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View Full Version : So excited and so annoyed (How I'm almost a kayak owner)



NoNo
04-10-2010, 03:17 PM
I've decided this was the year I would join the kayak-owning ranks. I bought a rack for my car, then the Hullavator (I'm by myself, there's no way I'm getting a kayak on top of my car without assistance). Today I went to a shop recommended by a friend to check out my options.

Things got off to a shaky start when it took me a solid hour to mount the rack to my car. When I came inside, I saw that the shop in town had called to tell me the Hullavator was in, so that cheered me up. Swung by, threw it in the trunk, and headed out to Rhode Island. Should have taken me 90 minutes. Yeah, no one told my GPS the main road to the shop was closed from flood damage:rolleyes: I made U-turns, I drove on dirt roads that seemingly went to nowhere. Finally my GPS was able to devise a new route, and I pulled in well over 2 hours later.

I went in, told them my anticipated uses, and they directed me to the 12'-14' boats. I sat in a Necky Looksha and a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 135. The Looksha was ok, but it felt a little big. The Tsunami felt great. As well it should have, as it's made for tiny people such as myself:p The cockpit felt just the right size, my leg placement felt good, and the seat was fairly comfy. I saw the price and panicked - it was a bit more than I wanted to spend. But it was meant to be! It was deeply discounted, as they'd mistakenly been sent a double shipment and had to move them out. Even though I just went to "look" I decided it was too good of a deal to pass up and bought it.

So what's the problem? We went out to the car to mount the Hullavator when my stomach sank. In my rush to leave after fighting with the rack, I left the key to the locks home!:mad: They were going to mount the Hullavator for me and I could have driven home with my new baby, but NOOOOOOOOO! I get to drive back to Rhode Island and try again next week. I could not believe I'd gone through all that trouble just to be foiled at the very end. I'm sure the first time I slip into the water, this will all be forgotten and I'll have many hours of paddling joy.:cool:

Zen
04-10-2010, 05:28 PM
I kinda like the looks of this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SN55Jfu94c&feature=related).
I'd like to figure out how to secure the yak on top of my jeep. I know it can be done, i've seen it

Cataboo
04-10-2010, 06:18 PM
Zen, are you going to be able to get a kayak to the roof of your jeep by yourself? Because I don't think I'd be able to stick a kayak on the roof of a jeep by myself. I can do it on my subaru - but any taller than that, I'd need help.

If you go to outdoorplay.com, they should have things on how to load a kayak on your own.

the hulluvator probably works - I just always considered it too expensive for what it does when there's other ways to get a kayak up.

What I have is the yakima kayak loader:
http://www.yakima.com/racks/kayak-rack/product/8004018/boatloader.aspx

Basically, I set one end of the kayak on the kayak loader and the other end can rest on the ground, but I basically shove the end that's down on the ground up towards the roof - it sits in the front cradles, then I just lift the back of the kayak off the loader and on to the back cradles/rollers.

It works and it's actually faster for me to load a boat by myself than have someone whose not used to it help me.



If you don't want to do the kayak loader, you can also put kayak rollers on the rear bars, set a towel or something on the back of your car, rest the kayak on the towel, then pick the back of the kayak and shove it forward into the rollers, which will let you roll the kayak onto the car.


enjoy the kayak!

Cataboo
04-10-2010, 06:20 PM
this guy kind of does opposite of what I do, but it works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsBJdEocuJ4&feature=related

lph
04-11-2010, 12:04 AM
Oh, the Tsunami is a great kayak, No-No, you'll be thrilled! They come in different sizes, and I can't remember the one I used, but at our local paddling club it was my favourite starter kayak and there's an even smaller childrens version that fit my son perfectly. Everything perfectly downsized to fit a small 12-yr-old, really nice.

I took my kayak out yesterday :) Had a borrowed, too big drysuit and wanted to practice cos I was worried I couldn't slip out of and climb into my kayak easily wearing it. I felt so unstable getting out into the water - but the minute I sat down properly I just felt this "aaah, I'm home!" feeling :D

Tell us all about it when you get there! What a bummer having to wait, but it will be so worth it.

