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Dan, howís your kayak shopping going?
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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6312
Location: Maine

7/12/19 3:45 AM

Racks and paddles

OK, thinking ahead, do you guys have a preferred rack system? I have some old Thule bars but am not averse to getting a new system (I never put a bike on the roof). I suppose one good thing is that I have a relatively low station wagon, not a tall SUV.

I know nothing whatever about paddles, but I see MIKCo recommends Celtic paddles in 200-215 length. The paddles seem adjustable.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6592
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/12/19 8:12 AM

Paddles:

I saw some Celtic when I was demoing boats. Was thinking I should try them. Didnít have a chance. They look nice. 200cm sounds real short. But youíll just have to try them to see (trust MIKCO)

Try also both the bend shaft and straight shaft. Some people absolutely love bend shaft. I hate them. Your personal preference trumps all.

Racks: these days, thereíre just Thule and Yakima. If you already got some bars, get a pair of saddles and youíre good to go!

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6312
Location: Maine

7/12/19 8:17 AM

maybe I don't need a car rack

https://www.seattlesportsco.com/paddling/boat-carts/go-cart-center-cart-bike-trailer.html

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17554
Location: Portland, OR

7/12/19 8:39 AM

There was a listing here on local Craigslist, guy was selling the entire rig. Bike, one of those, a kayack. Txt of add boasted of many miles traveled going to and coming from use and stability yada.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6592
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/12/19 8:42 AM

I've actually tried one of those bike trailers (not sure which brand). It worked surprisingly well!

I rode the setup with a 17' boat on the trailer, AROUND A SWIMMING POOL! Nobody wanted to try it for fear they'd fall into the pool. ;-)

Turning the corners of the pool deck with limited room looked challenging with a 17 footer in tow. But I managed to complete the circle without dropping the kayak into the pool!

Got TWO rounds of applause, one after I rounded the 1st corner, the 2nd one when I completed one full circle.

Dan, you should definitely try it!


Last edited by April on 7/12/19 8:54 AM; edited 1 time in total

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6312
Location: Maine

7/12/19 8:50 AM

Actually

One place I will likely paddle is a river where I can put in about 2 miles from my house, and I could take the bike there. Only need to make 2 turns. Neighbors won't think I'm any crazier than they already do....

And I certainly have enough bikes to dedicate one to it.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4553
Location: Nashua, NH

7/12/19 8:59 AM

If you're serious about the bike trailer, go for it. However, I imagine that you're probably going to be traveling with the boat to places that are not within reasonable riding distance and/or with no place to secure your bike, so you'll still need another transport option.

Since you already own Thule bars, I would just look into new feet for your car, assuming you don't already have them. Beyond that, buy a pair of cradles for your boat, or two pairs if you expect to carry a second boat for a companion. Check Craigslist, as racks and rack accessories are often available at substantial savings. I prefer standard cradles to J-cradles because the latter stress the rack more and increase the "sail area" of the boat in crosswinds. If you think you'll have issues with lifting the boat onto the roof, there are cradles that pivot down on the side of the car so you don't have to lift it much above your waist. They work, but be prepared for sticker shock!

Another option is a trailer for your vehicle. Good ones are expensive, but if you're in a DIY mode, many paddlers modify inexpensive trailers from Harbor Freight to carry their boats.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6592
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/12/19 8:59 AM

I doubt you would though.

Not with your shiny new kayak ;-)

At least not until you put down your 1st scratch on it, which probably within the 1st month (incidentally, that's why I never buy brand new kayaks)

It's a fun concept. And I'm sure it works for some, in certain circumstance.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4553
Location: Nashua, NH

7/12/19 9:09 AM

As it turns out, the bike trailer is only usable with boats up to 15' long, so it's not really an option.

A month to put the first scratch on a boat?! Are you kidding??? Unless Dan is one of those pathological paddlers who never lets his boat touch the ground (yes, there are such whackos), the first scratch will probably happen in a matter of minutes! ;-)

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6592
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/12/19 10:57 AM

Scratches!


quote:
A month to put the first scratch on a boat?! Are you kidding??? Unless Dan is one of those pathological paddlers who never lets his boat touch the ground (yes, there are such whackos), the first scratch will probably happen in a matter of minutes! ;-)

LOL

Iím afraid some of my paddling companions are such wackos! They would get out of the boat before it touches land!

In practice, itís possible to reduce the wear and tear on the hull by leaving the boat on grass etc. In fact the gel coat on hulls are pretty tough. I donít baby my boat at all. I drive my boat up on rocky beaches and concrete boat ramps. And Iím surprised on how good my boatís bottom still looks. Thatís not to mention the previous owner of the boat use it to ďplayĒ in rough water. However good he was (BCU-4 coach), he must have made some contacts with rocks occasionally.

Last edited by April on 7/12/19 12:19 PM; edited 1 time in total

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6312
Location: Maine

7/12/19 11:20 AM

pathological paddler

I may be pathological but it's at the other end of the spectrum, so to speak. My boat will probably be scratched before I get it home.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4553
Location: Nashua, NH

7/13/19 4:08 AM

You're my kind of guy, Dan!!!

