Kayak Tips, Rules and Making Reservations:

Getting in and out of the kayak

  • Wear your PFD at all times. 
  • The more experienced person should sit in the rear. 
  • Load the kayak evenly, or a bit more weight in the rear. 
  • A kayak will handle best if the bow is lighter than the stern. 

Paddling, steering and where to sit

  • With two people, work together as a team. 
  • If one person is to paddle a two-person kayak, you will want to sit in the back seat. 
  • The person in the back seat steers. 

Paddling

To start, sit in the kayak.  Your backside should be all the way back in your seat and your knees comfortably bent.  To find the proper foot well, straighten your legs all the way out and then bring them back one “well”.  If your legs are too straight, you may find you put strain on your lower back.  If your knees are bent too far, you may end up knocking your knee caps when you paddle.

  • Your hand placement on the paddle should be shoulder width apart and centered. 
  • Relax your hands when paddling.  You don’t need to hold a death grip! 

Basic paddling stroke is a forward power stroke.  Place the paddle blade in the water near your toes.  Pull the paddle blade back alongside the boat to approximately your hip.  Lift the paddle blade and take a stroke on the other side.

Feathered paddling stroke – hold the paddle tight in your right hand and loose in your left.  Using the right hand, rotate the paddle blade back and forth; it should slide through your left hand.  Now take a stroke on your right, cock your right wrist back (left hand staying loose and somewhat open) and take a stroke on your left, and so forth.  If using a left hand control paddle, reverse the process: the left hand stays tight and the right loose.

Re-entering a Sit-On-Top

  • If the boat is upside down, it will need to be turned over. 
  • To do this, reach across the bottom of the boat and grab the scupper holes. 
  • Bring your knees up and onto the bottom of the boat.  
  • Lean back and the boat will roll over. 
  • Position yourself so your head is near the cockpit of the boat and you are facing the boat. 
  • Let your feet float to the surface of the water by floating on your bellybutton. 
  • Reach across the boat to the far edge and then swim up and onto the boat. 
  • Next, roll over onto your backside which should end up in the seat. 
  • Sit up, swing your feet into the foot wells and you’re ready to go. 

CSF CODE OF CONDUCT

(FOR KAYAK USERS)

The following responsibilities are for each member, family member and guest who uses a CSF kayak. All kayak users should be able to swim. All children are responsibility of adult swimmers aboard the kayak.

  • ALL INDIVIDUALS MUST USE A COAST GUARD APPROVED PFD AT ALL TIMES. 
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the reservation section, always signing-in/entering cancellations when using kayaks. 
  • Member-households may take out a maximum of two kayaks under the same time slot. 
  • Remain within the boundaries defined for kayaks. 
  • Obey age limit restrictions.  Children under age 18 must be supervised by an adult member paddling with the child or in a nearby kayak. 
  • Give deep hull boats under sail or power in the channel the right of way and always obey the rules of the road. 
  • Behave courteously both on and off the water and always act in a way that avoids damage to the kayaks or other boats. 
  • Arrive on time for the start of a reservation and conclude promptly on time. 
  • Report any damage or loss of equipment immediately to CSF. 
  • Spray boats and all equipment with water from YYY hose in central area. Washing the boats and equipment prevents salt water deterioration. 
  • Place the kayaks away in their designated storage rack.  (Put the rear of the kayak, without boat number, in first. Straps should hang out, unbuckled alongside to prevent damage.) 
  • Lock up kayaks securely.  Return the paddles, back cushions, water plugs and any other equipment into the storage bin.  Then make sure the bin is locked properly. 
  • Once the General Release form for use of the kayaks has been signed, those observed not adhering to this Conduct Code is cause for losing membership privileges and fees without appeal. 

MAKING RESERVATIONS

(FOR KAYAK USERS)

Members may reserve either one or two of the four boats for any designated two-hour slot between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Policies described below are subject to change and weekend and holiday reservations may be restricted.  One rule that will never change, however, is that a boat may never be taken out without making an advanced or same-day reservation!

If the holder of a reservation is not at the kayak holder by 15 minutes after the hour, the reservation is considered void.  After waiting the prescribed fifteen minutes for the reservation to clear, a member may then take a kayak out only by signing it out prior to putting the boat in the water. Use the calendar diary inside the locker to record your last name, time out and time back for the boat you use on the day and time of use.

Advance Reservations

As of May 30, 2013, an online reservation system is in development. Reservations may be made starting Friday evening at 6 p.m. for the following week.  For the purpose of scheduling kayaks, the week begins with Monday and ends with Sunday.  No more than two reservations are permitted at any one time.  Furthermore, only one advance reservation is allowed per weekend (including a Monday holiday) from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  And, during those same months, weekend reservations must be made on the even hours only. A new explanatory document is available. Contact Michelle Vislosky at 203 345-4710 or bluesgirl06824@yahoo.com with questions.

Same Day/Drop-In Reservations

On the day of an intended kayak outing, any member may take a boat out without having made an advance reservation.  He/she must, however, make a same day/drop-in reservation.   Simply record your reservation or kayak usage in the calendar diary kept in the kayak gear locker in a protective plastic receptacle.

IMPORTANT:  Members who have already kayaked during the week or who have an existing reservation for the current weekend must wait until 10 a.m. to reserve any slot that same day.

Additional Important Requirements

  • Back-to-back reservations are not permitted, unless, of course, you are kayaking with someone from another member-household who has reserved the second time slot.  
  • Should you be kayaking alone or with a non-member, you may complete your reserved time, check the sign-up sheet to see if a boat is available and if so, reserve the next time slot and go back out without worry. 
  • A member-household cannot reserve more than two boats – within one time slot – at a time, even though the household may have more than one designated skipper. 
  • It is critical to cancel reservations when your plans change, even if due to inclement weather or conditions that exceed your skill level.  Always enter cancellations in the sign-up sheet at the harbor. 

CSF KAYAK AREA BOUNDARIES

  • Easterly:  Sasco Beach
  • Westerly: Gold Coast
  • Southerly: Harbor Channel Light
  • In Southport Harbor: Avoid the Channel, stay to the side areas out of traffic