Folding Kayaks Forum

Aleut Adventure, Swamping
Page 1 of 2

Author:  JohnSand [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Aleut Adventure, Swamping

I paddled my Folbot Aleut today for the second time. Assembly went quicker and better. I paddled off the beach, into an inlet over a 1-2' tide rip. I was pleased with performance, though for any bigger waves I would want a spray skirt. I noticed while paddling that some parts of the deck repelled water, beads ran off. Other parts became wet. I felt the inside, wet too. At the narrow part of the inlet, the current is strong: 3-4 knots. It was behind me, but I turned around to test whether I could stem it, I could. I paddled into the back of the harbor, seeing swans and herons, talking to a girl and dogs on the beach. On my way back out, it took several minutes of hard padding to get out over the fastest current, gaining only inches per stroke. In the wider part of the inlet, teens were adventurously jumping from the fishing pier, 10-12 feet to not very deep water. Ahh, youth. I had stopped partway to pump with my new kayak pump, my butt was in water. I did notice earlier that when carving a turn or leaning to test stability, water seeped through the deck. I wasn't worried. After clearing the fishing pier, I went back through the rip. The boat seemed to be taking water faster now. Looking back, I saw the stern deck submerged. Troubled, I paddled faster. No good, the next wave swamped the boat. I had just studied the "Cowboy Recovery", which I thought of as standard before learning the name. My problem was that the boat was awash, floating with the cockpit just at the surface, even with me swimming next to it. I tried to swim out of the inlet, the current pushed me back in. Reversing course, I swam the boat into the inlet toward the fishing pier. A fisherman and a motor boater offered assistance, I declined. Not out of pride, out of caution. I could not trust the motor boat or the fire volunteers to save the boat without destroying it, or possibly harming me. I swam the boat to a gravel beach, where the diving teens helped me haul it up. Somewhere along the way, I took a divot out of my right index finger.
Lessons learned: Always use float bags. Test capsize recovery on any new (to me) boat. Had I been unable to beach the boat, I would have left it and swam ashore.
When I got home, I had a drink.
Any suggestions on waterproofing the deck? Camp type spray?

Author:  Christov10 [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

Hey John,

These will completely fill the bow and stern under-deck sections of your Aleut as evidenced by my own use of them in my Aleut - ... -flotation . Crazy adventure - glad both you and your kayak made it home.


Author:  gbellware [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

Thanks, great writeup, and glad things worked out. They usually do when you keep your head. You remind me of a couple of favorite quotes/truths..."experience is what you get when you don't get what you want" and "good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement". I have learned a lot in my kayaks :roll:


Author:  treewater [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

I use tent sealer for the decks. Spray it on every year at least. Works for me.
Glad you made it.
Right decision on help. Unless you need it, most persons don't understand folders and will damage the boat trying to help. If it's you or the boat, that's another matter but I have to shout and plead with people when I wash ashore to "stop muscling the boat around." You empty the water carefully out of a folder.
You are also right about practicing. At some time or other anyone will swamp the boat. Know what to do and don't panic.

Author:  JohnSand [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

Thank you all. Swamping my boat in public was not my finest boating moment, but I think that sharing our mistakes may help others avoid them. Plus they make the best sea stories. :)
Christov, which size do you use?

Author:  treewater [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

I would disagree about necessity. I've sunk aluminum folders. That Folbot Aleut would have gone to the bottom w/o sponsons inflated (read, they leak). I turned over a Nautiraid in 30 degree weather. The aluminum/fiberglass paddle sank. The Nautiraid, which was wood, I went back and got the next day. It floundered but did not sink.
One day I'll try an old Folbot Super and see if those wood frames keep the aluminum stringers afloat.
Edelman is right. Anything floatable will help. Any bag, half full water bottle, seat cushion, anything that will normally float when tossed in the water will help. You'll find yourself pushing those things under the decks. Even the deck, if they are water proof/air tight, will trap air and help keep the boat afloat.
It's summer, go out and experiment in shallow water. One thing I found, it's hard when you are in the water, to reach over the cockpit and use a bailer. Don't be too confident until you've tried it.

Author:  Christov10 [ Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

I'll have to check the bag size this afternoon and let you know. They're packed up with the Aleut right now in a shed. Originally, though, I bought them to fit bow and stern of my 18' RZ96. So maybe the large size, certainly no smaller than medium. Will let you know this evening.

Author:  Christov10 [ Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

They're the Medium sized bags found at the link I posted on the other thread.

Author:  JohnSand [ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

Thank you. I also measured to hull (outside).
I washed the boat today, hose water went right through the deck!

Author:  Christov10 [ Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

Hey John,

I think in your first report on the Aleut you mentioned you didn't attach the coaming/washboards? Did you have them in place the day you wound up swimming the kayak to shore? Just curious.


Author:  JohnSand [ Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

Thanks Christov, I did properly install them this time, and inflate the sponsons, both of which made the skin tighter.
I can drain this boat ashore by standing it on the bow. Water comes out from behind the nose-piece, gurgling up from inside hull material that tips the deck. Is this normal, or is a repair required?

Author:  treewater [ Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

Water draining from stems normal for every folder I've had. Just so long as it's not gushing.

Author:  mje [ Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

Years ago I dumped my Aerius I trying out the balance exercises Ralph Diaz suggests in his book. Then I managed to completely swamp it trying to do a cowboy reentry.

Even with float bags it took on a lot of water. I did manage to paddle it to shore, sitting astride the swamped boat. I then spent what seemed like an hour pumping it dry enough that I could invert it and dump the rest of the water.

Author:  JohnSand [ Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

I'll certainly try not to do it again.

Author:  arcprof [ Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Adventure, Swamping

I'd be sitting in my Aleut in calm water so that the water line is below the deck/hull seam. See how much water gets in. If it starts leaking then the stem sealing would be high on the list of suspects.
Cheers Jim

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group