I recently acquired an older necky manitou sport 10’11" kayak. It has a spray skirt. Think this would be OK to take out onto a bay (NJ coast) or even just off shore to paddle along the beach?
I also have a hobie kona tandem that I can convert to a single seater. That would be more stable but I like to have options.
I believe the Necky Manitou Sport had a rear hatch, but no front hatch. To be even marginally seaworthy, you’d want a float bag (secured) in the front hatch. It’s a bit wide as well. I would stick very close to shore. The danger is if you get comfortable with it, you’d go further off shore … don’t. If you are a really strong swimmer, realize that cold water doesn’t care. It’s eager to reward you with hypothermia despite your skill. This sounds rather negative, but if you stick close to shore in calm water, it could be fun.
I’m thinking mostly bay and yes, very close to shore if I leave the bay at all. I’m no hero!
Yes, rear hatch only. The float bag is, forgive me i’m a bit new, is in case I flip and have to bail out right, to stop the cockpit from filling all the way up?
Yes the float bag is rather essential to get back into a capsized kayak. With just flotation inherent in the rear hatch, the kayak will likely float vertically with the stern up and bow down. With the float bag (secured) you have a chance of getting back into the kayak and pumping the water out. Lessons in self rescue are a really good idea.
I know that nrs.com used to carry float bags and there should be others.
Yes, and even more importantly to keep the bow floating. Otherwise the bow will sink and with the kayak nose down at about a 45 degree angle 1) you won’t be able to right it and empty it, and 2) dragging it back to shore will be a bear.
There is a big foam brick in the cockpit front end…not sure if that matters for flotation but seems like it would.
The foam block up front does not replace much water. The weight of what gets in w/o a float bag is more that the grey thing up front.
What a proper touring kayak has that your boat lacks is air tight bulkheaded areas front and back to keep air on each end.
Note that any spray skirt big enough to cover that cockpit is not likely to handle dumping waves near shore. Where the biggest waves are. Paddling close to shore in a situation with waves is not as successful as on a flat lake.
Besides a mandatory front float bag take some lessons or do some research on self and assisted rescues. Many people just starting out never think about how they would get back in the boat or just assume they can climb back in. You will need a pump and for a self rescue a paddle float.
This is an essential skill for paddling in open water. After leaning rescues, practice, practice, practice. It should become second nature. Don’t become over confident after learning in calm water. This is not when you will most often need this skill.
Be cautious paddling the Bay with a strong off shore wind. Conditions can be markedly different just a little ways out.
Go capsize it and try to get back in. It’s the way one really gets it. If it is fully wet and floats stern up bow straight down the formation is called Cleopatria’s Needle…don’t know why.
Cleopatra’s Needle was the name given to three Egyptian obelisks that were erected in the cities of London, New York City and Paris back in the 1800’s when it was fashionable to raid ancient archeological sites and place their monuments elsewhere. The Washington Monument is an obelisk, if the term is unfamilar: a tall very thin and tapered structure. The term is applied to kayaks that sink with their bow (or stern) in the air because that’s sorta what they look like.
Course in basic self rescue complete. Own a pump and paddle float bag. Have practiced escaping the skirt and self rescue. Admittedly on a calm lake :).
In addition to what others have suggested? Let me add that short wide boats can be really tough in bay conditions. I had a 12.5’ Hurricane Sport that was brutal to paddle even in a protected harbor. It was terrifying when wind picked up. Here’s a video about what happens on chop w/small wide boats. Just getting through shoreline waves could be challenging. NotThePainter tried it in an open 14’ boat and it got swamped. The waves weren’t even that big.
Consider something narrower and longer if you plan to do bay paddling.
Cool video and explanation. Last year we rented a kayak in the bay near ocean city nj. They rented us a tandem sit on top…very wide. The water was fine though so no real “waves” just swells. I’m gonna bring both my own tandem sit on top and my necky sport this year and we’ll see how they do. This way I’ll at least have a duo in the tandem to help if I get stuck in the necky.
Um, there is zero chance the two people in the tandem could get to you in time if you actually got stuck in your boat without being close and all of you practicing drills. I Hope you don’t really mean that.
No. I am comfortable escaping the skirt and have practiced self rescue with the paddle float and bilge. I meant if the chop was enough to thwart my ability to get back in once I was out.
Ok. How are the two in the tandem sot going to get you back in? It has higher windage than your boat and at best limited towing options. Assuming the others know how to tow safely.
They’d be there. Worst case scenario, the tandem has a third seat, and I hop on their boat and we all paddle / tow my other boat in. Best case they chuckle as I self rescue.
Unless you practice a way to do this, it sounds like all three of you are going to end up in the water. If you can’t empty your boat for towing it will be like dragging an anchor. If you lose hold of your boat in rough conditions you can be guaranteed that it will blow away a lot faster than you can swim. If this happens the tandem has little choice other than towing you to shore. I can tell you from extensive experience in doing swim supports, towing a person in the water is slow and difficult. The other boat with you should NEVER leave you to recover your boat. You’d be amazed to see how hard it is to find a bobbing head again in rough water. If you have a third boat with you they can assess whether it is safe to go after your boat.
I’ve used my Old Town Loon on Barnegat Bay, the Shewsbury, and the Sedge Islands. The first piece of advise, try and avoid going on the weekend. People are going nuts, and the shore, and water is just too crowded. My friend has a house on LBI, he said he wouldn’t take his boat out because it was just too crowded on the water, and there was so much traffic it was hard to get around the island.
Try to get out early, when there is less wind, and less traffic. Stay in shallower water if you can, wear bright colors to be seen, a bright color boat or paddle help too. Most people are cool, but there is always the yahoo that wants to give you some waves to play in, if you want them or not. Where are you planning to paddle? How our you planning to get out on to the ocean? I’ve never been in the ocean, but has seen people paddling in all types of craft. And it goes without saying - ALWAYS WEAR YOUR PFD!
I hadn’t realized you may be talking about the Barnagat area. LBI is where we stayed a few times when I was a kid, I learned to deal with rip currents and get pounded in minor surf swimming surf on the ocean side. Went out in a couple if half day fishing boats
You should NOT have that boat in the inlet. Or anywhere on the ocean side with your present approach to capsizes.