Q. What clothing and accessories are recommended?
A. We typically recommend the following but you need to modify this according to paddling conditions and weather: Shirts and shorts made of synthetic blends that wick moisture and dry quickly Windbreaker Hat or visor Sunglasses with strap Shoes that you don't mind getting wet Change of clothes in a dry bag Sunscreen Snacks like Power Bars for quick energy Drinking water Dry set of clothes and footwear for the ride home Important items we provide to students in the classes: Personal flotation device (PFD) Paddle Paddle float Pump and sponge Spray skirt Chart and compass Signal devices (whistle, flashlight, strobe, flares, glow sticks) depending on the paddling location
Q. I am interested in having a foot pump and I was not sure if a foot pump could only be installed if the forward bulkhead was positionned exactly at the paddlers feet and foot rests uninstalled.
A. I've used footpumps on a number of kayaks. The trick is to place the bulkhead far enough away to be able to fit the pump so you can operate it with your feet, and to pad the bulkhead either side of the pump so you have secure foot placement. Essentially you'll need to ask Seaward to position your bulkhead for your leg length plus the depth of the pump, including enough room to work the foot pedal. Pad either side of the pump... I use Styrofoam of the type used for structural building (typically pink, or blue when you buy it) because it is very lightweight, compresses very little, and is inexpensive and easily sourced.
Q. What are the Differences Between Thermoformed Kayaks and Fiberglass Kayaks?
A. A. Thermoforming provides a product similar to fiberglass in appearance , but at a lower cost. A wide variety of expensive, high performance ABS materials are available, but labour requirements are much lower than with fiberglass composite kayaks. Thermoforming technology itself is not new—it has been around as long as plastics themselves. However, recent changes in equipment, process sophistication and the plastics themselves are indeed quite new. . Outer surfaces are harder than HDPE, providing better abrasion resistance, no fuzz-up, . Another change that has brought thermoform technology to the surface is the advancement in adhesives. Modern structural adhesives have made possible the assembly of a variety of plastic parts with high structural integrity. Unfortunately, these adhesives do not work on polyethylene, but they do work very well with the more expensive plastics used in thermoformed kayaks Seaward has since sold its thermoform designs as the philosophy is we have built kayaks that last a lifetime and found that the ABS did not perform as well in demanding conditions. We pride ourselves on kayaks that will stand the test of time and we feel capable to stand behing such as our proven line-up of fiberglass hand made kayaks.
Q. What is the Downside of Thermoformed Kayaks
A. Fiberglass will always have the edge over thermoform kayaks as the ABS degrades over time becoming brittle, scratches on a thermo kayak cannot be painted to match, gelcoat can always be repaired and re-sprayed. Seaward offers a transferable LIFETIME warranty and hold their value over time. ABS kayaks have a very limited warranty. Nevertheless, modern thermoform materials offer great value and performance for recreational sea kayaks, and with reasonable care will provide many years of pleasurable use
Q. Fiberglass vs Kevlar vs Carbon
A. Download the discussion paper here: http://seawardkayaks.com/download/comparing_laminates.pdf
Q. How does the Silhouette handle?
A. First, the Silhouette is designed for more speed and straighter tracking, rather than greater maneuverability.
Q. It seems that the compass location on the Silhouette is further away from the cockpit compared to the Tempest.
A. It accommodates a Silva 70P compass. In N. America the equivalent compass model available is Brunton Watersports Marine Dash Mount Compass 70P. Both fit into the recess provided, but you can fit other models onto the deck. I find that placement far enough from the paddler is essential so the eyes do not drop too far from the horizon to read the compass. Otherwise paddlers experience more seasickness and also some loss of balance when reading the compass in choppy water. This is most apparent when you are relying on your compass to maintain direction for a long time. Admittedly not everyone has good eyesight... mine is getting worse, but I wanted to place it in the ideal position, and let people modify if they need to, rather than place it badly to begin with and let people modify if they need to.