NoNo
04-11-2010, 04:43 AM
Thanks everyone! Believe me, I debated extensively over whether the Hullavator was necessary, or if I could get away with a used rack off Craigslist. My boss, who always chastises me when I buy stuff, actually supported the idea! He said as long as I'm putting the money out for something nice like a kayak, I should get the absolute best of everything I can afford. My friend was in favor of it, only so that he wouldn't have to hear me complaining about how I scratched up my car and couldn't get the kayak on top.:p I happened to notice the outdoor shop up the street had it deeply discounted (about 40% off), and that sealed the deal!

LPH, I definitely noticed the scaling difference. In the Necky, I felt like my legs had to be unnaturally high to reach the thigh supports and that the sides of the cockpit came up a bit high, like it was swallowing me. In the Tsunami, it just felt "right". My legs were bent, but not too much, the seat hit just right, and the sides were at a height that wouldn't impede rowing. Being 5'-1", I've grown accustomed to things not quite fitting, but that wasn't the case here.

Oh, I should ask if there's anything else I need right now? I bought the kayak, paddle, PFD, cover (not a spray skirt), and safety kit with pump, paddle float, paddle strap, and whistle. Everything I buy with the kayak is 10% off and there's no taxes. They're keeping my order open until I pick it up, so if there's anything else I should add, I may as well do it now.

I've rented kayaks before and loved it, now I can't wait to get out there in my own!:cool:

Cataboo
04-11-2010, 06:46 AM
+1 for kayaks scaled for small people making a huge difference. I haven't tried the tsunami, but have had the wilderness systems tempest 165 and it's a nice boat.

Rope is always a handy thing to have in a kayak. I keep some cheap polypropylene rope usually coiled behind my seat (poly rope floats and doesn't absorb water)

If you're going to do any navigation - compasses are good. I keep a compass, nose plugs, a whistle, and a knife attached to my PFD. If you use a paddle leash, make sure to have a knife - because there is a slight danger that if you get thrown from the boat a paddle leash could end up around your neck and you need to cut your way out. I use the spyderco salt series knives (pacific or atlantic salt) because they're a special kind of steel that doesn't/can't rust even in salt water - so I can be somewhat cavalier about using it.

You need a couple dry bags - if you're going to take your cell phone with you (and I'd recommend so just in case you need to call for help), drypak and a few others make cell phone specific bags you can put the cell phone in and still use it. It's going to be tempting to just put things in ziplock bags, and I'd say don't - buy drybags, I've lost a few pieces of electronics to ziplok bags failing. It's always tempting to buy big dry bags - but really, smaller drybags are easier to pack and fit in the hatches, so buying a couple 10-20 liter ones is a lot handier than buying a 40 liter.

I would go ahead and buy a spray skirt - if you're going to go out in waves at all, they're handy... and actually what convinced me to go ahead and use one constantly was when a horse fly flew into my boat and bit the hell out of my legs and I jumped out of the boat in the middle of the chesapeake bay to get away from it. If you have a spray skirt, insects can't fly in to torture you. Get a sprayskirt that is breathable, because those nylon ones trap heat and are absolutely miserable when it's sunny & warm. Sierratradingpost.com for a while was having a really good sale on some harmony ones - for like $30


I always carry a spare paddle, of a different design than the one I typically use - you never know what's going to happen and you're kind of screwed if you're in the middle of something without a paddle. If you stick close to shore, that's probably not as big of a deal. It doesn't have to be an expensive spare paddle, but just something you could get yourself to shore if you lose or break your paddle. I usually use a high angle wing paddle, so I keep my spare paddle as a low angle small straight bladed paddle, so if I'm tired, i can switch to a paddle with a completely different paddle stroke.

You have a paddle float -- So very important - KNOW HOW TO USE IT. Take classes if that's how you like to learn, or just watch videos/diagrams on the internet on how to self rescue using one, and just go out into a lake or something and practice doing it. Make sure your hatches are closed well before doing so... I just did the latter, and continue a couple of times a year to just jump out of the kayak and practice getting back into it on my own, either by swimming back in and rolling up or using the paddle float to stabilize the boat. Again - if you're only planning on being on rivers, not as big of a deal - but if you're going to be in any sort of big water, know how to do all this stuff.

