How to pack a skeg kayak

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Tom the Dane
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How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by Tom the Dane » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:34 pm

Hello Hello,

I just got back from a weekend trip in my Prijon Marlin. It has quite a lot of packing/loading volume. I brought my 3-persons tent, my 210 cm 3-season sleeping bag, thermarest, spare clothes, food (freeze dried) cooking gear, 10 Liters of water in PE-bottles and 2 bottles of wine, plus spare shoes. I still had room to spare!

I thought I would like to do a similar trip in my North Shore Atlantic RM. It is a great boat, it paddles beautifully and I can sit in it all day long! But I would get a problem packing it. My 3 person tent does not fit in the rear hatch, the skeg blocks the way. I can only struggle to get it into the front hatch and then I would not get anything else in there. My 3-season sleeping bag compressed just fits into the rear hatch. But I have to struggle to get the hatchcover back on. And I would not have room for anything else, hardly.

It looks a bit better if I bring my 1-person tent. But it is a drag when it rains and I still have the problem with my sleeping bag.

To all of you who do trips in skeg kayaks, how do you pack your boats? What do you bring? Are my utensils too big, do I have to accept my 1-person tent and a small summer sleeping bag? What gear do you bring? What kind of boats do you use for multiday trips? Does the Atlantic have less packing volume than other skeg boats? Or do rudder boats in general have more loading volume than skeg boats? The skeg is not there to reduce the volume or block the way to the back of the rear hatch.

If anyone would have answers to my questions, I would appreciate if you could share your knowledge with me!!!

Sincerely

Tom the Dane

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Mark Gawler
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by Mark Gawler » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:15 pm

The technique is to make your kit fit the shape of the boat. I've paddled with three person tent, but I take the poles out and put them over the skeg box. the tent will squash flatter without the poles in the bag, if necessary get a different bag for the tent so it will make best use of the available space. Water can go in a Ortlieb Water Bag behind the seat, it the beat place for heavy items. For sleeping bag compression,I use a Sea to Summit eVent Dry Compression Sack which gets it small enough. You may need to look at a smaller sleeping bag.
Mark Gawler

PlymouthDamo
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by PlymouthDamo » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:22 pm

What are the packed dimensions of your tent? If it's huge, then maybe you ought to beg/steal/borrow a more compact-when-packed yet spacious model. I use an MSR Hubba Hubba, which meets this criteria, and I keep hearing about another model which is very popular with sea kayakers for this reason but I can't remember the name. (Edit - just remembered: Terra Nova Voyager.)

Alternatively, do what Mark says above. I'm sure you could squash most standard tents into your boat once you've split the bundle up.

Mac50L
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by Mac50L » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:47 pm

Tom the Dane wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:34 pm
... do rudder boats in general have more loading volume than skeg boats?
Tom the Dane
I paddle a low deck, 510 beam kayak and have no problems with a 3 man tent, sleeping bag, food, stove, water, etc. I do tend to leave the full sized cabbage to my partner as her kayak is beamier with a bit more volume.

No problems? No skeg.

From previous discussions and from paddlers I've talked to it comes down to "Why have a skeg" or if you insist on one why badly designed i.e. no cover when retracted? Jamming appears to be the main problem, something you don't have with a rudder - plus no loss of packing volume.

Kirsten
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by Kirsten » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:02 am

Water in bottles/canister can go behind the footpegs or other big stuff which as a durable bag and can get a bit wet (there seems to be always a bit of water in cockpits).

I have 2 seakayaks, both with skeg. One I can take for multiday trips, the other not. From the latter the rear hatch is too low, no chance to get my tent or sleeping back in (even compressed it want to loft immediately). I have volume in the front hatch, but the opening is too small. Oh and with my current trolley no chance to get this thing in the kayak, but I get it in my "big" kayak.
The small one is a Wilderness System Zephyr 15.5 and the "big" one a P&H Cetus MV.

Not myself, but others in my company where in an Atlantic RM on multiday expeditions. But why having a 3 men tent? For one person with luggage a 2 men tent is big enough. If there are 2 of you, then it is one tent and one stove / fuel, which helps with reducing luggage per boat.

10l of water? For how many days? For a weekend? And 2 bottles of wine? For how many persons you had stuff in your kayak?

I think you have to overthink your packing list! Use a lot of small bags, between 8 and 15l is absolutely fine.

