I don't imagine myself ever removing my boots in an emergency. Paddling boots with top straps don't collect all that much water when submerged that you'd notice it while swimming. Stick an open plastic bag under water and note that you can let all the air out to cause water to flow in, but the volume of water collected that way is really small unless you actually force the water in somehow, a process which can't occur when boot tops are strapped shut (water leaks by the straps until all the air is out but water can't be "powered" into the boot past that semi-tight seal to puff them out). However, if for some reason you DO want to take them off while or after swimming, half a minute of swimming will thaw them, since the water you are swimming in is warmer than the freezing point. You can use the same trick for convenience too, so if you want to get your boots off, just stand in shallow water for about a minute and all that ice that caused the boots to be "locked to your feet" promptly disappears. You might need to thaw them that way all over again to get them laced up when you put them back on though.
I've seen the ice-slick rack too. It's a good reason to use good tie-down technique, and gunwale blocks of some kind (I make my own) are great too.
One thing that's tough to deal with is wet ropes that freeze after your boat is tied to the roof. Gosh they are hard to untie, especially if your fingers go numb as quickly as mine do!
Touring Kayak Paddles
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