Does the tsunami have 2 bulkheads in that size? If it doesn't, get float bags for the other side.

Do you want to take pictures? Then either get a waterproof digital camera or get a plastic case/housing to put your camera into, especially if you intend on going into salt water.

I tend to always leave a bottle of sunscreen and bug spray in the kayak - you never know when it's going to come in handy. I also tend to have a "emergency" drybag that just stays packed and goes into the kayak when I go out for just in case - it has some first aid stuff, some toilet paper, some wet wipes, some matches, an emergency blankets, amulitool, and things like that - just in case I get into trouble. Weight in a kayak doesn't make a huge difference.

I find the easiest way to carry water is putting a 2-3 liter hydration bag behind my seat, I can feed the hose up through my spray skirt so I can drink while paddling without having to get into there.

You don't really need special clothing (quick drying stuff is good), except if you intend to go out in cold water - then get the neoprene booties and various other neoprene or drysuit stuff. I really like having a drytop in case the temps drop or the wind starts kicking up, so I tend to have one in the boat depending on where I'm going. But otherwise a nylon shell to cut the wind helps. A hat is really nice to cut the sun. Something that you can tie around your neck, because those tend to get blown away. If you're wearing sunglasses or glasses, some sort of croakie or tether to keep those on you.


You may eventually want to get some minicell foam padding or neoprene pads to personalize the kayak fit to yourself - I tend to put neoprene right under the foot pegs, so if I'm barefoot my heels can rest on it (I tend to keep my legs wedged and my heels get pressed into the bottom of the kayak, which after a few hours makes my heels sore) and then have some knee pads to rest my knees on. Again,really nice when you're paddling long distances.

OakLeaf
04-11-2010, 07:04 AM
That's funny - I'm 5'3" and my Tsunami 145 is huge on me. To the point where I wish I'd gotten a different boat, even though I really like the ride. There are a lot of holes for the thigh braces, but they can only actually be set a little over halfway back, which is where I have them. I have a choice between holding my elbows really high, or constantly bashing my knuckles on the gunwales when I paddle. I tried sitting on an old life vest to boost me up, which made my upper body a WHOLE lot more comfortable, but it was really weird on my legs. :(

Anyway - bummer about having to wait, but hope you love the boat!

Cataboo
04-11-2010, 08:09 AM
Oakleaf - It's possibly a difference in torso length, but the tsuami 145 is made for larger paddlers, while the tsunami 135 that NoNo bought isn't. Maybe try a narrower boat- it does sound like yours is big on you. I don't go beyond a 21.5 inch wide boat partly for that reason. The tsunami 135 is 23" inches wide, while the tsunami 145 is 24.5" wide.

But you can get some minicell padding and pad out your boat to make it a bit more comfortable - some padding under your knees to hold your legs into position will help with the thigh braces being in the wrong place. You basically just rubber cement the stuff into the kayak. You can either get padding and cut it/shape it to fit, or they sell knee padding.

How long is your paddle? In that wide of a boat & your size, you pretty much need to do a relaxed low angle technique and need a longer paddle to do it. Playing with your paddle & technique might stop you from banging your fingers. Do you keep anything on your deck? I basically keep a minimum of stuff on my front deck for that reason, I have a high angle technique that brings my hands really close to the front of the deck and I hit anything that I keep up there. If I really want to take pictures, I put my pelican case with my dslr up there but realize that I'm gonna be swearing at it every few minutes when I hit it.

As for bringing your elbows up high - Do not bring your elbows or your wrists above the height of your shoulders. That's a good recipe for dislocating your shoulder. So do keep your wrists & elbows underneath shoulder height (you probably already know that, but a lot of people dislocate their shoulders paddling if the boat pitches against them or whatever when they're in a bad position)

Does the tsunami have the same barcalounger type seat as the tempest does? Where there are straps that you can pull on in the front to bring the front of the seat upwards? You can do that to help support your thighs - the other nice thing to do there is to go ahead and stash a hydration bladder under the front part of the seat, it pitches your legs upwards and supports them. I do that when I'm going on multiday paddling trips and need to put several bladders of water in my boat. But padding underneath to pitch the front of the seat upwards would help.

