-flipper control type, to a tiller bar (aka rudder bar; like that of an aircraft) to the sliding foot-peg type.
Bulkheads are a structural member used to separate compartments inside your kayak and provide rigidity and strength into the kayak. They are also used to give shape and strength in ships and boats. In combination with the hatches, the bulkheads provide (hopefully) watertight compartments, which provide buoyancy, when the cockpit is flooded. Depending upon the design of the kayak there are generally two to three bulkheads. Polyethylene (aka plastic kayaks), usually have foam rubber bulkheads.
Bilge pump is a pump whose water inlet is located in the bilge and outlet is positioned to allow the water to be ejected overboard. There are two categories based on their mode of operation: manual and electrical. Manual operated pumps can be sorted into two other categories of: hand and or foot operated. The best form of bilge pump is the hands free type. Hands free allow the paddler to paddle and brace while the cockpit is being emptied of water.
Hull refers to the main body of the boat and may be described as the shell of the vessel. The covering of the hull is called the skin, even though the material may be anything other than an animal's skin. The hull can be defined as the central concept in floating vessels, as it provides the buoyancy to keep the vessel afloat. There are three basic types of hulls displacement, semidisplacement and planing. Kayaks and canoes are displacement hull types. In kayaking, hull section and form, are often vociferously defended by the designer who favours a particular type or combination.
Features of the hull
Bilge refers to the lower part of the internal hull, where the topsides run to the keel. Kayaks do not have a keel but some, like skin-on-frame boats, have a keelson. A bilge's hardness or softness refers to the bilge's curvature (aka turn of the bilge), with small radii being described as hard and large radii as soft.
Chine is any corner or angle of the hull, as opposed to a curve in cross-section: turn of the bilge. Also described as the angular intersection between the bottom and side of a boat and may also be described as an angular shoulder. On a hull covered by a soft material, it is the longitudinal angular line, formed by an internal stringer over which a material is stretched. A hard chine has a turn radius over 45 degrees (Zimmerly, 1976). Other descriptive terms for a hard chine are: small turn radius, or sharp turn of the bilge. Boats may also be described as having a soft chine, where the chine (shoulder) is more smooth and curved rather than angular (aka soft bilges). Moderate chine falls in between hard and soft chine. Multi chine refers to several hard chines along a hull.
Flam is the convex shape of the hull above the waterline (Brewer, 1994). Particularly noticeable in the fore body, it imparts buoyancy when the vessel is heeled. Since there is no authoritative agreement about the term it is an ambiguously used term, and may be defined by some as, 'a part of hull flare'. Flam is also described as being 'the exaggerated outward curve right at the top of the flare'. For the same beam (compared to a boat with flare), flam has more reserve buoyancy, making the bow rise with and over a wave. It is also incorporated into hull design to deflect spray and keep the foredeck dry in head seas.
Flare is the concave shape of a hull. It is the outwards spread and upwards curve or slant, of the hull's sides from the waterline to the deck and is usually associated with the bow section. It is often used to describe the non-vertical sides. There is no standardised degree of angle of flare to define slightly flared, moderately flared, and sharply flared (Zimmerly, 1976). The opposite term is tumblehome.
For canoes, John Winters wrote:
Flared ends will turn waves away but encourage pitching, which slows the canoe, while the increased beam caused by flare forces the paddler to reach further out with each stroke. As yet, no universally perfect shape has evolved ...
Tumblehome refers to the upward and inward curvature of the hull, from the waterline to the deck. It is the opposite to flare. Some kayak designers on wide kayaks use a tumblehome design, meaning the sides actually curve inward as they come up creating a narrower beam on the deck. This structural design feature becomes an ergonomic design feature enabling the paddler to more easily reach the water, while still having the stability of a wider kayak. However, another designer will say that tumblehome 'allows more slop to come in and reduces the ultimate stability' (Winters, ibid.).
Hull form shows the plan view of the hulls shape. For kayaks, there are three basic types of hull form (plan shape): symmetrical, Swede form and fish form. Fish form and Swede form are collectively referred to as asymmetrical hulls. According to John Winters, they tend to pitch less in waves. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of form vary between designers. What is the best shape? See Design Caveat.
