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2956Re: 4 day kayak

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  • Don
    Mar 3, 2008
      --- In swflpc@yahoogroups.com, rgcapecoral@... wrote:
      > AWWW...Benefits of multi-propulsion devises!
      > Hey, heard you took maiden voyage in new design skin on frame.
      How'd it go?
      > Rege

      It went GREAT!!!

      I refer to it as my "4 day kayak" because that's how long it took to
      build it - monday afternoon to thursday evening. Mike D. & I have
      been putting our heads together on a new concept kit kayak, and this
      kayak (I named it "Alpha Centauri") is the first semi-completed
      prototype (still a few minor changes to be made).

      It's just over 15 feet long, with a 24" beam & hard chines for
      stability. I gave it a plumb stern (straight down, rather than
      tapered) to aid in tracking, and a rockered tapered bow for a gentle
      entry & easier turning. This first prototype is sort of a cross
      between 2 different kayaks that we want to produce - a low volume & a
      high volume version. It weighs right about 40 lbs., but that weight
      may drop a bit, from a proper skin, and some of the modifications
      that I have in mind.

      I met Dave Whitford friday morning, at the Everglades City Ranger
      Station, and loaded it up with camping gear for our overnight stay on
      Pavilion Key, where we were to meet Keith Wellman, Lou Greenwell, and
      a few others. I carried all of the usual camping gear - tent, chair,
      sleeping bag, change of clothes, sweater & jacket (it was a bit
      nippy!), air mattress & pump (got to be comfortable!), cooking gear,
      2 stoves, food, small cooler (to bring cold beers to Keith & Bill,
      our friends who were 5 days on the Wilderness Trail), and of course,
      fishing gear (rod, tackle bag, pliers, measuring stick, fish bag, rod
      holder). Everything fit inside except for the chair & fishing gear,
      which was all bungeed to the deck. I got a few stares & comments
      from the other people at the launch area, when they saw me loading
      all of this into a see-through kayak!

      I was absolutely THRILLED with the way it performed. It tracked
      straight & true, despite the varying wind & wave directions that we
      encountered, with winds that were, at times, at least 20mph, if not
      more. I normmally paddle my Osprey HP, which has a rudder - I didn't
      miss the rudder at all with this kayak. In the few times where
      quartering winds caused me to "choke up" on one side of the paddle, I
      quickly found that I could simply shift my weight in the seat an inch
      or so, and I could stay on track without modifying my grip on the
      paddle from the normal, balanced position.

      I did some fishing out of the kayak, and found that it maintained its
      position relative to the wind while drifting too. I would paddle
      upwind, then point the bow in the direction where I wanted to cast,
      and once again by shifting my weight in the seat I could maintain my
      drift in that position easily.

      I had high hopes for this design, but I've got to say - it exceeded
      all expectations by far.

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