Need help outfitting boat

I have just gotten back in to kayaking. I bought an CD Extreme HV. I know its a lot of boat to start out in but paddled it 3 times last week and felt pretty good in it. I have a little bit of safety gear but an incident the last time I went out makes me want to outfit completely.

What I got is the stock boat and

Rescue PFD

Bilge Pump

paddle float


Throw bag (somewhere in my WW gear)

What I don’t have

Bow or stern lines



signal equipment

Good spray skirt

I am looking for suggestions on what to add to my boat, my PFD and myself to be ready for anything including a SOT boater that fell off and could not get back on. I had to help push him to a dock a rigged stern line would have come in handy.

I am looking for suggestion on what to add, where to carry it and how to best rig this boat for future safer boating.

A first aid kit

All you really need is…
a boat, a paddle and a PFD.

everything else is just frosting to make you feel safer.

I carry ON my PFD a whistle, munti-tool, diver’s knife, waterproof camera and diver’s flashlight.

I also carry painters at bow and cockpit (having seen a few kayaks drift away when the water rose or a wave hit)

But I also carry a paddler’s First Aid kit in the dry-hatch and a smaller one in the cockpit with only tweezers, bandaids and moleskin as while paddling, blisters and splinters (floating cactus) are all I need to take care of while on water.

And a repair kit in case I break something or hole the boat. Often a back-up paddle and people occasionally loose or break theirs. AND a paddle leash!!! Often a deck compass and an orienteering compass in my PFD.

In cold weather I carry a cold-water immersion kit in case I do a wet-water exit by accident.

On long day trips I carry an overnight kit in case I get lost or a storm hits.

And granola/energy bars, water, extra water and aspirin. I always take two aspirin before any day-time trip to thin the blood and prevent trouble.

On hot days I carry a bottle of sports drink.

During rainy season, a rain poncho.

Yes, my gear outweighs me sometimes but you will be as safe and loaded as you feel comfortable and frankly, either I or someone in my group has needed everythign i carry.

I’d add a short tow to the kit above
I like to keep a short tow. 6 feet long or so on my deck right in front of me or in my Life Vest pocket. I use it all the time. I think it would work great in combination with your throw bag.

Appreciate all the advice
Thanks for all the suggestion so far.

Looks like I will also need a cart to carry all this extra gear to the water. My boat is just “light” enough that I can gear up, hoist in on my shoulder and walk 100 yards to the dock. 10 more lbs may hurt me. Maybe after 2 more months of paddling, it won’t be a problem.

Talk to me about the tow lines and painters. My boat is 18’11" I don’t think a tow line is going to get me past the end of my boat. Should i make it 9’?

What about the painters? I was thinking a line tied off to the bow pad eye and brought back to the cockpit.

What kind of line should i use, size, material?

Put a carabiner at the end to attach to a deck bungy?

for painters
any bright rope that floats will do. I started out with heavy poly-pro then moved to somethign i found at Home Depot that is bright and floats.

I DO put a carabiner at both ends, clip on to the bow carry-handle and use a bungie to hold it to my deck-line.

As for length, it depends. Sometimes i’ve tied to a tree so close I needed 6’, other times i had to wrap it around a big rock and 20’ wasn;t enough. last trip, I was the only person i nthe group with a painter so used mine to tie to a tree high on a rock and then used the slack to tie to the rest of the fleet.

So length is up to you and the situation.

Tow rope?

I made my own which is nothing but a belt with a 3’ bungie-inside-webbing-&-float as a shock cord to which I clip my painter.

I keep it in a water-bottle bag in my stern deck-bag (formerly cllipped to the rear deck bungie) and when I needed it on Lake pleasant, it worked well.

The secret to a tow-line is a) you almost never use one and b) HOw you use it is vitally important.

I’ve used my tow line once in 15 years.

BUT, tow from your PFD and NEVER from your stern carry-loop.

Run the tow line through the bow loop of the towed boat and run it back tothe paddler so they can let free if need be.

Also have a buckle you can quickly release to set the line free if need be.

Towing wrong will exhaust you and maybe even endanger you as I learned the hard way years ago.

Your own self-rescue capabilities?
Can you do on-water rescues, self-or assisted? I am unclear about your abilities there from what you said. If you can’t, I add in learning a few to the early part of the kit.

I’m fairly capable
Can you do on-water rescues, self-or assisted? I am unclear about your abilities there from what you said. If you can’t, I add in learning a few to the early part of the kit.

Yes I can. I worked in the outdoor rec program in college and taught sea kayaking and later taught WW kayaking. Just to make sure I took a private lesson to refresh, more for my wife’s sake. I was able to pull off all the maneuvers needed for the class. I still need to practice it in my boat which is way different than the one I took the class in, my cockpit is very small compared to the other one.

What kind of knife should i have on my vest. What about a first aid kit, I have a good hiking one, can I just throw it in a dry bag or should I add things to it for kayaking?