20 Second Sponsons
Paddlers have used 20 second sponsons for about 8 years around the world.
These are simply sponsons pre-inflated and secured on the back deck of kayaks.
So after capsize you simply clip on the nearest sponson (each Fastex clip near a sponson end, then shove the remaining sponson under the boat and clip it on.)
A 10 year old child can turn any ACA instructor into a FOOL in 20 seconds.
Clip, clip, the Fastex buckles and any kayak or canoe is stable enough to paddle fully flooded, to safety. The paddler gets warmed immediately. And the body core is out of cold water in 20 seconds. Plus Re-capsize protection.
1. The Instructor is still in the water.
2. The instructor denies the public re-capsize protection, even in a fully flooded canoe or kayak that can be paddled in 20 seconds.
3. The instructor kills people this way.
The Following Demonstrates Sponsons Not Pre-inflated and Stowed on The Rear Deck
The flooded kayak can now be paddled immediately to safety, warming the paddler, and with re-capsize protection.
Most people cannot rescue themselves with paddlefloats the first time. They require balancing instruction, while trying to pump out, not breaking paddle, flipping over again, and finally, precariously trying to retrieve the paddle from behind the cockpit. They Are Worse off than before capsize. What kind of safety instruction is that?
Kids have been killed at camps that teach paddlefloating instead of sponsons. The excuse is usually that the dead children should have rolled up or reentered and rolled up etc., although most adults can't roll reliably, even after years of instruction, great will, committment... Most aboriginal Arctic people didn't roll exclusively either (using more stable kayaks and floats). Those that did suffered "kayakerangst", documented first by Danish scientists, a form of post traumatic stress disorder. No wonder, without reliable back-up in cold water.
This girl would suffer serious hypothermia in only 15 minutes in this cold water. Camps can't afford wetsuits for all. But All canoe and kayak manufacturers can equip every boat with sponsons for $20 (economies of scale over 40,000). One kid=$20. Who could argue against it?
Instructors can focus on weather-reading instruction, wave and wind studies, outdoor education, paddling instruction, leadership and group supervision of child and adult paddlers. Sponsons permit less risky, forced surf landings, as noted in other internet websites. Fewer bracing strokes are needed for stability while using sponsons. More steering paddle strokes are possible, to help keep the kayak from broaching sideways and capsizing in the breaking waves . However, any surf landing can still be risky.
Canoes, Polynesia, Kayaks, Bill Mason and "The Perfect Storm"
Canadian schoolkids have long been taught about Polynesian canoes with those clever outriggers. Those outriggers stabilized otherwise very tippy dugout canoes, to allow human progress to other continents. (Torres Strait was always a tough crossing to Australia. Bering Strait was a land bridge to North America for a convenient length of time.)
A new book "The Canoe in Canadian Culture" (eds. Jennings, Hodgins, and Small) doesn't quite understand the magnificent and seaworthy history of kayaks and canoes. But it comes close to the Haida canoes and Aleut kayaks, with trade routes over thousands of miles of ocean, matching Polynesian adventures without sailpower.
Page 51 (fig.3) shows "Prehistoric kayak models. Old Bering Sea with double floats", described on page 50 as hunting floats but in the many references to David Zimmerly's QAJAQ, Kayaks of Siberia and Alaska: "If just one baidarka is caught in a storm, then two large inflated bladders are sometimes tied to its' sides. (Davydov 1814:203)"(p.34) Another kayak model with "two sets of double floats fore and aft...Of the two cockpit depressions, the foreward one is small suggesting that a boy sat there." (op.cit., p.53) Good to see this emphasis on safety, from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century, especially for kids. This double float technology also permitted open sea trade routes.
The canoes of the Haida (Nootka etc.) had double floats: "Just across Queen Charlotte Strait...forty Kwakiutls perished...In very rough seas inflated bladders or sealskin floats were tied to the sides as stabilizers." (p.122, Michael Poole, Ragged Islands) Many 19th century missionaries wrote about these "sponson" floats.
It is comforting in these busy, modern times to reflect on canoe and kayak design as thousands of years of common sense. Canoes and kayaks cannot escape natural threats. Wind can arrive suddenly without clear warning. Canoes and kayaks cannot normally outrun these threats, so they have used strategic floatation for thousands of years, to survive in much colder waters than Polynesia.
In his film "Waterwalker", Bill Mason bails his well-loved canoe, grounded safely, full of water on the beach; after the Lake Superior storm forced him to swim for his life in freezing waters. The canoe was just fine on its' own. The "ton" of water inside created massive ballast stability. The canoe full of water became "at one" with Lake Superior and landed safely. In order for a paddler to also ride safely in the flooded canoe, strategic flotation inside and sponson floats outside are required. Just like Haida canoes and Aleut kayaks in storms.