A PFD might be too thick, but if you get 1-1.5 inch minicell padding or something like that, you could put a thin layer on the seat to boost you upwards - just remember if you lift your seat, you are lifting your center of gravity somewhat higher and it does affect how the boat feels.

Minicell doesn't absorb water and I'm sure there's some other reason everyone uses it for padding out kayaks.

NoNo
04-11-2010, 06:28 PM
Catriona - Thanks for all the great ideas! I'll have to think about a spray skirt over the next week and decide if I want to add it to the list. How useful would one of those wheel things be to get the kayak from the car to the water? There are two bulkheads, so that's not an issue. I already have a mid-sized sil-sac, so that will do for now. I have a small multitool, but it's not ocean-specific (didn't know that existed - very cool!).

Oak - Like I said, I sat in the Necky Looksha and immediately felt the difference in the same areas you're describing. The 145 is probably even worse, as it's meant for larger people. Sounds like I'll be able to avoid the issues you're having, and I'm thankful he pointed this boat out to me. They both have the Phase 3 seats, which does have the seat height adjustment string.

Good news! Dad got the Hullavator installed:D

http://hphotos-sjc1.fbcdn.net/hs363.snc3/23423_1414983104784_1538774168_31069043_4037403_n.jpg

Cataboo
04-11-2010, 06:59 PM
kayak cart - mine's more of a pain in the neck than it's worth to use - I used it when I had a 70 lb tandem that I couldn't carry on my shoulder. If you can't carry your boat on your shoulder, then get a kayak cart :)

I have one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/InStep-17-CC400-Folding-Aluminum-Aluminium/dp/B001HCITHG

If the wheels get stuck on something, the kayak tends to topple off of it - then I have to go back and put it back on it, etc. etc.

I do tend to park as close to the water as I can - but I can carry up to a 60 lb kayak or so on my shoulder for a reasonable distance.

Zen
04-11-2010, 07:08 PM
So what are you supposed to do with the cart when you get to the water? Hope no one steals it?

kmehrzad
04-11-2010, 07:14 PM
Hide it in the bushes. :)

Cataboo
04-11-2010, 07:48 PM
I usually walk it back & put it into the car.

They do fold up & the wheels come off them - so you can put them in your kayak or strap them to your kayak if you want to take the cart with you to do portages or something.

lph
04-11-2010, 11:59 PM
I have a small cart like Catrionas that usually comes along in the car. If I have to carry my kayak much more than 50 metres or so my back starts to protest, not so much from the weight but from trying to stabilize 5 feet of swinging weight. Mine tends to fall off too if the ground is too rocky, but for flattish stretches it's great, I've pulled my kayak over 1 km on it. I usually hide it or just leave it visible since it's not valuable, but you could just bring a small bicycle lock too and lock it to a tree or something. I figure it's most likely to be taken by a kid on a whim, or by someone who doesn't realize it's left behind on purpose.

OakLeaf
04-12-2010, 05:00 AM
A bicycle-style cable lock is good enough to secure a cart most places. My thinking is if they really want it, they're going to take it no matter what you do, so something flimsy to deter the casual thieves is as good as something heavy-duty.

tulip
04-12-2010, 05:48 AM
NoNo--congratulations!!! That is so exciting. Like Oakleaf, I found the Tsunami 145 to be way too big for me, so much so that I would literally just fall out whenever I attempted rolls. I had no problem rolling in the WS Tempest 165, though. Love that boat. Glad the 135 is a good for for you. I didn't know they made a smaller size.

The Hullavator is great invention, too. While I think I could get a kayak on my VW Rabbit without one, it sure would be easier with one. If I had a taller car, I'd definitely have to go with the Hullavator.

Alas, I still am kayakless, a full nine years after I fell in love with the sport. I rent kayaks from time to time, but it's not the same as having one of ones own. And to think that I live less than a mile from the James River, and also spend alot of time on the Chesapeake Bay! This has got to change!

NoNo
04-12-2010, 08:16 AM
NoNo--congratulations!!! That is so exciting. Like Oakleaf, I found the Tsunami 145 to be way too big for me, so much so that I would literally just fall out whenever I attempted rolls. I had no problem rolling in the WS Tempest 165, though. Love that boat. Glad the 135 is a good for for you. I didn't know they made a smaller size.

