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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:43 am 
faltbootemeister
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A few months ago I saw this video on how to empty a kayak with no bulkheads. I haven't tried it, but in theory it looks like a simple technique.

http://youtu.be/xDsgjtzfg64

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:27 pm 
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Thats interesting, looks effective for an unloaded boat. Something to practice... thanks for that.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:17 pm 
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It's worth noting that the sof kayak Brian was doing that technique with only weighs 14 kg and is very rigid - a folder might sag at the ends more with the weight of the water when semi submerged

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:59 pm 
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That could true with folders like a Cooper or a Wisper, but with stiffer kayaks it might not be an issue.
However, in real life rough conditions, that technique could be almost impossible to perform anyway. The cockpit, being so low on the water, will get swamped again and again. The video was taken in flat conditions. There's really no subtitute from using flotation bags and a good seasock.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:06 am 
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When I was practicing rescue techniques early on in my guiding career, and later when I wrote a couple of books and needed to photograph rescue procedures, it became stunningly obvious to me how much of what is taught and shown in books and classes is patently worthless in anything but calm conditions. You can have a bombproof four-second roll honed in flat water, and I guarantee it will fall apart in the conditions in which you're actually likely to need it. I know because I tried both. To master a rough-water roll (or any rescue) you have to train in rough water.

I've accomplished the cockpit-draining technique shown in the video in flat water, but the idea of doing it with 200 pounds of gear in a 70-pound boat and in a three-foot chop is laughable.

Ironically, the one aid I found most useful for rough-water self rescue is barely mentioned in most literature: a sea anchor. Deploying a sea anchor brings and holds the boat head-on to waves and wind, slows or stops drift onto a possible lee shore, and gives you much more control over re-entry. Combined with a paddle float it ensures success even in very rough conditions.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:41 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Jonathan,

Indeed! Especially unassisted self rescues become tougher. I have found that when conditions become big along our coast, an assisted T rescue is what we use most often.
I am fortunate that I have local venues ideal for rough water rescue practice, and that I belong to a sea kayaking organization (BASK) where we have rescue practice days with instruction. See attached photo of a rescue practice at the Yellow Bluff tide rip during the Paddle Golden Gate event in February, I play the role of the hapless in the water kayaker, with my Coaster being pulled out. Note we were all wearing helmets... in addition to all the usual gear. It is also nice to have a third paddler standing by.
I am interested in your use of a sea anchor. Could you give some details in how you have set this up during the rescue? I would like to try it during one of our upcoming rescue days!

Chris O.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:20 am 
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Following with interest. :o


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:51 pm 
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Chris,

I found that during a self rescue after a wet exit in waves, the boat would always turn broadside to the waves. If I was on the downwave/downwind side it would try to run over me as I held on; if I was on the upwave/upwind side it would try to get away from me—and a boat will usually outrun a swimmer if there is any wind at all. Once I deployed a sea anchor (or drogue, choose your term), everything changed. The boat would sit bow-on to waves and ride them easily. It remained stably upright rather than wanting to roll again if waves were steep. And it was easy to stay with while either preparing to re-enter and roll, or deploy a paddle float and climb back in. If the former, there was no chance of a broadside wave tipping me over again just as I got back up. If the latter, deploying the paddle float and re-entering the cockpit was made much easier by the fact that the boat and I were moving up and down at the same time.

There used to be a company that made a clever quick-deploy sea anchor made for kayaks, but it's gone. However, you can find small (24-inch diameter or so) drogues on eBay. I found that a fairly long—say 50 foot—nylon line attenuated the slight jerking you might otherwise experience as waves roll by, and helped the boat ride over waves rather than punch through them.

Another nice attribute of a drogue for folding kayaks without bulkheads is that during a lengthy pump-out after you re-enter, you can almost ignore the sea state and concentrate on pumping. And they're great for fishing or snorkeling in calm water.

I love your photo, obviously taken in realistic conditions! Have you tried using a drogue? I don't think it would work in many assisted rescue situations.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:50 pm 
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Jonathan,

No, I have not yet used a drogue. I think it is a great idea! I am very interested to try in self rescue situations on a windy day in chop, mainly to keep the bow into the wind and the waves breaking onto the bow. This would really help with my Coaster, which has a lot of buoyancy in the bow, but very little in the stern. The goal is to keep the cockpit from swamping quite so fast during the rescue!
But how to set this up? Ideally the drogue is easy to deploy even with the paddler in the water, but will not self deploy in surf. Tripping the cone, retrieval and stowing should be easy in conditions. All of this without an increased risk of entanglement while in the water...
When you used it, how was it stowed, deployed and retrieved?
As with other rescue gear used in conditions, such as tow lines, the devil is in the details.

Chris O.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:10 pm 
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Chris,

The Boulter of Earth drogue incorporated a clever storage sock open at both ends, so simply pulling on one line or the other would either deploy it or retrieve it. Brilliant. Currently, it seems Feathercraft might still produce a sea anchor, see http://feathercraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/sea-anchor.pdf.

