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  #1  
Old 01-05-2010
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Sit-non Kayak: who uses one?

I have an 8'9" tender (not a big dink, but it does the job).

It has been very useful to get ashore at anchorages and too putter about.

What I want to do with the kayak are the same things. I don't need to ferry gear to a mooring etc. And if I was going where I needed the inflatable I could take it.

I find that I often tow the inflatable around and don't use it.

If you use one of these, how does it work out for you?

Is it realistic to stow an 8 - 9 foot kayak (or perhaps 2?) on the bow without interfering with the jib or anchoring? I see quite a few sailboats with kayaks lashed to the forward stanchions.

How is the kayak for getting in and out of with a 3' freeboard? I do have a dive-ladder that attaches to the hull. This may make entry and exit a bit more graceful.

I have a 26' Nash, if that helps in your suggestions.

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Old 01-05-2010
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We carry at least one with us most times, but not usually in lieu of the dinghy. Most of the sit-on-top kayaks have "self-draining" cockpit seats. That is because they tend to be pretty wet in the seat. Soggy butt wet. So they aren't necessarily a good replacement for the dinghy if you want to arrive at your destination dry. Still, they are a heck of a lot of fun for poking around and swimming.

Another option is the sit-inside kayaks that have a wide open seating area, but down low in the kayak hull rather than on top. These are drier but like the SOT's do not require any special skills. Might be worth checking out.

We secure ours to the side of the coachroof, via the grab rails, along the side decks. The trick is to make sure you have a crappy looking milk crate full of junk bungied in between them.

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Old 01-05-2010
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Thanks John

How easy do you find it getting on and off the kayak? (without going for a swim I mean)
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Old 01-05-2010
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We use them all the time, however ours are not sit-on but sit-in (water isn't always warm enough to put up with the wet butt). They are 9.5 footers and we love 'em. Our inflatable only comes out of its bag if we have company and have to get everyone ashore at once.

Barnacle/oyster/mussel/rock proof, same can't be said about any inflatable. Quick and easy to deploy. We store them on deck and get in/out off the stern ladder. Takes a bit of practice and technique, but nobody's gone swimming unintentionally now for some time.
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Old 01-05-2010
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How easy do you find it getting on and off the kayak? (without going for a swim I mean)
Pretty much as Faster says. But definitely trickier than getting into a dinghy.

I also think that the sit-insides are inherently more stable, with their lower cg, than the SOT's.

We have had some friends on the "heftier" end of the spectrum who've had a bit of difficulty, too. So I guess it partly depends how nimble you are. Our kids have little trouble at all.
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Old 01-05-2010
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I would recommend the sit-in kayaks. They are lighter, faster, sleeker, better for rough weather, and come with more street cred. You would be surprised how easy it is to fit a kayak on deck. It was not a problem to put a 10 footer on my 24' sailboat. They are quite narrow. You may actually find a 10 footer to be easier to stow than a 8 footer. The beam is quite a bit more narrow.

All of this being said, I am trying to sell my kayak and use a small dinghy exclusively. It is just a pain to have a boat that can only fit one person.
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Old 01-06-2010
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Well, sailing a trimaran I don't suffer from the bigger problems that monohull sailors face using a canoe dinghy:

-Lack of deck space
-Difficulty getting in and out due to high freeboard

I had the need to get a canoe for a dinghy because I keep Fulô in a swinging mooring which sits on a place with tides racing up to 2,5Kt, and rowing upstream in an inflatabble prooved to hard of a job to do time and time again...

Having found the commercially available canoe dinghies prices almost a theft (~500€ for a heavyweight mass of cheap polypropylene?!?!?) I decided to build my own.

I've followed these plans:
free plans for a canoe

and for about 120€ (everything included) I've came up with this pirogue:






I'm quite happy with it and I'm sure that with some decking anyone can make it seaworthy enough to use it in choopy waters...

PS- It weighs less than 20Kg

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Old 01-06-2010
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I worked as a kayak guide for years and spent a bit of time on the retail end of things too. Most sit on tops are quite stable and if you have decent balance and mobility they should be no problem with three feet of free board. Thats said my mother would not fair so well. If you look at JohnR's boats you will see that they are flat and wide. That means stable. They will be wet. If you have any decent ability as a kayaker then they would allow for surf landings that would destroy the average dingy. But that requires some skill. Find a good paddling shop that both rents and sells kayaks. Take an introductory lesson and rent a few different models both open and closed and choose from your own experience what would be best for you.
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Old 01-06-2010
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In warmer weather, I much prefer a sit on top kayak as they are much cooler. When I lived in Hawaii, I used my all over the Big Island. Now that I am back in Texas, I have used sit on top kayaks at the coast and on lakes and rivers. They are pretty stable but tricky to get into from a boat. We have a 2 person sit-in large cockpit touring kayak, a long sit in touring kayak, three sit on top kayaks, a whitewater kayak, and a canoe. I have plenty of experience in all of types.

A sailboat slipped a few spaces down from my boat has a bracket attached to the stantions that holds a kayak. The kayak is outside the lifelines so it doesn't clutter the deck. I'll take a picture of it next week and post it. I'm thinking about this as an option.
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Old 01-06-2010
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Quote:
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A sailboat slipped a few spaces down from my boat has a bracket attached to the stantions that holds a kayak. The kayak is outside the lifelines so it doesn't clutter the deck. I'll take a picture of it next week and post it. I'm thinking about this as an option.
I believe Garhauer offers these... they simply clamp onto the bottom of the stanchions....

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