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Stories about boating techniques.

Kayak Stability

For those who prefer French, André Rose has translated this.

What could be easier than stability? Just make the boat wide and it will be stable … right? Yet, there are kayaks out there from 20" to 32" wide, all of which the manufacturers say are stable. After all, what manufacturer is going to say, "you need to be born in a kayak to keep this sucker upright"? How can they all get away with this? And what is "secondary stability" anyway? I know from personal experience that this question will provoke a discussion that can go on for days.

Kayaking Technique

Relative to many boats a kayak is small, unstable, and rather slow. In a lot of ways these attributes can make kayaks unsafe. To a larger degree than most boats the safety of the person on the boat is dependent on the skill and judgement of the paddler. Where some boats will keep their passengers alive despite the errors and faults of the passenger, a kayak does little to overcome the failings of the paddler. While it is possible to design boats that are inherently safer, and there are things that you can do to make a kayak as safe as possible, trying to make a kayak that you would call truly safe would result in a boat that is no longer truly a kayak.

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