Saturday

Tipping The Scales: One Way to View Kayak Weight


My brother is an engineer. Like my father, he has an engineer's mind. I called him concerned about the weight of my sectional kayak. At 84 lbs, my Argonaut is heavy. A traditional fiberglass boat is typically about 56 lbs. The sectional is 50% heavier, and thus must be greatly less efficient in the water. All told, when I paddle with my friends, I am doing 50% more work than they are to push the kayak in the water.
No. If we both weight 190 lbs, and if we have 10 lbs of gear, water, etcetera, then my total on-water package weighs 284 lbs, and my paddling friend's weighs 256 lbs. I am only 11% more weight through the water than he.
Additionally, there are factors that come into play that might even make the difference closer. The sectional kayak is heavier, and acts like more of a laden, or gear-packed, kayak. Many know that a gear-packed kayak has a different trim and water line than an empty kayak. Some models, such as a Nordkapp, are better performers, more stable, require less directional control and may even paddle more efficiently (more straighforward paddling and less corrective strokes) when laden. This may be an additional enhancing factor to the extra weight of the sectional.
I feel better now.

1 comment:

  1. All sounds right to me. That said, I'm certain that there are lots of factors to consider if you wanted to really calculate this through - naval engineering is a specialized science, so an engineering simpleton like me may have it wrong. I do think that the concept makes basic sense... also meets the reasonablness criteria.

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