April, I'm the same way with my boats. I've also bought most of them used, so they were pre-scratched anyway. The way I figure it, every time I land them on something abrasive, I'm sanding the hull and making it smoother. ;-)

I have done some cosmetic work on two of my boats, a Pintail who's purple deck gelcoat was so oxidized that it was almost while and the Anas Acuta in the following "Gelcoat Restoration" tutorial:

https://briannystrom.com/kayaking/tutorials/gelcoat-restoration/

As I mentioned in the tutorial, it was a lot of work and I did it mostly out of curiosity. Let's just say that I'm no longer curious about it!

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17554
Location: Portland, OR

7/13/19 10:39 AM

"purple deck gelcoat"


Blingy Kayaks?

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4553
Location: Nashua, NH

7/13/19 2:42 PM

I was looking for an old-style Pintail and a purple over gray boat was available at a good price. It's more "pastel" than "blingy".

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6312
Location: Maine

7/13/19 3:29 PM

Plus

Brianís all about style....:)

MIKCo has a used Pintail, blue and white. No idea if it would be appropriate for me. I expect the recommendation will be a new NDK Romany of some sort, weíll see.

One question I have is that a lot of boats are rated for a paddler 140-200 lbs, or close to that. Iím right around 195. I donít expect to go much higher, but is there any problem being right at the top of the range? Could give me some incentive to keep the blubber off, I suppose. Of course there are other boats with a higher range.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17554
Location: Portland, OR

7/13/19 3:31 PM

"Brianís all about style....:)"


I see the smiley, but anyone willing to glue tactile enhancement pads on new Di2 STi buttons to improve function... That's a serious meat and potatoes layer from where I am sitting... ;) ;) [x2]


So when does the new boat see H2O, get christened?

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6592
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/13/19 11:07 PM

I think it's ok to go for a boat rated 200. You'll test paddle it anyway. If the boat sits so low you get water washing on to your skirt on a calm day, then you know you need a higher volume one. ;-)

If you do gain a lot of weight, you can always buy a bigger boat!

But the Pintail... it's a pretty tippy boat.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4553
Location: Nashua, NH

7/14/19 11:58 AM

I agree with April regarding the weight question. I know several people around 200# that paddle Romanys. For larger paddles, smaller boats become "play boats", great for exploring the coastline of places like...Maine. Imagine that!

Some of the above paddlers also own longer boats for extended touring and kayak camping. One of the best places for kayak camping is...you guessed it...Maine!

As for the Pintail, the original design had a rounded hull and a low, flat aft deck. They are coveted by paddlers like me, but they're definitely an acquired taste. You don't feel the stability of the boat much on-center, but it's pretty good once you lean it over and the hull shape slides off waves like nothing else (that's a good thing). It's highly maneuverable, but the nose tends to hunt around like a bird dog unless you drop the skeg a bit. The running joke is that Pintail paddlers actually paddle twice as far as their companions, since they're never going in a straight line...

Newer Pintails have a squarer hull with fuller bilges, more like the Romany. They also raised and curved the aft deck. IMO, they ruined the boat by doing this, as they made it more mainstream and eliminated its unique character. People who really like the older boats pretty much universally hate the new one, though it's probably more in line with what most paddlers would like. It's actually somewhat similar to the Romany - albeit lower volume. That's not a bad thing per-se, it's just not what Pintail aficionados want. We're such elitists!

I only recall being accused of having style once, after buying an rose from a street vendor for a woman I'd recently started seeing. I don't think she understood the difference between style and treachery. ;-)

I'd say that I don't have a stylish bone in my body, but It have been known to add a bit of flare to my bike helmets using pinstriping tape...

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6312
Location: Maine

7/14/19 1:27 PM

In other words

The Pintail has good secondary stability. I donít know sh*t, but Iím working on the lingo....

A tippy boat like that would not be for me, but in my limited experience Iíve been comfortable in somewhat rough water and with tilting the boat a bit, so maybe I want some handling capability. Seems kind of intuitive to me after bouncing around on a bike.

Pinstriping your helmet? WTF? :)

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4553
Location: Nashua, NH

7/14/19 2:20 PM

Yeah, you have the right terminology.

It's going to take some time to get comfortable in any boat. In the case of less stable boats, it's mainly a matter of your body learning to reduce the magnitude of control motions. It's similar to going from a bike that's really stable, but requires some effort in corners, to a quick handling bike that needs minimal input; you tend to use too much "body english" and it can get you in trouble. OTOH, once you're used to paddling a less stable boat, everything else will feel as stable as a sofa.

Going back to bikes, I experienced the above on our recent vacation in CA. Coming down Mines Road into Livermore on my 'cross/gravel bike outfitted with road tires, it just didn't carve the corners at speed the way my road bikes do. I wasn't as comfortable or confident and consequently, went slower than I could have.

A lot of it also comes down to not trying to control the boat too much and just letting it find it's own way. There's a saying that "the boat knows what to do" and you just have to relax and let it. Also, as you spend more time on the water, you'll learn to keep your hips loose and let the boat move underneath you, which feels really cool once you get the hang of it. It IS a lot like "bouncing around on a bike". Definitely try the Pintail while you're at MIKCO, you may find that you really like it. It's super fun in "textured" water.

