WD 12 open water capabilities?

Hi Folks:


I couldn’t be more pleased with my WD 12 kayak.  I have been out about a half dozen times (the lakes and ponds here in Alaska are more suited to ice skating now) and have really enjoyed the boat’s performance and comfort.


I was wondering if anyone had any ‘open’ water experiences with their WD.  I would suspect that if proper equipment (bow floatation, spray skirt, etc.) and judgement were used, that the WD would make fine boat for some coastal adventures.


Any thoughts or ideas?





8 replies:

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RE: WD 12 open water capabilities?

Whoaaa, I spent this last summer on Kenai Penisula and the water never got warm enough for this Florida boy.

I would think your WD12 would be okay as long as safety is used and your paddle skills are up to open water paddling (knowing self rescue a must).  Stay close to the coast, watch for boreal tides, and wear proper clothing.

Although I kept looking for Orcas, I did paddle with Belugas, and thier splash was enough to make me cold in June.  The 3 months I was there, I managed to paddle Beluga Point, Kenai Forjds, and Cook Inlet.  I was in an 18' glass yak and it was AWESOME!!!  So where are you in AK?  I would love to converse further if you want to write me at kevwt@hotmail.com



RE: WD 12 open water capabilities?


I've had my WD12 out during a couple of small craft advisories. The worst was a 25-30 mph wind blowing up waves with whitecaps along a 6 mile fetch with power boat wakes at right angles to the waves and the whole mess bouncing off the shore and mixing back into the center.

The boat handled it fine, even with waves breaking over the bow and sides. However, self-rescue in those conditions would have meant abandoning the boat and swimming to shore. I've done wet re-entries in a WD12, but with those waves it would've been impossible.

Definitely a spray skirt. The hatch seal also needs to be very secure or the compartment needs to be filled with floatation material. Mine was neither and I took on 1/2 gallon or so of water.

Another thing is the boat construction. I knew that I wanted to use mine hard, so it's completely glassed, inside & out, including the bottom of the deck. Even so, the boat was flexing in those waves.

For more sane conditions, it works great. It's not as fast as a sea kayak, but I've done 22 miles in one day. Long slow swells are a piece of cake. Landing and launching through 1 foot surf was no problem, either. Just keep a good eye on the weather.




RE: WD 12 open water capabilities?

Kev & Laszlo,


Thanks for the insight.  One thing that I have learned about being on the water is that your most valuable piece of equipment is located between your ears!  Judgement and common sense are virtues!

 I am glad that I went with the VCP option for the rear hatch.  I have had them before in other kayaks, and they really seem to work quite well.

Thanks again, and I am looking forward to more exploration with my WD.


RE: WD 12 open water capabilities?


I know your report of the ability of the WD 12 to take rough water was nearly a year ago, but I have a question for you if you happen to read this anytime soon. I bought a WD 12 last week for two purposes. Mainly to fish the bays and Laguna Madre around Corpus Christi, and second to use to take baits out in the surf for shark fishing from the beach. My son and I fish a tournament in September and maybe a time or two before that event. This all takes place on the gulf of Mexico on the Texas coast. Given that you have already experienced the rough water in the WD 12, would you think I made a wise choice for the surf? We have to take the baits out to just in front of the third sandbar, which can probably be 300 yards from the beach. This distance can have some really nasty breakers, like 4 to 6 foot breakers. I have been using a plastic Ocean Frenzy sit on top up until now and we usually have hell getting baits out without great paddling effort and getting dumped quite often. Will the WD 12 handle these conditions and be able to get us out to the third bar in one piece? I am by no means unhappy with my choice of kayak, I just don't know what to expect until I actually put it in the surf. Thanks for any info you can give me.


RE: WD 12 open water capabilities?


I've never taken any kayak into 4 foot breaking surf, so you're more an expert on this than I am. Maybe one of the surf kayakers who hang around here could pop in?




RE: WD 12 open water capabilities?

Find a sea kayak instructor and take a surf zone class.  It will help you negotiate the surf zone much more easily regardless of craft. 

Please keep posting your experiences with the wood duck as I am interested in building one.

RE: WD 12 open water capabilities?

As soon as I can get the WD12 finished, which is probably mid November, I will take it to the surf and give you a report. It's surf duty is limited, but when I need it in the surf it will get a workout - probably not as much as I will. If I can find someone as foolish as me, we will try to take short videos of the WD12 in the surf.

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