Loading a boat^

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jamesl2play
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Loading a boat^

Post by jamesl2play » Tue May 03, 2011 5:57 pm

There are a couple of threads running about circumnavigations. The one going round Ireland shows all the kit laid out. Some paddlers on here do an overnighter quite regularly and I was just wondering who puts what where.
Assuming the standard layout of two main hatches and a day hatch what goes in each one?

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MikeB
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by MikeB » Tue May 03, 2011 6:10 pm

Front
Sleeping bag
Thermarest mat
Chair kit for the Thermarest (absolute godsend of an invention!)
Wash kit
Plates & cutlery, washing up kit, cooking bits n bobs.
Waterproof jacket & trousers
Boots
Trangia (or pot set if taking MSR)
Carry straps

Day hatch
First Aid
Repair / emergency kit
"Bag of precious things"
24 hr emergency rations
Gas cylinders (or MSR & spare fuel bottle)
Saw
Cutting board
Head torch
Lunch bag
Assorted other stuff, and misc odds n ends like book, smokes, hat, pogies.

Rear hatch
Tent
Poles & pegs
Groundsheet protector
On shore clothes / spare clothes
Enough Magners for the trip
Jamiesons.
Dinner and breakfast bag.

How it all goes in is beyond me every time. And every time my pals have to help lift the thing they remind me how much I carry and how much it weighs! I note however that it's often me they come to when they need to fix something --

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Taran Tyla
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by Taran Tyla » Tue May 03, 2011 6:32 pm

I probably should be shot as I haven't practiced loading my kayak for my Wales circumnavigation yet.
I was thinking along the lines of Mikes description, the important bit is the trim. Some items are heavy & I need to give some thought to where these go.
Another important bit for me is what goes in the day hatch. I'm planning on putting 12 bottles of powerade in the day hatch as its closest to my body & less likely to screw up the trim , stove & T bags for cups of T at lunch time, Snacks, camera mount, first aid kit, head torch & a smoke flare.
My food bags are quite heavy & I'll have 2 litres of water also & I plan to move these during my trip if needed to alter the trim & handling of my kayak & will have to judge this each day & supplies go down.

Oh, & another important bit is to hope the kayak still floats! :D

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Re: Loading a boat

Post by Fast Pat » Tue May 03, 2011 6:45 pm

Taran Tyla wrote:I'm planning on putting 12 bottles of powerade in the day hatch as its closest to my body & less likely to screw up the trim ,
What? Why not just take an isotonic powder to mix up en route if you like that sort of thing?

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Taran Tyla
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by Taran Tyla » Tue May 03, 2011 6:47 pm

LOL, would be better but I was given a few crates from my mate Scott who works for coca cola...

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MikeB
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by MikeB » Tue May 03, 2011 6:51 pm

Taran Tyla wrote:I was thinking along the lines of Mikes description, the important bit is the trim. Some items are heavy & I need to give some thought to where these go.
Very good point - people speak of packing to alter the trim depending on conditions, but I prefer to have a fairly standard packing routine. Certianly heavy stuff (in my case, the tent) is best close to the middle of the boat, and all the heavy stuff is always behind me to trim stern heavy. I carry 10 litres of water in a bag which just sits on the hull below my knees (which always worries me slightly). There's a flask secured behind the seat as well.

I also use a deck bag - which carries flares, camera and other things I want when afloat, like on-water repair tape (denso) and choc bars. I've never been able to successfully rotate in the boat enough to be able to open the day hatch, find and remove things from it, and reseal in when actually on the water. I use a Platypus in my ba to have drinking water easily available afloat.

VHF and various other things I might need on the water are also in the ba.

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Mark R
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by Mark R » Tue May 03, 2011 7:34 pm

I suspect that there is a bit of mythology here; I have loaded boats hundreds of times in as many different ways, but have never yet noticed any difference in boat handling. Makes sense to stick the hefty stuff (e.g. full water bags) near your body, though.

