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Discussion Starter #1
Disclaimer:
I am not posting to bash Kayak users.. This is simply a post to possibly avoid potential injury for someone new to Kayak use or some really dumb seasoned Kayak users.

I was heading back to Bay View park boat ramp around 2300 hours Saturday night as I approached the Cervantes street bridge in my 19 foot center console.
Idle speed, I steered the boat towards the center of the bridge to pass under it.
The area is well lit including the street lights on the bridge, not so good for my night vision. The bridge itself provides a shadow from the lights and makes directly underneath it a dark place. I could easily see the bridge pylons and have navigating this area many times.

For some reason I decided to light up the marked bridge channel with my spot light and glad I did. There was a person fishing in a dark green Kayak directly under the bridge. His white tee-shirt was about all that I saw.

I shut down the boat and drifted beside him to speak with him about the dangerous situation against my girlfriends request. I was not pissed, nor had a bad attitude.
He said it was his first night on the water in a new kayak and he was just fishing and thought under the bridge in the channel was a good spot. I tactfully explained I could not see him and he was fishing in a channel boats use.
He said he had a flashlight with him and when I asked why he didn't use it to alert me, he said he thought 'Boats could see him on their Radar"
I just smiled, told him to be careful and hope he landed some fish.

I don't understand why some Kayaker's and stand up paddle boarders think they should be in the marked channels boats use. The boat lanes under the 3 mile bridge is another favorite spot... In the dark..

Maybe I don't understand not personally owning one, these things require several feet of draft like a fixed keel sail boat or something..

Anyway, you guys and gals using them be careful and the powerboat operators look out for them... If you are lucky enough to see them.

Again, I am sure this only represents a small amount of users..:thumbsup:
 

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I have never had such an incident with a kayaker but I can see this being an issue that I never considered. Thanks for bringing my awareness up. Also by you stopping by and talking to this guy you may have saved him some issue in the future. And sounds like you handled it with class. Nice job.
 

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Glad it turned out well and I think you did the right thing. Heck, you might have saved that guys life. You could have left without saying anything and the next boat coming through could have hit him.

He was in violation of having a white light that can be seen from 360 degrees. I do everything in my power when I hear boats coming to let them know I'm there, above and beyond the regs. If it is night, I have a flashlight I'll shine at them to let them know as well.

Power boaters need to be aware as well. A few weeks ago, I was fishing and had a boat drive by about 100 yards away in the daylight going near full throttle for its size. Mind you, I'm on a Freedom Hawk which allows you to stand on thee kayak. So, I'm standing on my kayak in a white shirt and bright red shorts. As they drove by and came perpendicular to me, I could hear BS'ing then one guy say, "S***, I didn't even see that guy!" The first thought in my head was, "are you even looking at where you are going?" Rule of the road are if you are under power, it is your responsibility to avoid non-powered vessels.

Rules of the road. Everyone needs to follow then and assume that your track is not without obstacles.
 

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I wish airboaters down here had some of your class SHO-NUF

Air Boats are gonna be the death of some kayakers. When I'm back in the marsh I feel like I am in harm's way when I hear an airboat thundering down on me. Honestly it is hard to figure where they are gonna go because they slide around corners at 40mph. I have an 8 foot pole with a hot orange flag on it. More than once I have pulled the pole out of its holder and waved it as high as I could.

Lots of times they go by, see me at the last instant then flip me the bird. Birds don hurt but I'd imagine a yak would.

I don't fish the marsh much anymore because of airboats.

Yackers are getting to be a painintheass too. I was anchored on one of my favorite points, about 15' out from the bank when a tour guide with a dozen yak renters paddled between me and the rock I was fishing. There was 100 feet of open water on the other side of my yak. I called the tour guide's company and complained. "You don't own the water" they said. I replied, "But I do own an ice pick and know where you park." That kinda shut them up.
 

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Center Mass at 300m
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This applies to all people who use vessels on the water at night.... kayakers or regular boaters. How many times have we seen someone anchored or fishing without nav lights?

Glad the OP and the yaker had a good attitude about the chat and you may have saved someones life that night.
 

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I wish all of the kayakers could ride with someone in a boat and you could then learn how hard it to see you even in daylight. Now throw in waves, a dark colored yak, lowlight conditions, etc. I really am scared that one day I WON'T see you at the last minute and I am not a speed demon !

As for kayakers at nite , we cannot see you. Your lights are too low and underpowered. So if you go out, PLEASE help both of us -- put a LOT of reflective tape on your yak, a tall light , and get several of those cheap solar yard lights and put them on your yak.
 

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That is why my Kayaks are bright yellow, and all rigging rope on them is the reflective stuff. I dont fish them at night in waters that you could get a boat into, but if I did, I sure as hell would be signaling an approaching boat.

I do fish them in back bay in Biloxi occasionally ad have almost been run over by drunk asses going WAY too fast through the march channels. When I hear them coming full speed, I just get as close to the sides as I can.

I also own three powerboats. In my two smaller ones, seeing yaks is not much of a problem, but in my 21CC, I see where it can be an issue. Especially on open water in decent swells or chop. A kayak just disappears out there.
 

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Here's a good read for anyone wondering what the navigation requirements are for a particular instance, or anyone wanting to brush up on them in general.

USCG — Navigation Rules

I would think a kayak would be considered a vessel under oars in regards to 72 COLREGS.

The bare minimum required for them in regards to lights, which is under Part C — Lights and Shapes — Rule 25 — Sailing Vessels Underway and Vessels Under Oars;

(d)(ii) A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall exhibit an all around white light or have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.
 
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