The Hullavator is great invention, too. While I think I could get a kayak on my VW Rabbit without one, it sure would be easier with one. If I had a taller car, I'd definitely have to go with the Hullavator.

Alas, I still am kayakless, a full nine years after I fell in love with the sport. I rent kayaks from time to time, but it's not the same as having one of ones own. And to think that I live less than a mile from the James River, and also spend alot of time on the Chesapeake Bay! This has got to change!

WS actually has several kayaks that are woman/small-frame specific, as well as some that are large-paddler specific. I think that's a great idea.

I have a Mazda 3 wagon, and while it's not as tall as an SUV, I still couldn't reach the middle of the roof while washing it yesterday.:rolleyes: Really, though, if I hadn't found the Hullavator for the price I did, I don't think I would have gotten it.

I live a mile from Long Island Sound, as well as the Branford River, and tons of marsh land. The Thimble Islands are off my town and I'd love to paddle around those. I see there are several kayak clubs in the area, and they require some kind of training before you can join them on the ocean, so I'm going to sign up for a basics class.

The exciting (and important) part to me is that it's actually paid for, and not just thrown on a credit card. That's a huge change for me and has made the hours of building up my soap business worth it.:)

Cataboo
04-12-2010, 12:01 PM
LPH - you've got a prijon, those tend to be heavier plastic in general, but great boats. I've had a prijon yukon expedition, a tandem, and a barracuda.

The wilderness systems boats have a lot softer plastic, tend to oil can a lot more and scratch very easily.

Tulip, I'm keeping you in mind for when I decide what to do with my boats. I picked up a fiberglass kayak a few weeks ago, so I'll most likely be selling either my tempest 165 or my perception avatar (15.5 feet long) in the next couple months. I don't think I need 3 kayaks. The avatar's a great small person boat, greenland deisgn, so very fun, very responsive - but doesn't quite hold as much gear, not quite as fast as a longer boat, and being as responsive is a bit squirrelier to track if you have any imperfections in your paddling stroke (it does have a skeg) ... but the boat is amazingly fun and stable on waves/chop. The tempest is a lot more predictable and stable of a boat, which makes it somewhat boring at times - holds a bunch more gear, is a bit faster with the longer length, not as responsive to lean turns or paddling imperfections, and scratches more easily than any plastic kayak I've ever seen.

withm
04-12-2010, 12:59 PM
I kinda like the looks of this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SN55Jfu94c&feature=related).
I'd like to figure out how to secure the yak on top of my jeep. I know it can be done, i've seen it

That girl is going to mess up the hood of her car with that method. Odd because she HAS the Hully Rollers at the back end of her car... where she could just roll the boat up and onto the saddles in the front. She is making way too much work for herself.

tulip
04-12-2010, 01:04 PM
Tulip, I'm keeping you in mind for when I decide what to do with my boats.


Thanks for keeping me in mind, Catriona. I'll keep playing the lottery :rolleyes: FWIW, if I were to get a boat, I would use it for paddling around, not for camping, at least not at first. I like paddling fast, rolling, and playing (never played in waves yet), but I do need to revisit my skills with a lesson before I go out and have too much fun. I like paddling quietly in marshes, too. Let's talk once you decide what to do.

Cataboo
04-12-2010, 08:23 PM
Thanks for keeping me in mind, Catriona. I'll keep playing the lottery :rolleyes: FWIW, if I were to get a boat, I would use it for paddling around, not for camping, at least not at first. I like paddling fast, rolling, and playing (never played in waves yet), but I do need to revisit my skills with a lesson before I go out and have too much fun. I like paddling quietly in marshes, too. Let's talk once you decide what to do.

Tulip, one of these days we gotta get together - and you can try either boat.

Possibly in the next couple weeks i'll have a good idea of which boat or whether both should go. Then I'll be sentimental for a while and not want to get rid of either. But it's always nice to pass gear on to someone who's actually going to use it!

If you want to refresh your skills - maybe go over to cpa kayaker forums and look at their sk102 workshop - it's going to be at Lake Anna a weekend from now.

