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

Friday, 14 August 2009

Kayak Isle of Man - 3 Piece or Not?

The photos above are of my Rockpool Alaw Bach 3 piece kayak taken just before a paddle down Loch Seaforth on the Isle of Harris. I also have a regular 1 piece Alaw Bach which I use when home on the Isle of Man. But is it worth investing in a 3 piece boat anymore? You can expect to pay about £500 more for a 3 piece over it's 1 piece equivalent when purchased new! I originally ordered mine about 2 years ago and subsequently flew it on the now bankrupt Zoom Airways to Vancouver Island. It cost me £60 each way on top of my conventional ticket price, which I thought was a bit of a bargain. I had a fantastic holiday, but since then many of the airlines have clamped down on taking sports gear on board flights as baggage. Many will still take kayaks, but specify that they must be plastic and not fibreglass, and some put size limits on the boats. I couldn't find an airline willing to take the Rockpool to Norway this Summer. Instead I posted it using TNT, at the hefty cost of £560!. The boat made it late, and with terrible bureaucratic problems with customs. Once again I had a great time with the boat in Norway, but I wouldn't repeat this exercise.
So what is the point of having a 3 piece boat? Well, I still think it was worth buying, and I would certainly replace it if I were to lose it. I travelled 400 miles in the car to get from the Isle of Man to Stornoway. The road trip was much more speedy for having the kayak safely in the back of the car rather than flapping around on the roof rack at 70 miles an hour. It has been known for a certain ferry company to charge extra to car passengers with long kayaks on the roof. And finally, the boat is secure in the back of my car rather than readily accessible to kayak pirates if it were to spend 3 weeks on the roof of the vehicle.
So, although the World has changed since I originally took delivery of my 3 piece boat, I still wouldn't be without it.

1 comment:

derrick said...

totally agree. :)