Boring sensible people like my wife group gear into bags earmarked as kitchen, bathroom, wardrobe, bed, larder, etc.
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sleepybubble
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by sleepybubble » Tue May 03, 2011 7:51 pm

Mark R wrote:I suspect that there is a bit of mythology here; I have loaded boats hundreds of times in as many different ways, but have never yet noticed any difference in boat handling. Makes sense to stick the hefty stuff (e.g. full water bags) near your body, though.

Boring sensible people like my wife group gear into bags earmarked as kitchen, bathroom, wardrobe, bed, larder, etc.
I only have one rule, well actually two. Rule one, do not put anything metal anywhere near the compass. Rule two, keep liquid near the bottom.

Orderliness is only an issue if camping for more than one night, and as I found out at the weekend is a lot easier to pack a boat in hot weather. a) because thee is less stuff b) becasue everything is dry going in.


Mark

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MikeB
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by MikeB » Tue May 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Mark R wrote:I suspect that there is a bit of mythology here; I have loaded boats hundreds of times in as many different ways, but have never yet noticed any difference in boat handling. Makes sense to stick the hefty stuff (e.g. full water bags) near your body, though.

Boring sensible people like my wife group gear into bags earmarked as kitchen, bathroom, wardrobe, bed, larder, etc.
I once loaded the Quest nose heavy - it was an absolute pig to handle, insisting on weathercocking irrespective of the skeg. That was with a 10 ltr water bag in the front hatch (right back by the bulkhead) instead of the cockpit just in front of the seat. A mistake I've never made again.

One other detail point worthy of thought is to make sure that anything in the front hatch doesn't effect the compass, if one is fitted.

Heather is a paragon of delightful organisational ability - the sort that means you can find what you need when you need it.

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Mark R
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by Mark R » Tue May 03, 2011 7:55 pm

sleepybubble wrote:Rule one, do not put anything metal anywhere near the compass.
Several hefty camera lenses in my front hatch meant that when we launched into heat haze for the Ailsa Craig crossing last week, my wife pointed in one direction, whilst I pointed in another.

Oops...good job she was there, or I would have been heading for the Mull of Kintyre.
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sleepybubble
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by sleepybubble » Tue May 03, 2011 8:04 pm

Mark R wrote:
sleepybubble wrote:Rule one, do not put anything metal anywhere near the compass.
Several hefty camera lenses in my front hatch meant that when we launched into heat haze for the Ailsa Craig crossing last week, my wife pointed in one direction, whilst I pointed in another.

Oops...good job she was there, or I would have been heading for the Mull of Kintyre.

ahhh there you go..... I have a third rule. Just rerembered. Never put anything beyond the skeg box that you ever want back.

sleepybubble
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by sleepybubble » Tue May 03, 2011 8:16 pm

MikeB wrote:
I carry 10 litres of water in a bag which just sits on the hull below my knees (which always worries me slightly)
How much? thats a big blob of wieght in one place.... which sounds unfixed. I'd spread that load into smaller containers.
MikeB wrote:
I use a Platypus in my ba to have drinking water easily available afloat.
If/when I'm using a drinks tube thingy I keep the bag in the cockpit bungeed by the front seat edge, and run the tube up the inside of my spraydeck. For two reasons, if I had to roll its less wieght to bring up. Secondly 2kg's of water bearing down on your shoulders all day can be tiring.


Mark

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MikeB
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by MikeB » Tue May 03, 2011 9:32 pm

Indeed - 10kg - when the bag finally dies it'll be repalced with a couple of 5 ltr bags - and I keep meaning to add some way of securing it - - - although it's never moved it does concern me having it floating around in the cockpit in the event of a rescue.

The Platy is 1 ltr - I can't say the weight has ever been an issue - not too sure about the faff factor of threading the tube up the waist tube but I take the point about keeping weight low.