Q. I was wondering why there are no lifelines along the full lenght of the hull/deck seam forward of the cockpit
A. The lifelines are easily changed if you prefer a different pattern. The pattern on the Silhouette is designed to carry a chart under the front deck bungees, and to carry a spare paddle under the rear bungees. The lines are positioned so it is easy for you to lie in the water and move the kayak around you hand-over-hand from end to end without any problem finding a good hand hold. There is no position where you cannot reach out and grab a secure hold. The "V' across the front deck is there so when you need to exit in a hurry during a beach landing, you can grab a line on the front deck to drag the kayak without the kayak flopping onto its side to fill with water. If you grab a perimeter line, the kayak flops onto its side. The same line is the perfect position for a swimmer to hold during a kayak to kayak rescue. There is no line beside the cockpit where it might interfere with the spray-skirt, but the cockpit offers an excellent handhold there. There is no line beside the front hatch, but the line either side is within easy reach. The lines should not be tight (taut is good, tight is not). I have voiced my preference here. Many manufacturers and many stores tighten their lines, in my opinion too tight, so the lines "look good" to the customer, and I have heard customers comment on the lines looking sloppy when they have what I'd consider ideal tension. If they are too tight I'd imagine that's why. I agree it's difficult to lengthen a line if it's cut short. Slacker lines is something you might request if you are custom ordering a kayak.
Q. Would it be good to have some bungees forward of the compass to secure a spare paddle,
A. As far as storing items on deck, the kayak is a serious sea kayak, and as such I would expect very little to be stored on deck, simply because most items on deck will by washed away in conditions. That is why the rear deck has a double bungee across the spare paddle blade rather than a single (and why we use paddle bags http://www.nigelkayaks.com/794/878.html to secure our own spare paddles rather than losing them in the surf zone) I know paddlers who have stretched bungee and/or tube above the compass between the recesses to secure spare paddles on the fore deck... it's possible. Foredeck placement will spray you with more water when waves wash the deck, but it's best to position everything where you want it to be. Seaward are very good at customizing kayaks. You can have self-rescue straps or anchor points fitted behind the cockpit, so it is possible to fit extra bungees or lines. The compromise I planned for the Silhouette has a useful range without being over-the-top or too weighty, and it was thought out carefully with good reasons for each decision, but that doesn't prevent customizing by adding items.
Q. What makes Seaward Kayaks stand above the rest of the Kayak manufactures?
A. Seaward’s reputation is based on quality and innovation. Seaward developed the Self Rescue System (SRS)™, the safeHatch™ system, the smartrudder™ system, paddlersideRDS™ (rudder deployment system), and locking cockpit covers. These are industry leading developments initiated by Seaward kayaks. Seaward’s quest to lead the paddling industry by researching the most productive and quality effective materials, has led it into one of the most far-reaching adaptations in the 21st Century. Seaward’s innovation will become increasingly apparent
Q. What is the weight saving between Fiberglass and Kevlar?
A. Generally speaking, you will tend to save approximately 8-10% with a kevlar kayak depending on model.
Q. How much should I budget for kayaking?
A. You need a boat, gear and clothing. Fiberglass boats run between $3500 and $4000. Other gear such as a paddle, spray skirt, personal floatation device (PFD), paddle float and pump are very important. This list ranges from about $400 to $800 dollars, depending on specifics. What you wear for clothing is important also (cotton is out, as it absorbs water and will chill you when wet). A roof rack with kayak saddles costs $200 to $300.
Q. Which kayak is right for me?
A. To answer that question we are going to need a lot of information: What is your size? Height, weight, foot size, inseam, athletic ability, disabilities, etc.. How do you plan to use it? Day trips (70%), overnights (15%), week or longer trips (10%), fishing (5%) etc. Where do you plan to use it? The local river, small lakes, big lakes subject to high winds, the exposed open coast and exploring sea caves? What other kayaks have you tried and which ones did you like best? Why? As you can see there is a lot to consider and it would be difficult to try to cover all the various combinations possible here or in a written description to arrive at the best choice for you. We suggest you give us a call and tell us as much of the above information as you can. That way we can ask additional questions and at least shorten your list of kayaks to test and compare to those that would be most suitable for you. If you can't try them in person before choosing we will be happy to choose the one we think is most suited for you and back up our choice with our 30 day return policy. You risk only the freight costs
Q. Where is the kayaks serial number located
A. The serial number is located just below the seam line at the stern on the right hand side. It is also layed up in the boat in the rear hatch on the underside of the deck.
