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 Post subject: Staying warm
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:06 pm 
We took our new Puffin out for the first time on Friday and loved it. My husband was making a list of all the lakes near our home where we can go for day trips. Although putting the deck on will help cut down on the wind, to extend our season as long as possible, we're going to need some jackets/wetsuits. (I may make jackets myself.)

I have my eye on the NRS hydroskins, but my pocketbook is a little thin. Since we can't buy one of everything, what do you advise as the best purchases we could make? What layers do you recommend?

I expect our temps will mostly be in the 45-60 degree range.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:00 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Water temperature is the more important consideration. When the water temp drops into the 50s, you'll want to wear a full neoprene wet suit and stay very close to shore. In autumn when the water is still relatively warm but the air has a chill to it, I wear splash pants and a paddling jacket over polypropylene long underwear along with neoprene booties. NRS often has good prices on close-outs but better quality stuff isn't that much more expensive and will last many years. Much happiness with your new boat!


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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:00 am 
When I paddled the eastern white water in my younger days I had a shortie top and homemade shorts plus booties. I'll admit I wasn't always warm as I'd like, but it was OK in the fall. With the more stable Puffin and calmer water I was hoping I could get away with just the hydroskin .5. Maybe that's foolhardy. Dunno. The worst thing I've found is the water drenching me from the paddle. I was hoping that adding the deck and some hydroskin top and bottom (and jacket & pants) would be enough. And booties -- HAVE to have booties!

NRS is having some great sales. Maybe we'll get what's on sale and limp through till spring. I could try making some bottoms. I've done it in the past if I could find a good souce for the neoprene fabric.

Thanks for your help. Sooo many options!


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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:24 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 820
Location: atlanta, georgia
You will find as many opinions on how to stay warm on/in the water as...well, there are lots of opinions! I like neoprene for diving and swimming but I hate it for paddling. Thin enough (hydroskin) and it will offer freedom of movement but virtually no immersion protection. Thick enough to offer protection if you take an unscheduled swim and you will be wearing an energy robbing, moisture (sweat) retaining exoskin. If you are going to paddle in Oregon fall/winter I would suggest you look into a drysuit. In the meantime, I hear you about the annoyance of paddle drip. It took me many years of paddling before I gave in to the spray skirt. But now I lever leave shore without it! It makes the experience more pleasant in all but the hottest weather.
Just my $.02,
g

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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:48 pm 
Tripped across some long pants on eBay for only $30. Couldn't resist. Added booties and hydroskin tops. Figure we can add a layer if we're cold. We don't go far from shore, nor are we likely to be paddling in very cold weather. I just dread adding so much that we're sitting in puddles of sweat. When I used to paddle wilderness rivers I was a lot more vulnerable (but was young and oblivious). A lot to weigh and try to balance (risk vs. comfort).

I'm a little concerned about adding the deck for fear it will limit the ability to exit the boat if needed. A spray skirt would make it even harder. I am hoping just a splash deck will keep us dry -- if not, the spray skirt will be the only option. I guess I'm concerned because my husband is just short of 80 and not real flexible. I'm hoping the warm weather will last long enough to practice some exits.

Appreciate all your help. We'll let you know how we fare.


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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:26 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Seems like you're being reasonably cautious. Years ago I paddled through most of the winter or until ice formed on the New Jersey coastal waters that I frequent. In those days I wore a heavy wetsuit, neoprene pogies, paddling jacket, etc. It was a burdensome preparation but kayaking was new to me and I didn't want to stop paddling just because the temperature had turned winter cold. These days I enjoy paddling well into the autumn but I don't wear a wetsuit anymore and I'd rather hang up the kayak and go for a walk in the woods or mountain biking before I'd buy a $600 dry suit and suffer the strangling sensation of that tight latex collar. Just stay close by the shore, keep the watchwords "situational awareness" always in mind and when the snow begins to fall, go for a walk in the woods and then enjoy a cup or two of hot cocoa and catch up on your reading. Or waste some time reading and writing posts on paddling forums like this :D


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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:40 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: South Salem, NY
Congrats on the new boat! It must feel great to be back in the game!