NoNo
04-14-2010, 06:08 AM
I've decided I'm going to get a spray skirt. This is the one I'm leaning towards, I'm open to any suggestions: http://store.kayakcentre.com/browse.cfm/4,1162.html

That's the shop I bought everything from, so I would get 10% off. Saturday is fast approaching, and the temps are quickly dropping. *sigh* Some day it'll be warm enough to take out....:rolleyes:

withm
04-14-2010, 06:13 AM
I've decided I'm going to get a spray skirt. This is the one I'm leaning towards, I'm open to any suggestions: http://store.kayakcentre.com/browse.cfm/4,1162.html

That's the shop I bought everything from, so I would get 10% off. Saturday is fast approaching, and the temps are quickly dropping. *sigh* Some day it'll be warm enough to take out....:rolleyes:

That's a nice spray skirt, especially if you are in cold weather, and should do very well when rolling. But, if you are not going in cold weather, not expecting to roll, you may find it very hot. I am only able to use my neoprene skirt in the winter (and I DON'T roll), because it's just too hot inside the boat with it at any other time of the year. YMMV

NoNo
04-14-2010, 08:34 AM
There's also this one on Sierra Trading Post: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,1037J_Harmony-Elite-II-Touring-Spray-Skirt.html. I'm not sure if it will fit right, though. My cockpit measures 35x18.5", and this fits 35x19" on the low end. Some of the reviews say it runs small, so I think I might be ok. Doesn't help that Harmony doesn't have that model on their site, so I can't check if it will fit my boat.

Cataboo
04-14-2010, 09:29 AM
Nono, the sierra trading post one is probably fine - you can always tie the elastic band a little tighter if you need to do so.

I went paddling yesterday evening (unfortunately 'cause it was windy & rainy) with a guy who had a set of hulluvators on his roof rack - I asked him how he liked them, he complained that they were prone to mechanical problems and that thule really didn't stand behind their product to repair them especially given the price they charge for that system.

he was on the short side and loading the boat on to a honda crv - the boat he was using was 24 lbs (skin on frame), and his other boat's about 40 lbs (kevlar) - so he's definitely not stressing the hulluvator with a lot of weight.

tulip
04-14-2010, 09:33 AM
When (notice I said "when" and not "if") I get a kayak, I'm going to look into rigging up some sort of bike trailer since I live less than a mile from a kayak launch spot on the river. I've seen a cyclist towing a whitewater kayak, but not a flatwater kayak (loooong).

NoNo
04-14-2010, 10:17 AM
I went paddling yesterday evening (unfortunately 'cause it was windy & rainy) with a guy who had a set of hulluvators on his roof rack - I asked him how he liked them, he complained that they were prone to mechanical problems and that thule really didn't stand behind their product to repair them especially given the price they charge for that system.

he was on the short side and loading the boat on to a honda crv - the boat he was using was 24 lbs (skin on frame), and his other boat's about 40 lbs (kevlar) - so he's definitely not stressing the hulluvator with a lot of weight.

Interesting. I definitely looked at some reviews and there were definitely some negative ones, specifically about the arms not staying locked down when they're lowered. But then there were reviews from people that had had it for several years with no problems. I think as with any product, individual results will vary, and I'm taking a chance.

For the price I guess I'll order the STP skirt and give it a try. I'm not planning on going out in rough waters, but I should have some kind of protection. And the large one comes in yellow, so it will match my kayak!:p

Julie, that would be impressive to see someone hauling a regular sized kayak with their bike!:eek:

NoNo
04-17-2010, 05:43 PM
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs471.ash1/25843_1421919838198_1538774168_31084495_4639681_n.jpg

The guy at the shop was very happy that my dad had installed the rack last week and that he didn't have to install it in the raw drizzle that fell all day. I ended up getting the Seals Sea Sprite skirt. It's a breathable nylon, but it also has a zip the length of the tunnel so I can vent if I want. They had a cheaper nylon skirt, but I didn't like how it cinched around my torso. It had a buckle system, sort of like tightening a backpack. The one I went with has velcro on both sides, providing a much tighter fit on my small torso.

