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PostPosted: September 6th, 2006, 6:29 am 
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Kim wrote;

Quote:
golly it gets muddy doesn't it?


Actually it is only muddy on the surface. :D

The problem is language and people not boats. For example, Richard Todd prefers symmetrically built boats even though symmetrically built boats are only symmetrical milliseconds at a time and Richard probably can't tell when. I once built a symmetrical boat from the waterline up but assymetrical under the water. The symmetrical boat lovers loved it. The assymetrical boat lovers disliked it.

Go figure.

The problem with language is interesting as Dirk reminds us. Here is an excersize.

If I remove the deck from my kayak and paddle it with a single blade paddle , is it a canoe? If I use a double blade paddle does it become a kayak? If I put a deck on my canoe and use a double blade paddle is it a kayak? Suppose the deck can be closed off with a spray skirt?

The problem is that most people think they know what a thing "is" when all they know is what they "think" it "is" based on their personal experience and bias.

This is why, when I wrote my book I define both kayaks and canoes for the purposes of the book. It was necessary that the reader know what I am talking about even if he disagrees with my definitions.

I defined a canoe as;

Quote:
A human-powered, portable watercraft, un-decked over most of its length, usually pointed at both ends, propelled, and steered with a paddle.


I defined a kayak as;
Quote:
A human-powered, portable watercraft, decked over most of its length with a cockpit or cockpits that can be sealed around the paddler, usually pointed at both ends and propelled with a paddle.


I provide a lengthy discussion of the reasoning behind this that I based on discussions with a botanist familiar with classifying plants (much more difficult than classifying boats I think). These definitions avoid a lot of problems and permit subclassifications that make logical sense.

The important thing is that dimensions and shape are not part of the definition which is why neither type is "faster" than the other.

This is not an easy method to use or most people who prefer to think of boats as they know them. If their experience does not include the kayak form canoes of the Northwest (See pages 158 through 168 of Bark and Skin Boats of Norh America) they cannot appreciate why their view is too narrow. Kim's examples of paddle usage are excellent.

SGrant's points are valid in that comparisons are so rarely sensible.

For the hull designer, of course, the distinctions are meaningless. For example, the QCC 700 kayak has developed a fine reputation for winning long distance kayak races. The protoype had no deck and was test paddled as a "canoe" to save money and time. Which is faster, the canoe or the kayak?

Fun, Eh.

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PostPosted: September 6th, 2006, 9:41 am 
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Maybe this is entirely a simplification but I think of a kayak as a watercraft propelled by a human using a paddle that also has the following two conditions(both must apply):

It is paddled from a seated position on the bottom
The craft is worn (like clothing) and is an extension of the body.

Maybe thats why kayaks are so hot sellers. Gain 20 lbs and you cant get in your boat!

However most "rec kayaks" are to me sit in the bottom canoes paddled with a double blade. The Aquaterra Keowee was described as a cross between a kayak and a canoe once.

This discussion while interesting is far more fun with a bunch of canoeheads and a few brews.... :wink:


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PostPosted: September 6th, 2006, 6:39 pm 
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Kim wrote;

Quote:
It is paddled from a seated position on the bottom
The craft is worn (like clothing) and is an extension of the body


If the seat is above the botom what kind of a boat is it? For example my QCC 600 which has its seat 1.5" above the bottom. What about SOT's that often have their seats several inches above the bottom. Also what about people who kneel in their kayaks as I do when paddling my small boat on winding streams to take better advantage of my single blade paddle?

As for wearing the note my definition

Quote:
A human-powered, portable watercraft, decked over most of its length with a cockpit or cockpits that can be sealed around the paddler, usually pointed at both ends and propelled with a paddle.


I think "wearing" is a bit vague since many kayaks are not worn at all and the fit is rather loose.

The brews are the easy part. Cheers to all.

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PostPosted: September 6th, 2006, 7:32 pm 
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Got another brew in hand...
I am going mostly from a historical prospective where kayaks were made individually for each paddler and sized for each paddler. PFD's werent in the equation; something like a tuliq was worn and woe if you didnt roll. As a matter of fact, kids werent allowed in a kayak until they could do some rolls.

I dont think of the canoe as a particularly undecked boat though there is more wiggle room than a kayak. Particularly thinking of sailing canoes of the late 1800's and decked canoes(with double blades) used in the Adirondacks. Come to think of it the CRCA used to be part of the ACA and split because the ACA wasnt really doing anything for the Canadian Canoe (the typical canoe we think of). Thats why the ACA owns an island available to all ACA members and it isnt in the US even (its in Ontario).

The SOT and surf ski stuff came later in mass marketing though I wonder if they have a South Seas history and wonder how they were paddled there.

I have absolutely NO intention of kneeling in my CD Caribou. The water is way too cold! I will single blade it (thats what I use instead of horsing around an entire second double blade), but to kneel would be a sure swim!


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 Post subject: Kids and kayaks
PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 10:03 am 
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"...As a matter of fact, kids werent allowed in a kayak until they could do some rolls."

I understand the overall direction which you suggest and I'm not much of an ancient kayak anthropologist/historian, but the quote above begs the question...

Just what type of boat did the kids use to prove their capacity for a succesful roll?

This has been a fun read. I recently was engaged in a brief skirmish over the topic of defining a kayak vs a canoe over at the Wooden Boat Forum. The folks on the other side of the discussion were fairly well bent out of shape that an SOT kayak could be called a kayak at all. It got worse when I suggested that Hobie Mirage drive system was a powerful alternative to the paddle for some users. OK, so call me a trouble maker.

I suggested that they lighten up some so that the overall understanding of the sport could grow rather than be isolation oriented over a nomenclature argument.