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Re: Loading a boat

Post by Owen » Tue May 03, 2011 9:54 pm

sleepybubble wrote: ahhh there you go..... I have a third rule. Just rerembered. Never put anything beyond the skeg box that you ever want back.
I have a very long thin drybag something like 4 ft by 6 ins diameter. It takes my sleeping mat, sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner. It's just the right size to squeeze down the side of my skeg and goes right to the end of my kayak and it's long enough to be able to pull it back again. My tent - less the poles - goes the other side of the skeg box. I've never thought of tents as heavy things but then even my big tent is less than half the size of Mike B's hummongus orange erection. Where everything else goes depends on how long I'm away for and how much food I'll have. I think all this packing the kayak front/back heavy to trim it for the conditions is crap. What happens if you need to turn around? I always try and keep it floating on an even keel.
For water I just use the inner bags out of wine boxes, normally two or three behind the seat.

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MikeB
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by MikeB » Tue May 03, 2011 10:00 pm

I've never thought of tents as heavy things but then even my big tent is less than half the size of Mike B's hummongus orange erection.
Indeed - I'm resisting the temptation to comment - - - it's the end product of an unfortunate experience with a MkII Vaude which proved truly dreadful, and unreliable, and the need to get a tent with as much internal length as possible. A Vaude Power Atreus - which broke a pole at the w/end in totally benign conditions, and on close inspection proved to have a number of tiny stress cracks at almost every other joint.

The whole set has been returned to Vaude with a request to replace. It'll be interesting to see what happens - - -

I do like the space, but it's a big heavy beast of a thing, and bulky. That's a big Hilleberg Keron GT beside it, and the Vaude is taller and almost as long.

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Re: Loading a boat

Post by Owen » Tue May 03, 2011 10:10 pm

MikeB wrote:[

A Vaude Power Atreus - which broke a pole at the w/end in totally benign conditions, and on close inspection proved to have a number of tiny stress cracks at almost every other joint.
Are you sure that wasn't Tracy, I heard she was falling about the place quite a bit! I think I missed a really good trip.

sleepybubble
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by sleepybubble » Tue May 03, 2011 10:30 pm

Owen wrote:
For water I just use the inner bags out of wine boxes, normally two or three behind the seat.
Really, I use those for wine, it would be far too confusing if they had water in them :) I tend to raid our recycling bin for whatever plastic bottles happen to be in it. Then return them there at the end of a trip. I used to use the wine bags but they are a pain to dry out between trips and get fusty over time, plus they are a bit too easy to pierce. I do keep one in my repair it though. Useful as an inflatable stopper if you were ever to snap the end of your boat....

I had a can of Guiness which split beyond my Skeg box on a particularly rough trip, I do have long stuff which pokes down the sides of the skeg box it was more a caution against stuffing small singular items up there on their own.

Mark

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MikeB
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by MikeB » Tue May 03, 2011 10:33 pm

Having once spent a frustrating 30 mins trying to extract a full bottle of Jamiesons which was stuck behind the skeg box I now attach a line to anything down there!

Owen - it was stunning! I pitched beside the bothy at Uags so can't blame Tracey - --

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Kate D
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Re: Loading a boat^

Post by Kate D » Tue May 03, 2011 11:00 pm

Here are a couple of pictures of my boat with all the kit I packed for a 4 day solo trip. The kit is placed more or less next to the hatch is it intended to go in. The boat is a Cetus LV, so smaller than most, but does have a custom bulkhead in front making the front compartment about a foot longer than is standard.

Image

Image

The pointy yellow dry bag in the front contains sleeping bag, thermarest, and clothes. The little yellow bags contain more clothes including a buffalo coat and my washkit. The blue bag is my tent.

My camera goes in the big grey drybag on the deck.

The back compartment has a black drybag full of food, a smaller drybag which I can't remember what was in it, a bottle of water and my portage trolley, and I probably put a pair of shoes in but they are not in the picture.

The day hatch has stove, repair kit, gas, drinks, first aid kit, phone and flares.

The sweetie hatch on the front deck has VHF, sunglasses a drink and probably some munchies.

I travel fairly light and still have room for a trolley inside the boat.

