A bit cold

December 7, 2006

So Andrew McCauley turned around. 2 days out, his first night sleeping in the cockpit with his home made cover. Fair enough, and as the local kayaking association said its very good that he put safety first.

But… I don’t want to be harsh but… the issue seems very basic: had he not considered that it would be cold? Had he not tested it on an overnight trip? The cold that you get from a kayak is very noticeable. A grp or plastic boat has very little insulative value (it is so thin) and it is in constant contact with the cold sea, so any body part that touches the hull gets cold, quickly. I’ve noticed this on my knees on day paddles and wondered about insulating the hull.

There are some robust and very good spray insulations out there and I think even 30mm of something like polyurethane or polyisocyanate would work well. Here is a story, well told, about the values of various insulations, the author coming out on the side of polyurethane:

“One and a quarter inch of polyurethane sprayed properly in the wall of a house will prevent more heat loss than all the fiber insulation that can be crammed in the walls — even up to an eight-inch thickness. Not only does the polyurethane provide better insulation, it provides the house with significant additional strength.”
I am glad McCauley is okay though, last night as I was outside filling up the kerosene heater in about 0 dgrees temperature brrr… I thought, well at least I’m not kayaking in the dark on the Southern Ocean!

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One Response to “A bit cold”


  1. I just found this site post by Laurie Ford who has paddled the southern ocean more than any other kayaker alive http://members.iinet.net.au/~lford1/nz.htm
    check it out interesting opinions


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