How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

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z1nonlyone

How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by z1nonlyone »

HI, Years ago I took kayak lessons on a hardshell and re-entry after capsize was practiced quite a bit. I could usually through myself over the bow and stradle it, while keep as low a center of gravity as possible. Then i would just slide back into the cockpit and let my arse drop in.
Now I have a Klepper Arieous II double and I want to know the technique that works best. I am 54, 220 lbs, 6' tall, yes, kind of big. I have read about how easy they are to re-enter but haven't heard how!! Some of the Klepper adds just say "just climb back in"? I am afraid if I through myself over the bow or cockpit, I will break the gunwale or some stringers or something!!

Can I have some help here?

Thanks,

Chris Bergstedt

Alm

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by Alm »

"How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?"

How you are going to capsize in AEII, I wonder - unless you sail it without outriggger. Or - paddle where few people do, across Atlantic or Caribbean in hurricane season. I could not capsize in much smaller MK1 (same as AE1 SL).
"Cowboy entry" (straddle the bow and slide in) should work. Though I think it's easier done from the rear. Not from the very rear end of course; you don't want to straddle the rudder pintle, or worse yet, rudder blade...
Never tried to re-entry such a big boat, but I suspect that main problem will be not a re-entry, but bailing out that huge amount of water. This isn't a hardshell sea kayak, it has no bulkheads.

z1nonlyone

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by z1nonlyone »

Alm wrote:
"How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?"

How you are going to capsize in AEII, I wonder - unless you sail it without outriggger. Or - paddle where few people do, across Atlantic or Caribbean in hurricane season. I could not capsize in much smaller MK1 (same as AE1 SL).
"Cowboy scramble" (straddle the bow and slide in) should work. Though I thought it was easier done from the rear, head facing rear, and sliding legs into cockpit first.
Well, I plan on Kayak fishing at Lake Powell this year, and the next. Things can go teribly wrong if you catch a big fish!! :mrgreen:

So, I am wondering if something will break using your, or my method? There is only one wooden beam going down the bow and the stern deck, but they are supported with ribs. If you climb into the cockpit, there is only the wooden strip around. Surely, someone has capasized in the AEII!!
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maryinoxford
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Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by maryinoxford »

Chris, I have practised re-entry in a Puffin Swift. That kayak is lightweight, and I am not! (The Swift is much narrower than a Klepper - I needed a paddle float to help.) However, in climbing aboard, I had to put all my weight on the back deck, until I could get my legs into the cockpit. I kept as low as possible and spread the load around, and nothing gave way. I don't suppose the frame would have survived if I tried that kind of gymnastics with the boat beached, but on water, the load seems to get "cushioned."

If in doubt, try it in safe water. (If you are in a cold-water area, it's best in a drysuit, or at least a wetsuit.) Take the kayak into water no more than waist-deep, and start getting into the kind of position you might need for re-entry. If you feel that something in the frame is going to give, you can stop and think about other options. If, in the worst case, you do damage the kayak, better now than when you're a mile off-shore with fishing gear. But Kleppers are famously robust.

Fill all the unused space in the boat with airbags, and even so, be prepared to do a lot of pumping out.

Mary
Not in Oxford any more...

z1nonlyone

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by z1nonlyone »

maryinoxford wrote:Chris, I have practised re-entry in a Puffin Swift. That kayak is lightweight, and I am not! (The Swift is much narrower than a Klepper - I needed a paddle float to help.) However, in climbing aboard, I had to put all my weight on the back deck, until I could get my legs into the cockpit. I kept as low as possible and spread the load around, and nothing gave way. I don't suppose the frame would have survived if I tried that kind of gymnastics with the boat beached, but on water, the load seems to get "cushioned."

If in doubt, try it in safe water. (If you are in a cold-water area, it's best in a drysuit, or at least a wetsuit.) Take the kayak into water no more than waist-deep, and start getting into the kind of position you might need for re-entry. If you feel that something in the frame is going to give, you can stop and think about other options. If, in the worst case, you do damage the kayak, better now than when you're a mile off-shore with fishing gear. But Kleppers are famously robust.

Fill all the unused space in the boat with airbags, and even so, be prepared to do a lot of pumping out.

Mary

Hi Mary, That is good advice... A little practice in shallow water before commiting myself to a offshore re-entry would be a good idea! I have heard so many claims about how the Klepper is used by the military and dropped from helicopters etc,, that I was curious about people breaking their kleppers by accident. When a load is evenly distributed, I can see that they could be tough, but when climbing in over the bow or stern, I am concerned.

