Turtling, let's talk about it

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Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by BackCast » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:39 pm

In another topic bigboots shared his experience of imitating a turtle. That got me to thinking about it and I seem to have more questions than answers. Maybe someone (including myself) could benefit from the knowledge of some of the more experienced kayakers.

I've been known to roll a few kayaks but they were either white water kayaks or sit-on-top kayaks when I was just playing around. In all cases the dumps have been expected and considered part of the experience. I've been fortunate enough (knock on wood) to never tip while fishing. Both of my kayaks are sit-ins and I feel as if they're more stable - thus less likely to tip - because of my lower center of gravity. The problem is that, if and when I do tip in my sit-in, it's going to be a lot harder to get it dumped out and back into commission. I think I could dump and right it in waist deep water but really doubt I could do it if the water was any deeper than that.

I'm wondering what thoughts or suggestions others can offer. What makes one type of kayak preferable to another? How do you protect items in your kayak from being lost? What do you secure and what do you leave loose? Any tips or gadgets that might keep you from turtling, or at least keep you and your stuff safe or secure?

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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by jeeper50 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:14 pm

I turtled up in north GA on a swift flowing trout stream while wearing waders with a belt tightly securing my waders to my chest. I leaned over too far to help retrieve items floating from another kayakers dump ahead of me. We were both in SOT kayaks and recovered by swimming them to the bank, I got just a bit of 59 deg water in my waders. I had floats on my poles and milk crate and only lost two cheap rod and reels when they got hung up in the trees along the bank, do not try to retrieve anything from tree branches in a 4.5mph current! I had to paddle downstream fast to catch up with my "debris field".
Always remain calm, and have safety plan and follow it. We had our PFDs on and buckled. Attach anything you down want to lose to the kayak with a leash. Practice deep water rentry if you have a SOT kayak. If you have a sit in kayak you have your work cut out for you. I recall canoe recovery training from the Boy Scouts where another canoe is required to empty and right a swamped one, same applies with a sit in side kayak.
I would suggest you swamp one and see what you have to do to recover it while the water is warm. I guess you gonna have to swim it to shallow water to be able to right it and empty it.

Above all wear your PFD, as to date the Coasr Guard generally recover kayaks, but not always kayakers unless the follow that rule
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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by BackCast » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:43 am

jeeper, what kind of floats do you use on your rods and milk crate? I assume you use some sort of netting or bungie straps to keep things in the crate?

I'm planning to pick up a few tethers and floats before my next trip. I've been gambling with tackle and equipment that I probably don't even want to know how much I paid for. Another thing I think I might purchase is a bow cover. Occasionally I've kayaked when the waves were enough to break over the bow. All I ever have in the bow is an occasional dry bag so covering it should help keep water out without impacting anything I'm doing.

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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by jeeper50 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:28 pm

I bought the rod floats from bass pro, but they only keep the lighter smaller rods afloat. I had a section of pool noodle zip tied to opposite corners of my milk crate.My tackle bag fits snugly into the milk crate

Here's a video I took of our trip, camera was off during the turtle;

https://youtu.be/RMB2uwwUpKc
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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by madphilip » Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:43 pm

For sit-in kayaks, I've known folks to stuff as many pool noodles as possible inside. After they turtle, the noodles help the yak float and every cubic inch of light foam is one less cubic inch of heavy water.

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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by jeeper50 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:18 am

Spray foam
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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by BackCast » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:59 am

jeeper50 wrote:Spray foam
That makes me wonder how effective the existing original foam flotation really is. You mentioned intentionally swamping it earlier, and it is probably a good idea just to see what to expect. Even though foam is light, I really hesitate to add anything more to my kayak. My wife's Old Town is never a problem but my 14' Wilderness is all I care to load on top of my truck after a long day of paddling. Like Toby Keith said in his song, I'm not as good as I once was!

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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by jeeper50 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:16 pm

BackCast wrote:
jeeper50 wrote:Spray foam
That makes me wonder how effective the existing original foam flotation really is. Like Toby Keith said in his song, I'm not as good as I once was!
I am continually scoping out craigslist for kayaks in the GA, FL,AL area and have been know to drive a while to pickup a good deal on a used kayak. If your so inclined a SOT can be had to end your worries about the foam, winter time is the best time to pickup on deals but keep in touch with local shops for a good trade in.

Until then keep 'em paddlin
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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by kikstand454 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:02 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwGAkC4o_xY


I haven't completely turtled where i needed to figure out how to get back into my yak, i turtled over a 2ft deep oyster bar and caught myself and my yak from going all the way over. ....only lost a few things.

I'm going to revamp my kayak and all its storage and systems this year, and I'm going to be extra dilligent in leashing. Above is a great video on how to DIY some leashes.

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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by BackCast » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:14 am

kikstand454 wrote: I'm going to revamp my kayak and all its storage and systems this year, and I'm going to be extra dilligent in leashing.
I plan to do the same thing. It occurred to me that small aluminum carabiners, like the ones used for keychains, might be a good thing to attach to a small cord. That way an item wouldn't get dumped but would be quick and easy to detach with one hand when needed. And they won't rust. Repairs shops get them in mass for about .30 each but I really don't need 250 of them. Home Depot sells them for .98 each. The ones at HD are rated at 150 pounds so they're plenty strong enough.

As to purchasing a additional kayak, I don't get nearly enough time to use the ones I have. I'm actually very happy with the sit-in (actually hybrids) but recognize they have a weakness when it comes to righting them.

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Re: Turtling, let's talk about it

Post by GoodCall » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:38 pm

Rolled a Tarpon 140 during the FCKA Classic a few years back....the super windy one (2011 maybe?) I didn't have an anchor trolley so strong wind kept my yak pointed perpendicular to the stiff wind. Had gotten out for a bit, and when I got back in, I rolled it attempting to turn the bow back into the wind and head to the ramp. Only about waist deep water, so I could stand up...and Tarpons are sit-on-top, but a lot of gear went in the drink that day. Fortunately I recovered just about all of it.

Next day I was still down at the coast, weather as calm as could be (of course it was one day AFTER the tourney), and I ventured out fishing again. I found myself feeling very squirrely even with zero wind. Turns out I had a leak in the keel and lots of water was getting inside the hull. If you ever get water in the hull of a SOT kayak, it makes it EXTREMELY difficult to stay on top of that sucker. Get it fixed immediately or you'll roll it sooner than later. Tried to JB Weld it several layers but that was a Ban Aid on a severed artery. Took it to Rob @ Wilderness Way and had them build me a new keel. Never has another issue.

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