Pedal fishing Kayak, but...

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by MarkX, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. MarkX
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: Azores

    MarkX Junior Member

    I'm keen (and capable) to build myself a pedal powered fishing Kayak but the place where I want to fish with it is the Azores. I'm kind of dubious because...

    ...The thing about the Azores is that the world records of many large shark species are regularly caught there. This includes the biggest Great White ever recorded. Also, last year a fisherman had his arm bitten while hauling a net.


    http://www.jawshark.com/great_white_recorded_sizes.html
    http://www.bigmarinefish.com/photos_sharks_pg1.html

    So basically, would you use a pedal powered canoe for fishing in shark infested waters and if not, what's the smallest, lightest boat you would build for these conditions?
     
  2. uncleralph
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    uncleralph Junior Member

    Probably something bigger than this.
    [​IMG]

    http://www.filmsite.org/wavfiles/jaws.wav
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  3. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    There have been several articles of individuals using hobie pedal boats to catch sharks, some a quite a distance from shore-google should bring up the stories. Also saw a tarpon landed from a hand pedalled kayak on cable tv sometime back, so it can be done.

    Porta

     
  4. MarkX
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    MarkX Junior Member

    It's more about the shark catching me. I want to know what the chances are of being attacked, bearing in mind I will be fishing (and possibly trolling for various species). The prop revs will be in a range of frequencies similar to injured fish and there may be the smell of bait in the water.

    If I do build one, what methods are there for defending against shark attack?
     
  5. MarkX
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    MarkX Junior Member

  6. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    I've read that the low speed of HP props may make then attractive to sharks, (possibly because of a similarity to the movement of injured fish) and that a light coloured or shiny prop is more likely to be a problem than a dark one.
     
  7. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    I am a kayaker on occassion. In your case I would be very hesitant about using a kayak around any area inhabited by collossal predators. I would be more inclined to use a skiff or perhaps a dory type boat that is at least 5 meters in length. The size of the boat might give the predator some pause and it will, in any case, give the occupant a more comfortable place to fish. No, you can not propel a skiff with a double paddle but you can certainly make it go with a pair of oars.

    In my location, fresh water, we have some pretty formidable alligators. Lots of them. Some of 'em are 4 plus meters long and might weigh 200Kg or more. They are stupid and sometimes hungry. They rarely bother boaters but there was an occasion recently when a gator attacked a kayaker and damned near took his leg off. In the presence of great whites or any other huge beast I do not want to be in a kayak. After reading uncleralph's referral above, I am even more certain that kayaks and sharks are a very bad mixture. Go for a bigger boat! Less convenient maybe, but much more confidence inspiring.
     
  8. MarkX
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: Azores

    MarkX Junior Member

    Inclined to agree...
    I've been doing a lot of reading and so far found that sharks do attack Kayaks on occasion. Since the Azores are a high large shark area, it is a bigger than normal risk. While they usually just take a bite of the Kayak and go, various people are injured and a few killed.

    Basically I either build a Kayak/Canoe that can cope with a sizeable shark hit or go for a small boat of sorts. I had hoped to avoid all the trailer+outboard+launching nonsense but it may be the only option.
     
  9. Jeremy Harris
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    Jeremy Harris Senior Member

    I think the advice above regarding size may be an important factor. Years ago I rented a canoe in the Everglades and asked the Ranger for advice regarding 'gators. His advice was pretty straightforward, he just said that the biggest 'gator locally was around 12ft or so and the canoe we were renting was around 16ft. As 'gators are (as has been said above) pretty dumb, and they are cannibalistic to boot, they don't tend to attack anything that's around the same size or bigger than they are. Essentially they'll see a 16ft long canoe as a big 'gator, so may assume that it'll go after them and keep away.

    Our experience supported this. 'Gators tended to get out of our way as soon as they saw the canoe. My wife even hit a small sleeping one on the nose with her paddle (by accident, she's short sighted and the 'gator was sleeping on the surface under some mangroves) and it just woke up and swam away quickly (frightened the hell out of her, though!).

    Sharks may think the same way. I believe that there has been some research on shark attacks on surfers and this tended to show that they go after people paddling out on short body boards rather than long boarders. The theory is that they mistake body board paddlers for seals.

    As a long boat would also be good for overall efficiency under pedal power, it may be that it would be less prone to shark attack. I suppose the other factor is to look at the actual risk of shark attack, as I think it's pretty low overall (although you may live in a higher risk area than some of us).
     

  10. MarkX
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: Azores

    MarkX Junior Member

    it does indeed seem "the bigger the better" is the main factor, like you say.
    I have to compromise between pedal-ability and size+weight if I'm going to avoid noisy stinky outboards or heavy electric batteries (Lifepo4 batteries are on the verge of becoming a viable alternative to lead-acid though).
     
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