They talked me through the process of strapping it down. After some trepidation, I got going on the highway and soon felt pretty comfortable. It didn't budge a bit, though it does create an annoying whistle, like listening to a tea kettle for an hour and a half:(
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs471.ash1/25843_1421669031928_1538774168_31083715_5070013_n.jpg

Once I got home, it took just minutes to untie, lower, and carry it into the house.:) I was very happy with the Hullavator, it made the process a breeze. I had stopped by my aunt's on the way home, so I did get to practice taking it down and tying it up. Must have done alright, as I drove on the highway without anything falling off. I go back to the store May 15 for the intro class, where I'll learn basic techniques and wet exits. In the meantime, I'll have an expensive cat toy sitting in my house.
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs471.ash1/25843_1422168124405_1538774168_31084916_4657589_n.jpg

lph
04-18-2010, 01:50 AM
OOoohhh, nice!! I love the cat sitting inside :D Congratulations!

A kayak trailer for bikes does exist, a swedish company called Vitudden makes one. I am dearly longing to buy one, even if I have nowhere where it would make sense to use it... :p

http://www.vitudden.com/transport_3_se.php

A little way down on this page is a picture of a homemade bike trailer, but he also explains that all you really need is a regular kayak cart, and a rigid pole attached to the pannier rack on your bike to "pick up" the front end of your kayak, with a bungy cord or similar.
http://www.google.no/imgres?imgurl=http://kajakkspesialisten.no/images/sykkeltralle.jpg&imgrefurl=http://kajakkspesialisten.no/annet_tips.php&usg=__aheOIgN_TvBHHX0-7sxJh60VEvI=&h=178&w=370&sz=40&hl=no&start=1&itbs=1&tbnid=eXlH2vjg4yskaM:&tbnh=59&tbnw=122&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dkajakk%2Bsykkel%2Btralle%26hl%3Dno%26tbo%3D1%26tbs%3Disch:1

NoNo
04-24-2010, 04:43 PM
Today was a picture-perfect spring day, and it's supposed to rain for the next three days, so I thought it would be the perfect time to go for my first paddle. I had no trouble loading the kayak (thank you Hullavator!) and went to a lake my friend told me about. I figure until I take the class I'll avoid the ocean and stick to flat water.

I slipped into the water and immediately knew buying a kayak was a good decision.
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs466.ash1/25583_1429697912645_1538774168_31102443_2425958_n.jpg

It was a decent sized lake that took me about an hour to explore. Very quiet, only two other paddlers out and one guy fishing. There were some geese that were displeased with my presence, and the turtles were enjoying the sun as much as I was.
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs045.snc3/13308_1429753594037_1538774168_31102551_6444630_n.jpg

After a while, I grounded myself in a little cove and just lounged for a bit:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs326.ash1/28475_1429775794592_1538774168_31102586_6478967_n.jpg

I was out for a little over an hour and a half. When I was getting out, a couple was getting ready to launch and the man helped carry my kayak back to the car.:) He asked about the Hullavator, and I quickly tied things down and went on my way. I need to work on my foot placement. I cant really keep them straight up unless my legs are straight, but if I move them in a bit, my feet go numb from keeping them at an angle. I pulled the seat forward a bit and that gave me more support while rowing. I think the thigh pads are in the right place, but when I take the class I'll have them take a look. I didn't feel like I was getting a tremendous amount of speed and wondered if I was a high-angle paddler after all. Again, I'll have them take a look and tell me what they think. Maybe it's just a matter of playing with the paddle angle and working on my stroke. The boat felt very stable, with little rocking even if I turned to look behind me. All in all, I was very happy with the boat and am anxious to go other places and explore!

Zen
04-24-2010, 06:41 PM
Nice. I see you have a floating banana too ;)

Cataboo
04-25-2010, 07:50 PM
The tsunami 135 isn't really a fast boat - so I wouldn't expect you to get a lot of speed. Taking a class will help your paddling, and yeah, paddles do make a difference - concentrate more on a high cadence light stroke as opposed to trying to muscle the kayak along.

Looks like you had a great paddle!