Southern Oregon... you guys could really paddle all year round on good days. I personally find boating in the rain one of my favorite things to do... when properly protected or course. Ha.

As Jake mentioned and Greg alluded to, water temp is by far the most critical factor in winter/cold weather paddling. You'll get warm days in January and March but the water temp will still be dangerous. For this reason it's really important to protect yourself from the heat robbing effect of the water itself. For this reason I suggest getting a waterproof suit (or top at the very least). Gore-tex is probably still the best, but there are many other options that cost less. Unfortunately this seems to be an area where you really do get what you pay for as the Gore-tex will probably last the longest.

A breathable waterproof suit will turn water temp into the equivalent of air temp. This means that on a 50 degree day you could dress the same under your suit for either air or being in the water and it will feel exactly the same (providing the water is around 50º). Without a dry suit your day in that same water would be over in less than twenty minutes.

There are really great suits being made right now and the right suit could seriously allow you to paddle year round. It's not like the lakes freeze over up there right? As we get older our bodies don't respond to cold very well. We don't recognize the problem as it begins and we don't recover from it very well when we've become hypothermic. With a dry suit on and a lifejacket you could literally float comfortably in the water while the wind blows you and your boat back to shore. I paddle year round and I live in New York. I can only consider doing this because of the dry suit.

Unfortunately this is the wrong time of year to find sales on dry suits. But if you watch Craigslist or maybe Paddleswap you might get lucky. Kokotat will gladly check and repair any of their suits for a very reasonable fee. I'm sure the other companies are similar.

It hurt when I bought my drysuit, it really did, and I got mine on sale about 30% off in the spring. But it is by FAR the very best investment I've made in boating beyond my boats. As I mentioned before, I can literally go paddling any day I can get my behind outa this chair and drag the boat to water.

Sorry for the diatribe, I'm Coast Guard Aux. and a bit of a safety nut.

dennis

PS - It's been my experience that your life jacket will pretty much pull you right out of the boat in the event of a capsize. If you use a spray skirt it's essential that the pull tab to release the skirt is easy to grab and you practice the release. A paddle instructor friend of mine won't allow his students to wear neoprene gloves as he feels they cannot release their spray skirt with the gloves on... no grip. So practice removal if you end up putting on a spray seal. I generally go without the skirt when I have the dry suit on.

PPS - Jake makes some great points in the previous post. In terms of the strangling affect... that's pretty easily adjusted so that the neck seal becomes a comfortable fit.

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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:55 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:19 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Oakland, California
WaterBaby,

Great to hear that you enjoy the new kayak! It really opens up a whole new world to explore.

On to my take for the staying warm options:
Gore-Tex dry suit with base (wool, such as Smart Wool or polyester such as Patagonia Capilene) and insulating layers (Polar fleece). The ultimate protection both in and on the water, and the best fit. But yes, very expensive too. Not a casual purchase! But, it is what I wear when sea kayaking.
Wet suit (farmer john style) with Polar Fleece top and paddling jacket. Much less expensive than dry suits and offering reasonable immersion protection. Draw backs are that the fit is often not ideal, might be tight around the torso (not great for a longer paddle), while still allowing some cold water to your skin (a problem for people who are susceptible to cold shock). This is my back-up should my dry suit spring a leak, or for rescue practice sessions.
For just on the water protection, normal layering works well. Wool or poly base layer, polar fleece insulating layer and wind and splash proof shell. This does not offer much immersion protection, but buys you a few minutes to get to shore. The polar fleece and shell combination works surprisingly well to keep you warm once out of the water, if you have taken a dunking. The polar fleece fibers do not absorb water (but let it drain away), retain their loft, and so remain somewhat insulating. The shell prevents serious evaporative cooling from wind. I still wear this on protected flat water paddles in mild conditions and near shore (such as on quiet rivers). But on cold windy days I reach for the dry suit!

