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Old 09-24-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
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Kayaks and Trawlers

Trying to get just as much fun out of my trawler as is humanly possible (and still be law abiding) I bought a kayak and installed it on the front deck. The idea was great! The reality of it a bit less. Turns out that putting it in the water and retrieving it calls for some imagination and creativity. And getting into it from the swim platform (and back out of it again) requires not only the balance of a seasoned acrobat, but a lot of flexibility which my old bones gripe about. Nonetheless, the St. Marks River is a good kayaking river, so I plan to have a lot of fun with it.

Probably you wonder why I tell you this. Well . . . gotta tell someone, and my ex doesn't seem to be all that excited about it. :-)

John
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:10 PM   #2
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John, we just bought a canoe with the thought of carrying it on the boat. Do you have any pics of how you mounted the kayak?
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:15 PM   #3
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John, we just bought a canoe with the thought of carrying it on the boat. Do you have any pics of how you mounted the kayak?
Oh, gosh. Nothing that fancy! I just lay it on the front deck, putting a chain and a couple of padlocks around it in order to hopefully keep it secure when the boat is in the slip and I am at home.

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Old 09-24-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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Have you tried a 'seal launch' from the swim step? That's where you get seated in the kayak and put your spray skirt in place while the kayak is still on the swim step, then 'butt hop' your kayak to the edge and slide into the water. Easy-peazy and as hairy chested as it gets, especially once you get good enough to launch from the pilothouse roof
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:43 PM   #5
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I just went through this process on our motorsailer. I purchased two short sit-in kayaks (10 feet approximately) and we found they were just too unstable to board from the swim step. My wife and I have two young girls ages 2 and 4 so we also had to somehow get them from the swim step to our laps as well which resulted in my wife taking a dunk in our cold PNW water. The solution was to change to the more stable sit on top kayaks. The sit on tops have more room for the girls and they are very stable. I love the sit on tops for what we do and will not go back to a sit in unless i get serious about long distance touring in a kayak.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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John, We took two kayaks with us to Alaska this summer. The biggest problem I had was while trying to get in them from the swim step, they wanted to scoot under the swim step. So I tied some fenders to the edge and that solved the problem. Here is a picture.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:20 AM   #7
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The biggest problem I had was while trying to get in them from the swim step, they wanted to scoot under the swim step.
My wife's kayak is a Hobie Revolution and it has handles on both sides that are used for carrying. She normally launches it from the dock which means she has to step down to get in it. Buy putting a bungie through the handle then looping it back over the hook ends, she then can attach the ends to almost anything (dock cleat, swim step cleat, etc.) which keeps the kayak from tipping or moving away when she steps in. When in, she just unhooks and shoves off.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:46 AM   #8
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We carry four kayaks on a custom aluminum rack on the house boat deck. I have a very low swim step, so that helps to get in and out. Both kids have learned to launch just fine. The admiral still scares me, but she hasn't gone swimming yet. I always assist others, but launch myself. Hauling the yaks up from the stern is done with a bow line and I just heave them up. They are sit-in type boats. I can't find a good picture of the rack, but it's basically an 'H' tipped on the side, two of them, and holds four yaks.

Hope that helps you.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:01 AM   #9
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Best picture of the kayak rack that I could find...

I ditched the RIB and keep a roll up zodiak, but we just use the kayaks to hit the beach. I think it's more fun to paddle and no hassle with the outboard and fuel. Just my preference and the crew seems to agree.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:05 AM   #10
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BIGGER IS BETTER!

For folks that will be in southern waters remember the Crocks will eyeball every visitor in their turf.

Eyeball as in see if its FOOD!

In the past decades my bride has watched many many alligators take a look at her in her 19 ft rowing skiff , and decide to slink away.

Not sure what a tiny kayak splashing by looks like to a gator, Twinkie???
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #11
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We just had Davits made to hold our dink, Kayak, and four solar panels. Not cheap but works great.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:52 PM   #12
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Got a couple of suggestions that I am going to try. Thanks to Russell Clifton for the suggestion of the fenders under the swim platform. That might help. And thanks to Seahorse II for the suggestion of using a handle on the side of the kayak to help hold it steady during entry/exit. Mine does not have any handles, but I should be able to mount some with no real problem.

