It can be anywhere from very easy to almost impossible to carry someone on your back deck. Getting them up there is fairly easy if you brace, l have never lost anyone getting them up there.
But you have a small person’s boat, the destabilizing effect of a big guy back there can be tricky. I never hesitated to have anyone on the back deck of my Explrer LV for ex, never felt close to a capsize even in a little wave stuff. But putting the same person on the back of my little Vela is a completely different matter. I’ve had a 6 ft 4 inch guy back there, but there was no way we were going to get anywhere. The majority of the front of my kayak was out of the water.
I did do the rafting thing in one real rescue, l rafted up in my Vela with a guy who had an Explorer. Worked well to get the paddler out of the water, some notable wave action so very helpful. But the only way forward progress happened was when our raft got towed.
I am not trying to be mean here. But this is among a number of things that l am confused about your not having been run thru in a class by now. I consider this stuff to be more important than a perfected forward stroke for safety, because it makes you better in the water as well as potentially helping others. Can you hook up with a decent rescue class this season? If you are getting restricted by the relationship between a the bcu 2 star award and taking their safety class, find some ad hoc paddling bunch that messes around with this. And work with some folks that are bigger than you, find out the situations where you may have to rethink the usual approach due to size discrepancies.
PS, it is likely your boat will get new scratches being used aggressively in rescues. But when there is a safety problem, it is no longer a thing of beauty. Your boat is a tool to help keep someone else safe.
All good points, as I’m paddling a LV boat that’s 21 inches wide.
No, you’re not being mean at all when questioning the classes. BCU/ACA - makes no difference to me so long as I can learn something - but I’ve never seen a class up here advertised as BCU. I’ve taken the ACA L1 and L2 (latter included T-rescue). Learned towing, contact tow, and in-line towing last summer, with more T-rescue work. Looking at the course descriptions, that’s on the L3 list. Back deck rescues (and others) aren’t covered until L5 “Coastal Kayaking Rough Water Maneuvering, Towing & Rescue.”
Probably due to population density, the clubs, meet-ups, etc. are located downstate. None I’m aware of up here and I’ve done a few searches. As a solo paddler, my curiosity about rescue techniques is simply in case I ever come across someone in trouble, I’d like to know as many options to help as possible. That would most likely happen on inland water and involve a rec boat as I rarely see another kayak where I paddle on Lake Michigan.
Do have a class lined up early next month, so maybe I can talk the coach into getting on the back of my boat, just for the experience.