towing my kayak

If I flip, and I can’t get back in my pamlico 140, and another person is helping me, could I get a nylon tow rope with hooks and I could be brought to safty with my kayak ??? were buying a boat tow and a safty whistle this weekend.

It depends
It depends on the skills of the other person, how far it is to safety, the conditions, what caused you to flip in the first place, whether they can empty the boat, how much floatation does the boat have, how long you can swim in the water temperatures and many other variables. My recommendation would be to find a nice safe spot where you don’t mind swimming and experiment. Find out what works for you and your paddling partner and then try it in gradually more difficult conditions.

paddle float rescue
practice wet exits, practice paddle float rescues, see if you can do a cowboy re-entry. Then practice them again and again. Time yourself to see how fast you can get back in your boat.

Then practice T rescues and assisted rescues.

towing is an option for when you can’t do the above and or are in such bad shape that you can’t paddle back to shore. Shouldn’t be a first option if you just fall out of your boat.

Keep at it


Second the above

– Last Updated: Mar-02-06 4:19 PM EST –

It is one of those nasty jokes that, in the conditions in which you are most likely to flip over, the same conditions can make towing a boat and person pretty dicey as well. Not that many can't tow that combo, and we practice towing, but the kind of tow you are talking about requires a lot from the person towing as well as the one being towed. It is still unclear whether you will be paddling with anyone who sould do that safely. (And by the way, they make tow belts for long tows with give in the lines that make things safer for everyone.)

Botton line as above - if you are going to get on the water, you are responsible for a lot of what happens to you. And the first thing you are responsible for is learning to get back into your boat in moderate conditions. I suspect it is quite possible if you combine a paddle float and something like a stirrup at the worst, and lessons are the place to get this down.

Related Thread
You have another thead asking about double bulkheads. Have you installed them? Or, as an alternative, have you installed floatation. Towing a boat with a large volume of water is possible but difficult. A self rescue is also going to be more difficult without good floatation.


towing a Pamlico 140.
The Pamlico is an open top recreational boat, in which you won’t want to be out very far from shore to begin with, so any capsize could be dealt with by getting yourself and boat to shore, with tower or not., and deal with things from there to get underway again. paddle float, t-rescues etc are very difficult in a rec boat, probably a waste of time tying to do.

If you don’t fill both ends with flotation, your boat is difficult to flip back over once capsized (too much water trapped in nose and stern) so you might need to be towed with boat upside down, which is alot of drag for a tower to deal with for any distance, but since it would be unwise to venture far from shore in a boat of this type to begin with, (as rec boat rule you shouldn’t venture any farther from shore than you can swim , maybe 50 ft in the ocean perhaps longer on a pond or lake.) any capsize would hopefully be close to shore, If you’re too far from shore , you’re probably sing the boat unwisely, and should think about a boat with a cockpit to which you can affix a sprayskirt.

Amen to that ,Peter. Except paddlefloat re-entry is actually easy in a rec boat long as it has enough floatation. But the thing about paddlefloat re-entry is it’s useless in most conditions that would make you flip over in the first place. I would really hate to be the poor sucker towing a pamilco full of water. Possible,but a real bitch over any sort of distance.

Rec Boats Should Come With A Warning

– Last Updated: Mar-02-06 10:57 PM EST –

The main problem, IMHO, is the name: "Rec boat" says nothing to the average Joe. I made this mistake.

The problem is, you want to buy a kayak, you want all the cool stuff on it, like a hatch and a rudder, but you want to save money, and--if don't know any better--cut corners and get something cheap, never imagining what will happen when the boat capsizes.

I learned the hard way on the Missouri River--thank God not far from shore, and lived to tell the tale. But a better name for this class of boats, IMO, would be "the-front-end-will-flood-with-water-and-sink-if-you-capsize" boats.

At the very least, manufacturers should describe a boat's float characteristics. And say something about added floatation if it's a rec boat. Or what kind of water it's not safe in. Then, let the buyer beware.

As is, for the uninitiated a kayak is a kayak. This summer I saw two utter neophytes paddling off into the sunset off Cypress Island in the absolutely smallest sinks (not SINKs) you've ever seen, totally oblivious to what might lay ahead.