View Poll Results: Law on mandatory kayak flag

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  • Yes

    11 28.21%
  • No

    21 53.85%
  • Undecided

    7 17.95%
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Thread: Flag Yes or No

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    New Windsor, MD Carroll County
    Posts
    190

    Default Flag Yes or No

    So I was talking to a family member today about yaks on the Chesapeake Bay. He runs a 24 foot Judge and feels that it should be a Law that all kayaks have to fly a flag of their yaks. This way the big boats can see us better. He also feels that planner boards should have a flag as well. Both should be minimum 36 inches above the water. So what are your thoughts?? Personally I fly a flag, however I feel it should be your choice, just like seat belts.
    2017 Hobie Camo Outback
    2016 Vibe Sea Ghost

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    849

    Default

    I always fly a flag. As far as a law, I'm not sure. I see the good side letting boaters be able to see you better but I don't want to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do.

    I also always wear a PFD but know plenty of folks that don't. Each to their own.
    Jim

    Hobie Outback
    TKAA member
    Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers inc.

    Everyone should believe in something... I believe I'll go fishing.

  3. #3

    Default

    I'm in a PA14 with a furled sail most of the time. I feel good knowing others can see that 10 foot "flag" bobbing, especially in channels/open water. I definitely support mandatory flags - it affects the safety of others.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,737

    Default

    When I look across the water from my water-level kayak seat, the object that catches my eye first is a paddle blade (light colored or marked with reflective tape strips) moving up and down. I can see the moving patches of color long before I can see a stationary flag or the kayak itself. A few years ago I loaned my paddle to a friend who had left his paddle at home. I could see the reflective tape on my black paddle moving more than half a mile away.

    If you are in a pedal-drive kayak, I recommend having your paddle handy. If a boat is approaching and does not seem to see you, get the paddle out and wave it in the air. This will get their attention better than a flag.

    For those of you who feel safer having a flag, then by all means use one. But for me, there is no reason at all to require a flag. It is just one more item to get in the way of a back cast.
    Last edited by J.A. Veil; 05-03-2017 at 08:36 AM.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    2,505

    Default

    I rarely see a kayaker's flag from a distance. I see the paddles first but only if they are moving. And to me that's the false promise with flags. They may wave, yes, but they are not moving in the wide arc that would make them more noticeable. It's that extra movement of a paddle that catches my eye first.

    Frankly, I assume no boater can see me. As you can tell from my reports here, you will not find me bobbing by the Bay Bridge or anywhere else at a time or place when there is continuous boat traffic. When I kayak fish larger bodies of water I stay relatively close to shore and always I keep my head on a swivel.

    We cannot eliminate all the risk of our hobby. It's like the debate about cold water clothing. There's no flag, bright color or any piece of gear that will protect us from poor personal decisions or insufficient skill to handle the conditions or areas we fish...or an intoxicated or distracted boater.

    Besides that, a kayak allows us to go where large boats cannot. And as we all know from the many reports here good fish do the same.
    Last edited by Mark; 05-03-2017 at 08:39 AM.
    Mark

    Olive Hobie Revo 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Cape St Claire
    Posts
    926

    Default

    I am going with the Goldilocks answer. If it is dead calm, I don't ofter use one, but if the wind is clipping I put it up. Not only for safety reasons, but also for me to use to track wind direction / intensity. I know I can just go by feel, but the visual helps me make decisions on where to go.

    My flag also contains my light, so if I will be out at dawn or through dusk, I put it up to aid in my visibility. There have been a number of occasions when I have been paddling back to shore after a day of fishing that I am convinced the light helped me not get run over by yahoos. If I died on the water for being unsafe, my wife would kill me....
    Bruce

    Wilderness System, Thresher 155

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alexandria
    Posts
    528

    Default

    I believe having a flag is just good practice. You may not need it on the Bay all the time, but if you can rig yourself a nice setup and make it a part of your workflow its not even an issue. Ever since I went down to FL I realized how much that flag helps when there's some chop and you're fishing the same numbers as other big boats.

    If it does turn into a law, maybe some nice snaggedline flags are in order??? I'd take one.

    I for one, dont like putting the trust of my safety in the hands of every boater out there. I do just about everything I can to be seen when Im on the Bay. I dont think a flag law would be the worst thing, but I also dont want extra regulations put on us for the sake of others (negligent boaters and yakers) not doing their part.
    -Jon
    Revo 13
    Forest Camo Jackson Cuda 14

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    I fly a flag every time I go out. I wear bright colors and use a yellow kayak. I do this because I have been hit by a boat, http://www.snaggedline.com/showthrea...ghlight=parker. Of course, the day I was hit I was also in a yellow kayak, with a flag and wearing a hunter orange hoodie. The boater just was not looking. I could see him in the cabin looking over to his right at some of the other kayakers that I was fishing with. I also saw him coming and tried to get out of the way. I always emphasize that kayakers should take every safety measure to ensure a safe trip. The one thing that I have added to my safety equipment is an air horn. I use it to warn off boaters who are coming close.

    However, I might have to draw the line at a law requiring a flag. I have been boating all my life. I keep my eyes glued to the water and area in the front of a boat. If a boater can't see a kayak, then what about a swimmer. Is there going to be a law that swimmers must tow a float with a flag. It is the boater's responsibility to keep a proper look out. That is the law. Some boaters use autopilots while boating on the bay. I have been chumming in my center console and had to move as a large yacht was coming dangerous close to our boat. This was most likely an auto pilot situation. What about duck hunters using a kayak. They may not want a flag above the kayak. In my days of boating, I have always seen kayaks, canoes and kids on floats. I encourage the use of flags. I have even changed out the Tek Light on top of my YakAttack flag for a brighter light, for those twilight or early morning outings. Safety, Safety, Safety, yes. I just can't agree with a law requiring flags.
    Last edited by DOGFISH; 05-03-2017 at 11:18 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    New Windsor, MD Carroll County
    Posts
    190

    Default

    okay next question, Is a kayak a vessel?? Under the Coast Guard Law, a vessel traveling the waters must yeild for a vessel that is actively fishing. So if I trolling in my kayak does that mean I have right of way?? Is a kayak a vessel. The definition of vessel is any man made item that allows you to navigate/travel on water.
    2017 Hobie Camo Outback
    2016 Vibe Sea Ghost

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    16

    Default

    I don't fly a flag, usually, because I'm historically NOT on water where I would expect to need protection from larger boats. That said, last year me and a buddy were on Aquila in VA, very much in the "NO WAKE" zone at low tide, the day before a tournament. Some chucklehead in a fully wrapped and sponsored boat came FLYING through, just under plane (so maximum wake), and whipped around the corner ALMOST into us. That spots been no-wake for a half mile, so it's not like we were at a transition point. He immediately de-throttled and whacked us with a hell of a bow wave and then chooched on through before we could pull out cameras and try to identify him. I don't know that flags would have helped (I doubt it, above the rushes and whatnot), but it's something worth considering.

    (Sidebar, the dude later managed to get absolutely stuck in the grass, trimming up his motor and rooster tailing mud and slime everywhere. He had to be towed out. Asshat.)
    2016 NuCanoe Pursuit 13.5
    2015 F&S Shadowcaster 12
    2008 Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT 12

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