Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Sea Kayak

Well, it certainly seems as if I am getting closer to describing the sort of boat I want to buy… more of that later.  For the moment I’m preoccupied in contemplating a summer kicking my heels on the shore. Even if I found the boat today, given how little money I have to invest in her, I can’t imagine she will be in commission this year, and in any case, it seems that in any given year there are good times to buy and other good times to sell a boat.

My frustration is that I would like to be afloat this summer. People selling boats understand this; they clean up their craft and advertise in spring hoping for a quick sale at a good price to people like me, eager to fulfil this need. So spring is a ‘good time’ to sell.

By September however, boat sellers know that fewer people are looking to purchase. They also know that few boats look attractive sitting in a muddy boatyard under a dripping tarpaulin. They may also be frustrated by the continuing mooring or storage fees, the insurance renewals and engine servicing they may have to pay for throughout the winter– all for a boat they no longer want.  Autumn / winter therefore is a ‘good time’ to buy. Prices drop and boats are sold in end of season condition.Ideally then, I should wait a few months before buying my boat, BUT the prospect of getting no further to sea than the pier head doesn’t feel good.

So yesterday, I took some time out to visit a few friends who may have a partial solution.  They have an ‘Ocean Kayak’, two-seater open (sit-on-top) canoe.

I’m no great lover of traditional kayaks I have nightmares about rolling under with my legs and feet stuck inside – upside down and drowning, flailing and tearing at the spray-skirt in a last desperate attempt to regain the surface… choking on huge lungfuls of heavy cold salt water … I won’t go on, you get the idea.
These kayaks are different though. You sit ‘on’ not ‘in’. Roll it and you’ll fall out. There are techniques for scrambling back on board, not dissimilar to getting back into a swamped dinghy. This is more like it, something I could probably do.

So, according to the guys I spoke to yesterday, I could be afloat for a small outlay, and so long as I stay in reasonably sheltered water, like the estuary and the bay, Susan and I could enjoy, fishing, beach bar-b-ques, exploring creaks and ditches that no other craft could get near. The whole kit is car-topable, so what I lose in length of cruise, I can make up by launching from a variety of locations – various beaches, river banks  canal sides and lakes, and when the real cruiser is launched, I can sell the kayak on, and recover some of the outlay at least.

Beautiful! - talkin' 'bout the kayak of course!
There are plenty of open-top kayaks but those produced by ‘Ocean Kayak’ seems to be particularly popular. You’ll find them at . and, you can get one here.

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak (12-Feet / Yellow) (USA Readers)


Feeling better already!