Boat wake suggestion

for new paddlers. Follow the advice of the seasoned paddlers that has been posted on p-net. My general help is repeating the advice here so you won’t have to search for it. The advice is learn to manage the wake by sitting in the wake and learn to follow and balance the kayak with loose hips. I followed this advice this past Sunday on the Ohio river while dealing with barge wakes mixed with recreational power boat wakes. Once you relax and loosen the hips, its easy and saves a lot of course changes when trying to head into every wake you encounter.

Sad, but gas costs are too high
So we just are not getting the big boat wakes we used to. Maybe we could all chip in at each local lake and hire a tug to throw out a big wake for us.

Kind of
a funny coincidence but I had that same thought for my next lake trip in August.

Yes just get comfortable with it.
I know really big wake from large boats can be intimidating, especially right behind the boat, but they are really just waves like any other. And even a dozen feet away from the boat they flatten and smooth down.

Once you get used to them they can be fun, and I would guess that on a river they might be most of the excitement you can find.

Wake from buffoons can be another matter, those few but annoying power boaters that resent any other water craft on their turf, and will buzz boats and try to throw up a big wake. Best way to handle them is to calmly put the paddle at rest, look the other way, and yawn as your boat rides effortlessly over their wake.

Never quite comfortable with
lobster boat wakes when they are powered up and heavy with traps before setting them. They send up a wicked wake that is nothing like any lake boat sends. The lobster boat wakes can be upward of 4-6 feet . The amplitude lessens a bit with each succeeding wave but still a two foot wave with a half second period is unsettling.

Moral is loose hips,but stay away from lobster boats.

tide current probably amplifies all that
over your way? I remember watching some of those lobster boats fight the tide and the wake was pretty surprising.

Don’t make assumptions.
Every time I think I’ve seen every kind of wake there is, something new comes along. Coast Guard cutters and Navy Destroyers can make a wake that you don’t want to get too casual about and a couple of years ago an ordinary freighter put out a wake that never changed from the time it left the stern of the ship until it got to shore. It was a curling wave that never flattened and never actually broke until it was almost ashore.

I had intended to catch the wave and get a ride, but when I got close enough, this thing looked like it would just collapse on me, so my second idea was to hit it head on and get through it as fast as possible, because it was too thin at the top to support the boat. Just as I had guessed, the wave (the first one) was too thin and my yak just sunk into the curl. Luckily, I was only at the slot for maybe a fraction of a second, but it was long enough to take on a couple gallons of water. No, I didn’t have my skirt on. The waves from this same ship scuttled a couple of open fishing boats.

The lesson from that experience taught me to never take any wave for granted (from ships) and at least sneak a look at anything you’re not sure of. But for the most part, your kayak can deal with 90 percent of wakes as long as you don’t tense up and make a correction that isn’t needed.

My Suggestion
and if you’re really, really uncomfortable with boat wakes, don’t paddle where they are. Please don’t post on PNet how stupid and mean the powerboaters are. Another way to get very comfortable with wakes is learn to brace and roll.

The OP…
… Probably won’t run into too many of either on his fresh water river.

Biggest wake I’ve encountered in a yak is from one of those high speed ferry boats. The catamaran type. There’s one that runs from north Kingstown RI to the islands. I’ve never been too close, but the wake is still fairly steep and close long after it zips by.

Mild version …
I was once close to one of those as it made a 180, but not going too fast. Just coming back around on a pot I think. That was a few years ago, and the biggest waves I had encountered with my new Tempest. Seemed like 4 to 6, but was probably more like 3. Managed to turn into them without flipping over, but my graceful boat handling drew some hoots from the lobsterman.

Lobster boats
You really need to stop long before one is likely to get that close to you, and let them get to their pots without having to look for where you are. They are working and us in kayaks are recreating - their duties win.

I have had a lobster boat do a swirl around me once in over a decade of paddling in an area with lobster pots every few feet often. In all that time maybe one was trying to good me up, the only other time I was in a working boat’s wake was very early on in our paddling when I got into the middle of their pulling pots. My fault.