I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

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Anna Liffey
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I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Anna Liffey » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:02 pm

Hello Sea paddlers/Experts,

I am a female intermediate river paddler, I have been paddle since 1980s, I guess most of my grade III paddling days are over – unfortunately, age and other commitments has reduced not only my skills but also my strength and grit.. But I still paddle as much as I can on flat water and some grade II trips. I have always been paddling around the coast (Ireland), using a GP plastic boat (Perception Dancer). Now I’d like to do more sea paddling and some over-night trips which the Dancer (and myself) cannot cope with. I’d like a boat which was stable and easily steered, also fast so as I can keep up with the stronger paddlers in the group (mostly men). As I am an independent paddler I don’t want a boat that is too heavy to put on the car.
I was hoping to buy a good second-hand boat on-line (probably Wales/England/Scotland). Part of the problem is, if I’m looking for a good deal, I guess I’ll have to get a ferry and take my car to buy a boat. (could tie it in with a canoeing break) I won’t have a good opportunity to try a range of boats out, so, if anyone can give me a list of boats to be on the lookout for – I would be grateful.
Regards
Anna Liffey

Irish Sea
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Irish Sea » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:55 pm

Hi Anna,
I don't know where you are based in Ireland but maybe either joining a club or doing some courses with one of the commercial providers could be a good thing for you. Not only could you freshen up your skills a bit but it would also give you the opportunity to test paddle a couple of different sea kayaks so you get a bit of a better idea of what you want from your new boat. Recommending boats blindly is always going to be very tricky.

TheEcho
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by TheEcho » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:11 pm

In terms of categories of boats, sea kayaks come in plastic or composite. Composite will help with two of your objectives - lighter and faster - but will cost more, so you need to consider what your budget is.

Chris Bolton
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:58 pm

It's always difficult to meet all the things we want in a boat - stable, easily steered, fast, light, not too expensive… so you may need to compromise. I paddle a Rockpool GT, which is a good compromise between fast and steerable, and is just over 20kg. But it's a big boat, and may not suit a smaller or lighter paddler. Guessing your approximate location from your username, if you take the ferry to Holyhead, you'd be well placed to try demo boats from Rockpool or NDK, or see what Pete Baars has at Summit to Sea, and you wouldn't necessarily need to bring a car over.

Anna Liffey
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Anna Liffey » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:40 pm

Hey guys,
Thanks for replies,

Irish Sea, Yeah, I have come to realise that personal recommendation is tricky. I spent quite a bit time over that last day or two looking a boat spec and recommendations. While I feel that type of research is still important, ultimately, as TheEcho indicates I’ve realised:
Compromise is required
Budget will influence choice
Easier to sell on second hand boat if wrong choice is made
I can only buy what is available (second hand)
CB – thanks for your recommendations and the Summit to Sea website – actually that’s my first look at new boats. Probably 'new' is out of my budget but still helpful.
In all my searching I’ve come to the conclusion: get a sea kayak coach who can:
- improve my sea paddling skill and knowledge
- recommend which boat/s to try/buy
Hey thanks again
Go raibh maith agat
Anna Liffey

Keep me posted if anything else comes to mind.

pathbrae
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by pathbrae » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:02 pm

Keep an eye on the "Private Sales" bit of this forum. Most sellers will be happy to let you try a boat to see if it works for you and if they are close enough it might be an easy way to get to try some boats. Getting yourself to one of the symposiums (symposia?) is an excellent way to get to try loads of boats, get some coaching and meet up with other paddlers and see what they have done to make life easier for themselves.
Hiring is another option to let you have a longer spell in a boat, let you see how it behaves when empty and how it behaves when you pack it with camping kit, food and drink etc.
Don't forget to budget for all the other sea-specific bits and pieces too. Compact light camping and cooking kit, dry bags, VHF, touring paddles, dry suit, BA with pockets, Tilley hat, wellys, beard..... :-)
Last edited by pathbrae on Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:02 pm

If you can't find a suitable sea kayak coach, there are lots in Anglesey. If second-hand composite boats are hard to find in Ireland, you may find that bringing one over from Wales or England may mean you could, if necessary, sell it for more than you paid. Do you know whether the ferries allow pedestrians to take boats on, and if so, at what cost? I ask because I know the Scottish ferries treat kayaks on trolleys as the same as bicycles, and don't charge.

