That Sinking Feeling In the Coromandel...

Go on then, tell us your stories...
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Mental
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Kayak Make: Stealth
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Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:58 pm

Ok on the weekend I headed up to Coromandel to hang out and a fish at the Coromandel Kayak Adventures meet up run by Rob Fort and his good lady Janet.

It's all about the fishing so where to go, wind is blowing from the west, off the camp might be a bit breezy, so lets go north, the call was made to head to Little Bay, well we (me and Hainesy) got there a little later than everyone else as there were already four cars in the carpark all unloaded and the guys fishing.

Any way we loaded up the kayaks and headed for a fish, turns out we hadn't managed to avoid the wind that much and it was still howling through but it was more than bearable and still fishable.

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Now I'm in my Stealth Evo 465, a pretty narrow kayak compared to the plastic options, and it's also been about six months since I've fished from this kayak or in fact been on the water for any significant length of time but all said and done launching and paddling out was easy and the feeling of an old friend soon came back, this thing just glides through the water - Nice :y:

So where to fish in Little Bay, Hainesy made the call to fish in the bay and try around the rocks/shore line. I had a look at the chart on the DragonFly and decided to head out to fish the drop off on the edge of the bay, not too far, GPS said 1.7km, easy as, so off I paddle, stop to drop on a few marks on the way but no hits so push on, get out to the drop off and hit about 30m, some good marks but not many hits, do manage to connect to a couple but they are just a bit small for the comp at 30 to 32cm and not a lot of meat for a feed and hey it's only early!

So I drift around the drop off for a while, that turns into about two hours, all the while the wind is blowing and the sea is a little choppy but not huge at all but all the time I'm out there I'm questioning more and more how comfortable I'm feeling on the kayak, it's getting pretty sketchy as the swell runs under the kayak. I'm starting to ask myself "was it always this twitchy?", "is it just because I've not been on it for six months?", "is something wrong with the kayak?". I've now been out for about two and a half hours, I'm at least 500 meters from the nearest rocks, and about 1000m from the nearest "landable" spot - a beach of big riverstones.

I'm sat there fishing and the whole kayak is listing to the right, something really isn't right... Or is it the wind blowing me over? I lean to the left and the kayak starts to level out then the just keeps going, and going, I'm not leaning hard to the right to try and stop it rolling all the way over, I manage to stop it and quickly re-center to stop it going back to the right - It's time to pull the pin, there's something seriously wrong and the kayak has water in it - a lot of water!

I radioed Hainesy and told him the kayak feels unstable, like the kayak has water in it, and start heading to the shore, 500m seemed to take forever to reach the nearest rocks but whilst paddling the kayak it actually felt a lot better than when it was at rest so I pushed on to where I could land. Got there in the end, jumped off the kayak and the back third of the kayak stayed under water!!!

With the bung at the front and the beach very steep and turned the kayak around and dragged it up backwards - I can tell you it's incredibly hard top pull a very heavy kayak uphill on slippery round rocks :lol: once I had the bow out of the water I popped out the bung and a fountain appeared from the hole, a big think jet of water pushing up a good 300mm into the air from the bung hole and it went on and on for well over a minute! If I had to guess I'd say there was well in excess of 40 litres of water in there.

After getting most of the water out I went all over the kayak, not a hole in sight, no splits on the seam, no cracks in the hull or top, even checked to see if the bottom of one of the rod holders had been punched out, nothing not a sight of any hole in sight...

So took a bit of a rest and had a feed on the beach, Hainesy, Ron and Grant also joined me for a break while we all decided what to do with the rest of the day, carry on here or pack up and try a different spot as none of us were doing very well in the fishing stakes...

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Paddling out of the bay with a now empty kayak was like paddling a whole new kayak, stable as anything, we only planned to fish for another couple of hours so even if it took water on again it'd be less than last time... So two more hours passed, fishing didn't get much better and the kayak became twitchy again, this time we were heading back to Papa Aroha so a bit of a slog in the wind back to the beach but completed quite quickly and yes more water in the kayak, estimated at 20 litres this time.

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Wheeled back to the car, again went over the kayak and no holes, only place I could think of would be around the rudder somewhere, the rudder on the Evo is a pin through the kayak to a wire system inside the kayak, it's all hidden away under a cover so that came off when I got home.

Removing the cover all what revealed, not the rudder pin but the rudder lines, as with the plastic kayaks the rudder line runs inside a plastic tube, this had come away from the fibreglass hull leaving a 5-6mm hole.