NoNo
04-26-2010, 03:21 AM
Nice. I see you have a floating banana too ;)

To be honest, if they'd had red in stock I would have snatched it up. From there I had to cycle through my options. My bike is blue, so I wanted a different color scheme from that. The greens were ugly, the orange was ok, but yellow was fun. Some day I'll buy something in the exact color I want. Didn't happen with either car or the bike or now the kayak, but some day it will!

tulip
04-26-2010, 05:19 AM
I love the "lounging in a cove" photo, NoNo! There is great benefit in just being quiet and still.

NoNo
04-29-2010, 04:38 AM
It's like I've joined a little club!:) A guy on the train yesterday said "I see you're a kayaker." He and his wife also have kayaks. I told him I was new to it and looking forward to finding places to paddle. He told me about a place near the Rhode Island border they go to, and I need to get there! It's a large tidal marsh near the mouth of the Connecticut River with tons of birds (he said they spotted a bald eagle last year) and 10 foot high reeds. He said it was very quiet, not too many people paddling there. I've been reading about it this morning and it sounds splendid. Literally miles of waterways to explore, I could spend a whole day if I wanted to. My uncle's friend is supposed to be at our party this weekend, and he's the one that recommended the kayak shop I went to. I'm looking forward to talking to him about places to go and some of the local clubs he's involved with.

Serendipity
08-09-2010, 07:48 AM
Recently changed our vehicle to a Ford Ranger pickup and found it just too high to comfortably (or easily) load our kayaks on top.
We had looked at all kinds of options: j-racks (which we tried), trailer, etc. but because we have a topper on the box, it was just too much to load the kayaks and I'm not wild about pulling a trailer anytime we want to get out. I'm not a tiny person and have reasonable upper body strength but I just found that we would decide not to take the kayaks out because it was too much trouble to load. :(
Finally decided to go with the hullavators - local shop installed them for us in less than 30 minutes. Admittedly it took some tweaking (moved the positioning of them on the racks) and three loads/unloads before we were happy with the postioning on the vehicle but they are incredible for lifting and strapping on the kayaks.
No question, I can load and unload easily by myself.
Although, as NoNo mentioned, we did notifce the whistling while driving and find it rather odd/annoying. Not sure what is causing it & whether there is anything we can do about it.
So glad we decided to spend the money (agree that they are expensive!) but it lets us enjoy kayaking more frequently!

NoNo
08-09-2010, 09:05 AM
Although, as NoNo mentioned, we did notifce the whistling while driving and find it rather odd/annoying. Not sure what is causing it & whether there is anything we can do about it.

In preparation for my trip to Canada next week, I set out to find a cure to the whistling. I simply wasn't going to listen to a tea kettle going off for 12 hours! I saw a few random mentions of adding tape somewhere, but nothing specific. Yesterday we looked around and determined that the sound had to be caused by air coming under the boat and through the saddles. We jammed a towel under the boat and between the saddles and it was quiet as could be! Give it a try, your ears will thank you!:D

Serendipity
08-09-2010, 09:19 AM
In preparation for my trip to Canada next week, I set out to find a cure to the whistling. I simply wasn't going to listen to a tea kettle going off for 12 hours! I saw a few random mentions of adding tape somewhere, but nothing specific. Yesterday we looked around and determined that the sound had to be caused by air coming under the boat and through the saddles. We jammed a towel under the boat and between the saddles and it was quiet as could be! Give it a try, your ears will thank you!:D

NoNo - a couple of things...first of all, where in Canada are you visiting? Wherever it is, welcome!!

Secondly, if I understand your comments about the whistling, the sound results from the space between each saddle and the kayak, so filling that space (at least partially) with a towel is what you did? Wow, sounds like an easy fix - gotta try it! Thanks.

NoNo
08-09-2010, 11:10 AM
I'm heading to Go Home, ON to visit a friend. I very badly need a vacation and when he sent an invite I was more than happy to take him up on it!

Yes, that's precisely where I'm talking about. There's no noise when there isn't a boat, so I figured there had to be something happening under the boat. I guess when the boat is on there, the air gets forced between the saddles and the metal housing for the hydraulics.

Serendipity
08-09-2010, 05:34 PM
Had to Google that location - Muskokas are beautiful!! Enjoy.

Will try the extra padding on the saddles to try and cut down the whistling. It was tolerable for the half hour or so driving on the weekend but any longer than that I'll be the one whistling...:D:eek: