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

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - 3 piece Rockpool.

At long last my 3 piece Rockpool Alaw Bach is home in the Isle of Man. I would like to thank Mike Web of Rockpool for doing such a fantastic job of fixing the really quite extensive damage to the cockpit.
I know that Mike is working on a new development of the Alaw Bach. Originally developed as a playful rough water sea kayak with expedition capabilities, what would I want to buy next from Rockpool. Of course these are my own thoughts and not what Rockpool are necessarily doing. But I would want a shorter boat as I would not be planning to carry anything other than essential gear. This would make turning easier in rough conditions. Of course too short and speed would be sacrificed making it difficult to catch that wave ride. It must be ultra light and maneuverable and a carbon option is essential.. The current Alaw Bach does require a great deal of edge to turn it and is susceptible to "stern turn" in a following sea. Perhaps the stern angle could be made less steep removing the in built skeg. Of course a retractable skeg could be added for those that want it. Mike Webb helped to design the NDK Romany. Am I describing a hybrid between the Romany and the Alaw Bach. If so, it should not lose the Alaws sharp angulated hull.The squareness of the sides above the chined section combined with the width gives high secondary stability when the ALAW is edged or leaned over. These characteristics are lacking in the Romany. Make the boats primary stability less however, perhaps by altering or raising the centre of gravity. This should make the boat more playful and responsive (although it would alienate the novice paddler). Finally, the current cockpit is great with it's adjustable play boat footrests, seat and hip supports, but if the cockpit could be made more snug then all the better.

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