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44 votes
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Are longer kayaks faster than shorter ones?

Executive summary: All else equal, a longer boat will have a greater hull speed. A greater hull speed means less drag and hence greater speed for a given amount of "paddling effort". Hence, longer ...
Erik's user avatar
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42 votes
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How efficient is travel by canoe?

The canoe has three huge advantages: it works in the absence of paths or trails it can carry enormous loads adding paddlers to it makes it go faster The first is probably the most important. I've ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
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30 votes
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Surfacing out of a sunken ship/submarine - Survival Tips

Even though the question describes a hypothetical and unlikely situation I think it has some merits as it is somewhat relevant for SCUBA diving also: it describes an emergency uncontrolled SCUBA ...
fgysin's user avatar
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28 votes

Are longer kayaks faster than shorter ones?

The narrower the beam, the less paddling resistance the boat will have. For any given weight capacity, the longer boat will have a narrower beam. (The widest part of the boat, where the paddler ...
Pooneil's user avatar
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25 votes
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Is it possible to 'live off the sea'?

Theoretically, it might be possible to survive on fish, rainwater and desalinated seawater. In one 1930 experiment, two men survived for a year eating exclusively meat without experiencing any health ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 1,329
24 votes

Surfacing out of a sunken ship/submarine - Survival Tips

First and foremost: Don't Panic At 30m, you'll be fine if you can free yourself within about 20 minutes and know what you're doing. That being said, there is a good chance you won't know your exact ...
TemporalWolf's user avatar
24 votes

Can't see empty trailer when backing down boat launch

A common solution for this with small boat trailers is uprights attached to or in line with the wheel fenders. These serve the added benefit that when the bunks are underwater there's a guide to the ...
X Goodrich's user avatar
22 votes
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To locals without a tide chart, how surprising are tides?

Tides are generally not surprising - they do not change much in amplitude from one day to the next, and the peaks happen slightly less than an hour later each day. The amplitude of the tides mostly ...
Greg Hewgill's user avatar
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20 votes

To locals without a tide chart, how surprising are tides?

As someone that lives, works, and plays in a coastal area in Florida, I can say that I qualify as a local. The answer is nearly never. You would hardly ever be surprised by the tide. It becomes a lot ...
coteyr's user avatar
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20 votes
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Why did Lewis and Clark use square rigged boats?

From the article you've linked, they were under sail a little more than one-tenth of the time [on the river]. Perhaps that could have been a bit greater if they were schooner- or lateen-rigged, but ...
Chris H's user avatar
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20 votes

What is meant by "an Easterly wind"?

Wind direction is, by convention, the direction that the wind is coming from. An easterly wind blows from east to west. If the bow of the boat is pointing into the wind, it's pointing to the east.
Pete Becker's user avatar
19 votes
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Life Jacket for a person without arms?

The expensive way is to get a harness lifejacket. The cheap way is to fit a crotch strap to a lifejacket (type 2 pfd), this is a standard part and I believe most lifejackets have fittings for one. ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 8,097
19 votes

What is a 'Whitecap' and why should I be concerned about boating in them?

White caps are named for the white caps at the top of waves. White caps are sign that the wind is picking up and that the weather conditions are getting worse and look like this at low wind levels. ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
17 votes
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What do life jacket ratings mean (Type I, Type II, etc)?

There is already an answer that gives the basics, and this official page from the Coast Guard adds several details, so here is my summary. The system of ratings for Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) ...
cobaltduck's user avatar
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16 votes

What's the difference between an oar and a paddle?

According to Wikipedia, a paddle is held by the person and an oar is connected to the boat in some manner, such as a rowlock.
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
16 votes
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What's the difference between an oar and a paddle?

There are a few fundamental differences between oars and paddles. One main difference is the position of the user relative to the direction in which the vessel is moving. Oars are used to propel the ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
16 votes

Life Jacket for a person without arms?

I think the best bet for a person without arms (assuming we aren't talking rough water/offshore use) is a type 2 life jacket. Specifically the type that look like an oversized bib. These jackets don'...
Erik's user avatar
  • 9,648
15 votes

Are longer kayaks faster than shorter ones?

As a general rule, yes Consider a boat weighing 20kg, a paddler weighing 80kg. You're now displacing 100litres of water, the way in which you displace that volume has a lot to do with how easily the ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 8,097
15 votes

Is it possible to 'live off the sea'?

... can someone gather/hunt/farm all of the nutrients required to be healthy whilst never having to land again? Nutrients yes, healthy not likely. A 1000 days is a grueling journey. Reid Stowe, whom ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 366
14 votes

How do you patch/repair an inflatable dinghy while still underway?

Depends where the hole is and how big it is, but: First, determine if it's necessary to try and patch the hole in open water. If you're close to shore, then go ashore and patch it there. If you're ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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13 votes
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How do choices in design of a paddle-craft influence its handling characteristics?

Ay-yi-yi! This is a very broad question, a true answer to which would probably require a PhD in hydrodynamics or years of relevant engineering expertise. Note that the interplay between these design ...
erfink's user avatar
  • 4,207
13 votes

What is a 'Whitecap' and why should I be concerned about boating in them?

As well stated in another answer, whitecaps (the white tips of waves) are a visual indicator of local wind speed over the water. Just wanted to add emphasis that whitecaps, as an indicator of wind, ...
mmcc's user avatar
  • 3,466
13 votes
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Can I sleep in my canoe with it adrift on a commonly used lake?

For the specific question of drifting on the Great Lakes, doing so is effectively suicide. First, there's the matter of traffic. The Great Lakes are a major shipping lane, with upwards of a hundred ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 3,000
12 votes
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What type of rope to use for the mainsheet of sunfish?

You most definitely want to be selective when selecting rope for a sailboat's running rigging. I'll group sailboats into two categories: racing and non-racing. Racing sailboat is simply any boat where ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 10.7k
12 votes

How efficient is travel by canoe?

The most efficient boat design is fairly straightforward. Rowing is more efficient than paddling, because anchoring the oar to the hull allows oars to be longer than paddles and longer levers are more ...
Matthew Gauthier's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

What type of trailer do I need for my Granada 24 sailboat?

Do I need to use a trailer made to measure, or can I use any trailer that can carry any boat of a specific category within its range of specs (keel type, weight, and dimensions)? You don't need a ...
OddDeer's user avatar
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11 votes
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How to get a beached pontoon boat back into the water?

What constitutes “best and easiest?” I suspect you don’t want to pay for a proper boat lift to drive down to the beach and pick up the boat. If feasible that would be the best safety wise and easiest ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 9,648
10 votes
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How can I prevent a fiberglass crack in my sailboat from getting worse?

Gelcoat cracking is pretty much a fact of life in boat ownership. The sun and water is a tough environment. However, gelcoat cracking is usually not too concerning as long as it is fixed right away. ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 10.7k
10 votes

What do life jacket ratings mean (Type I, Type II, etc)?

Given you mention "type x" I guess you are referring yourself to the US classification. In other countries (like Canada or Europe) classification, requirement and approval is different. So, for The ...
Erik vanDoren's user avatar

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