Chris

Alm

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by Alm »

Assuming that deckbar on AEII is same as on MK1, i.e. opposing the vertical load with its narrow side (similarly to construction 2x4 boards supporting house floors etc), and cross-section is the same (0.5" x 1.5"? don't remember now) - I wouldn't worry. There are ribs every 2 ft or less, and with weight distributed lengthwise (as Mary described), there will be 2 ribs under your body at all times. You will want to distribute the body weight lengthwise, because this is the most balanced position, meaning side to side balance. I don't know, may be these precautions won't be necessary and you could "just climb in" as their sales pitch goes - AE2 is very stabile.
I guess nobody commented so far, because nobody ever keeled over in this boat while simply fishing. Those who did capsize, were sailing or paddling in really nasty weather and then there were many other problems and worries about cracking the deckbar was the least of it.

z1nonlyone

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by z1nonlyone »

Alm wrote:Assuming that deckbar on AEII is same as on MK1, i.e. opposing the vertical load with its narrow side (similarly to construction 2x4 boards supporting house floors etc), and cross-section is the same (0.5" x 1.5"? don't remember now) - I wouldn't worry. There are ribs every 2 ft or less, and with weight distributed lengthwise (as Mary described), there will be 2 ribs under your body at all times. You will want to distribute the body weight lengthwise, because this is the most balanced position, meaning side to side balance. I don't know, may be these precautions won't be necessary and you could "just climb in" as their sales pitch goes - AE2 is very stabile.
I guess nobody commented so far, because nobody ever keeled over in this boat while simply fishing. Those who did capsize, were sailing or paddling in really nasty weather and then there were many other problems and worries about cracking the deckbar was the least of it.

Maybe those that did capsize are talking to davy jones as they tried to get back in and it broke in half!

Alm

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by Alm »

AEII won't fall apart - not immediately and not in calm weather, anyway - if deckbar breaks between some 2 ribs. Deckbar is not too massive because it's not stressed much by other frame parts. This is not a "backbone" - the keelboard is.

PK

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by PK »

The boat won't break, not a Klepper - these beasts are strong.

The more immediate problem, as other posters here have noted, is getting the water out. Here's my cautionary tale: my girlfriend and I were sailing our AEII in 15 knot winds across a big estuary in Hermanus, South Africa when we were capsized by a gust. On righting the Klepper we discovered that we had not brought a bailer of any kind. The killer app that could kill you if you don't have it.

Any thought of paddling the swamped Klepper (as in the photo in the great Diaz book) to shore - about a three-quarters of a mile each way - was crushed by the fact that we had left the paddles on the beach with friends. Killer app number two.

So we swam, pulling the swamped boat with us. It took us 45 minutes of hard kicking until we felt sand beneath our feet.

It was an abject lesson is how things could have turned out much worse. The water in the lagoon was warm, about 20 degrees Centigrade; the usual temp in the nearby ocean is around 15 degrees - not the best environment to spend too much time in with a boat you can't get into. Even at 20 degrees, we were still pretty chilled by the time we hit the shore. We had no cellphone, no radio and no flares/smoke. There were no other boats within a mile of us.

We have learned. We now do a pre-flight like pilots do. We carry a bucket, a 2l plastic bottle with the bottom chopped off and a pump. There are now always paddles in the Klepper. And a charged cellphone in a Pelican case.

For re-entry, we have a simple system, using three long rock-climbing slings knotted together, draped over the centre section of the Klepper with the loops hanging in the water on each side. We put one foot each into "our" loop, grasp the coaming and on the word GO use the loop as a stirrup to hoist ourselves back into the boat. That way we're more or less balanced. The frame may creak and groan but it doesn't break.

Stern re-entries are another art. Paddle floats are your killer app number three here.

Hope this is of some use.

cheers,

PK

Alm

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by Alm »

PK wrote:Here's my cautionary tale: my girlfriend and I were sailing our AEII in 15 knot winds across a big estuary in Hermanus, South Africa when we were capsized by a gust. On righting the Klepper we discovered that we had not brought a bailer of any kind. The killer app that could kill you if you don't have it.

Any thought of paddling the swamped Klepper (as in the photo in the great Diaz book) to shore - about a three-quarters of a mile each way - was crushed by the fact that we had left the paddles on the beach with friends. Killer app number two.
Good tale. Fun to read too. Confirms what I thought - capsizing AEII by paddling it (without sail) is near impossible. I sail Feathercraft boats with outriggers, and despite the boat being quite narrow, capsizing is impossible as long as outrigger is in place. Still, I always carry not only main paddle (to augment the sail when wind isn't good enough), but also spare paddle strapped to the rear deck. Because main paddle without leash can drift away when I capsize.

