The good the bad and the ugly!

The Good…people in power boats that share the water. =)

The Bad…people in power boats that come close and create big waves trying to scare you out of the water. =! (not funny)

THE UGLY…basterd people in power boats that come way to close…circle around you …and go way out of their way to try and flip you. Oh ya…and break a list of other boating laws in the process! :frowning: arghhhhhh

Please let the stories flow! I had a bad experience with a power boater last week in the chesapeake bay…the guy started running circles around me trying to flip me. He didn’t suceed…and in turn got to close to a fishing pier and ran over the lines of about 20 fishermen. I wasn’t even close to the channel …and thanks to low tide…I have a feeling the guy screwed up his prop pretty good in the process.

In turn I have started kayaking in the bay where the big boats can’t.

There is nothing like the sound of a boater not knowing the boating navigational system …and running over an old pier stump =)

Would love to read some other experiences!

Disregarding any dangerous possibility, I kinda like the big waves the boaters make! YEE-HA!!! Ride 'em cowboy!

No powerboats where
I paddle. They would definitely mess up their prop. hehe

How can they portage that heavy boat

Take along a cheap disposable camera
And…take a pic of the boat/registration # and report it to the Harbor Master…saw this suggestion on another posting/listserve…of course there were a few other choice suggestions as well…


I’ve been paddling for six years

– Last Updated: Jun-22-06 9:37 PM EST –

and have never had any problem at all with any other person on the water.

...Oh wait... there was one time that a guy in a 30' cruiser was going by and DELIBERATELY slowed down, thereby ruining the big wake I was going to get.

I flipped him off.

Wakes are awesome!!
And can be a nice change of pace in a monotonous paddle. But yes, occasionally there are rude powerboaters. But then, I believe there may be one or two rude kayakers in the world too. I know. Blasphemy!!

Happily, the folks I’ve met here have been great and the suggestion about getting that guys reg info is a good one. Don’t change your paddling locale. Just lets him win. If you have a VHF you can report him then and there to authorities. I know the water patrol is out big time around here.

Take care-


too polite…
in a couple of my new paddling places lately they are too polite, they slow down for me, assuming their wake is unwanted - NOT. I haven’t figured out what signal to give them to let them to know to BRING IT ON!


Cabin Cruisers
Cabin cruisers were by far our biggest pain in the rear when we paddled the Mississippi River last summer. Those guys would go out of their way to come closer for a look. They’d also almost always be travelling in packs instead of by themselves so the wakes were magnified.

Barges? - no problem

jet skis? - no problem

jon boats - only one but that’s a whole other story.

Cabin Cruisers - the Thurston Howell’s of the river.

Yes, I did get a little tired of that!

Check out this thread…


Folks Are Generally Polite
I have read other posts about paddlers getting circled or deliberately waked but I have not seen that around here. JackL, Mrs. JackL and I were paddling near Bear Island today. We were in the process of cutting across the ICW and were about half way across. A motor boat actually stopped for us. We thanked him and waved him on but we all thought that was really considerate of him.

Happy Paddling,


Wakes and Rudeness
Not always the same. Wakes are simply something you need to be able to paddle in. If you are going to paddle in navigable channels or on bigger water, you can’t expect the motor boats to slow down just for you. Nor should their lack of doing so be taken as a personal affront. They (reasonably) figure that if you are sharing the space with them you can handle typical wakes.

In several years of paddling among the lobster traps in Muscongous Bay, a lobster boat did gun their engines and circle us once. They went on their way when they saw that it had no affect - in fact at the time I didn’t even notice that it was intentional. Someone else did. I just kept paddling. That is the only time it has ever happened to us, and we’ve never been intentionally gone after by power boaters or jet skiiers in fresh water. The ones that circled you may have been idiots, but I suspect that you also made yourself a more interesting target in some fashion whether or not you realized it at the time.

It may be a good idea for you to find a group to paddle with, to get connected with a group that is already familiar with the customs and habits where you are paddling. And maybe spend some time finding the patience that paddling can give you.

If it happens again…
If it happens again, maybe you could use that 7 foot long stick in your hand to “brace” off their heads as they approach?

I’d think the thin edge of a paddle blade upside the head would hurt like hell…


More True Than Not…
“Not always the same. Wakes are simply something you need to be able to paddle in. If you are going to paddle in navigable channels or on bigger water, you can’t expect the motor boats to slow down just for you. Nor should their lack of doing so be taken as a personal affront. They (reasonably) figure that if you are sharing the space with them you can handle typical wakes.”

Get a new kayak, go out in open water, and then expect every other boater to work around you…

Not saying there ain’t some “bad apples” out there. There are. But, some of the complaints are coming from kayakers who can’t handle 1’ wakes and think every passing powerboater should somehow know that.

Going onto 6 years of paddling, sometimes in the busiest boating seasons in Boston Harbor, I have yet to feel that a power boater or PWC was out to get me. They’ve thrown some mightly wakes, which I greatly enjoyed, but I doubt they cared or had the intention of giving me a good or bad time with their wakes.


Stated Better Than
Celia and Sing both said it much better than I did. Paddlers don’t own the waterways any more than power boaters. We need to share the great resourse. Part of sharing is to learn the rules of the road and learn how to enjoy boat wakes.

Happy Paddling,


Power Craft
Very rarely are we boating where there are any kind of power craft, but when we do, we usually find most to be very courteous. You can pretty much hear them coming and have plenty of time to get in position to take/ride the wake if need be. We even had a Seaplane yell to us to go ahead and cross the lake before he took off in the Adirondacks. We were acutally waiting to SEE him take off (small child with us)and thanked him! I much prefer to paddle areas away from motorized traffic, but I know not everyone has that option or wants that option when paddling. Just be safe and have fun! Dori

Just the name
you don’t even need to get the registration # in the photo, just get a pic of the boat’s name and the harbor master will be able to look up all the other details once he sees the pic. Great idea about the camera.

We can be part of the problem…

– Last Updated: Jun-23-06 11:39 AM EST –

... when we go where we shouldn't be ...

There are places power boats don't have a lot of room to navigate ... channels are one, but also along shorelines and coves were there are stong currents, sandbars, submerged rocks, etc. Not all of us are up on channel markers and the rules of the road (not that all power boaters are).

We're more like minibikes on the road ... we have to think defensively, and we can't rely on horsepower to get us out of danger.

I grew up on power boats and know many power boaters today ... many have their kayaker stories like we have our boater stories ... usually they see us as being in the wrong place, and themselves as the ones put in danger trying to avoid us.

I'm probably some power boater's story ... last summer out on Cape Cod, being the rank amature that I am, I got caught in a current in Eastham harbour ... I was outside the channel close to the marsh, but the current spun me right around and out into the channel ... into the wake of a large power boat .... managed to stay upright, but ended up well into the channel, with two more powers passing each other (one coming in, one out) ... neither had much room to avoid me ... and if I had been flipped by the wake might not be writing this now.

Possible solution
In plain sight of the troublemaker, take out your VHF radio or cell phone. It sometimes makes the miscreant disappear - quickly.

bottom line
Nearly all power boats I’ve encountered in years of paddling have been courteous or oblivious.

I’ve seen some pretty arrogant and ignorant kayakers in that time.

All on the water should share, but the bottom line is the law of tonnage.

As often the smallest and most nimble crafts on the water, kayaks must be alert and cognizant of other craft.

From my years of sailing, I know the mantra “power yields to sail, sail yields to paddle,” however the survival reality is paddle yields to anything bigger, faster, etc…