Rec boat in bays?

Hey everyone, me and my partner have recently picked up two kayaks, the old towne12’6 loon and Necky Rip 12. I have a bit of experience kayaking, both flat water and ocean (with sit on top), she has much less experience but is a quick learner. So here is my long winded question, we both are the wandering/adventure types just go end up where you end up. I was thinking of heading to Conn, this weekend and possibly do some paddling around the thimble and griswold island areas, and in the bays. Any suggestions or thoughts (IE: are either of the kayaks suitable for this) would greatly appreciated. I just want to be out on the water adventuring, Thanks everyone.

Rec boats
While I don’t know the areas you intend to paddle, I’ll just say this.

Both boats are rec boats and only have one watertight (rear) compartment. This means that if you do swamp them they’ll float bow down in the water and you won’t be able to bail them out and get back into them. Your only option would be to tow them to shore.

That doesn’t mean you can’t paddle them in a sheltered bay and as long as the water isn’t too rough your chances of swamping the boats are small. But I’d say 1) always wear your PFDs, and 2) don’t paddle too far out that you can’t make the swim back to shore.


– Last Updated: Sep-21-16 12:43 PM EST –

Thanks KF, We definitely do always wear our pfd's and would also have bilge pumps with us. I appreciate the help.

No not now

– Last Updated: Sep-21-16 2:39 PM EST –

I've lived and paddled in that area
High boat traffic confused seas waves coming from every direction make that a poor choice for a new paddler.
because it got a lot of chop we used to do rescue classes there
Way better to paddle the East River in Guilford or parts ink in Chester

Tidal currents are noticeable in the Thimbles. If it's an easy outbound paddle beware. I don't have those tables with me

A nice weekend always brings too many impaired boaters. I've seen boaters blast through moored boats paying attention to nothing

If the tides are ok (oncoming) and winds out of the south it is possible to do in a rec kayak

I worked up to it in a Keoeee in the late '80's. Nowadays folk find that foolish but I had gained some sense of the sea by starting from Guilford. Going to Chaffinch. Next time skittle further. I did have a useless cover and had to paddle a swamped boat to shore more than once. I never dared to go to Faulkners though till I had a proper sea kayak.

wandering/adventure types

– Last Updated: Sep-21-16 2:08 PM EST –

I think everyone who kayaks is something of a wandering/adventure type. It's pretty easy to get yourself in trouble on the water, so just take proper precautions.
Dangerous assumption #1: Point your kayak in a direction and start paddling, and eventually, even if slowly, you will make forward progress.
There was a recent story about an unintended crossing to Long Island, where one of the 3 didn't make it. As I remember, they were paddling towards the CT shoreline for quite some time before realizing that wasn't going to happen. There are countless such examples.
Dangerous assumption #2: You can always get back in and pump out your boat.
There was a very recent example on here from one of the Great Lakes of 3 people clinging to their kayaks for hours before being rescued.
My best suggestion would be to test yourself in wind, currents, and conditions to an extensive degree before loosening up your safety net. Your safety net is always having an exit strategy that is aided - not opposed - by wind and currents. If you don't know the forward progress you are capable of for hours in any given conditions, plan a considerable safety net. If you haven't practiced rescues in any given potential conditions, plan a considerable safety net. If you're not familiar with the potential of conditions in a potential paddling area, plan a considerable safety net.
This can seem to fly in the face of carefree adventure, but there's really still plenty of adventure to be found within pre-outlined reason.
The learning and discovery is a big part of the fun, and a lot of it will surprise you. Let it surprise you within the confines of your considerable safety net.

Here’s a very good read for
your friend. You might enjoy it as well. Good stuff on waves and surf, etc.

pump and flooded rec boat
Clarifying what kfbrady said and your response about bilge pump. If either boat flips, and then is flipped back upright, it will have water in it. The only major permanent flotation (the bulkead-sealed area) is in the stern, so it will be nose down.

If you then try to get back in while in open water, you wold scramble on it and into the cockpit (challenging to do unless you’ve practiced - please do try it out one warm day in protected waters). Your weight will push the boat down further. Only if the flotation in the boat is enough to compensate for your weight and water in boat enough to keep the combing above water level can you have a chance of pumping the boat out. With water going over combing, anything you pump out will be replaced with new water. Most rec boats, even many of those with rear bulkheads (definitely those without any bulkheads) is this possible. If you can’t pump it out, you can never fully recover the boat to continue on.

