Friday, July 18, 2008


Just put the boat on the water for its first paddle. I decided that it needed somewhere scenic, and somewhere with water that was somewhat shallow just in case. The place chosen was the second Vermilion Lake in Banff, which clocks in on the depth-o-meter at about 1-2ft.

I rounded up about 10 people from the Centre, and my Father and Girlfriend from Calgary, and headed down in the evening. I named the boat Carina in a small ceremony, toasted it with ginger ale, and hopped in.

The initial impressions on the boat are great, plenty of secondary stability, and just enough primary stability to avoid feeling alarming. Seems to handle well, enough rocker so you can spin it within its own length, and yet still tracks well and glides beautifully.
Once thing I have noticed is that the weight balance seems to be a bit aft, so the bow section tends to rise up out of the water, especially when I paddle it hard. I think I am going to just get in the habit of shoving gear in the front to balance it out.

Final weight on the boat came it at a hair over 35 pounds, with the balance point sitting right under the front cockpit deck beam. You can pick the boat up like a briefcase with one hand and it stays level. I don't think I could do that again deliberately, but if one could its a really nice feature.

After paddling around by myself for a bit I let a few of the spectators take the boat out for a spin, everyone seemed to really enjoy it, and it was a good test on how stable the boat was, especially with people who haven't kayaked very much in the past. No one got wet, so I guess the boat passed the test.

Oh, and the ever important shot of yes it sits and stays on the car, which is actually kind of a hard thing when the rear deck is lower than the front, and the front is heavily peaked. I stick it with the roof rack right on the forward deck beam, and right under the cockpit rim bracing.

Thanks to my Father, Bruce, for taking all the photos.

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