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Jim
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Re: Loading a boat

Post by Jim » Wed May 04, 2011 1:33 am

Mark R wrote:I suspect that there is a bit of mythology here; I have loaded boats hundreds of times in as many different ways, but have never yet noticed any difference in boat handling. Makes sense to stick the hefty stuff (e.g. full water bags) near your body, though.
I think this depends a lot on what your boat is and how it is equipped. If for example you have a skeg or rudder, it seems to be possible to get away with a wide range of trim before you make the boat un-handlable (I have seen it once on a skegged boat, the bow was so heavy it carved around in circles, even with a stronger paddler towing to keep it straight). A boat without a skeg or rudder will be more sensitive.

Personally I have learned to always trim my Sea King by the stern, whether lightly loaded for a day trip, or heavily loaded for a week away. The reason is that there the keel rises more quickly aft so doesn't bite the water as well, allowing it to weathercock even with nothing on the deck. If I get the stern well enough planted in the first place, I can cope with a large bag on the aft deck (although I like to balance it with deck junk up forward. Leecocking has rarely been an issue, I think because you drive the boat forwards you can compensate for it much more easily (the bow tries to get past you against your paddling) than weathercocking (where the stern overtakes you meaning you have to paddle faster than the wind to compensate). That said, there isn't much science to it, I just guesstimate the weight I am adding to each end and make sure I get a bit more in the back. I had a weathercocking issue going to Arran a few months ago, when we landed for a snack and tea I moved my flask and maybe (nearly empty) lunchbox from the front hatch to the back hatch and it made enough difference for the final leg. I now try to keep the flask behind the seat.
Mark R wrote:Boring sensible people like my wife group gear into bags earmarked as kitchen, bathroom, wardrobe, bed, larder, etc.
I sort of do that, except I can never get my head round it in advance and get some things in the wrong places (and then empty lots of stuff out to make it fit, leave stuff behind and then repack it less well organised. Usually by about the 3rd day away I have everything sorted into the right place, so when I say pull out my lunchbox it has all I need to make my lunch and none of the bits for my dinner, which also means it can stay in the boat when unpacking for the night. It can get quite obsessive :-)

So to answer the original question, packing for week:
(This makes Mikes list look puny!)

Front hatch (17cm round)
Thermarest (permanently in an old long chair kit - na na na na nah!)
Tent poles (and chair kit poles)
Tent (it should weigh under 2kg and takes up more than 2l of space so seems light to me)
Some small bottles of water or beer to wedge the above in place as far forward as possible.
Sleeping bag in tapered bag, can get half in out of the hatch, have to stuff the rest in as I go and then fight with the seal, when I get it right this just about comes to the edge of the hatch.
2 lightweight pillows in drybag (1 is never enough)
2 plastic boxes containing lunch stuff - idea is to have one with the days lunch and the other with stuff for future days, like i say it never works at the start of the trip.
Mug
Bottle of tea bags (Earl Grey, very important)
Bothy bag
Tarp (use as porch groundsheet)
Dry bag with hat and gloves, also dry bag with toilet roll, often double wrapped inside this one.
Miscellany to fill the hatch right up, usually about 4 cans beer, sometimes shoes/boots, towel, waterproofs, alternative cag/dry trousers - basically stuff I might want out in the day (because I have splits over the rear hatch so avoid going into it during the day) or stuff I was planning to wear but decided it was too hot just before I got on.

Rear hatch (17cm round)
Tapered dry bag full of clothes - if I'm realistic half as much underwear as days on trip, 1 full change right in the bottom for use in dire emergency, spare warm/campfire fleece and fleece trousers (the ones for campfire wear have spark holes) and a thermal or 2 because they take up little room.
Sometimes a second/overflow bag with some of the above but more as spares for on the water, like when some days are hot and some cold, a thin fleece will usually end up in this bag more than being worn. Also spare spray deck, possibly spare cag (I often take a 20+ year old wind cag and shorty cag as options because not every day demands a drysuit, and I've never splashed out on a fancy touring cag)
Trangia with gas conversion kit
Mess tin set with pocket rocket and cutlery hidden inside - when solo I should really take these out of the tins because the trangia pots are enough. If I am trying hard to go lightweight I will ditch the trangia and have enough to cook meals in the mess tins, but I prefer to have 2 stoves available.
Possibly gas canisters, they often end up elsewhere.
Plastic container with generic cooking accessories - actually I often only use the tin opener out of it these days....
Screw top beaker with washing up kit
Dry bag with maps/charts/bits of pilot/tide tables/book for other days
Toiletries
LW Radio
Headtorch and other camping bits and bobs.
Against the bulkhead will be a stack of tinned food
Also in similar area will be plastic pots containing stuff like porridge, sugar, sultanas, rice, ingredients for specific meals. Probably some pasta'n'sauce packets as emergency rations.
Teatowel (if I managed to contact Helen to buy me one on the way up)

