A Cautionary Tale


Alan has a cautionary tale for us. Just as for “want of a nail a kingdom was lost”, for want of a secure bow tie down my kayak was lost! Simplest thing like not making sure the excess slack line on tie down strap was properly knotted and out of harm’s way became a very expensive lesson learned.

Although the Eddylines and similarly thermoformed plastic boats actually have more give and can flex a little better than glass without spiderweb cracks they still can’t be aggressively bent 30 degrees to the side from cockpit to bow! (as mine was when it’s bow kissed my car’s hood after I ran over my tiedown.)


*Good news* for me was that it didn’t happen on the LIE & no one was hurt. (actually no one was even around at 5am to witness my kayak self-destruct right in front of me)

Also good that I had such a full 1st paddling season (all winter through) and went on so many awesome trips (topped off with ½ dozen winter NACK pool practices) that the total loss I absorbed was still money well spent. I couldn’t even begin to put a price on those beautifully scenic fall foliage paddles on the Nissequoge and Carmens rivers.

Nissequoge (183)

Followed by cold winter paddling through Huntington & Lloyd harbors with snow-covered hills all around, Regular harbor seal sightings from October til April on numerous trips to Jones Beach and OysterBay; Lighthouse trips including Fire Island, Execution Rocks, Old Field and Huntington.

Nighttime paddles, fullmoon paddles, and most recently venturing out into the surf zone in Fire Island inlet!

SurfZone (27)

Just an incredible and enjoyable sport with incredible NACK people sharing their time and experience and even now offering to bring extra boats for me to keep me going & help shepherd me through this temporary setback.  See some additional pictures.

No regrets here at all except for the Murphy’s Law timing of my mishap -just as I was leaving for the Mahnattan Circumnavigation. trip. A real Homer Simpson “Doh!” moment if ever there was one. So much planning & anticipation. Freezing & packing water bottles, fruits, snacks and goodies, charging cameras , cellphone and VHF. Preparing clothing changes and raingear, printing maps, remembering EZ-Pass, waivers and ACA card, etc, etc, etc. So much effort undone in an instant by a lazy knot come undone. So I guess for me its back to the basics.

Planted (3)

You can’t get much more basic than the very last item on the L1 assessment: “Securing boats to rack” !!! Thanks to all and hope to see you out there real soon… -Alan M.

Categories : Training, Uncategorized


  1. Harold Mclaughlin says:

    Life’s short . . . get another kayak and start paddling!
    Alan and Steve I would like to use this article and photos in the fall newsletter if that is ok with you. Alan I hope to see you soon on the water.

  2. Dara says:

    Colin and I have done a similar thing. We each thought the other had secured the bow line on his kayak…as we were driving we realized the line was caught and pulling down the kayak..we stopped and saw that the kayak was bent really bad so colin quickly grabbed a knife and released the line.. We were lucky to get to it in time but i wanted you to know that we all have these brain farts!!! Good lessons though… least you werent hurt and you can replace the kayak….nice touch with the flowers!

  3. Thanks for sharing your mishap so hopefully this won’t happen to anyone else. You certainly gave me a chuckle with the picture of the flowers in the kayak. Nice addition to the garden. Certainly would be a topic for conversation. Hope you are back on the water soon.

  4. John says:

    I almost did the same thing just moving my truck to a better spot at TImber Point,
    and that was after hearing about your terrible accident. I also left my paddle on my roof one time. We all have to slow down and walk around our vehicle to make sure things are secure.
    I hope you can get on the water soon you are a great paddler to be with.

  5. Colin says:

    Alan, what happened to you kayak is horrible. I assume unlike a fiberglass kayak that can be repaired after a similar incident a plastic kayak cannot. Before you lay your kayak to rest, I would salvage all the parts that you can foot-pegs along with their rails, skeg, deck lines and hatches, etc. You have my sincere condolences on the loss of your kayak. I hope you are back on the water soon.



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