When I made my own, from a surplus item such as http://www.ebay.com/itm/1980s-DROGUE-CANOPY-DROGUE-CHUTE-PARACHUTE-22-INCHES-STILL-IN-UNOPENED-BOX-/291726758212?hash=item43ec451144:g:uNAAAOSwcF9UW7KG, I would rig a float on a short line to the open end, to keep the drogue near the surface and allow retrieval. I store the drogue and float rolled on my deck in front of the cockpit, with it's deployment line running forward through the bow fitting, then back to the coil of line attached to a deck fitting. Deployment involved simply tossing the drogue and float overboard; the line would pay out automatically. To retrieve you paddle up and snag the float, which collapses the drogue. Does that make sense?

It's easy to deploy by a swimmer next to the boat, and the line is always taut while you're re-entering, so no chance of entanglement.

Someone whose name escapes me who made an epic paddle down the Pacific U.S. coast developed a way to back himself safely through very large surf to the beach by using a drogue.

(Why can't I figure out how to make an embedded link?)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:09 pm 
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Chris,

Mark at Long Haul is producing a drogue and release system very similar to what JHanson is describing. A tube, a float, line and the drogue. There's a video on the LongHaulFoldingKayak Facebook page but I can't get it to play. The primary difference being that Mark has it rigged for stern deployment.

https://www.facebook.com/LongHaulFK/videos

JHanson, it's great to hear you describe the efficiency of this system. About a year ago we had quite a lengthy discussion here about drogues and sea anchors but nobody had actually ever used one with a kayak. It sounds like an even better tool than I had imagined.

I can't remember exactly but I think there may have been some debate as to whether it should be deployed from the bow or the stern. I think in your self-rescue descriptions deploying from the bow is probably the correct choice. In the discussion we had (as I remember) the idea was to use it while sailing, in which case a stern deployment would be the best option. The efficiency that you describe though seems like it would be too much of an anchor for use in a sailing situation... very interesting. Once again the idea of simply trailing a long line as a 'simple' drogue may have it's possibilities.

Anyway, thank you for that great insight. I will definitely keep mine in the boat with me on open water sailing.

Cheers!

Dennis

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:20 am 
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Jonathan,

Thanks for the tips on the drogue set up! I will see if I can rig it up for my use here, which will likely take some time. When we try something new in the gear department, we give each other feedback and often make modifications. Yes, it would be nice to keep the bow pointing into the wind during self rescues!

Did you think of Mike Higgins as the paddler who did the Pacific Coast? I know that he has done the entire coast, but in stages. A fellow BASK member and Coaster paddler!

Dennis,
Thanks for reminding me of Mark's drogue set up. We discussed drogues in the thread on the series drogue, correct?

BTW, drogues appear to be used by many kayak fishers! Even Cabelas has them...

Chris O.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:16 am 
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This has been really interesting. Seems a great idea. Is there any risk of entanglement with the line on chaotic conditions, is that a possible explanation it is barely mentioned in literature?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:26 am 
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I think it might have been Steph Dutton I was thinking of.

Selkie: During a self rescue the drogue and its line are always taut and straight off the bow. Not in the way, and no danger of entanglement. During retrieval you need to be moderately careful not to let the slack get caught in the rudder, but I never had that problem.

Dennis, was the thought regarding using a drogue while sailing to enhance directional stability? I can guarantee even a tiny one would put a major brake on progress!

For self-rescue you'd absolutely want the drogue on the bow. It can't get tangled in rudder hardware, the rudder itself can't cause issues by slamming back and forth, and you can watch the sea state to see what's coming at you.

I've seen the drogues advertised for fishing, but not in person. My concern with them is that since they're oriented toward use in relatively calm conditions the hardware and deployment line might not be up to the stress of rescues in rough water and wind. It would be worth checking though, and perhaps modifying.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:55 pm 
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Jonathan, yes, I think the idea was to establish some form of directional stability. If I remember correctly the original OP was concerned about heavy weather and big waves, i.e. following seas, etc. and the fear of pitch-poling or getting turned sideways. Probably more about getting turned sideways as I can't imagine sailing in a situation that might lead to pitch-poling... ha.

My thinking is that in most situations even close to these the sails will be struck. There could be the rare circumstance when sailing is quite possible but following seas are presenting a problem. In a situation like this it seems to me that simply trailing a line might be a good enough drogue to maintain a steady stern in the following waves. I think Greg may have had a situation slightly similar to this on one of his sailing adventures... Thoughts?

I'm not sure you can answer this, but since it's begun and you have the experience I'll throw it out. If you suddenly found yourself in very nasty weather, let's say a very strong wind and a following sea condition in open water, what do you do? Do you point your nose into the weather and ride it out with a drogue? Do you attempt to paddle home at the best possible angle to stay upright? Obviously a very open ended question. But if there were a general 'you can survive by doing this...' what would that be?

Thanks Jonathan, it's great to hear from someone with actual drogue experience talk about this stuff.

d

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