Enjoyed the different pictures also. More of us kayak folk here than I had figured! :-)

John
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:36 AM   #13
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Just have to show this off. I made the cradle up and the manual davit lifts and swings each boat out over the starboard rail. Very quick and, to date, foolproof.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:54 AM   #14
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Please use bright/florescent colors for your kayak and/or paddles so I won't run you down.

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Old 09-26-2013, 01:12 AM   #15
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Some great ideas for handling kayaks. I'm considering one as well. I have a bit of experience on flat water in Canada, but the ocean and surf is another story. Luckily there is a big variation in kayaks design for every application. Make sure you get the right one.

Just last night I finished reading Stuart Trueman's book regarding his unsupported circumnavigation of Australia in a kayak. Wow - that takes guts. Crossing the Australian Bight with huge swell pounding against unbroken vertical cliffs for hundreds of miles; Being chased by crocodiles and 30ft tidal changes in the Kimberly.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:31 AM   #16
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Surf landings can get hairy, for sure. If you broach, reach a paddle well above your shoulder, stuff it into the face of the wave, lean into it, and slide into the beach sideways. When it goes right, it's awesome to get softly deposited way up on the beach as the wave races back to the ocean behind you.

Leaving the beach is an entirely different story
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKFish View Post
We carry four kayaks on a custom aluminum rack on the house boat deck. I have a very low swim step, so that helps to get in and out. Both kids have learned to launch just fine. The admiral still scares me, but she hasn't gone swimming yet. I always assist others, but launch myself. Hauling the yaks up from the stern is done with a bow line and I just heave them up. They are sit-in type boats. I can't find a good picture of the rack, but it's basically an 'H' tipped on the side, two of them, and holds four yaks.

Hope that helps you.
I'd like to get some kayaks like those. We saw someone last summer having fun in theirs, and the admrial wants to give it a try.

What kind/brand of kayaks are the ones you have?
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:46 AM   #18
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I picked up the orange "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" at West Marine in Anacortes. I'm not sure of the brand. The blue one is from Costco and is a Canadian boat. I have a yellow one like it too. They are labeled as a 10.3 extreme something or other. I like them the best.

Since were only a couple of slips away, you should take a look. I'll get some details next week.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:18 AM   #19
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When I had mine on the foredeck of my sportfish...I would just launch it over the lifelines and pull it back to the swim platform on it painter...same with my AVON. Reverse the procedure for bringing it back onboard...just pull it up and over the lifelines and store.

As far as the swim platform...if you want to make the kayak rock stable for boarding look at the snap davits like Weaver...I'm thinking overkill...but they do work great for holding/stabilizing small vessels.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:16 AM   #20
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As you can see in my avatar picture, I carry a pair of kayaks. They are 12.0' and 12.5' (hers and mine). they weigh 40# and 45#. I lift them up by their bow lines, till vertical beside the boat, then push down hard, so that when the bouyancy pushes them back up, I can grab the rim of the opening and then rotate the kayak till it is laying along the side of the boat, then I lift them onto a rack that I originally built for carrying a laser, that is above the aft companionway hatch. The bow of my kayak sits on the lip of the upper deck. Her kayak rests, inverted, on top of mine, then they get strapped down.
Launching is easier, as all I do it toss them into the water. That usually gets attention, but rarely more than a few drops of water into the seat.
Getting into the kayak from the swim grid is easy, as the top of the kayak floats an inch or two higher than the swim grid. I have noticed that other folk's kayaks can be way less stable than mine, which seems related to the shape of its bottom. Mine has many molded in channels or chines, which act on steering and initial stability.
Before buying these, I looked at proper sea kayaks, but couldn't find a spot on board that would accommodate their +14 ft length. Then a trip to Coast Mountain sports, where I found a good selection. I tried out a pair of 13 ft, smooth rounded bottom kayaks, but they were still too long for my storage spot and too unstable for her to get in and out without a swim, so back for a different pair. These have worked well. The biggest improvement to our enjoyment of kayaking was to buy better paddles. the ones they throw in with your purchase are heavy. Your arms get tired just from holding them up. We initially bought $100 paddles to get the static weight down a bit, but a few years later bought $200 paddles to get the weight down some more. Now we can go for hours before our arms get sore, as the weight of the paddles is insignificant. Carbon Fibre rocks!
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