-- Last Updated: Feb-07-13 5:40 PM EST --
What the hull can handle is irrelevant if you can't handle the conditions or fix a problem. Working on a correct forward stroke is admirable. But it is not remotely related to doing an on-water recovery nor is it going to provide you comfort if the boat starts moving side to side more than you are used to. Those are other realms. It sounds like you have not been willing to actually try any of this out, instead you are "thinking that you could..." do a number of things.
You might be able to pump it out on the water, though your arms may easily fall off before you have the thing emptied out. There are steps in an on-water recovery that can help dump water out of the cockpit without adding to exhaustion - in fact that is why assisted rescues involve boat over boat. That's how you get the water out, and it beats the heck out of pumping.
Only you can answer the question of being able to swim that far back to land. Personally, I'd rather stay with the boat and be able to get back in for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that you are safer from power boaters sticking up in a boat than being a little head swimming out in the middle of a lake.
I am sure that this boat in the right hands can manage some pretty severe conditions. But I would wager that anyone who took it into the extreme stuff you are talking about has a number of other skills that I am guessing you lack - like great comfort in waves, a solid brace and likely a roll, and time practicing a variety of self-rescue options so they know exactly what they can do when things get dicey. They are not depending on theoretical options, but ones that they have tested and know they can execute.
That is really the crux of this. Rec boats or even transitional boats with big cockpits make recovery from a problem more challenging. In some situations the combination of the boat and the problem could make it impossibly exhausting, in other cases the situation could be more manageable. The tragedies related to people in rec boats are usually the result of the paddler not having a pragmatic understanding of those limitations, and given that rec boats appeal to beginners there is a lot of that to go around.
It is entirely possible that things could go wrong and you'd manage a recovery OK. It is entirely possible that you would find you have unusually good balance and don't capsize when others would. It is equally possible that things could go wrong and you would find out your ideas were not going to work in the event of a real capsize.
The problem is not what might work for someone else, but your own apparent reluctance to get wet to find out what works for you. If you have been working on the forward stroke, you've had plenty of opportunity to capsize this boat and do this.
PFD's (Life Jackets)
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