Winter Kayaking in an inflatable

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dspid2404
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Winter Kayaking in an inflatable

Post by dspid2404 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:49 pm

I haven't gone though a fall or winter yet here in Virginia with my AE1009 Expedition but would like to give it a try in cold water. I assume because you are insulated in air that it should be warm enough to sit in. Anything I should do differently or keep in mind when paddling in cold water?

diemonde
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Post by diemonde » Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:34 am

Actually wondering that myself. I tested the AE frame in water that was at least 10 Celcius lower. But I can't say I felt any less pressure. We had two Frames with us. One without sprayskirt and one with. The sprayskirt keeps warmth inside so this probably will help (won't it?), but even in the Frame without the skirt there we couldn't find any less pressure.

But with more difference between air and water temp you just pump it, throw it in the water for 15 minutes. Take it out and if needed put some extra air in.

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Post by JCOOLEY » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:56 am

First, make sure you wear the proper paddling gear. Second, a spray skirt will definately help to keep you warmer. Third, put it in the water and let it sit for at least 10 min so that the air inside the tubes can adjust to the water temp. Add more air after this and go........

Jeremy

dspid2404
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Post by dspid2404 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:16 pm

Just curious, what would happen if you didn't allow the air to "equalize"?

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Daddy-O
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Post by Daddy-O » Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:56 am

Air expands when it is warm and compresses when it is cold. What will happen is you will be paddling an underinflated kayak. You need to leave it in the water for a bit to see how much the air compresses, fill it up completely, then go.
Daddy-O

dspid2404
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Post by dspid2404 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:06 am

Sounds like the laws of nature at work. That is what I figured. I wasn't sure if there was any other reason. Thanks.

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PJohanson
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Post by PJohanson » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:40 pm

The ocean where I paddle is about 7 to 9 degrees Celsius year-round, and the cold water has no bad effects on the three models of Advanced Frame kayaks that I paddle in winter and in summer.
There's no problem if you don't follow Jeremy's advice to take time to let the boat get cold & then puff it up one or two more pumps. I don't bother. This does mean that I'm paddling a boat at 90% full of air instead of 95% or so. The air doesn't shrink any more than that in my climate. If one were paddling in the far North among icebergs in water about 2 to 4 degrees Celsius, there might be more air shrinkage, but I don't know.
The big worry is if the water is cold but the day is sunny and bright. When the kayak comes out of the water, let a little air out before you leave it sitting in the sunshine. The air will warm up inside the kayak and expand. You can always puff up the boat when you want it to be properly full.

spikethedog
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Post by spikethedog » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:23 pm

PJohanson wrote:If one were paddling in the far North among icebergs in water about 2 to 4 degrees Celsius, there might be more air shrinkage, but I don't know.
I paddle all winter in Marblehead in my AE when the water is usually about 35, but gets down to 29F, and I never added air after inflating since the air is usually colder than the water.

By the way, paddling in 29-30F water is almost impossible, since the ice is slushy around the edges and it's like trying to paddle through Jell-O. Forget it.

When you see people paddling around icebergs it's because those are FRESH water bergs floating in the water. Pack ice is totally not navigable in a kayak, as far as I can tell.

And be careful in the winter. If you go into the water and aren't well-protected you will die, quickly but painfully. I feel completely safe in my AE, but I wear a dry suit.

Also, check the weather: I cannot make ANY headway when the wind is more than about 18 kts. High waves are not the issue. With a skirt an AE will take a lot of rough water, but it won't go upwind when it's really blowing, so make sure there's no strong offshore wind coming.

I would NEVER go out around ice in anything other than my AE (I have an AF and AFC) but then, it's my first and only kayak and I am devoted to the brand. I feel 100% safe, but don't be careless when it's cold.

Oftentimes ice from my paddle will coat the boat but so what? Neighbors see me carrying my boat to the water in the middle of winter and thikn I'm nuts, but lobstermen go out EVERY day at 4 AM, no matter what, and to me they are the supermen.

But an AE in the winter is a great ride -- better than the summer.

Pearly
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Post by Pearly » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:58 am

Sounds far to cold for me! We normally have water surface temperatures around 29oC (84oF) and air temps around 34oC (93oF)! OK, it is hot n sweaty, but I'd still rather be hot than cold!

In freezing temperatures, other things would be shrinking along with the air in the chambers!

:shock: BRRRRRRRRRR!!!

I did some white water kayaking in Ireland during the winter and the water temps were cold with snow on the rocks. Looks pretty until you roll! I had to bail out on my first roll attempt and I was instantly wishing I'd stayed in the yak! I very quickly got the hang of rolling then!!!

diemonde
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Post by diemonde » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:03 am

I think there are several answers and after some what more experience with my AE Frame it all depends on the kinds of climate you are in and if you are using a sprayskirt.

Two examples:
If I go yakking in the begin of the winter the air temp. will be lower than the water temp. By using a sprayskirt the inside will even get warmer. So with normal inflation you can't go wrong and so no 15 minutes wait in cold weather.

If I go yakking in the summer the water temp. will be lower than the air temp. However I never actually had a big drop in pressure and I guess that's because the sprayskirt. It keeps all the warmth from yourself trapped and thus warming the kayak from the inside.

But most of you will have your pump with you. So if you paddle the first 15 minutes in range of land it's easy to do a quick check, check pressure and fill it up. This way you do not have to wait those additional 15 minutes.

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