Allan Olesen
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by Allan Olesen » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:56 pm

Another piece of advice:
Try to pack some of your bags so they are long and slim, rather than short and bulky. In the front and rear ends of a kayak, you can usually find some space where such bags will fit.

For example, I fold my sleeping mat double before rolling it up, even though it was originally intended to be folded triple. This reduces the rolled up diameter, but the package gets 50% longer.

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MikeB
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by MikeB » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:45 pm

I pack shore clothes in a Lomo taper bag, squeeze all the air out, and it slips down the side of the box. A bottle of whiskey goes down the other side, usually with the poles for a tarp. I have a similar bag (Seal Line taper) for my s/bag, which slips into the front. Like you, I like a big tent, so my Vaude goes right by the front bulkhead, across the boat. Everything else gets packed around it all. Water bag generally sits on the hull, below my knees, or behind the seat.

Weight distribution may be important in your packing plan - my Quest needed to be stern heavy, so the tent went in the rear hatch. The Xcape I now use is lethal with all the weight in the back, so the tent goes for'ard.

pathbrae
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by pathbrae » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:10 pm

hy have a skeg" or if you insist on one why badly designed i.e. no cover when retracted?
I've never come across a skeg without a "cover" - but that's another issue.

My current kayak has an offset skeg box which means I can get my tent right up into the stern of the boat on the wide side and my sleeping mat up the narrow side. On past boats with "normal" central skegs, I had to pack poles and tent separately up either side of the skeg box.

There's an interesting "how to pack a kayak" video by Roddy, available online, which is worth a watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvD59n3AWRY
So much sea - so little time to see it.

Mac50L
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by Mac50L » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:48 am

pathbrae wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:10 pm
a skeg or if you insist on one why badly designed i.e. no cover when retracted?
I've never come across a skeg without a "cover" - but that's another issue.
The bottom not the top. What model, never seen any. Rubber flaps are better than nothing.

As for packing and tapered dry bags, you can make your own and they most likely will have some taper -

http://www.kask.org.nz/dry-bags/

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triwavesport
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by triwavesport » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:27 am

Hi Tom
I too find that splitting into smaller dry bags works well.
For example, I take a 1-season bag, microfibre lining bag (that I use outside the sleeping bag for better comfort), thermal long-johns and thin puffer jacket to sleep in. Adding a fleece Balaclava brings this combo up to 3-season for me and packs into one medium and two small dry sacks, which stuff up past the skeg no problem (all tied to one cord so I can pull them out).
I use the same approach for anything else that will split down.
I prefer a basha to a tent, except if it is midgies season, and that keeps the volume way down. Using a basha is more luxurious than it might seem, if you take a ground sheet and use the kayak and splits as part of the structure.
I carry water in 500 ml plastic bottles which slip in anywhere and can be used to fine tune weight distribution.
I don't like anything in the foot well, but it's surprising what will fit behind the seat.
I make a note of anything I didn't use at the end of each trip, forever fine tuning... Part of the fun!

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Mac50L
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by Mac50L » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:27 pm

So I Googled "basha"

Basha may refer to:

Baasha (king), a Hebrew king
Basha (film), a Tamil movie
Arabic pronunciation of the Turkish title "Pasha", formerly used by some Arab rulers in Ottoman-influenced areas
Basha (title), an Ethiopian rank originally derived from the Turkish "Pasha" but of lower status
Basha, a chain of Lebanese cuisine restaurants in the Greater Montreal area

I can definitely see the last one would be the place to go....... and keep the midges out if you closed the door....

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triwavesport
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by triwavesport » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:57 pm

If you don't have room in your kayak for a chain of Lebanese restaurants, you need a bigger kayak...

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pathbrae
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by pathbrae » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:24 pm

Mac50L wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:48 am

The bottom not the top. What model, never seen any. Rubber flaps are better than nothing.
Ahh - sorry, but we were talking about inside the boat - not about jamming skegs. (for the record - I've never had a skeg jam on me yet)
So much sea - so little time to see it.

Allan Olesen
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Re: How to pack a skeg kayak

Post by Allan Olesen » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:37 am

Mac50L wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:47 pm
No problems? No skeg.

From previous discussions and from paddlers I've talked to it comes down to "Why have a skeg"
Some of us do have skegs. Some of us feel a need to discuss how we most optimally pack gear around that skeg.

I have no doubt that some of us also feel a need to discuss whether a kayak should have a skeg or not.

However, I hope we can all agree that those two discussions belong in separate threads.

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