Q. What do "beam" and "rocker" mean?
A. The beam of a boat is its width and, generally, the wider the beam the more stable the kayak. To understand rocker, imagine looking at the side profile of a kayak – the more it looks like a banana the more rocker it has and the easier it will be to turn (and, conversely, the greater challenge it will be to paddle straight). On a river with lots of obstacles, you would want a boat with more rocker for quicker turns. On the ocean and for long straight paddles, a kayak with less rocker is preferable.
Q. How should the boat fit?
A. You can pad any boat, but it should fit you fairly well to begin with. Your contact points with the boat are your feet, your knees (on the underside of the deck), your hips (on the sides of the seat), and your butt (on the seat). Some boats fit big people better, some are better for small folks. The size of your feet is a consideration too. In general, a sea kayak needs to be comfortable because you are going to be in it all day, perhaps without a break. Some people prefer a looser fit in a sea kayak than in a whitewater boat, allowing space to stretch and move about. Another thing to consider is cockpit size. A larger cockpit can make it easier for a person to enter and exit a boat. A smaller cockpit is preferred by some because it is considered more watertight.
Q. Do I need a rudder?
A. You might require a rudder to go straight(highly rockered kayaks), or you might just want a rudder so you don't have to worry about steering. Look for a design that is durable, easily stowed, and which has a footbrace design you can live with. Like rigging, this is something you can modify if you are willing to do the work. An alternative to a rudder is a skeg, either permanent or retractable, which is basically a fixed rudder. It will not help steer, but it will help go straight. A properly designed rudder should be able to stand up to a lot of abuse including resting the kayak on end on it. A rudder should not be necessary for you to control your kayak, and you should work on paddle technique without the rudder becoming a crutch. Two boat characteristics that a rudder or skeg can help with are the boat's tendency to weathercock, and the boat's tendency to broach. Weathercocking occurs when there is a wind in the front quarter or beam of the boat. Because of their aerodynamics/hydrodynamics, many boats will tend to try to turn into a wind when they are moving forward because the bow of the boat is held in place by the bow wave generated by the boat's forward movement, while the stern is free to pivot. A boat that weathercocks is safer than one in which the bow is blown downwind as it is very difficult to turn a boat with this characteristic into the wind. Broaching is the boat's tendency to turn sideways to a wave coming from the stern or rear quarter of the boat. This happens because the water in waves is moving more slowly in the trough of the wave than at the crest, making the stern of the boat try to 'catch up' to the bow.
Q. How do I repair a Fiberglass Kayak?
A. We have found seval good articals online for fiberglass repairs. http://www.atlantickayaktours.com/pages/expertcenter/repairs/gel-repair/Gel-Coat-Repair-1.shtml or http://www.trails.com/how_40021_fiberglass-kayak-repair-instructions.html
Q. Regular Maintanance for Fiberglass kayaks
A. After use, rinse kayak with clean water, including rudder, foot pedals, seat foam and neoprene covers. Store the kayak with the neoprene covers and seat pad removed as this will make the shorck cord last for several years to come. Periodically spray a cloth with 303 Protectant and wipe the entire kayak to prevent fading and oxidation. IF the kayak is stored outside, store it with the hull facing up. Do not install the cockpit cover and hatch covers unless the kayak is completely dry inside.
Q. How should I transport my kayak?
A. Kayaks can be transported cockpit-side down, on their sides with appropriate rack accessories (like Stackers or J-style hull supports) or cockpit-side up using cradles, saddles or foam blocks. Run two straps around the hull to the roof rack, as close to you bulkheads as you can. Run lines from the bow and stern to both bumpers of your vehicle. Keep the lines snug, and take care not to harm your boat. The manufacturer of your roof rack may have special instructions and weight recommendations for carrying boats on your vehicle. Check with the rack manufacturer if you have questions.