Excellent report

Posted by LeeG on Jun 13, 2006

I do not interpret their comments to mean toggles were an inadequate design as much as it's hard to hold onto a kayak just from a fixed bow toggle where there's no give to the attachment in big waves. Toggles would still be prefered in that setting but it does make one think about an attachment with some give to it.

With a perimeter line there's some give and movement allowing the energy to dissipate while still gripping. I daresay with a tight 4mm line you'll have some bad cuts. This is why I have been advocating rounding off the bow of s&g kayaks as the energies involved make it potentially lethal. The average pointy bowed s&g kayak in those conditions will skewer a hand or head as you try and hold onto it. Anyone who's been in 2' surf or done rescues in 2' waves has figured it out why sharp edges are a problem.

In a similar vein a doubled line on from the bow to a recessed cleat or D-ring in front of the coaming makes an excellent "perimeter" line. I found that it was much more user friendly than a perimeter line for the reasons stated. You could jump out at shore after a surf landing and grab an open 5' section of line quickly while sliding up to the bow before another wave hit.

I have to give these guys LOTS of credit for their skills and backups. Their immersion gear and ACCESSIBLE VHF radio was critical to surviving and rescue.

Regarding deck lines I'd say that holding onto a kayak in 5'-8' breaking waves is a testimony to their strength as much as the design of the boats. Sure wouldn't want a ruddered boat in those circumstances. I knew someone who grabbed the 1/16" rudder wire in the surf zone and opened up their finger to the bone.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Deck lines - really really good - toggle, not sufficient: Without the deck lines on John's boat we would not have been able to hang on. The Anas Acuta has almost full perimeter lines, with a gap on one side of the cockpit. They stood up to a lot of pressure and no brackets popped. John spent a fair amount of time with his feet in the cockpit and holding the line that ran beside it. I was on a side line. I found that I needed to slide up the line away from the bracket so when I got hit I had space to slide down the line instead of getting pulled free. I picked up a bit of rope burn, but a small price to pay. I was not able to hold onto the toggle for my boat in those conditions - the deck lines provided a much more secure grip.

In Response to: rescued kayakers comment by Adam Bolonsky on Jun 13, 2006


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