I've actually been pinstriping our helmets for more than a decade, mainly because we tend to buy solid, boring colors like white or black. I use tape because it won't damage the plastic or void the warranty (painting can and will, respectively). Don't worry Dan, I keep it pretty simple and understated and I haven't done anything on my two newest ones, so my bland reputation is still intact. ;-)

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6312
Location: Maine

7/14/19 3:00 PM

Keep hips loose

I think thatís my intuitive reaction. I took a lesson at Bean before going to Antarctica, and the guide took me into some choppy water as he thought I might hit some down there. Some pretty good waves came and I just relaxed my hips and went with it, just like you relax when you hit uneven surfaces on a bike. The guide said ďif you would have locked your hips, you would have been over in a second.Ē To me it was intuitive and fun. At an earlier lesson the guide showed me a stoke (J-stroke?) where you initiate a turn by lifting one side of the boat with your knee. He went through this whole thing about shifting weight to maintain balance, it being difficult, etc., I just did it intuitively barely thinking about it and shrugged.

So I think cycling is good background, though I will have massive amounts to learn.

In Antarctica the rougher the water was the more I enjoyed it.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4553
Location: Nashua, NH

7/14/19 4:47 PM

The main difference from a leaning perspective is that while on a bike, you lean into a turn, in a kayak, you edge the boat away from the turn. Some boats will still turn reasonably well if you lean into the turn. Of course the prime example of that is the Pintail and as I recall, the CD Gulstream is pretty good, too.

I looked at MICKO's used boats and the Pintail they have is the newer version ('93 was the last year of the older design), so it may work for you. You should also try the Skerray, as it's essentially a wider Pintail and we had a great time in them in Shetland. If you have extra time, try the Outer Island just for fun (they misspelled the name). You probably don't want a wood boat, but the OI is a really nice design.

It's great that you liked rougher conditions, as that's really where most of the fun is. I find paddling flat water to be about as interesting as riding flat roads.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6592
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/15/19 7:48 AM


quote:
the rougher the water was the more I enjoyed it.

The "rough" water makes the paddling more interesting. Rather than just putting one blade in the water followed by another and not even feeling the acceleration, the bouncy water gives you some variation. Like riding, terrain variation makes the ride more fun.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6592
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/15/19 9:31 AM


quote:
In the case of less stable boats, it's mainly a matter of your body learning to reduce the magnitude of control motions. It's similar to going from a bike that's really stable, but requires some effort in corners, to a quick handling bike that needs minimal input; you tend to use too much "body english" and it can get you in trouble. OTOH, once you're used to paddling a less stable boat, everything else will feel as stable as a sofa.

That's a very good explanation of how stability is perceived.

Boats that are perceived as "stable" are typically stable on flat'ish water. The primary stability is there to reduced or even eliminate input needed to correct for minor ripples. "Stable" boats tend to stay on course very well in flat to mild conditions due to that "masking" effect.

But once the water starts to get a bit "rough", the textured water surface WILL knocked the hull around. There're TWO implications in that situation: 1) the secondary stability point comes into play* 2) it's actually better to immediately transmit the water impact to the paddler to allow them to react to such knocking around early, rather than masking the perturbation until it's too late (going over!).

The same applies to "body input". A boat that mask the effect of the water too much is not that good for learning. You really want to experiment around and experience what your input will do to the boat. So there's a school of thought that a less stable boat is a better boat for beginners! On the other hand, if you're tipping over every few minutes, you're not learning (except the re-entry part) too quickly either. So... up to a point.

Many progressing paddlers often look for the lest stable boat they can keep upright! Because that's when they get the maximum effect on their learning progress.

Also, if you LIKE textured water, there's no much point in a "stable" boat that's only stable on flat water. You really only need a boat that will mute the small ripples just enough to not having to make correction and adjustment constantly (after all, you do want to go some place instead of around in circles). Just don't go too overboard (literally).

* Secondary stability in wave: Instead of relying on the stability of the bottom part of the boat, it's the side of the boat that's in contact with the slanted wave face -- the secondary stability of the hull is in play here.

Last edited by April on 7/15/19 9:59 AM; edited 2 times in total

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6592
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/15/19 9:52 AM

One thing that gets confused a lot, directional stability (horizontal plane) is not the same as Stability in the vertical plane (the ability to stay upright) .

While directional stability is affected by the vertical stability, the reverse is less clear. You can have a boat that's directionally unstable (desirable for quick maneuvering) that's still reasonably "stable" in staying upright.

That's what I have (Valley Avocet). It likes to stay upright, even in waves. All I have to do is not make any dumb moves to upset its natural balance. Yet it turns pretty quick. Like a more crit-oriented bike, it wanders all over the place unless 1) I get it up to speed or, 2) I drop the skeg a bit. Because of its natural tendency to stay upright, it's not on the top of list for progressing paddlers (not as much as the Romany, for example)

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