Greenland Kayak Deck Rigging

What I Carry on Deck
I wear an inflatable PFD for mild conditions, but I like to have a conventional one on deck within reach just in case it gets a little rougher (let’s not argue PFD use here - there’s a thread about that). I also like my hand bilge pump on deck where I can reach it, and that needs a couple of inches of height. And, also for mild conditions, I roll up my spray skirt and use at a sort of small dodger on deck to deflect the odd wave or boat wake that clears the bow. Oh, and my cooler, Ipad, barbeque… just kidding.

It’s personal preference, but…

– Last Updated: Aug-09-12 7:04 AM EST –

...I would never carry anything that bulky on deck. I'm a firm believer that a cleaner deck is better.

My PFD is on my body, ALWAYS. My spray skirt is around my waist, where it belongs. The bilge pump is stored either under the the peak of the deck or beside the right-side cheek plate, depending on the boat I'm in.

In my experience, carrying a lot of junk on the deck is a liability, as it interferes with paddling and it results in a "yard sale" when you get whacked in surf and it gets washed off your deck, (which it will, especially if it's held with bungee cord). It can also create snags when you're reentering the boat. Overall, it's more hassle than it's worth.

Try paddling with a clean deck (I carry only a chart, spare paddle and 3' contact tow on the foredeck, nothing on the aft deck) and you'll probably never go back.