The ocean cockpit...

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Beryl
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The ocean cockpit...

Post by Beryl »

Does anybody miss these now all general purpose kayaks seem to come with the keyhole style?
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pathbrae
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by pathbrae »

Only when I'm in the boat and launching through surf..... The I remember getting trashed trying to get into the boat in the first place!
So much sea - so little time to see it.

pugwash
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by pugwash »

Interesting point, just printed out the plans for a Shrike build and I’m trying to make up my mind to build with either a keyhole or an ocean cockpit, leaning towards the later because it’s mainly being built to arse around rolling, but would it make it almost impossible to get into, so perhaps the keyhole is a better option? I’ve never paddled anything with an ocean cockpit so difficult to decide.

PlymouthDamo
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by PlymouthDamo »

I've built one boat with an ocean cockpit but knowing what I do now, I'd have built all 3 of my boats with them. The advantages, in order or importance, are:


1. You have really good contact between you and your boat. This also depends on your deck being wrapped around your legs, but if you're building your own boat, you should be able to custom make it to achieve this. You then don't have thigh braces to worry about - just a big flat surface which your thighs can always press on so you can edge/roll the boat from all sorts of contorted positions.

2. To get into an ocean cockpit whilst your boat is floating, you have to learn how to hold your paddle across the back-deck like an outrigger. It's a simple trick to learn and once you've been doing it for a while, you'll suddenly realise you're able to easily re-enter your boat after a swim, as you're just going through the same procedure as when you launch.

3. If it's too rough to re-enter your boat upright, then it's far easier to do a re-entry roll with an ocean cockpit. For one thing, you don't have a long, flappy spraydeck to manage so it's actually easy to pop the spraydeck back on whilst you're still capsized. I've never failed to put my ocean cockpit spraydeck on underwater but I fail more often than not with keyhole cockpits as the big floppy spraydeck has a mind of its own. The other thing is that an ocean cockpit should be set at a steep angle which allows you to slide your legs in without bending your knees.

4. You get a much better seal between the spraydeck and the rim. Much drier.

5. An ocean cockpit can be as wide as you want it - right up to the edges of the deck. That makes rolling a lot easier.

The main disadvantage is that you can't get your bum on the seat before you get your legs in, so you either need to get in on dry land and then scratch the boat into the water or learn the outrigger trick mentioned above. Another potential problem is back-pain associated with having to keep your knees low under the deck. I suffered badly from this (even with keyhole cockpits) but the solution is to do hamstring stretching exercises with the aim of being able to sit on the floor with both legs straight out flat in front of you. When I'm in the habit of doing my stretches, it completely solves the back problem.

Beryl
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by Beryl »

pugwash wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:47 pm
Interesting point, just printed out the plans for a Shrike build and I’m trying to make up my mind to build with either a keyhole or an ocean cockpit, leaning towards the later because it’s mainly being built to arse around rolling, but would it make it almost impossible to get into, so perhaps the keyhole is a better option? I’ve never paddled anything with an ocean cockpit so difficult to decide.
I have exactly the same problem and the Shrike looks especially cool in its ocean clothes. I’ve been swivelling back and forth but the recent acquisition for £18 of a new with tags Reed spraydeck for said profile has settled the matter. I just need to learn to roll before the launch?
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JB-NL
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by JB-NL »

Yes, I do, after over 25 years in an ocean cockpit, I had
-always almost dry;
-chart in front of me and readable;
-minimum damage in case of rescue- exercises;
- no issues during roling..


Although, I have to admit in the Netherlands the conditions for take of and landing are in general easier then in the UK with rocks and rocky beaches..You almost always can get in the cockpit with dry feet... ;)
But even for the times when I was in rocky areas, no issues with the ocean cockpit...

JB
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SJD
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by SJD »

Being cursed with long legs my shins and knees certainly do not miss the ocean cockpit.

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JB-NL
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by JB-NL »

SJD wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:01 pm
Being cursed with long legs my shins and knees certainly do not miss the ocean cockpit.
Can imagine that, a friend was almost 2m and had at that time a Nordkapp with a race cockpit, the smallest there was..he survived...!
JB
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pugwash
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by pugwash »

I have enough problems getting out of a keyhole cockpit, a ‘friend’ described my exit style as resembling ‘a shot water buffalo’.

PlymouthDamo
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by PlymouthDamo »

I wonder if the problems some people have had with getting in or out of an ocean cockpit might be to do with the angle it's been set at? Have a look at the first boat on this page and you'll see an extreme example of how you can make it easy on yourself by having the cockpit angling up towards the front:

viewtopic.php?t=12800


My one's not quite that pronounced, but it's enough that I slide in and out of it naturally without having to think about my shins or knees.

Here's an example of one which I can imagine struggling with:

https://dashpointpirate.typepad.com/the ... aming.html

(The deck does rise upwards, but only forwards of the flat-looking cockpit rim. Although he doesn't mention it in the article, I reckon that must have been the main reason he ended up converting it to a keyhole cockpit.)

overfallpaddler
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Re: The ocean cockpit...

Post by overfallpaddler »

Ocean cockpits are really good and you’re right cockpits are getting bigger and bigger.
Ocean cockpits give a really good fit and variable knee positions. They also keep paddlers in the kayak in big surf.
For FSKs ocean cockpits are good too to allow different leg positions but again as FSKs evolve cockpits are getting bigger to give more freedom on the knees due to having ones knees together.
A Kayaks lifespan does decrease if it has an ocean cockpit due to the difficulty of launching and having to start on the beach but it is possible to practice entries and exits with a paddle behind you which does save the hull.
It’s good to have a good roll to save having to self rescue and obviously the re entry roll is a good skill. I guess it’s just easier to sell boats if they have a keyhole cockpit and they appeal to wide range of persons.

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