I see the purpose of a more rigid definition in the taxonomy of scientific identification, but to apply such stringent applications to an area that is fluid in its very nature is just asking for trouble, in my estimation.

Thanks, John, for your simple clarity on the issue.


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PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 10:19 am 
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Quote:
Just what type of boat did the kids use to prove their capacity for a succesful roll?

Rope gymnastics............. :wink:


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PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 11:54 am 
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I have attended a few Greenland kayaking symposia and picked up odds and ends of info(just enough to look for more and not enough to be complete!) but apparantly the Inuit children had to learn first the balance brace and then some rolls before they were allowed to kayak in the open ocean. The boats were skin(seal) over frame, built for the individual.

Rope gymnastics are indeed important training. Maliq demoed his Spider Man web routine at a canoe and kayak symposium.

I am really sorry that you see my view as dogmatic. I really dont care how I paddle my canoe (its often with a double blade, and often with a Greeland double blade) and single blade my kayak. Nevertheless the boat I am using is to me still a canoe or a kayak. If its got the deck on it I should attempt to roll: if it doesnt I can attempt to roll for the fun of it and not expect it to be successful.

One of the best craft I ever paddled was both. It started as a canoe and ended as a kayak.

It was a waxed cardboard box. Over the course of the race it collapsed....


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PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 1:37 pm 
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Quote:
Rope gymnastics are indeed important training. Maliq demoed his Spider Man web routine at a canoe and kayak symposium.


Watching Maligiaq work the ropes would be a rare treat indeed. Hopefully we'll see him out here in the West at a SSTIKS event in the future.

For any unfamiliar or interested in rope gymnastics you can get a good overview here....
http://www.qajaqusa.org/Technique/ropegymnastics.htm


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PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 8:58 pm 
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OK, OK.... the real important question is:

"Where does the W-boat fit in?"


-----------------Man.... I think that is my favorite thread by far!!!!!

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PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 9:56 pm 
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Quote:
OK, OK.... the real important question is:

"Where does the W-boat fit in?"

answer.... "a medium sized dumpster" :wink:


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PostPosted: September 8th, 2006, 12:00 am 
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Thanks, John and Kim, for clarifying the fact there are two basis of comparison: the scientific one, which concludes differences are arbitrary; and the "conventional wisdom" one, where the conclusions are arbitrary.

This debate reminds me of the trendy folk conviction that SUV's are safer than cars. They have reasonable-sounding arguments to back this up. Yet they are wrong. Whatever is trendy, benefits from mistaken positive analysis. A form of cognitive dissonance?

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 Post subject: and the answer is
PostPosted: September 8th, 2006, 4:22 am 
SGrant wrote:
[...]
>It also gets into how the human mind works. After pacing or passing
>kayaks, the kayakers will talk about how they did relative to each
>other, while ignoring the fact a canoe stayed with them or left them
>behind. Yet, they certainly had busted a gut trying to stay with us.
>The mantra that "kayaks are faster" is so effective that their eyes
>don't seem to be connected to their brains sometimes.
[...]

While I am pretty satisfied with the answer "it depends", I think
often the real/underlying question is that people want to know
which craft is better, a canoe or a kayak. Whether it is for having
a feeling of superiority, or just making (or having made) the right
boat choice. And then the answer "it depends" just won't do,
and long complicated explanations are not what people want.
Personally, I do not understand why the possible difference in
speed can be a threat, as rowing is faster than both
canoeing and kayaking :-)

Dirk Barends


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PostPosted: September 8th, 2006, 6:03 am 
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sgrant wrote;
Quote:
Thanks, John and Kim, for clarifying the fact there are two basis of comparison: the scientific one, which concludes differences are arbitrary; and the "conventional wisdom" one, where the conclusions are arbitrary.


This is a good summation.

The reality is that none of us can paddle the boats as fast as the boats can go. We just don't produce enough horsepower. I have towed designs at ridicuous speeds bu't I sure wouldn't want to pick a fight with anyone strong enough to make a canoe or kayak go that fast. Simply put, the boats are faster than we are which is why it is so important to recognise that the boat is a system and not capable of anything without the paddler(s) and paddle(s).

I think what most people w ould like to know is "Which boat is fastest given my power output?" This is an easy question to answer since we can easily plot speed against power availability. Unfortunately many people assume that there exists a boat that will somehow make them as fast as their friends who are much stronger and more skilled.

The resistance difference between a solo sprint canoe and a solo sprint kayak of the most recent designs is virtually nil (hundredths of a lb at race winning speeds) yet kayaks have faster times. Of course, the underwater portions of the two hulls are almost identical in every respect. From a design standpoint this is an excellent example of the definition problem. The canoe is just a deckless kayak and vice versa. :D

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PostPosted: September 8th, 2006, 10:07 am 
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Thats exactly why I dont worry about the fastest boat. I cant begin to push a sprint boat up to hull speed.

If I have a "fast boat" I can tend to be lazy. If its got a nice shape and good glide a little fast is good enough. I will never get excercised.

The best workout boat for me is a short boat. Easy to get to speed and I can generate enough oomph to theoretically take it to hull speed, even if only for seconds.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2006, 5:58 am 
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Kim wrote;

Quote:
The best workout boat for me is a short boat. Easy to get to speed and I can generate enough oomph to theoretically take it to hull speed, even if only for seconds.


YES! I have always believed people bought boats that were too long based on the old "longer is faster" silliness.

A well designed short boat (and there are lots) can provide a lot of fun because it is more responsive. I will accelerate faster, turn more easily, and gives a greater sensation of speed. Best of all, every stroke has a greater effect on the boat's motion.

Length is a good thing when you have a load but for just messing around on the water a shorter boat can provide lots more fun.

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