More on power boats.

Wakes and waves are all part of the kayaking experience.

On a couple of occasions, I have experienced boaters who purposly try to buzz me. Alcohol was probably a factor.

I kayak in a heavily used area and most of the time can co-exist with the other traffic.

The only thing I carry on my foredeck is my holstered 12 gauge flare gun. Simply drawing the bright orange flare gun out of the holster has always managed to deliver the message.

I would never threaten anyone by pointing it at them, but at a spot just over their head.

So Jerry, you’re suggesting we might
all brandish flare guns? I’m not so sure. I might set off some serious shooting.

Good way to get shot. here
Rule #2 - Never point a gun at anything you don’t want to kill.

More on powerboats
Not suggesting anything, not trying to start a shooting war, Just saying how I handle the problem.

Flare guns are legal, and are required on lots of boats. There’s nothing in the rules that says kayaks and rowboats can’t carry them as safety equipment.

Assault rifles are legal too
And a lot of people carry short barreled shotguns and 410 pistols. There’s nothing in the rules that says kayaks and rowboats can’t carry them as safety equipment. Pointing guns at people isn’t what I call getting along. What happens when the power boaters start complaining to their legislators about kayakers pointing flare guns at them?

Pointing a gun at me
would be grounds for getting run over. That’s a fact !

A different kind of shooting
Probably have better luck pointing a CAMERA at them.

Sad to say, but humans tend to live up to their higher natures when they know they’re being watched …


I wouldn’t because
I don’t trust myself. Might lose patience and pull the trigger at that moron. Here in Canada real side arms are illegal, but pellet guns are allowed up to 500 fps barrel speed. This won’t kill but can leave him one-eyed. And/or he will run me over. Either outcome I’m not looking forward to.

You’re an idiot!

More on power boats
People are using words like “brandishing”, “threatening”, and “idiot”.

Flare guns are quite legal, and are required on larger boats. They are not required on manual powered craft, but are still quite legal. A flare shot into the air is a good way of attracting attention in an emergency or to avoid an accident. Coast Guard, Sheriff Marine Patrol, and Police personnel who have seen our neoprene holsters on deck or PFD, all seemed to think it was a good idea. We all carry certain safety items when on the water. If you see a power boat coming straight at you at 30mph, which item will you reach for first (whistle, gps, VHF, camera, flare gun)?

A few years ago, a local kayaker was run over by a 42’ muscle boat. The kayak was cut in half just in front of the cockpit rim.

I’ve never pointed mine at anyone, but I have, on two occasions, come within 20’ of being hit by power boats.

Doesn’t sound as macho though…

point @ a spot over their head
Sounds like brandishing and aiming to me. and asking for trouble. People tend to react first and think later to what they see as lethal intentions.

yeah …
I’d pick up my paddle (and paddle), not a gun. The only way you are going to get run over by a powerboat is if you aren’t paying attention and/or they are aiming for you.


Or if “they’re” “drunk” & they’re “not” paying attention.


OK drunk …
So they are drunk and not paying attention … paddle out of the way of the oncoming boat.

Unless you have a “deer in the headlights” moment, it seems like it would be pretty difficult to get run over, UNLESS they were trying to hit you.

The only scenario that concerns me with approaching powerboats is the possibility that they didn’t see you until the last second and you and they both make the same evasive maneuver. But really, I would have seen them coming a long way off and already not been in the way.

(not talking to anyone specific here)

Don’t let anyone tell you that you have the right of way, you don’t. If you want to be tough and hold your ground thinking that you do, then maybe you should be run over?

I’m backing Jerry on one point

– Last Updated: May-06-11 8:05 PM EST –

Michigan has a massive amount of powerboats.
I have paddled high traffic areas in metro Detroit

Basically California, Michigan and Florida have
1 million registered powerboats - for each state.
A solid 3 million boats belong to just 3 states.

There ARE powerboats owners drunk, yapping on the phone,
running full throttle and care free, un-attentive.
It exists, it's a fact, a small percentage are clueless.

I'm backing Jerry claiming kayakers need to be
all eyes and ears making sure they don't become propmeat.

Travel in packs, wear bright colors, use of running lights,
and have VHF radio to call in threatening behavior

this is where ive been going
its way away from boats hect even kayaks have issues geting back where i was

There is no way…
to paddle a kayak out of the path of a fast-approaching power boat on an apparent collision course. About the only thing that you can do is try to attact the attention of the power boat operator in some way; most paddlers would probably frantically wave a paddle. Jerry’s idea of firing a flare gun is one way to be seen, attract attention and avoid a collision. It makes a lot of sense to me.

By the way, in answer to the person who suggested he/she would run over a paddler who pointed a flare gun in his/her direction as a warning, I would fire my flair gun directly at the operator (not over the head) of any power boat that I thought was intentionally trying to run over me and not even think twice about it. Intentionally running over a paddler who has no way get out of your way and avoid a collision is about the most despicable thing that a fellow boater could do. I paddle around power boats all the time, but I sincerely hope that we do not meet each other on the water.

Perceived threat
Several actions can be taken when presented by a perceived threat (having a gun pointed at you) :





So far fighting against a threat has seved me well and allowed me to live.

“It is a crime to intentionally point or discharge any firearm toward another person (except in self-defense),

even if no malice or injury is involved.” I suggest you check your state laws.