In defense of rec boats Posted by: bartc on Feb-07-13 8:25 AM (EST)
...one of which I paddle happily in not always flat conditions, it's three things that make it unsuitable for big wave action:
1) flotation, which CAN be cured with float bags front and back;
2) wide shape makes them subject to much more force in wind and tide or opposing waves, so harder to handle, which you cannot cure;
3) flat bottom makes them very unstable when hit from the sides by wave action, and that's the kicker that turns them over and turns "unsuitable" into "unsafe".
I do not agree that you can't self-rescue. And I added perimeter lines to mine (not all can do that BTW) to help.
Float bags front and back DO take care of the swamping issue if capsized, pretty much the same as for SOF kayakers, and remember that some of those are among our heartiest paddlers!
But you cannot get away from the fact that the shape is subject to capsizing in wave action.
Paddler skill is the big FIRST limiting factor people fun into, not the boat itself.
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