Chris O.

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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:58 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Like Dennis, I really enjoy paddling in the rain. There are few things that give me more pleasure than being out on the water on a nearly windless autumn day with a steady rain drumming lightly on the deck of my little Feathercraft. With a well fitted spray skirt, a good paddling jacket and a rain-shedding, wide brimmed hat, the paddler stays comfortably warm and dry, able to enjoy the muted beauty of sky and water and autumn tinged spartina, maybe a few peregrines heading south. Pure magic.

I'm not familiar with southern Oregon though I have a sister in Salem who has a cottage in Pacific City. I'll be there for a week in early November but won't be paddling. The Pacific and even the rivers in that part of the northwest are cold and unforgiving. I'll enjoy a few long beach walks, warm and dry in a full length raincoat with a hot mug of cocoa when I get back to the cottage.

A lot of years ago, I sailed in winter frost bite dinghy races. We wore heavy, water absorbing coveralls against the cold with a full hip flask (bourbon) to ward off the chill should it affect us and it always did. We carried life vests but I never saw anyone actually wear one. One time, I misjudged a jibe (the bourbon?) and found myself in the water with the boat in a decidedly unseaworthy posture. It seemed like the chase boat took forever to show up. I think I shivered for a whole day. Did I really do that?


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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:28 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: South Salem, NY
Quote:
There are few things that give me more pleasure than being out on the water on a nearly windless autumn day with a steady rain drumming lightly on the deck of my little Feathercraft. With a well fitted spray skirt, a good paddling jacket and a rain-shedding, wide brimmed hat, the paddler stays comfortably warm and dry, able to enjoy the muted beauty of sky and water and autumn tinged spartina, maybe a few peregrines heading south. Pure magic.
- Jake

Bingo!

d

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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:39 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 1230
Location: Anchorage Alaska
I wear a drysuit with varying layers of fleece. For real cold, I add Cabelas Goretex gloves. They keep my hands warm http://s167.photobucket.com/user/tsunam ... sort=3&o=7

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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:18 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: South Salem, NY
Chuck are those the Pinnacle gloves? Do they stay dry?

I haven't been real successful in the glove department yet.

d

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Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:07 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 1230
Location: Anchorage Alaska
DLee wrote:
Chuck are those the Pinnacle gloves? Do they stay dry?

I haven't been real successful in the glove department yet.

d


They are the pinnacles. They do not stay dry unless it is real cold, but they keep my hands warm

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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:02 pm 
I'm afraid if it's raining, you'll find me in front of the stove with a steaming hot chocolate or Tom & Jerry. I had my years of doing that, but am now happy to listen to the rain from inside. Guess age has softened me.

Love the hydroskins, but they're just too tight. Going to try polypropylene and fleece (if needed) with waterproof jacket.

We went out last week - it was near 80 till the wind picked up. I couldn't believe how cold I was. The deck is not enough. I end up pouring the water off my paddle into my lap (and down the sleeves of my jacket) -- time for spray skirt. I'd like to buy just the splash deck, but I'm not sure it will be sufficient. Need to find some sort of waterproof hat. Mine gets saturated. Bought gloves, but I'm not sure I'll like them -- hate losing contact with the paddle. Will definitely wear my neoprene pants next time out. Have to make a paddle jacket with decent cuffs. The water runs down my arms to my waist -- down right shocking. I think with those changes I'll be good for the weather we are likely to paddle in. We're just not going to be out in bad weather.

It is so hard to tip these PakBoats that I think immersion is unlikely. It we did end up in the water, we're close to shore. Hopefully we'll stay dry.

Thanks again for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Staying warm
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:53 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
You do have drip rings on the paddle, right? I think you might be better off dealing with that water coming off the paddle than trying to add spray skirts, etc., but maybe I'm not being realistic-- I'm not in a good position to judge, of course.

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Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


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