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Larsboat swimming report

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  • Richard Spelling
    Seeing that the weather is quickly getting colder here in Oklahoma at the end of September, and not wanting to finish my new boat just in time for it to be to
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2000
      Seeing that the weather is quickly getting colder here in Oklahoma at the end of September, and not wanting to finish my new boat just in time for it to be to cold to take it out, I lauched my unpaited Michalak designed Larsboat today.
      The boat is covered with epoxy, but needs quite a few hours of sanding before it will be ready for paint. The only modification to the design was to seal off the bow compartment for forward floatation. Also, I was prototypeing a seat for the boat, sitting on the bottom not being very comfortable for me.
      My new lightweight aluminum kayak paddle is still in the mail, so I took the 8 1/2 foot double bladed paddle from one of the pirogues. In addition, took with me a jug of water for drinking.
      It's in the 80's here, with the south wind blowing quite well. Force four at least, lots of whitecaps, waves building up to over a foot in the short distance to the southern shore of the lake.
      In the water, the seat was very comfortable, and I figured that raising the center of gravity four inches couldn't be too bad... WRONG.
      I'm doing ok, bow into the waves, slicing thought, when I decide I need to turn and head for shore. This, of course, puts the waves off the beam... small, 16" wave comes over and I mutter the imortal words "OH SHIT".
      I come up, and everything is in the water, paddle, cooler, seat, cushion that has come off the seat, boat, and me...
      I swim franticaly after the boat which is quickly blowing away, grab the bow line, tie it around my wrist, then swim for the paddle. After getting the paddle in the boat, I go after the two parts of the seat, and put them in the boat.  The cooler has drifted to far away, so I say forget it.
      I spend the next five minutes trying to get my PFD to F. The loosly attached straps keep it on me, but it floats somewhere just under my chin.
      I try swimming for the nearest shore. No joy. Never was much of a swimmer, and pulling the boat doesn't help much.
      The designer says you can't get back in a boat like this. I was about to attempt to prove him wrong. Tipping the boat up on it's side, I attemp to role in. All is fine, except the blasted seat keeps me from getting in. Toss seat, try again. This time I make it. With me lying in the cockpit, there is about 8 inche of water in the boat, but the wave's arn't breaking over the sides!
      Oh. Guess I should have brought something to bail with... Could use the cooler, but it's several hundred feet downwind by now.
      Laying in the 8 inches of water, I'm able to paddle the boat after a fashion. I turn the stern to the waves, and head after my seat. Snag both pieces with the paddle, and head for the cooler. Cooler is getting away from me, and almost capsize the boat trying to reach for it, so I just head for shore.
      On shore, dump water out of boat. Boat is very heavy with all the water in it. Reboard, sitting on the FLOOR this time, leaning against the aft bulkhead, and head for the cooler.
      After this though, was a very nice outing. Discovered I could sit comfortably by slouching down, and only sitting upright when in big waves. Fish were jumping, one almost jumped into the boat. Boat performed very well, slicing through the waves.
      To top it all off, was idly picking at the porch paint that got dribbled on the poly finish on the pirogue paddle. It wouldn't come off no matter how hard I picked at it! The porch paint being harder than the primer on Entropy, it comes off in small flakes if you scratch it.
      Will have to do some testing, but poly sticks very well to epoxy, and is quite hard. Maybe use it for primer for Larsboat? We'll see.
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