A - A kayak is a small narrow boat which is propelled by...

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A kayak is a small, narrow boat which is propelled by means of a double-bladed paddle. The word kayak originates from the Greenlandic language , where it is the word qajaq (pronounced [qajaq]). In the UK the term canoe is often used when referring to a kayak. [1] [2] The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler . The cockpit is sometimes covered by a spray deck that prevents the entry of water from waves or spray and makes it possible for suitably skilled kayakers to roll the kayak: that is, to capsize and right it without it filling with water or ejecting the paddler. Some modern boats vary considerably from a traditional design but still claim the title "kayak", for instance in eliminating the cockpit by seating the paddler on top of the boat ("sit-on-top" kayaks); having inflated air chambers surrounding the boat; replacing the single hull by twin hulls ("W" kayak), and replacing paddles with other human-powered propulsion methods, such as foot-powered rotational propellers and "flippers". Kayaks are also being sailed, as well as propelled by means of small electric motors, and even by outboard gas engines, when possible. Design principles [ edit ] Typically, kayak design is largely a matter of trade-offs: directional stability ("tracking") vs maneuverability; stability vs speed; and primary vs secondary stability. This is true for single hull (a.k.a. mono-hull) kayaks, but does not necessarily encompass newer types of hulls, such as twin hulls. Length [ edit ] As a general rule, a longer kayak is faster. See Hull speed . Kayaks that are built to cover longer distances such as touring and sea kayaks are longer, generally 16 to 19 feet (4.9 to 5.8 m). With touring kayaks the keel is generally more defined (helping the kayaker track in a straight line.) Whitewater kayaks, which generally depend upon river current for their forward motion, are short, to maximize maneuverability. These kayaks rarely exceed 8 feet (2.4 m) in length, and play boats may be only 5–6 feet (1.5–1.8 m) long. Recreational kayak designers try to provide more stability at the price of reduced speed, and compromise between tracking and maneuverability, ranging from 9–14 feet (2.7–4.3 m). Primary and secondary stability [ edit ] Primary (sometimes called initial ) stability describes how much a boat tips, or rocks back and forth, when displaced from level by paddler weight shifts. Secondary ( final ) stability describes how stable a kayak feels when put on edge or when waves are passing under the hull perpendicular to the length of the boat. Primary stability is often a big concern to a beginner, while secondary stability matters both to beginners and experienced travelers. By example, a wide, flat-bottomed kayak will have high primary stability and feel very stable on flat water. However, when a steep wave breaks on such a boat, it can be easily overturned because the flat bottom is no longer level. By contrast, a kayak with a narrower, more rounded
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  • Summer '06
  • Jdusndnksm
  • Canoeing, Kayak, Kayaks

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