This is a simple, school science lesson: buoyancy and force of gravity, using a canoe as a teaching device, to illustrate the wisdom of aboriginal designs.
"The Perfect Storm" is an exciting new film based on Sebastian Junger's
bestseller. In the book, p.99:
"Boats want a big righting moment. They want something that will right them from extreme angles of heel. The righting moment has three main implications. First of all, the wider the ship, the more stable she is. (More air is submerged as she heels over, so the righting arm is that much longer.) The opposite is also true: The taller the ship, the more likely she is to capsize. The high centre of gravity reduces what is called the metacentric height, which determines the length of the righting arm. The lower the metacentric height, the less leverage there is with which to overcome the downward force of gravity."
The Haida, Aleut, Polynesians and schoolkids (instinctively) understand that a narrow boat is much more likely to capsize if hit sideways by a powerful breaking wave, no matter how much lead ballast or water is inside. This is common sense at a fundamental level, like Bill Mason's red canoe, knowing rightside up on its' own.
Picture Bill's canoe (without Bill) sideways on the slope of a big breaking wave. The powerful force of the wave hits it and pushes it sideways of course, and down the wave slope under the force of gravity. Canoes and kayaks with paddlers, but without the buoyancy of "sponson" floats, have no means to create a sufficient righting lever in emergencies. Water inside makes them unstable and un-useable. Add sponson floats and the righting arm protects against the inevitable water inside. In fact the water becomes neutral buoyancy ballast, to lower the boat in the water, for easier entry as well as a lower centre of gravity.
The first kayak with built-in sponson floats, designed by a trained naval architect with an impressive background, recorded "off-the-chart secondary stability", Seakayaker, Feb.2000, p.33. Many companies are now designing boats with this in mind. I prefer more traditional canoes and kayaks myself, but we all change sooner or later.
(The "ton" of stabilized water and precious cargo are easily paddled to safety. Secure hundreds of pounds more of watertight expedition packs and you have created a canoe as seaworthy and stable as any kayaks and canoes that have crossed the Atlantic and Pacific. You are immune from swamping and protected from capsizes in storms, due to the powerful ballast/sponson stability couple.
Just like Lindemann's 10 inch cork sponsons on his Atlantic crossing, no-capsize canoe. The sponsons above are orally inflated in 6 puffs, and allow easy righting and re-entry if ever capsized, an advantage over Polynesian outrigger concepts. The Haida, Aleut and other North American Tribes deployed inflatable floats to ride out Pacific Ocean storms. These yellow sponsons have successfully crossed part of the North Atlantic (not recommended). Why does the canoe and kayak industry have serious safety problems?
Canoe and Kayak magazine is confused about flotation, p.36, July 2000: "...any successful rescue is a kayak that will float high enough to allow the occupants to re-enter when it is swamped" You want the kayak to float stable enough, not "high enough" which only makes it hard to get back in p.143, "Playing It Safe". )
Modern experts do not understand them.
>As you would probably agree, simple emergency stability for flooded
kayaks and canoes in order to rescue victims from cold water, is the most
> Paddlefloat inventor Matt Broze (associated with Sea Kayaker
(These crossings would be suicide to undertake with a roll and paddlefloat,
and are not recommended, even though much safer with sponsons.)
> The American Canoe Association and others are not aware that rolls,
The Canadian Canoe Museum has a Haida dugout canoe that is
Expert canoeists and kayakers die needlessly on wilderness expeditions by not deploying inflatable sponsons, like the Haida and other tribes for thousands of years.
Modern school children are mislead and endangered by ignorance about canoe and kayak safety.
Canoes and kayaks are cheated of seaworthiness due to ignorance
in modern canoe and kayaking circles, (while trying to sell bogus ideas
that were never in historical use.)
(Kathleen is sitting on the rear deck because the kayak is half full of water. The water ballast/sponson couple makes it hard to re-capsize, and it is easy to reenter because the kayak is lower in the water. All safety schools should be honest with kids in kayaks and canoes.
Paddlefloats kill people because there is no stability provided in capsizing conditions. Paddlefloats can't tolerate flooded kayaks, making it impossible for many to re-enter; or upon re-entry, no re-capsize stability like sponsons is provided, so they recapsize and die in cold water.
Kids as young as 7 the first time can clip on one sponson, pass the remaining one under the kayak, and inflate both after they are clipped on, in about 2 minutes. Leave the cockpit flooded to provide stability while they paddle to safety. )
Teach kids how to be safe in kayaks and canoes. Use
the finest examples of seaworthiness from aboriginal people, who established
ocean trade routes using inflatable floats. Don't cheat kids of the
of kayaks and canoes in human development, world-wide. Think about it. Send me an Email with any questions. Thanks a lot. Tim
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