Boat Building Forum

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Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles diminishing returns

Are we building kayaks to be used, or 'objets d'art'?

Both, and making choices based on how we intend to use the object are fully consistent with both.

For serious safety out on the water, we should always be followed by a fully crewed Coast Guard vessel and a helicopter hovering overhead. When the poop hits the fan, deck lines and grab toggles can fail. What is your back up? As you said, you can't anticipate everything.

Unfortunately Coast Guard escort is expensive and a big white and red diesel powered ship following us around kind of ruins the experience. Helicopters are loud and the down draft makes it hard to surf. We wouldn't choose to have either around even if money was no object.

I have never heard of any fatalities due to lack of outfitting. Most casualties are because someone didn't know that kayaking (in the cold, or with an off-shore wind, or in a fog, or while drunk ...) is dangerous. Almost all these casualties could have been prevented if the victim had worn a life jacket. Full outfitting combined with someone who has trained in its use typically only makes an incident easier to deal with, rarely is a perimeter line the difference between life or death. If you are cutting it so close that a free hanging toggle vs one on a bungie, is all that remains to save you, you were probably way over your head before you got to that situation.

I've made kayaks with no deck lines or grab loops, and i've made kayaks with full perimeter lines, grab toggles, day hatches, etc. Whether or not you think such things make the kayak look better or worse, it is indisputable that they look different. And since there is a difference, a decision has to be made. Personally, I like both looks, but they are very different. I base my choice on the intended use.

People are quite capable of looking at these things, and balancing between the tiny lowering of risk by letting a grab toggle hang free vs the daily bother of hearing it knock against the side, and making a choice.

You make your choice, but it isn't any more correct than anyone else's choice, its just a balancing of priorities. If you go out in situations where these things are very necessary, you are certainly in more danger than the guy with no safety outfitting that only uses his kayak on 80°F days on his local pond. Simply wearing a life jacket will mitigate most of the remainining risk.

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S&G: Kayak grab handles
Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles *PIC*
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Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles *PIC*
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Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles *PIC*
Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles
Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles *PIC*
Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles *PIC*
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Fake News Handles?
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Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles
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Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles diminishing returns
Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles diminishing returns
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Re: Cold water kills
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Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles
Re: S&G: Kayak grab handles