Tying yourself to the boat - comments?

JohnAbercrombie

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Reading some of Freya Hoffmeister's website posts, I noticed that she ties herself to the boat.

I'm interested in this idea for solo paddling. Watching the boat float away is the stuff of nightmares. :yikes:

Does anybody have comments, techniques, etc. to share?

Thanks.
 

Astoriadave

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In her situation, I probably would: solo, very remote, rescue would likely be impossibly delayed in the event she lost the boat on a major crossing. She often paddles sans PFD.
 

nootka

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I've been doing this for a few years, specifically for
-kayak sailing
-going through Seymour Narrows solo
-surfing at Surge Narrows solo

I use a length of 3/4" poly webbing attached to the boat behind the seat
and attached to a belt of 2" webbing via a Wichard 2673 quick release snap.

The webbing is folded over itself so it makes a coil, which is held together with a loop of elastic material.

How you attach the webbing to the kayak is less important.
I use a Wichard 2454 snap hook. A less expensive option would be preferable.

Everything is under the sprayskirt.
 

mick_allen

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I don't do it; and in moving water close to obstacles or shoreline for sure I wouldn't, but in the relatively open ocean it just might be an ok idea. I'd have to mock up several scenarios and see what the [entanglement] limitations might be in dumping and self rescue, but it does have some advantages.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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nootka said:
I use a length of 3/4" poly webbing attached to the boat behind the seat
and attached to a belt of 2" webbing via a Wichard 2673 quick release snap.

The webbing is folded over itself so it makes a coil, which is held together with a loop of elastic material.
Do you recall how long that 3/4" tether is?
I'm guessing long enough to clear the bow or stern ??
 

Astoriadave

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Skookum rig, Nootka. I would guess long enough to allow you to swim/haul yourself around bow or Stern would be enough. Like Mick says, definitely no need for length if transiting rough water, and any attachment should be a quick release like Nootka's.
 

nootka

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I would guess long enough to allow you to swim/haul yourself around bow or Stern would be enough.

I suspect going under would be easier, if you ended up downwind of your kayak.
 

Kayak Jim

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I like the use of wide elastic to keep the webbing under control.

Al, sending you a PM on another matter.... (if you don't receive it let me know. First time PM'ing on this forum)
 

nootka

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It's just some elastic from Fabricland. In this case 30cm wide, but anything around an inch would do.
I went looking for something similar to suspenders, but this was just some kind of common elastic.
Sorry I can't remember more; I suggest you visit the local fabric shop and see what they have.
 

cougarmeat

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It's controversial - like using a tether on a paddle tied to yourself or tied to the boat. Don't want to get tangled in the line. But don't want to be separated from the boat and your gear either, Ed Gillette (who paddled non-assisted from CA to Hawaii - before GPS!) said in an article or video that he tethers himself to his boat when the winds get higher than 20 knots.

I had an attached (folded) tether for a while. Instructors hated it. They were sure it would be tangle prone. But their "environment" was mostly paddling with competent others.

If I'm out alone, and the weather turns dicy (and I can't conveniently get to shore), I think I'd tether to the boat too. But a with quick release buckle for sure.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I've been doing this for a few years, specifically for
-kayak sailing
-going through Seymour Narrows solo
-surfing at Surge Narrows solo

I use a length of 3/4" poly webbing attached to the boat behind the seat
and attached to a belt of 2" webbing via a Wichard 2673 quick release snap.

The webbing is folded over itself so it makes a coil, which is held together with a loop of elastic material.

How you attach the webbing to the kayak is less important.
I use a Wichard 2454 snap hook. A less expensive option would be preferable.

Everything is under the sprayskirt.
Getting back to this discussion after a few years......
(Pity that the pictures have been 'upgraded' away...)

I've started some cautious 'first steps' using my kayak sail and decided that a paddle leash and/or tether would be a good idea since I don't have other paddle sailors to accompany me.
I'm using Nootka's idea of a tether under the sprayskirt - out of the way, but easily accessible when out of the boat. The waistbelt is a Level Six belt with a quick release buckle. Older version of this one:
Tether is 1/2" webbing with the tail end clipped to an attachment point between my legs, just forward of the seat. I can easily attach to the boat once I hop in, just before attaching the sprayskirt to the coaming.

The webbing is gathered accordion style and secured with a few light elastic bands.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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In this discussion

Mark Schilling said:
But, if you've ever practised self-rescues on even a slightly breezy day, you'd quickly realize that it doesn't take much of a puff of wind for the boat to 'sail away' much faster than you'd be able to swim after it. I keep promising myself that I'm going to rig up a boat leash - a web strap that is secured to the bow and secured to you via a belt-type attachment. It would be attached to you in a way that would allow you to quickly detatch it (whether you're in or out of the boat) should you need to (ie surf landings or any of the above scenarios) but not in a way that it would be possible for it to become detatched accidentally. I'm actually a bit surprised that such a device is not more popular - Chris Duff, a solo paddler who has written about a few of his larger expeditions including the south island of New Zealand (Southern Exposure is the name of the book) and the circumnavigation of Ireland (Celtic Tides), emphasizes the importance of a boat leash in his books as well as presentations that he frequently puts on in this area (he lives in Port Angeles, WA).

Considering how often I find myself paddling solo in rougher conditions (which I actually enjoy very much!), it's really quite a good idea to have such a device 'just in case'. I'm sure I'll rig one up quite soon, as the weather is starting to turn and the water sure is cold out there!
 

JohnAbercrombie

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There was also a back-and-forth discussion on tethers here:
 

kayakwriter

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If you're going to tether, a quick release sounds like the safest/least dangerous way to go.

That said, with the exception of kite sailing, I'm finding it hard to imagine a scenario in which a sail-equipped boat would actually sail away from you (unless you had so packed it that it was self-righting after a capsize?) If anything, in my capsizes with sails, both practise and unplanned, the underwater sail acts as a sea anchor until you stow it. Or were we meaning metaphorically sailing away, where the boat gets blown out of your reach by wind and waves?
 
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