Mainly kayaking photographs taken on the Isle of Man and beyond.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

There's a boat for everyone!

I remember 2 and a half years ago when I first started to kayak my two priorities were:
  1. To actually get my own spray deck on without help!
  2. To stay upright.

I seldom achieved both in the same trip. How things change. Now I worry about what boat I'm in. What are it's characteristics and will it handle well in rough water?

I have two sea kayaks namely an NDK Romany and a Rockpool Alaw Bach. My play boat is a Pyranha 7 0 but that's beside the point. I worry in case I damage my Rockpool and I'm forced to paddle the Romany. No offence to NDK but as a fellow paddler says to me, "there's a boat for everyone, but it's probably a different one for each of us". In other words the Romany is a great boat but just not for me. You can imagine my relief when this week I finally pinned Webby down (Rockpool's Mike Webb who helped design the Romany and the Alaw Bach) to agree to build me a second, but this time three piece, Alaw Bach. These concerns are not without grounds as earlier this year I did trash my Rockpool. It was left with 5 holes in the gelcoate. Webby repaired it for me and now you can't tell, but it meant that I was without the Rockpool for a month or two.
So what's the difference? People ask me this on this NDK dominated Island. Well all I can say is that in the Rockpool I can feel everything. I know where I am on a wave and what it's going to do next through feel. The difference is that in the Romany I have to open my eyes to achieve the same thing. The secondary stability of the Rockpool is excellent and I think that these two qualities are probably inter related in some way.


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