Thanks for accepting me

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JustinC
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Thanks for accepting me

Postby JustinC » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:55 am

Hi folks,

Paddling has been somewhat of an evolving journey for me over the last 15 years or so. It started with ocean-based fishing and then spread to flat warer racing, a little surfing, inland fishing, camping etc. About 3.5 years ago we moved to our little farm and paddling took a backseat to fencing, building shelters, learning about livestock, establishing vege gardens and all sorts of weird and wonderful farm things. Now that's all under control, we're coming home to paddling.

Currently I'm paddling my old faithful Prijon Kodiak which is the best all rounder I've ever come across. It's not really tuned to be great at anything but I've "raced" it in the Hawkesbury, fished it inland and in the ocean, surfed it, camped from it and learned some basic skills in it. I've also owned TKs, Ks, multisport kayaks and an Epic 18X. One of the things I'm really keen to get into is longer distance ocean paddling and will be looking for a craft more practical for carrying gear on the ocean, landing in various conditions and taking advantage of (or more appropriately managing) swell. The 18X Ultra I had was awesome on flat or ocean water but it was pretty fragile - even being in the Kevlar layup. It was a fraction to big for me when empty (I'm 6' and 80 - 90 kilos) and there's no way I would land it in anything other than flat water when loaded.

There's a bit of saving to be done beforehand so I am in no rush and will take the time to paddle various options before making any decisions - there are heaps of brilliant kayaks out there but I really want something I can connect with well in terms of cockpit fit, a deck and seat that supports my stroke, a balance between speed and toughness, etc., etc. I would love to get an Aussie brand and will look at the Mirage (532/582), Nadgee (Solo/Wanderer) and EK (Aurax) boats. I would also like to try a Paddling Perfection SeaBear (NZ) which was the first expedition boat to capture my imagination many years ago. At this stage I am up for all suggestions and guidance. I have my Kodiak for now and will probably pick up a cheap second hand exercise kayak to keep me busy.

In the interrim, if there is anyone doing some training paddles around Goulburn or Canberra and up for an extra body, please let me know. I'm hoping to get to the coast once a month as well and probably aim for Jervis Bay or somewhere like that initially (was at Fisherman's paradise on the weekend) but will be happy to travel further every now and then.

Thanks again.

Justin.

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NorthSIKer
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby NorthSIKer » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:52 pm

Thanks JustinC.

Looks like you have plenty of experience to draw from and are well-versed on what to consider.

I reckon that short-list is as good as any for long distance tourers - all proven boats (well the EK is quite new) but quite different in their overall outcome.

I haven't got anything to add - other than please keep us posted on how your testing and deliberations work out. Oh, except if you weren't already considering it, speed on the flat and speed on an average day of conditions on the open ocean may be different things. I understand all of those boats have open ocean handling in their design, but for you some may work out better than others. Of course no expedition cruiser is going to be a rough water playful, turn on a dime type of boat.

And let me know if you are planning to fish from one of those boats :)

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NorthSIKer
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby NorthSIKer » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:00 pm

Oh, and possibly another for the list to consider is the Hybrid 550. Quite different again and not so much built for all out speed by the looks.

I am way too big for one but I have a soft spot on account of the interesting and innovative design features.

Daytripper
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby Daytripper » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:22 pm

JustinC, if you liked your Epic 18X out on the ocean but found the Ultra too fragile and the boat a little too big, then you could be very happy in the Epic 16X in the standard layup. The Epics have proven their seaworthiness (the 18X for sure, with Freya's circumnavigation), and the 16X standard layup deals with all your issues with the 18X: smaller boat; sturdy; big cargo capacity; fast; lightweight even in standard layup but very strong; comfortable and adjustable seating--what's not to like?

JustinC
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby JustinC » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:05 pm

Hi NorthSIKer. I'm always planning to fish. I'll keep the Kodiak regardless of which new boat I end up with - it's got a rocket launcher just behind the seat and a scotty in front of the cockpit we makes life a little easier. I need to check where the exclusion zones are but I planning on towing some decent sized lures around JB in the not too distant future if you're keen.

Last weekend I snuck a rod in on a romantic paddle with my wife.... Photo attached :)

I've not seen the Hybrid boats before. Just checked out the video.... Very interesting. I'll look into them.

IMG_20170812_130604.jpg
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NorthSIKer
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby NorthSIKer » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:13 pm

JustinC wrote:Hi NorthSIKer. I'm always planning to fish.

:) good to see and something you'll want on the longer trips too I suspect.

Maybe change out those trebles on your lure for singles though - much safer to deal with from a kayak.

Tuna hook.png
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JustinC
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby JustinC » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:29 pm

Hi DayTripper,

I love the Epics. The rudder set up, the U-shaped hull, the speed and the weight. The size thing though, is more about volume, especially in the cockpit..... and I'm pretty keen to keep a bit of length as well (fussy, I know). Also, I'm an idiot for selling it but now that I have, there's an opportunity to try something new :). <-- I'm definitely not immune to a little emotionally-based decision making.

Thanks for the suggestion though. I completely agree, they are brilliant!

JustinC
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby JustinC » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:05 pm

Mirage 532/582.

Paddled these for an and hour or so each just recently. Amazingly comfortable and luxurious to sit in. Rock solid on the water too. Cruise was pretty good on sloppy water and the storage space on the 582 was huge. No braces on either test boats but to be honest, I don't think I'd bother with them, at lest not to start with. Deck layout was good too although the deck on the 582 felt a bit flimsy (it was a Kevlar hull/glass deck) which I would fix with Kevlar :) Otherwise, the build quality was good, the finish was great and I could easily see why they are so popular. Also, they're available locally through Wetspot Watersports who I'm a long term customer and advocate for which gives me confidence that any after sales service will be excellent.

