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Thread: Beginner ! Help/Advice Needed please?!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Worthing/West sussex
    Posts
    4

    Smile Beginner ! Help/Advice Needed please?!

    Hi there! I am a complete beginner. Based near Worthing, West Sussex, UK. Have purchased a Sevylor Riviera two man inflatable kayak. Wanted to know if anyone is near this area that could suggest a suitable place to try out and gain some confidence. We are a mile from the sea, however probably not the best place to start as common sense would tell you that currents and tides would being a whole different context to Kayaking. I would be so grateful if anyone could give me tips on launching (if that is the right term) the Kayak from a riverbank or slipway. Any tips that are useful for a beginner!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    21,994

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    Hey

    As mentioned in your intro post, I work in Lancing, and stay down here during the week (home is Woking in Surrey). I do often bring the canoe (Bell Prospector).

    As you say, currents and tides are key, around here. Add wind to this equation, and its not very often that the 3 combine to allow me, in an open canoe, out onto the sea. Your inflatable will also be slower, and quite susceptible to wind. However, there are a few other options.

    Inland, the Wey and Arun canal makes for a very pleasant, entirely still, paddle. I would recommend this for learning. Start here.

    Further afield, the Basingstoke Canal is a great place for very peaceful, rural paddling, worth the journey, especially the bits west of Fleet. Again, highly recommended for getting going.

    River Wey - its only an hour or so away, and there are plenty of places on this safe, sheltered navigation. Shalford Bridge is a good starting point.

    Around high tide, the lower parts of the Adur are pretty sheltered. If you park in the car park west of Norfolk Bridge, you can launch at the bottom of the slipway next to the Adur Activity Centre. Go upstream from here, leaving about an hour before high tide and returning before an hour after, and the flow will be modest (unless there's been lots of rainfall). In mid-low tide, the flow is FAST so make sure you're done by then (there's even a little rapid)! Don't bother if its windy (more than 10-12 mph say), its not very sheltered.

    The Arun is lovely upstream, but quite fast and hard to access in the lower parts. So I'd recommend going inland to Pulborough or Stopham to get in. Despite being a long way from the sea, it is still tidal, and noticeably so at Pulborough. At Stopham, the effect is less so you should be OK at any time. Its a little awkward but you can launch beneath the modern road bridge.

    Chichester Harbour offers some options, but you must be tide aware here. Either side of high tide (+/- an hour) you could launch at Bosham or Dell Quay, and explore UPSTREAM. By mid-tide, the current is racing through the channels though.


    Lots of info on Paddle Points: http://www.paddlepoints.net/PaddlePo...20Sussex,%20UK
    Last edited by Mal Grey; 6th-July-2015 at 03:07 PM.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dumfries
    Posts
    956

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    Good info from Mal, and I second what he says about wind being a hazard to an inflatable. I would add, they sometimes soften after being in cold water for a few minutes, so take a pump with you in case you need to top-up. Bellows foot-pumps appear to be worse than stirrup pumps for creating the "softening in the water" effect - once you've paddled your own boat a few times, you'll get to know if it's a problem or not. Keep it inflated as hard as the specifications allow, because it will paddle more efficiently like that.

    If you don't mind getting your feet wet, getting into the boat can be easier in ankle-deep water rather than from a bank; a gently-sloping slipway might let you do this. In shallow water, I'd get into an inflatable by turning my back to it and sitting straight down on the seat, then bringing my feet inboard (shaking off the worst of the water). Once your weight is on the seat, the boat will be pretty stable. If you begin by putting your feet in and standing on the floor, it will wobble alarmingly.

    If it's necessary to get in from a bank, I find it safer to tether the boat with a rope attached to the boat and looped around a fixed object on the bank. Holding the free end will keep the boat steady, and once seated, I can release the end I'm holding and pull the rope in by the end fixed to the boat. Remember that the action of getting in (or out) will tend to push a free-floating boat away from the bank. Once you start the move, don't dither! Bum-on-seat as quickly as possible is safest.

    There's a thread here about this exact problem:
    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...328#post287328

    Good luck,
    Mary
    Not in Oxford any more...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Worthing/West sussex
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thank you Mary for your advice and taking the time to reply.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Bedfordshire
    Posts
    2

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    You say you have a Sevylor Riviera. Did you buy a skeg for it? If not I would get one befor you go out in it. Because it is very hard to guide it through water.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    kent
    Posts
    702

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    That post was 4 years ago
    So we beat on,boats against the current,bourne back ceaselessly into the past.

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