From the Advertising Department
Reliability in the Age of Information
By Paul Riek
Advertising and Promotions Manager
The internet is rapidly changing how all of us do business. The very fact that you are reading this on your computer is a good example of that. While there are many attributes of the internet to be lauded, the easy access to it can create problems.
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PFD (Personal Flotation Device) Design – Part 3
In the years that sea kayaking has been developing as a sport, PFDs have come a long way to meet the specific requirements of our sport. Find out what the designers of PFDs do to make their products do much more than just keep us afloat. This is the third series of questions on PFDs.
When a kayaker is in the water his/her PFD needs to keep from riding up. How do you assure the PFD stays in place? Do thick-waisted paddlers pose a problem in fitting to keep the PFD secure?
How long is the useful life of a PFD? What can you do to prolong it and how do you know it's time to replace it?
Click here to read more.
If you would like to read the previous articles with questions to manufacturers of PFDs, kayaks, paddles and immersion wear click here.
PFDs with Towing Belts
By Christopher Cunningham
In response to our series of articles on PFDs, reader Joseph Emmons asked about the standards applied by the Coast Guard to PFDs equipped with towing belts and quick-release buckles. The belt and buckle must be able to hold a load of 1100 pounds and Joseph wondered why the standard is set so high, much more than would be required when using the belt to tow a fellow kayaker. PFDs with integral belts are Type V Rescuer’s Harness Devices and the standards were developed with swift water rescue in mind. The details of the standard are spelled out in UL’s Standard 1123. If you have $974 to drop on a 194-page book you can order a copy. (We didn’t, but talked to a manufacturer who had.) Ironically the high holding power of the belt and buckle is meant to allow the person wearing the PFD to be rescued from moving water. To deal with that scenario the other features of the PFD are also beefed up to take that half-ton strain. (It is likely that the 1100 pound figure is the failure strength, not the working load. Similar ratings are applied to almost any kind of cordage.)
While to sea kayakers the belts and buckles look like towing belts and work well in that capacity, that’s not the purpose the PFDs were designed for. It would make sense to design Type III PFDs (the category most kayakers wear) with towing belts, but the concern of the Coast Guard (and the Underwriters Laboratory that maintains the standards for the USCG) is that a sea-kayaker’s towing system would be confused for a Type V rescue harness and be used inappropriately.
The issue of PFDs with towing belts has been under deliberation for several years, and for now we won’t be seeing Type III PFDs with integral towing systems. There was a time when PFDs could not have pockets—filled with enough heavy stuff they’d reduce the effectiveness of the PFD’s flotation—but pockets are now commonplace. Some day we may get tow belts.
Are there questions you'd like to pose to the folks who design and make the kayaking gear that you use? Email your questions to us at email@example.com and we'll look to the manufacturers for answers and bring them to you in future newsletters.
Tips for Better Kayaking
Use your VHF while out at Sea. A VHF radio is good for line-of-sight communications, so reception can be poor close to steep hills on shore. If you’ll need to contact marine telephone operators or the coast guard, plan ahead; study the chart and choose a location where line-of-sight communications are not obscured by a nearby cliff or island.
-From Sea Kayaker's Savvy Paddler by Doug Alderson, Ragged Mountain Press, 2001.
Used with permission.
June 2, 1933 - German "Canoe Girl" Fridel Meyer sets out on a circumnavigation of Great Britain.
June 4, 1976 - Derek Hutchinson, Tom Caskey and Dave Hellawell are first to kayak unsupported across the North Sea.
June 4, 1998 - Arthur Hebert, Jr. reaches the Mississippi completing a 700-mile solo crossing of the Gulf of Mexico.
June 14, 1778 - Captain James Cook, in command of the ships Resolution and Discovery first sees Aleuts paddling kayaks off Trinity Islands.
June 19, 1838 - Russian physician Dr. Eduard Blaschke sets out from Unalaska, AK as a passenger aboard a three-hole baidarka.
June 21, 1975 - George Dyson, the tree-dwelling kayak builder and scholar launches the 6-hole, 48-foot baidarka Mount Fairweather, calling it a "necessary monster."
June 22, 2001 - Peter Bray leaves Newfoundland to cross the North Atlantic.
June 25, 1987 - Ed Gillet leaves Monterey, CA, in a double sea kayak bound for Hawaii.
Are you one of the winners?!
There were lots of winners at the Spring Outdoor Adventure Expo in Minneapolis, MN this past April 25-27th:
Tickets related to the Mississippi River Challenge went to:
And the grand prize winner of a one year subscription to Sea Kayaker magazine:
- B. McCarthy from Edina, MN & J. Marten from Shakopee, MN for the Kick-Off PartyJ. Cabe from Grand Marais, MN, J. Dana from St. Paul, MN and P. Thompson from Edina, MN for the VIP Tickets for the prize winner, and a guest, to participate in the Mississippi River Challenge
- J. Larson from St. Paul, MN won two tickets to the Saturday Evening celebration at Fort Snelling
Lady Bug Lodge in Ely, MN
Sea Kayaker Store and More
Read more about...
Derek Hutchinson, author of The Complete Book of Sea Kayaking, 5th edition, writes about 'Five things that changed sea kayaking' in the June 2004 issue of Sea Kayaker.
Paddling history in Unalaska, Alaska: 'The Kayak Voyages of Father Ivan Veniaminov' August 2006 issue of Sea Kayaker.
Peter Bray's crossing of the North Atlantic in Sea Kayaker’s February 2002 issue.
Click here to order these and other back issues. (choose back issues or books)
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