Cowboy re-entry

Could someone please explain this to me? I use my yak to fish from. It’s a Necky Santa Cruz. There are a lot of fishermen like me who have these type of yaks. I can do a paddle float rescue but I think my boat is not designed to do a roll like a true sea kayak. Others use a SOT for the simple reason that they want to get in and out of a yak to wade fish. Thanks for your patience for a newbie question.


Is that a SOT?
If it is, you can hop back on quite easily without using a paddle float. Try it from either directly behind the stern or from the side (like with a horse).

On a rented Tarpon 160, to get back on the kayak from its left side, I placed my body (in the water still) facing the kayak’s left side. Next I grasped something on the far (right) side with my left hand and something on the near side with my right hand. Then I threw my right leg over the far side. I kept my body in a prone position once that leg was over, so that my legs could transition to straddling the kayak. The Tarpon 160 is very wide (28") and fairly flat so I was able to do this move without ever having practiced it, unlike my first attempt at a paddle-float re-entry in a SINK. But the action still requires a quick, decisive move rather than a slow or hesitant pulling maneuever. Think “LUNGE” rather than “LIFT”.

My little SOT is even easier to get back onto than the Tarpon. It has finger indents on top of the stern “deck” that make it incredibly easy to hold the boat with both hands placed wide while I lunge on from the rear. Then I slide myself forward while keeping the upper body folded down before sitting up in the cockpit area.

First, make sure you don’t have

– Last Updated: Nov-12-04 3:24 PM EST –

anything that is going to hang up when you reenter.Make sure you have a good grip on the yak or the deck line,pick the side away from the paddle clip for your entry,stow the paddle,stow the rod,Boga Grip,etc.,before you do your "seal slide".Grab the far side with whatever hand comes naturally, near side with the other hand,give a good strong scissors kick, keep your body parallel to the water, as you lunge. across the cockpit. The idea is to get your belly button about in the center of the cockpit.Stay low and work yourself around into a straddle with your butt in the seat. It's not an Olympic move and you will get better and smooth with practice. Of course, this move is meant for deeper water. It is simple in the shallows to just straddle the seat and pull your legs in after. The SOT's wide beam is pretty stable, so this isn't a difficult as the maneuver sounds. OK, The Santa Cruz is a recreational SINK, 26" beam, about the same as my Heritage SEADart? The Santa Cruz has a fairly big cockpit. If the lunge maneuver is not too easy, use the paddle float. I don't think you want to try to roll with rod,etc., fumble for the paddle, now you have both hands full, etc.?? If you want to fish,I would seriously consider a SOT.

So it’s probably not goung to roll too eaily to begin with, and what with you fishing from it, it’s going to get more confusing rolling a big cockpitted boat like that being compounded with potential gear problems.

You run a Scotty? If the rod doesn’t launch or fall off, that’s one reason to avoid sliding around the hull -and even if you DO loose your weapon of choice, the Scotty’ll STILL getcha -it’ll HURT, LOL! If you’re using a flush-mount, it’ll be a lot easier -to both lose the rod AND to remount.

If you fall out of your boat, go with the paddle float, unless you skirt, then trying ro roll MITGHT not hurt. That is IF you aren’t awash in a sea of spoons and trebbles to cause trouble below said skirt -that’ll REALLY hurt!

Suggestions? 1) If you’re in the SCruze, don’t fish in inclement weather where you’ll have a chance of tippycanoe & U 2! 2) Travel lite -don’t take the full tackle box -just a few lures and hooks and such, a pair of pliers, a pair of foreceps, and a little extra leader in one of those multicompartment clear semiflexible Tupperwear-like plastic boxes. They’re only about 10X20X2 -and if closed, will float for a little while. If you’re using live bait, hmm… dunno! 3) String some extra deck cords and wdge everything in or tie everything down -I found out the hard way that diving gear does an excellent job at precisely what it was designed for, but it sure as heck didn’t swim… You may find the same in a troubling moment with fishing gear.

Your best best for most spring-summer-fall fishing will be a nicely outfitted SOT (there are some really outstanding examples -see the yakfishinhg thread here or some of the kayak fishing boards for more) and you dressed for failre -which, come to think of it -you -we ALL -should be dressed every time we

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

Thanks for the explination. I flyfish and have flush rod mount that I made with a couple of paddle clips. I like the Cruz she can handle the chop better than the SOT’s. I am careful of the weather. The most dangerious situation is the yahoos who try and buzz people in a yak. Had a problem with that at Barnstable Harbor on the 4th of July. Should have called the Coast Guard on them. Next time I won’t hesitate .