Behind my seat (similar volume to most day hatches but no bulkhead or hatch, just access from the seat).
This year I am trying a 10L solid water carrier in here which has displaced 1 or 2 pelicase 1200's so I have to be more careful choosing spare camera gear - spare lens and stuff went in dry bags in rear hatch instead.
Smaller water bottles for day use etc. (0.5-1l)
Beer
Flask
Dry bag with flares
Dry bag with important stuff, phone, wallet etc (all in aquapacs inside it) - this sometimes goes under my knees instead.
Sometimes gas canisters but I don't like getting the threads salty
Cockpit cover (why turn the boat over at night when you have splits and compass on deck to damage?)
Carry straps
Battery box for pump (pump in front of seat)
Trowel
Sponge

The fact is that over the years I have fitted all sorts in this space - pelicases, stove, food, hike boots, but always with a lot of loose water bottles which I am trying to cut down on - I am not sure the 10l jerry can is the right solution though.

Footrest (my foam footrest has a recess carved for a BDH bottle)
Gas canisters
Gaffer tape
Penknife
Repair kit items
Ultrapod
Mainly stuff I think might puncture drybags.

Rear deck
Splits
Paddle float shares elastic with
Towline
Often a big dry bag, sometimes double wrapped, usually containing little more than my hike boots (so many spots defeat trainers) and drysuit (or alternatives if they won't fit inside). Rarely extra beer.

Front deck
Map case
GPS
Camelback (no, can't stand wearing it in the boat) - pocket takes glasses case, chocolate/flapjack etc.
Maybe an extra water bottle for longer days
Camera bag
Sometimes a small dry bag with overflow items to help balance a big bag on the back - on latest trip it had 4 cans of beer (none in rear bag) some karrimat (for insulating gas bottles, about a 6 or 8 inch strip) and I can't for the life of me remember the other thing, it fitted inside the tube I made with the karrimat - ah yes, that's where my big lens started off. I forgot it was there when trying to take photos of an eagle with a much smaller lens and wishing I hadn't packed the big lens away somewhere.... it was 4" from the camera bag all along - doh!

On my person
Miniflares
Pogies
Whistle
Noseclip (rarely use at sea)
Paddlok key
Chocolate or nuts and raisins etc.
VHF
Strobe on rear of shoulder strap

So basically, heaviest stuff behind the seat or close to the bulkheads
Lunch stuff goes in the front because no day hatch, so other stuff I don't need for camp tend to go there too (i.e. bothy bag)
Tent/thermarest/sleeping bag all in the front, if weather is awful can set up camp essentials from just the front hatch.
Cooking and general camp stuff is together in the back, aim to keep food in front of the hatch and only unload the days rations, clothes are up the back and generally open the bag in the hatch and grab the odd item I need and stuff the bag back up the stern straight away.

One word of warning - if you have a skeg and pack a separate dry bag with your emergency dry clothes, the chances are you will stuff that bag in first and it will get behind the skeg and never be seen again, until you unload into the car on the last day. After bivvying in what became a bit of a stream, one friend was dismayed to find he had apparently left his emergency dry clothes behind and had to shiver by the fire trying to dry the set he was wearing (and his sleeping bag) - over several evenings. He was more dismayed unpacking at the end of the trip when the bag he had been looking for turned out to have been hiding behind the skeg the whole time....

Do I have too much?

Yes.

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