I just purchased a used Eddyline Journey. It has a fairly pronounced rocker with a skeg. On my first paddle, I noticed that without the skeg down, it tracked horribly. That is to say, with no wind, when I stopped paddling and let it glide, it would veer to one side or the other rather than holding a straight course. Deployment of the skeg corrected this.
The journey's seat is adjustable forward and back. I had it in the full back position which allowed more room in the bow for my size 10 feet. I'm wondering how much effect moving the seat forward is likely to have on tracking. Of course I'll experiment, but the weather is getting colder and there may not be many more good days that correspond to my work schedule before the snow flies.
Any thoughts on the theory of how seat position/balance point affect tracking are appreciated.
Classic Freestanding Rack
Cartop Kayak Carriers
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Turning from the rear|
Posted by: Kocho on Sep-18-13 11:27 AM (EST)
Seat Position vs tracking|
Posted by: Tommymc on Sep-18-13 11:59 AM (EST)
Thanks Kocho. While I'm sure my paddling technique can use work, you're correct: I'm talking about glide after I've stopped paddling. My experience is fairly limited, but I haven't experienced this much drift in other kayaks...or even my canoe. I guess that's a trade-off with maneuverability. The skeg does counteract this issue, I just hadn't expected to need it unless I was experiencing weathercocking.
Posted by: Kocho on Sep-18-13 8:57 PM (EST)
That's indeed a nice video. Not mine, but it inspired me to try and experiment with attaching a small skeg on a skegless and maneuverable kayak (Perception Sonoma 13.6). Without the skeg it would behave a bit like yours. Just too loose in the stern as my long legs seemed to make it nose heavy (the front would be well planted, the rear - loose). I could not move the seat - glued to the hull. With a very small skeg, however, placed wel forward of the rear end, I managed to tune it to both paddle straight easily and also to turn with edging like the kayak in the video. Very cool and useful, because now my edging was actually effective in changing direction, while the kayak would go straight if I did not edge it. I did lose a bit of maneuverability (not much) but the kayak was much more pleasant to paddle in a straight line. Mind you, I also paddle 7' long whitewater playboats so I don't have issues with paddling turny boats (these would spin out of line the second you stop padding), just when a kayak has an annoying behavior, my thinking is that if the skeg fixes it, use the skeg :)
It sounds to me...|
Posted by: Al_A on Sep-18-13 2:12 PM (EST)
like your seat position could be part of the problem, especially if you notice it mainly during the glide and not while actively paddling. Even with a highly rockered boat, the more surface area you have underwater lengthwise, the better the boat will track on the glide. If the boat is weighted so that the back end is deeper in the water than the front end, I would think it would be far more likely to turn on the glide. I would think you'd almost always want the boat to be balanced front to rear, for a number of reasons with that being a big one.
edge your boat|
Posted by: nickjc on Sep-18-13 1:07 PM (EST)
and blend in a stern rudder at the end of your stroke. With a turny boat, practice edging your boat by raising your knee. Lift your right knee to go right as kayaks are edged away from the turn. Also practice blending a stern rudder into the end of your stroke when you stop paddling such. Also finishing your forward stroke sooner will reduce the amount of turn you initiate with each stroke.
I used to feel the same way |
Posted by: WaterBird on Sep-18-13 8:18 PM (EST)
when I first got my Journey. It seemed to weathercock with the slightest amount of wind and would slide off course whenever I stopped paddling. But by the second season I noticed that I was no longer aware of any problem at all. I can't tell you what I changed, but I assume I adapted my stroke and body position to work with the natural tendencies of the kayak. Maybe we also stop being so particular about things.
Posted by: kayamedic on Sep-18-13 8:30 PM (EST)
Posted by: WaterBird on Sep-18-13 8:38 PM (EST)
A regional rep told me heatedly that it was impossible for a thermoformed kayak to have any such defect but I didn't believe it.
No problem to be solved|
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Sep-18-13 9:01 PM (EST)
Without the skeg down it should turn into the wind. With the skeg fully down it should turn off the wind. In between you can choose what you want. This assumes you are not edging the boat. Which is important. With correction strokes and edging any decent sea kayak should go straight forward without a problem. It is unreasonable to expect the boat to do what it is not designed to do. Maybe take some lessons?
Posted by: steveey on Sep-18-13 9:28 PM (EST)
A easy way to check to see if moving the seat forward
Isn't the boat|
Posted by: CEWilson on Sep-19-13 7:05 AM (EST)
Posted by: suiram on Sep-19-13 8:34 AM (EST)
Perhaps someone could take a picture of you while paddling the boat - obvious trim issues can be quite apparent. One would look for equal submersion of both stern and bow.