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A quick test with a cup of water shows how quickly the water was getting inside the hull!

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Tube pushed back into place and on both sides I've applied plenty of Selleys All Clear to seal it up and hold the tubes in place.

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I'll also put a simple foam gasket on the cover too so just in case it does happen again at least it should limit the volume of water...

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Other than that a great weekend hanging out with good blokes (and blokettes), fishing, drinking, and having a killer feed!

Cheers, Mental
Phoenix Kayaks - Hornet
Stealth - Evolution 465
Ramco - Fishmaster 580 My BIG kayak!
...and the countless other kayaks I've owned

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awondering
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Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:45 pm

:sweat: Nice report Jase :y:

MadMike
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Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:59 pm

Oh bummer, At least t turned out to be nothing major, although somewhat major at the time.
Fishing is like a box of chocolates. you never know what is going to be served up...

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technical
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Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:24 pm

A (relatively) easy fix as it turned out, but it could have been a lost worse both on and off the water.
Warning: Contents may contain traces of nuts.

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FatherOfMany
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Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:49 pm

lol, nice read.
Mental wrote: I'm starting to ask myself "was it always this twitchy?", "is it just because I've not been on it for six months?"
I was going to ask whether you'd picked up any weight during those 6 months...
----------------------------------------------------
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Pope
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Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:38 pm

Thanks for the good report Jason. I haven't checked under that hatch for a couple of years. Will check before heading out this weekend.

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maccayakka
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Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:17 am

Nice report Jase, and i am glad that everything turned out well. I was wondering why you took off around the point so quickly....Nice to know that it was an esay fix. :)
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AndrewRawlingson
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Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:38 pm

Glad you and the Stealth are OK :y:

Think I would have bailed after the first episode, but easy to say with hindsight.

Big Manly Yaka
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Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:14 pm

Yep I would have been scurrying back to shore in a flash if I thought I was sinking!
Mental can I ask how you fitted the transducer for your sounder?
I've recently bought a Stealth and have yet to purchase a FF, but would appreciate any feedback you have on fitting them on these yaks before I decide on which one. The Stealth guys in SA have been very helpful and accomodating and recommend simply using the thru hull method using an epoxy to fix the transducer to the inside of the hull. Is this what you've done? this requires me cutting a hole through the side of the fish box to access the bottom of the hull so I'm wanting to be pretty confident before I start.
Cheers

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Hainesy
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Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:47 pm

It was certainly an eye opener to see the amount of water that came "squirting out" on the beach. It was a pretty gnarly day weather wise, but luckily we didn't have any swell otherwise it might have ended up a little bit different !

Glad that it ended up being an easy problem to find and fix !!
"The trouble with common sense is that it's not too common !"

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Mental
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Posts: 10236
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:31 pm
Kayak Make: Stealth
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Location: Kaukapakapa
Contact:

Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:01 pm

Big Manly Yaka wrote:Yep I would have been scurrying back to shore in a flash if I thought I was sinking!
Mental can I ask how you fitted the transducer for your sounder?
I've recently bought a Stealth and have yet to purchase a FF, but would appreciate any feedback you have on fitting them on these yaks before I decide on which one. The Stealth guys in SA have been very helpful and accomodating and recommend simply using the thru hull method using an epoxy to fix the transducer to the inside of the hull. Is this what you've done? this requires me cutting a hole through the side of the fish box to access the bottom of the hull so I'm wanting to be pretty confident before I start.
Cheers
I thought I'd done a write up of my install but I couldn't find it, I'll try and do it today and post it up for you but yes I went down the path of putting an inspection port in place and glueing the transducer to the hull under my right calf/thigh.

My Evo started out with a 50mm hole drilled in it for a proper thru hull transducer but when I went to the Raymarine Dragonfly I took that out and glassed up the hole :y:

My Stealth BFS has the Humminbird transducer siliconed inside the hull at the rear in front of the rudder, inspection hatch added to gain access.
Phoenix Kayaks - Hornet
Stealth - Evolution 465
Ramco - Fishmaster 580 My BIG kayak!
...and the countless other kayaks I've owned

Big Manly Yaka
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:27 pm
Kayak Make: Stealth
Kayak Model: Fisha500

Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:12 pm

Thanks it would be great to see and hear from someone who has success with this. You're a brave man cutting a hole in the hull for the proper thu hull transducer, but I guess a lot of boaties do it on more expensive bits of fibreglass.
Be great to see how your Dragonfly setup went as I really like the look of them.
Cheers

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