2956Re: 4 day kayak
- Mar 3, 2008--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, rgcapecoral@... wrote:
>How'd it go?
> AWWW...Benefits of multi-propulsion devises!
> Hey, heard you took maiden voyage in new design skin on frame.
>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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