Cut-off milk jar as a bailer is a good low-cost solution, but on long trips I prefer 10L vinyl folding bucket, kept in front of me in the deck bag, because it can serve double purpose as a urinal. Even with outrigger I can't always stand up, holding on to the mast, in order to do what I have to - sea conditions might not allow this, not to mention the wind (the latter is obvious hazard for men). Costs $3 or so, folds quite compact.

For 2 people getting back into the boat like AEII can probably be done without "rope ladders" described above. Swim to the opposite sides ofthe boat, one holds the coaming while another one gets in. Then the second person gets in, while the first one stabilizes the boat by leaning to the other side and/or using the paddle.

Swimming to the shore, pushing the boat - this is more difficult than people imagine, because there is no support to your pushing - you push the boat and laws of mechanics push you back. If there is any chance of getting into the boat and paddle it, this should be done instead. Not to mention cooling effects of water - even 30 minutes in 20C water can make you shiver, I don't know why - probably a combined effect of water cooling and loss of energy in panic attempts to get ashore (or into the boat).

PK

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by PK »

Alm wrote: Swimming to the shore, pushing the boat - this is more difficult than people imagine, because there is no support to your pushing - you push the boat and laws of mechanics push you back. If there is any chance of getting into the boat and paddle it, this should be done instead. Not to mention cooling effects of water - even 30 minutes in 20C water can make you shiver, I don't know why - probably a combined effect of water cooling and loss of energy in panic attempts to get ashore (or into the boat).
Yes, a 45-minute practical exercise in the laws of physics. I learned more in the water that day than in five years of high school.

Dragging the swamped Klepper - we named it Swamp Donkey for a few weeks afterwards - was like walking up a really steep sand dune, 1.5 steps forward, 1 step back ...

As for the hypothermic effect of swimming: I understand that the faster water moves over your skin, the faster your core temperature begins to drop. No ways are you are ever going to get warm through swimming.

Of course, we would have made the shore much quicker if we'd just left the boat and swum alone. But, then I heard my sailing instructor's voice yelling from my childhood "Never leave the boat! Never leave the boat!". And then there would be the problem of retrieving the swamped Klepper later - such a hassle :roll:

Pilots call this the pyramid, a bunch of little decisions and events - few of which are on their own either lethal or even dangerous - that stack up on each other, and which you climb ever upwards on your way to an accident. You reach a point on the pyramid where so many bad decisions have been made and so many little events have conspired together, that an accident is inevitable.

I would have learned so much more in school if this is how they'd taught us.

cheers,

PK

happywolfie

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by happywolfie »

I haven't tried a Klepper before, but my friend's Nautiraid Greenlander is pretty broad, and I suppose a Klepper's dimensions will be somewhat like that too. If something like these capsizes, the weather's probably quite hellish for paddling. Without practicing the ultimate boat-fully-swarmed capsize and self-rescue scenario in calm water, it will be near impossible to try do that in strong winds and high waves. If the boat's filled with water, it will probably sit really low on the surface and any attempts to bail out the water, no matter what kind of bailer you use, might just be futile considering that the next wave is going to swamp it again, or maybe you'll just accidentally tip it sideways and it takes in water because the sea is so unstable.

If ever such doomsday scenario occurs, you probably can just put the boat sideways and both of you float right back into the cockpit, before bracing with your paddle to right the boat level. One of you will have to keep bracing and try keep the boat upright, the other can scoop furiously.

(I encountered such a situation when I was leading a student expedition with heavy Wilderness System plastic doubles capsizing left and right while paddling through a tidal race with the spring tide flowing against us. God forbid I land myself in such a situation again...)

Echo

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by Echo »

Getting back in is only the half of it, as others have mentioned. If you are in a situation where your AE2 has capsized then the conditions are going to be fairly severe. You need to practice ALL the skills required in a self rescue with your paddle partner in a safe and controlled environment before you venture out into the conditions you allude to. Including righting your capsized boat without ''scooping'' a load more water into it, consider having a small drogue or sea anchor set for quick deployment, this will bring you bow on to waves and steady the boat in a least one plane. I practiced with my paddle partner in increasingly interesting conditions before one extended trip, consider 'jumping' out and re-entry with your partner still in the boat(gives you a good feel for it) they can assist with balance, and it's half a re-entry :) , also practice standing in your Klepper,on your own and together, excellent for gaining confidence, the added bonus is you get some free re-entry practice :D . either stuff your boat full of airbags(for practice) or make sure your kit is in dry bags with as much air as packing allows.
Dress for the temperature of the water, oh, and have fun while you practice!

cline

Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by cline »

I never go out on the water without this.

Don't bail it out; pump it out. :mrgreen:

harwax
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Re: How to re-enter a capsized Klepper?

Post by harwax »

Great idea - the hose attachment to the pump.

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