Easy kayak entry

By Ray Ford

This L-shaped grab rail makes getting into kayaks a lot easier


Photo by Gary Hutton

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Kayaking is fun, but as Gary Hutton notes, it’s a little nerve-racking to clamber in and out of the sensitive craft.

“I kept thinking if I had good footing and something to grab, it wouldn’t be so tricky,” the Lake Huron cottager says.

To ease boarding, Hutton lag-bolted two eight-foot 2x4s to his Eagle Harbour dock to form an L-shaped grab rail. When it’s time to hit the waves, Hutton grasps the 2×4 perpendicular to the kayak with his right hand and the parallel 2×4 with his left hand, slides his bum over the kayak, and settles into place. Upon his return to the shore, the rails provide leverage for climbing back out. Hutton says he considered adding a 2×6 atop the perpendicular 2×4 for a more comfy seat, “but you’re on it for only a few seconds, so you don’t really need a comfort factor.” Best of all, “because it’s so simple, the basic idea can be applied to many different styles of docks,” even floating ones.

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Ray Ford