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MountainArt 11-05-2012 06:35 AM

Sailing? Or Sea kayaking?
Hey. First, I just want to say that I might take up BOTH of these hobbies but first............just a word about sea kayaking:

How fast (in kilometers an hour preferably) how fast can a guy who is reasonably fit, how fast can he sea kayak, you know, if he's taking it "casually"?

And if there's someone out there who has done both of these hobbies.........what's your take on the pro's and con's of both these hobbies? I don't want to try both all at once because, first of all, I need to buy a sailboat if I'm going to do both. Is there a sailor out there who would advise me to join a sailing club, climb aboard and see if the thing is right for me? Do some of you prefer sea kayaking simply because with a sea kayak, perhaps you can get into small places and little channels where a sailboat can't go?

I also understand that, if it'd be a sailboat, you would have to moor it in one spot and then ALWAYS have to go from that spot to other marine parks? Is sailboating, understanding that you have one, is it costly to maintain? I wouldn't know how to get from a to b when it comes to what your suppose to do once you have the sailboat, understanding that eventually once you sail up and down a few times a year, what your suppose to do once it's yours. Besides the fun part and all that........

I'm just afraid that a sea kayak can't go very fast. I want to go to far off places and just camp from one marine park to the other.......(if that's something that I'd be actually doing once let's say, I had, a sea kayak) I'm just thinking that with a sailboat, you can go farther because you won't exhaust yourself paddling alot, depending where you want to go...........
So can someone give me some heads up? Any relevant replies welcome. I really appreciate it. As I said before, I've haven't done either of these you can see, I'm really caught up with it ;)
Ok thanks for any replies.

alpalmer 11-05-2012 08:51 AM

I would suggest you go experience both activities first so that you can decide, based on your own likes and dislikes, which you prefer. Really, the details about the two ways of traveling on the water are innumerable. Go out for a 1 or 2 night sea kayak trip somewhere, perhaps with an outfitter, so that you can experience camping and paddling together. Then find a friend who has a sailboat or, once again, look for an outfitter who provides an overnight sailing experience. Each activity is way different than the other, from my perspective anyway.

sandy 11-05-2012 01:14 PM

We have a feathercraft double kayak - which is great for overseas trips - but sucks for speed compared to glass boats. We probably average about 6 km hour, but have done way less in big headwinds or fighting tides, and have done 10 km hour with favourable wind and tide. Sea kayaking is very different to sailing. You can go long distances, but it takes a long time. We've done trips four to six weeks long around places like the Solomon Islands and Palau. Basically, we kayaked virtually the entire coast of Palau but it took time.

camshaft 11-05-2012 02:17 PM

dear mountain art

As for paddling the is attempting to establish a network of camping locations 20kms ish away from each other.

Paddling speeds differ greatly depending on the type of craft, load and obviously your skill level. Then weather plays a huge roll on top of that

As for a sail boat well that is a whole other area...
Most likely costs are WHY higher, size of boat, if your going to trailer it or moor it.
Then obviously a sail boat has way more potential being that it is wind and motor powered.

I would say a sail boat is better and then put a hobby kayak on top. But again a sail boat or any boat is huge money.

prother 11-05-2012 05:23 PM

I lived on a sailboat for 5 years and can testify that they are big holes in the ocean that you pour money into. Still, no regrets. Kayaks, on the other hand, are smaller holes in the ocean that you pour money into. While a larger boat will be more comfortable, a smaller one will get you into places that a larger one can't and with a kayak, you sleep ashore and don't have to wake up in the middle of the night wondering is you're dragging anchor.

brucew 11-05-2012 06:30 PM

When I first started kayaking I thot it was horribly slow but after a while you get the cadence and the pleasure built up. You can go places that canoes can't and be totally self sufficient . Speed is for people who are stuck in the mode of work and have to get things done.

smac 11-05-2012 09:53 PM

in the summer you'd probably kayak faster then you sail.. or close. just a lot more work! lucky to be doing 7 knots mid summer. all the wind is in the stormy off season. went out once this summer and last summer. spent more time motoring then sailing. 6kts in a 34 foot sail boat with an inboard motoring. about 2 kts with the sails up.

boats are a crap load of money. expect to pay $500+ a month in morage near vancouver. and that's assuming you can find a spot. as most marinas have wait lists. and lots of money in maintenance and fixing things.

if I won the lotto i'd buy a sailboat.

I plan to buy a kayack in the near future.

mtngoat 11-05-2012 11:45 PM

Mountain Art

I have sailed and paddled. Both are great fun, which is 'better' for you will depend on your preference for open water/coastlines, luxury/roughing it, wildlife viewing, remoteness/bustle.

Paddling is clearly the cheaper. You can still spend lots on kayak gear but if you look after quality gear it should last. I have owned two kayaks but I have always used other peoples boats either renting, crewing or borrowing from good friends.

Sailing is fairly easy to pick up, dingy sailing is a good way to start and racing is a good way to improve skills. However most sail boats cruising the west coast spend much of their time under motor.

If you are limited by time sea kayaking is better for getting to more remote places such as Central and North Coast, Haida Gwaii and Alaska. BC Ferries are great for accessing the Central Coast.

My rule of thumb for paddling speed is 3 knots (5.5 km/h) in good conditions and 2 knots (3.7 km/h) allowing for breaks and exploring along the way. That might seem slow. However, a paddling day works out at somewhere between 8 to 16 nautical miles (15 to 30 km). It is easy to cover several 100 km in a two week trip.

Both paddling and sailing requires good navigation skills and a healthy respect for the sea and weather. Conditions can go from placid to oh shit very quickly on the water.

To start I would recommend trying both to see what you like, there are plenty of intro courses to get a taster before investing in your own gear. I hope this is of some help.


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