Heavy load question.

How many of you have pushed the manufacturers “max” load rating for your boats? I know conditions/experience play a part in this, but I’m curious to hear some first hand accounts. On a related note, do frozen steaks float? :slight_smile:

pushed it
I overloaded my Express but there isn’t any published number. It was simply not designed to have that much hull submerged,pushing a submerged barge feeling. As opposed to pushing a hull beyond it’s efficient speed,which feels like pushing a barge.

Something to consider is that the published load ratings may not have anything to do with the business selling the kayak actually loading up the boat and paddling it. It may simply be a theoretical number based on a particular calculated draft. So if a rotomolded kayak might vary as much as 10% from published numbers then who knows,maybe the same may occur regarding load ratings.

I don’t take the numbers to mean anything more than S,M,L,XL.

I know
I must have maxed out a yak a couple of times , not from weighing the gear but from how much freeboard I had , just sitting plum in the water . Ask yerself if it’s a good day to die , or a kinder expression would be , am I willing to take full responsibility for the course of action I am about to take .The steaks will sink in fresh water but would probably float in salt providing they weren’t wrapped in a wad o tin foil.I once had to corkscrew across 3 bays due to the bag on my stern grabbing the wind , no rudder or skeg on my 18’ glass boat , and paddled the 12 miles mostly on the starboard side the hole way due to the wind and tide.

I overloaded this weekend…
I have a ten foot Loon with a big cockpit. Since I had to hop out alot and pull it over sandbars and over unpassable rock falls I took in alot of water. I was the mule for my group carrying the water, food, extra clothes, etc. The clothes got heavy with the water, the cooler took on the extra water and held on to it, and once that happened my bow would dive below the waves and I took on even more water. Of course I forgot the bilge pump. So a couple times during the 12 mile race I had to unpack completely and dump my boat. I learned a big lesson. But then again I was riding so low that the wind didn’t effect me like everyone else!

As for steaks…I was watching Letterman the other night and they did the “will it float?” thing. They used a Porterhouse Steak. I was sure it would float since a Porthouse has fat, but no…it sank like a rock.

I’m tempted to weigh our gear and food and see how close I come to the max load rating, more out of curiosity than anything else. It’s a short trip too, I think that’s the excuse we’re using for bringing some…uh, luxuries. Gotta wash down those steaks with something. :slight_smile: -jeffe

Heavy Double
I hate to admit it, but I don’t pack lite. My tandem kayak is rated to about 700 pounds. On some fairly long coastal tours I’ve done, I’ve had the boat loaded to around 900 pounds. When there’s no water on the islands, it’s good to assume the worst…

I find that my boat fully loaded tends to track better than when it’s not loaded and is very buyoant. Manueverability obviously declines with weight, but many of the charatcertics of my shallow-v hull are in full form when it’s weighted.

If I didn’t have little rapids and waves
my weight would have been OK, and If I could have used my skirt it would have really OK. But the waves with no skirt was a hassle. I was riding real low!

NDK … great loaded or not.
i’ve taken my NDK Explorer to Newfoundland and other places north of 60°, loaded for a month long trip. i didn’t weigh the boat but will assume for the sake of argument that it was loaded beyond the specs. i’m not saying it handled well … rather like a barge actually, but it withstood the rigors of the northern oceans with no difficulty. let’s hear it for NDK.

Clothes and cooler took on water?
You’ve got me. Were the clothes not in a dry bag and got soaked? How did your cooler “take on” the water and get heavier?


Clutch fan?
Just asking–I noticed your user name. You wouldn’t happen to be a fan of Clutch, would you?

14.5’ dagger savannah
Max capacity rated at 300 lbs.

I weigh 300 lbs.

Handles fine.

Wouldn’t even think twice about loading another couple hundred on it and taking off across the lake. Previous post is correct, boats are designed for a certain draft (vertical distance from bottom of hull to waterline) Boat may not perform as well as the designer intended to, but to a certain degree, if it still floats with all the gear and you onboard and you’re comfortable with the freeboard and handling, go for it.

I go well over, regularly.

– Last Updated: Jun-09-04 9:04 AM EST –

I'm paddling a glass P&H Capella. Checking their website yields a load on the upper end of about 250lbs.

I can personally guarnatee that I'm over that on nearly every 4+ day trek we take. I'm 225 pounds on my own, add wet suit, pfd, spare paddle, 25-30 pounds of camping gear and food for the trip and I've gotta be topping out at around 275.

That said, I've taken that boat, full of gear, in some relatively rough water. It rides pretty low when it's that full, so I get really wet. Other than that though, it still handles (and rolls) quite nicely.

On a related note, what are the increased risks of paddling a loaded boat?

I asked because when I'm really loaded up, my freeboard is down in the 3-4 inch range (vs. 6-7 when the boat is empty). I mean clearly one risk is worse handling in rough seas, but surprisingly the Capella has done alright in 3-4 footers with that 3" freeboard....yeah, I was soaked, yeah I took a few waves to the face, but other than that it did alright.

Are there other risks to watch out for?

David-just before the race my friends
put their shoes, pants, t-shirts etc behind my seat, (for after race wear.) The cotton soaked up the water as cotton does. The cooler I stupidly took with me was a soft sided one that soaked up any bit of water that came near it. (I have other soft sided cooler that don’t do that but this new did.) I also had a plastic grocery bag full of fruit that filled up! Yeah-Yeah I know-I left all the water proof stuff at home. It was a fun race but I paid for my packing mistakes. Here’s what I learned-

don’t volunteer to take other paddlers stuff if you really don’t have the room.

Make sure your soft sided cooler is water repellent. (Who would have thought it wouldn’t be???)

Wear more sunscreen.

Don’t loan out items to people that may not finish the race and are never seen again.

Don’t pack things in plastic grocery bags-at least use mesh.

Learn how to work the disposable camera before you come across the fawn sitting by the river bank while mommie eats on the hill, or come across the longhorns drinking in the shallows.

I just had a major water-retention day!

I’d suspect that land and landings are probably the biggest dangers for a heavily-loaded boat. Water loads are (fairly)evenly distributed over the hull, but a gear-laden boat on a rocky shore has to support all that weight on a few points.

if you are heally heavy
harder to surf, (more inertia for the wave to accelerate or for you to turn once it has), popping a hatch is much more likely because you are lower in the water, imploding your skirt, (more likely to be awash) and as stated earlier landings, (inertia and deeper draft).

good point
Landings are something I hadn’t really thought too much about… I’ll have to be careful, good idea.

Maybe this is my excuse for getting a new boat :slight_smile: I’m always wishing I had something with just a tad more room for gear. The Capella, despite being a joy to paddle in nearly every condition is really tight when you push a trip up into that 7+ day range.

it can be a problem,
I had a boat one time that was always loaded a bit too heavy

(about 20% I guess) when I used it on my trips.

I thought it didn’t have a real problem with that weight,

only slower and less maneuverable, until I found myself

in a following sea with high waves and very hard wind,

the tendency to broach was so big than, that I didn’t

consider it safe anymore.

following seas…for sure
I agree, following seas are the only places I’ve noticed any real issues with my heavier-than-it-should be boat-load.

I was in some 3’-4’ followers in Lake Superior two summers ago and spent 3/4ths of my stroking time keeping my boat straight. What a pain.