Only way to know if yours can be recovered on flat water is to test it out in safe, protected water. Go for a swim very close to shore and see what happens.

ok you CT residents
He has the boats. Where would you send him as an alternative?

greatly appreciated
Thanks for all the input and points to think about guys, I really appreciate them. While I might be comfortable getting back in a flipped boat, my partner might not be at this point. While I do have a wandering spirit(as most on here do) I also like to be prepared and safe so I can adventure more.

We live in Philly, and did the lower delaware (a bit of wake and head wind) going up river but stayed fairly close to shore. The thought was we have 3 days off to just get in the car and go out some where within a 4 hr drive. It was between Ct coast(to explore tide pools etc), or south around Shenandoah or George Washington National forest. Any suggestions again are greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

I am not familiar with the kayaks…
but I presume they are like 28" wide? Try it at home, but I think it would be pretty difficult to flip them; thought they won’t be very comfortable in heavy water.

Where kayakmedic said above NM

Easier than you think…
If things kick up where OPer was originally talking about. And not recoverable if it happens, and highly unlikely these guys have dry suits to help stay warm in an extended swim.

I assumed you were more local
But four hours is a lot of driving to find Stoney Creeks limited parking full

It’s always a kayakers nightmare and it’s necessary often to launch elsewhere

There has to be some paddling on Long Island Sound tidal marshes.

I don’t know about that area at all

The Pine Barrens in NJ are so close to you and a hoot. You may gather lots of branches on the. Bats to but it’s fine for a rec kayak

Not tidal though

DOH! sorry, I’m a moron

would not recommend the Thimbles
One of my early kayaking gurus (a fishing guide) lived in Fairfield CT and I have paddled along the Sound with him including out around the Thimbles, both of us in sea kayaks. Honestly, I would NOT take a rec boat out there. The waves can get very confused and large ones can hit you from out of nowhere, both from wind and power boat traffic Offshore wind and coastal currents, especially in the evening, could make it exhausting, maybe even impossible, to get back to the shore in such slow boats.

I would suggest a nice day outing down the Housatonic River to the grassy marsh of the delta. You can put in at the Commodore Isaac bridge (route 8 near East Derby) and float down. The delta is a lovely shallow tall grass maze full of waterfowl. When you turn around to paddle back to the car there are restaurants along the river where you can pull out your kayak on a dock and have dinner. Paddling upstream after dark on the Housy on a moonlit night is magical. There is enough ambient light from the bridges and from development along the shoreline to make progress pleasant – be sure to have white lights for identifying your boats fore and aft.

It’s a matter of hull shape
That wide flat bottom means if a swell hits the boat, the boat will tip to keep that wide flat hull parallel to the face of the water. If the face of the wave is a 60 degree slope the boat is taking a 60 degree roll.

From that position it takes some skill not to flip.

V hulls are not as susceptible to rolling this way. Secondary stability has a lot to do with it.

The main reason to have a pump
With a rec kayak is when you drag your flooded kayak ashore it will weigh too much to tip it over and dump water out.

After you drag it as far out of the water as you can you pump it out until it out until you can tip it up and dump it.

A kayak with flotation fore and aft will float level and can be pumped out while on the water.

We’re not being boat snobs, I started with rec boats some with no sealed bulkheads and took them places I shouldn’t have until I had some experiences where it was a stroke of luck I didn’t wind up in an newspaper article.

My closest-to-a-news-headline
Was not exactly where the OPer is talking about but in similar water a bit further west. And everyone in dry suits was the single most major factor that kept it from landing in the news.

There were guys at a local bar who had a pretty good laugh about it though, the ones who we had to ask for a ride to get back to where our cars were at the launch point. Really could not say they were wrong.

Places nearby
plenty of good choices just south of philly in DE. See the trip reports at this site. Big water you might try is Assateuge on the MD side. A large shallow bay with hardly any tidal current. great for beginers

longer boats are …
why buy so long hulls ?

a 10’ or even an 8 are more maneuverable