The things that didn't quite gel for me we're:
- the 582 is too big for me
- they felt a little "too stable" in that they weren't as responsive as I'm used to
- and the biggest one for me was the inability to disengage the rudder. Not a design floor as I'm certain plenty of folks would love it. Just didn't work for me at all.

End result. A great couple of kayaks but probably not making it through to the final for me....

JustinC
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby JustinC » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:18 pm

NorthSIKer wrote:Oh, and possibly another for the list to consider is the Hybrid 550. Quite different again and not so much built for all out speed by the looks.

I am way too big for one but I have a soft spot on account of the interesting and innovative design features.


I've been looking into this since you mentioned it. That boat looks like a lot of fun! Definitely on the list to try! Found another video of the guy paddling it - he's amazing too. Thanks heaps for recommending it!

Do you know if you can disengage that rudder?

feraltek
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby feraltek » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:47 pm

Epics
The size thing though, is more about volume, especially in the cockpit


I test paddled an Epic 16X and thought the cockpit was too tight and didn't allow space for accessories (nibbles, water, etc) or even body wriggle room, for a multiday river camping trip. Is this something like what you mean?

JustinC
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby JustinC » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:22 am

Thanks Feraltek.

The thing with the 16X is it's a bit shorter than I was looking to go.

Cheers.

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NorthSIKer
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby NorthSIKer » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:25 am

JustinC wrote:- the 582 is too big for me
- they felt a little "too stable" in that they weren't as responsive as I'm used to
- and the biggest one for me was the inability to disengage the rudder. Not a design floor as I'm certain plenty of folks would love it. Just didn't work for me at all.


Size is an issue not easily fixed.
They are not the most responsive or nimble boats - like many big cruisers. Handling improves a bit I feel with crossing the rudder cables but you can't make a boat what is not. But yeah - rock solid under load and comfortable all day to paddle.
Why do you want to disengage the rudder?

I guess you would be steering towards the Nadgee and the Hybrid based on the above?

For 'lively' expedition sea kayaks maybe also consider the Pittaraks (another Aussie).

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NorthSIKer
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby NorthSIKer » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:31 am

JustinC wrote:Do you know if you can disengage that rudder?


I believe it is a minimalist 'flush' rudder designed for minor corrections only. On the basis that a rudder should be used for tracking adjustments not turning.

I feel on a big, loaded expedition boat that an efficient rudder is a real need to save effort and energy keeping a straight track to your destination (start the posts of disagreement! :lol: ).

You'd be best contacting the designer about the specifics though.

I would have had a very good look at one for my recent purchase had they had a model to fit the legs on a 6'4" body.

JustinC
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby JustinC » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:27 pm

Haha. Not me. I'm not religious about the rudder/skeg/el natural thing.

All my boats have had rudders and I do use them when trawling (so I don't dip my outrigger setup rod in the water) and when I'm after speed in adverse conditions. Otherwise I leave them locked or up because I just enjoy paddling without them - better leg drive and a more free moving hull.

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toquehead
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby toquehead » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:07 pm

You don't need to be in a hurry to get a new boat - Prijons are capable yaks. I've gone far and wide in my Marlin with a Pacific Action sail on the bow.

JustinC
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby JustinC » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:16 pm

toquehead wrote:You don't need to be in a hurry to get a new boat - Prijons are capable yaks. I've gone far and wide in my Marlin with a Pacific Action sail on the bow.


Very true. I'm in no rush.

Mac50L
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby Mac50L » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:10 pm

JustinC wrote: (I'm 6' and 80 - 90 kilos) I would also like to try a Paddling Perfection SeaBear (NZ)

Forget it, you really need to be 100+ kg or ++kg. At 6' & 70 kg, I found it was a liability in any wind (and their double is worse unless heavily loaded).

In one word "rocker" too much of it.

The comments about the Sea Bear were after paddling it on a triangular course, it, my own kayak and another design. A good stiff wind, hard to hold on course to windward, it was happy to stay in the trough of a swell but nearly blown ashore with wind on the beam. My own design with little rocker simply went where I told it to.

This all is presuming you would be paddling it empty as well as loaded. Always fully loaded, OK.

JustinC
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby JustinC » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:05 pm

Mac50L wrote:
JustinC wrote: (I'm 6' and 80 - 90 kilos) I would also like to try a Paddling Perfection SeaBear (NZ)

Forget it, you really need to be 100+ kg or ++kg. At 6' & 70 kg, I found it was a liability in any wind (and their double is worse unless heavily loaded).

In one word "rocker" too much of it.

.


Awesome advice. Thank you.

Daytripper
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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby Daytripper » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:25 am

Getting back to the length issue, JustinC, if the Epic 18X was too long, and the 16X is too short, then one would surmise that a 17-foot boat would be Just Right. But there are few boats of that length with the sort of plumb bow and stern that typifies Epic kayaks--the pointy ends of almost all other kayaks are not all that useful for storage, and many of them have actually less hull length in the water than an Epic 16X, making them less efficient boats at almost any speed. My Epic 16X has that unmatched Epic "glide" that the smooth no-chine hull and long waterline length give it, allowing me to not only keep up with my peers but also outrun them. Also, for some reason (probably the same as make it so efficient), the Epic is the best boat I've owned to force into a serious headwind for mile after mile. If you can test-paddle one, you should take the opportunity.

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Re: Thanks for accepting me

Postby Rhysie » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:24 pm

Sounds like the "Goldilocks" boat may be a Tiderace Pace 17 Tour. Not too short (16') or too long (18') and a plumb bow.


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