Category Archives: Kayaks and Gear

Pimping out Rocinante – May 1, 2015

Someone asked me about how I prep my boats for being better seen on the water, especially better seen by motor boats who are not always looking for kayaks low on their horizon.  so I thought I would post a few pics of what I recently did with my touring boat, “Rocinante”.

I’m a big one for being seen on the water, especially in low light situations like early morning launches, early evening landings and in rain or fog.  So on all my kayaks I replace (if necessary) the perimeter line with reflective static line, add reflective tape and/or reflective pinstriping, and apply a reflective name decal. I also add reflective patches to my paddles.

Reflective patches and wide tape can be found at many hardware stores, sold for marking mailboxes, etc. I use the patches or short pieces of wide tape for paddles, deck top and hull bottom. Patches that reflect white are generally the most easily seen.  Top-of-the-line reflective tape meets SOLAS standards. REALLY bright reflection. Expensive, but worth it if you paddle in areas with heavy power boat traffic like bays, harbors or the ICW.  The narrow tape for pin-striping can sometimes be found in auto parts stores for detailing cars.  Otherwise you can get YakAttack Nitestripe reflective tape over the internet.

You can also pick up a couple of reflective bicycle ankle straps at a local bike shop or big mart store and add them to your bow and stern loops or tie-down lines when traveling with your kayak.

Here’s a couple of pics of Roci, in regular light and low light after her “pimping party”. Just another safety thing that’s very easy to add to any boat for an extra edge.

(Please forgive the messy garage. I have several projects underway just now.)

Rocinante in low light. Reflective perimeter lines, pin-striping and reflective boat name decal.

Rocinante in low light – reflective perimeter lines, reflective pinstriping and reflective name decal.

Rocinante in day light.

Rocinante in day light.