Kayarchy - the sea kayaker's free online handbook


Kayarchy is all about sea kayaking

Welcome to Kayarchy, the big free handbook of sea kayaking
NEW! Articles and reviews about kayaking and nature.

Feathercraft double at Stac Pollaidh

The kayak is far and away the best one-man boat in existence.” Fridtjof Nansen, polar explorer, Norwegian diplomat and Nobel prize-winner. He was talking about the classic Greenland kayak. The sit-on-top kayak is very popular too, because a total beginner can climb on and go paddling.

Classic sea kayak vs sit-on-top kayak

A sea kayak is :

About this site

Kayarchy is a free online handbook of sea kayaking. It's very big. As a large-format book it would be more than 400 pages. To find your way around, scroll down the section summaries below, use the Index or browse the Full Contents. Before reading, please look at the disclaimer.

Kayarchy.co.uk has been online since 2009, and Kayarchy.com since 2010 to give a North American view of weather, tides, currents, buoyage, forecasts and links. With permission, text and images from Kayarchy have been translated for use by non-profit organisations in French, Spanish, Icelandic and Chinese. Turkish and Finnish are next.

Contributions are always welcome. See About Kayarchy.

Kayarchy section summaries:


Sea kayaking overview
Compared with other sports

About Kayarchy
Get in touch
Metric measurements
Legal notice & privacy policy

Translation project:
— bilingual text
— international glossary

Kayarchy icon  
Section 1 - Equipment:
Equipment checklists
The sea kayak
Other kayaks
Kayak accessories
The paddle
Clothing, personal buoyancy, tow-belt
Distress signals & rescue
Repair, storage & maintenance
Kayak bow  
Section 2 - Technique:
Paddling your sea kayak
Kayaking on fast-moving water
Kayaks & surf
Rolling your kayak
Rafting-up & towing
Deep-water rescue & self-rescue
Sea kayak navigation
Organising a day-trip
Overnight trips
Kayaking safely:
— Cold shock, swim failure & hypothermia
— Getting run over
— Hand/arm over-use syndromes

— Dislocated shoulder

— Rockfall & icefall

— Solo kayaking
Kayaker rolling  
Section 3 - The Sea & The Weather:
Predicting the weather
Professional weather forecasts
Maritime weathercock  
Section 4 - Access & Environment:

Access to the water
Protecting the environment
Codes of practice
Coastal & sea creatures

European otter  
Section 5 - Activities:
Courses & holidays in the UK
Courses & holidays elsewhere
Tours, treks, races & raids
Meetings & symposia
Maritime festivals
Kayakers waving  
Section 6 - Kayarchy Shopping:

Kayak shops

Sea kayaks to fit adults
Sea kayaks to fit children
Surf kayaks
Fast touring kayaks
Sea kayak kits and plans
Online yacht chandlers (fittings, rope and paint)
Materials for SOF (skin-on-frame) boats

Gemma in kayak kit  
Section 7 - Links to Other Websites
Section 8 - Table of Contents and Index
Section 9 - NEW - articles about kayaking and nature


Sailing canoes in 1895
- from Dixon Kemp's "A Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing"
2. More articles to follow ... when I have time
1. "Sea Kayaking Guide - Brittany - 60 paddles" (2013)
- detailed guidebook by Véronique Olivier and Guy Lecointre.
2. More reviews to follow ... when I have time




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About Kayarchy | Full Contents | Legal Notice & Privacy Policy | Get In Touch | ©2009-2019 N Waller