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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by charleston14 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:06 pm

One tip re weight of the kayak

You don’t have to lift the whole sea kayak onto the car in one go, if you have a side loading arm or j bars.

Put kayak alongside the car about 5 feet away. Lift the bow up and across onto the j bar or side loading arm. Leave it there. Now walk to the stern and pick it up then lift up a to the other j bar or roof bar. If using a side loading arm you then slide the bow sideways onto the roof rack.

I can easily put a 26kg sea kayak onto my car on my own without risk to my shoulders. Before I had j bars I used a side loading arm that was just a tent awning pole that was gaffer taped to the front roof bar with a section inside it that sides out about 3 feet. It had a 90 degree bend on the end to stop the kayak sliding off.
Scorpio LV

Anna Liffey
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Anna Liffey » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:23 pm

Hey, so much good advice,

Great advice from Pathbrea – something to think about re: other paddlers??? Time is short and other people tend to be busy trying to dip their own paddle and for me at least at present a local sea kayaking club would not be the answer (but Pathbrea you’re right!).
And all those other items I’d need – well they’ll be a pretty comprehensive Christmas/birthday list – I’d think (Tilley hat???).
CB – interesting option about an Anglesey coach, could maybe hire one for a weekend of work in Ireland. And excellent fact regarding ferries, definitely worth looking into, that would open up a lot of options.
Charleston14 – must look into that, you make it sound so easy, yet if I put that to any of my ‘desingers and craft persons’ here, I think there would be a lot of head scratching. But leave it with me – where there’s a will, there’s a way – yeah!
Thanks so much everyone for advice – you have definitely gave me a lot to think about.
I have contacted a sea kayak coach here and presently awaiting a reply.

By the way it not as if I haven’t paddled and camped for years on rivers and also some really brilliant short sea trip around the North, West and East coast of Ireland(and it's islands) – it just I think you get set in your ways and easily fall behind the times (with technology etc), especially if just paddle with the same small (but happy) group of people all the time. But as Pathbrea says – so much sea……

Go raibh maith agat
Anna Liffey

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MikeB
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by MikeB » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:24 pm

The Irish sea-kayaking scene is very vibrant I hear. You've mentioned you've engaged a coach, and I'm wondering if there are any clubs local to you. If you don't know them already, seek out ISKA on http://www.iska.ie/

Rainshine
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Rainshine » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:29 am

Anna
I paddle very regularly in Ireland - mostly West Coast. I'm a member of ISKA which I highly recommend you join. Its not a club and you need to have your own gear but the people are fantastic, there are meets all round the country through the summer and a symposium in October. If you want contacts or suggestions for people to get in touch with pretty much anywhere in Ireland, please just send me a private message on here and I will do what I can to help you. If you want to try boats out before you buy something I can probably help you out with contacts for that too. There are a couple of us who go back and forward between Ireland and Scotland regularly and are happy to bring boats over for people who've bought them outside of Ireland.

Anna Liffey
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Anna Liffey » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:27 pm

Thanks,
Mike B and Rainshine - I investigated the iska site and it's an option - but probably for next year at this stage.
I think I need to get a boat (and competence/stamina etc) before I would/could join with them on a trip.
So that will be my aim.
Although, if I have the right boat I could paddle those trips 'independently, NOT solo' but independently. BUT a group like iska would be add an element of knowledge and comradely, an opportunity to make new acquaintances.
So yeah, as I thought - I need the right boat (I'm too slow in the Dancer) and then get out on the water with it. And also need to get some sea kayaking gear.
But budget-wise, I thought the fact there are more boats available in Wales, England and Scotland would: increase my choices, provide a good supply for quick purchase and also prove to be better value. And I need to get a paddling expert/coach (not a sales person) to help me choose a good boat to start with, yeah maybe creating a shortlist and then try out whatever boats I can - and then Just Get It Done!!!!
Rainshine - good points and thanks for the offers of help, I will be in touch.
Go raibh maith agat
Anna

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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Allan Olesen » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:26 am

Anna Liffey wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:23 pm
(Tilley hat???)
An absolutely indispensable piece of sea kayaking equipment.

If you are going on a kayaking trip and have to choose between bringing your paddles and bringing the Tilley hat, you should choose the hat and paddle with your hands or a piece of lumber.

Anna Liffey
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Re: I want to paddle in the sea - around the coast

Post by Anna Liffey » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:56 am

AO - will check that. ;-]
OK googled it
Actually I think we have one, we call it a Connemara hat.

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