Symmetrical form—is the name given to the hull form shape, which has a greater underwater volume at midships.
Swede form—is the name given to the hull form shape which has a greater underwater volume aft of the midships.
Fish form—is the name given to the hull form shape which has a greater underwater volume forward of the midships.
Hull section shows the hull's cross-sectional shape. For kayaks, the three basic types range from round bottomed (A), flat-bottomed (B), and V-bottomed (C and D), with variations of each in between.
Figures A and B are soft turn of the bilge hulls; also known as soft chine. Cross-section A is representative of a narrow hull and typical of racing sprint kayaks. They have a small wetted surface area but this brings with it stability penalties. Cross-section B is representative of broad, flat-bottomed hulls. These types of hull have a greater wetted surface area than the narrower and rounded hull shown at figure A, but are more stable. The broadness of the hull's beam may be 55 centimetres for a sea kayak and around 60 centimetres for a touring kayak and even broader for a recreation/fishing kayak.
Cross-sections C and D are hard turn of the bilge hulls; also known as hard chine. Cross-section C shows a multi-chine hull. Cross-section D shows a hull with flared sides. Having flared sides produces increased buoyancy as a boat is loaded. When a boat is loaded, it sinks down into the water. This creates a larger wetted surface area on the hull and 'foot print' in the water. However, it takes more cargo to sink it one inch (pounds per inch), than a kayak having straighter sides. The flare increases the buoyancy that is; it resists sinking under the weight of the cargo.
Rocker refers to the upward curve built into the kayaks keelson from bow to stern. The greater the amount of rocker the more responsive the boat is, but this is at the sacrifice of tracking. Tracking is the ability of the kayak to travel in a straight line without directional correction paddle strokes. In a following sea, a kayak with too much rocker has the tendency to broach. In play boats, having a lot of rocker is an advantage because the boat becomes very manoeuvrable. Depending upon the purpose of the boat, the designer will determine how much or how little, rocker to incorporate.
Rudders and Skegs
The rudder is a controversial piece of equipment fitted to many kayaks. To the 'Purists' the use of a rudder and its advocates are anathema! However, leaving the purists to their myopic and insular arguments, we shall press on. The purpose of a rudder is to counteract all disturbing influences, whatever the source, that would tend to cause the kayak to move (slue) around its horizontal axis (i.e. yaw). Turning of a kayak is performed with body and boat lean in addition with paddle strokes. There are several types of rudder configuration on the market, with the drop down type (aka over stern rudder) being the most popular. Kayaks like the Mirage sea kayaks and Epic 18X have in-line rudders.
Excerpted from Sea Kayaking by PHILIP WOODHOUSE. Copyright © 2013 Philip Woodhouse. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Parts of a Boat, 1,
Chapter 2 Canoe and Paddle Design, 7,
Chapter 3 Kit Requirements and Suggestions, 41,
Chapter 4 Sea Kayaking Skills, 46,
Chapter 5 Real Life Paddling and Leadership, 57,
Chapter 6 First Aid, Health and Fitness, 70,
Chapter 7 Meteorology, 86,
Chapter 8 Ocean Environment, 111,
Chapter 9 Navigation—Rules and Regulations, 122,
Chapter 10 Navigation—Charts and Publications, 126,
Chapter 11 Practical Navigation, 150,
Chapter 12 Communications, 168,
Chapter 13 Emergency Procedures, 184,
Chapter 14 Conservation, 188,
Chapter 15 Seamanship, 205,
Chapter 16 Kayak Ancillary Systems, 211,
Chapter 17 Leadership, 218,
Chapter 18 Risk Management, 227,
Chapter 19 Victorian Coast, 234,
Acronyms Abbreviations & Symbols, 251,
Appendix 1 Planning Tables, 258,
Appendix 2 Contact Numbers and Websites, 266,
Appendix 3 A Study of Past Victorian Weather Forecasts, 269,
Appendix 4 Boating Rules and Regulations, 271,
Appendix 5 Basic Compass Use, 276,
Appendix 6 Fishing, 278,
Appendix 7 Canoes: A Brief History, 280,
Appendix 8 Sea Canoeing Stories, 294,