Tag Archives: Feathercraft Big Kahuna

Gumotex Seawave in Venice

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I’ve had the Seawave a few months but paddling in Venice last week was my first proper outing. Venice lagoon was pretty calm on the day – there was more wash inside the Grand Canal from the vaporetti water taxis. It may have been calm but some 34kms without a river current and some tidal flow is still a pretty good outing.

It was an opportunity to try my high pressure modification. I’m running 35% more pressure in the side tubes (4.8psi as opposed to the advised 3.6) but have fitted PRVs (pressure release valves) rated at the higher pressure to prevent the boat getting damaged if it gets hot. Full story on how I did that here.

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It took about 15 minutes to pump up the Gumotex with the compact K-Pump (left) but before we lowered it down to the canal (above) it went flat. Oh dear – did I do something wrong? Turns out one side-chamber inflation valve (not new PRV) was leaking. I unscrewed it, blew at it, put it back and it held all day. Probably just a bit of grit, though that’s never happened to me before.

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My impression was the high pressure sides made the Seawave faster and more responsive – well it’s bound to, isn’t it. Returning to the apartment I didn’t feel like I’d paddled 21 miles, though I can’t say I was full of beans next day and my hands were swollen from using my 4-piece paddle (easier on Easyjet) instead of my bent Werner Camaro. I found it easy to keep up with Steve in his big yellow Kahuna and even found myself passing the odd hardshell sea kayak or double folders. On earlier trips in the Amigo I couldn’t catch the Kahuna. All those benefits might change in windy or choppy conditions, though there’s much to be said for an IK’s stability when things get gnarly.

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So three cheers for my Seawave HP. The short terms gains of high-pressure sides are not so elusive, of course. What remains to be seen is if running the boat 35% over the factory-advised pressure affects durability – ie; did I go too far choosing the PRV setting. I doubt it as poking the sides felt very much like my previous 2psi Gumo kayaks on a hot sunny day. The sides being less in the water will always be prone to getting warm and tight but have no I-beams to get stressed like the floor. Those boats never suffered so I’m sure the Seawave can hack it.

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Paddling the Venice Vogalonga

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‘Viva La Vogalonga! Viva Venezia! VIVA SAN MARCO!’

With the above proclamation and a shot from a cannon the 41st Vogalonga, a huge paddling regatta, got underway. Fettuccini’s stirring aria, La Forcola boomed from the speakers and the colourful, hand-powered flotilla pulled away from of the east end of Venice’s Grand Canal opposite Piazza San Marco and set off alongside the classic Venetian vista.

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Not that it was any kind of race, you understand – and it was pure coincidence we happened to be at the start on time. You took as long as you chose over the 30-odd kilometres up to Burano and back via Murano to re-enter Venice from the other end of the Grand Canal. There was no starting line or prizes for first place or wackiest outfit.

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I flew in the night before and on the day Steve and I lowered our boats off his mate’s canal-side apartment balcony and set off to join the melee. Soon I realised I was in Italy not in a BCU training video: the official bibs were optional (included in the €20 entry fee along with a t-shirt, poster and certificate) and so were pfds. After all, who’s ever seen a rower or a gondolier in a pfd?

Around us was every type of paddle or oar boat under the sun, from 20-oar-power dragon boats paddling to a drum beat like in Ben Hur, four-up forward standing ‘frontelli‘ rowing skiffs, right down to inflatable SUP boards you could carry under your arm. Kayaks were probably the most numerous craft as this is one day you can cruise down the Grand Canal without getting terrorised by the vaporetti water taxis and their wake.

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Out past San Elena point we dragged our left blades and pivoted north. The snow-clad Dolomites appeared on the horizon (left) which also sent in a light breeze giving us something to lean against. IKs and packboats of all shapes and sizes bobbed around me: Gumos, Kleppers and their klönes, Grabners, Feathercraft and Sevies. Passing islands or tidal mud flats became uninhibited pee stops as people joined in the paddle-powered cavalcade.

Turning round at Burano, the cooling effect of the breeze dropped off and the 5km open water haul to Murano was hot work. Three hours in and you could see all around the pace was flagging, not least when some tidal eddy made the last stretch into Murano a bit of an effort. It was here that Venice’s precious medieval glass industry flourished; I’ve come across Venetian glass beads in places as remote as Tichit in Mauritania.

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Just two Sorbettos – only €15 – then we rocked up at the other end of the Grand Canal where a huge bottleneck of paddle boats had built up at the entrance. It turned out the narrow Ponte dei Tre Archi was the cause – it could only take one rowed boat at a time and with some 2000 boats to filter, the police were trying to keep some order. Dodging low flying oars and prodding prows, it was all a good-natured bundle back into the canal where things quickly eased up for the home run back to San Marco, passing the Grand’s iconic palazzos, well-wishers cheering from the ponti and the acclaimed waterside vistas of La Serenissima.

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Within hours the vaporetti taxiboats had reclaimed the Canal from which it’s said kayaks and the like are excluded except to quickly nip across. But I see now that you can still have a great time paddling around Venice and the lagoon as long as you keep off the main canal and ferry channels, and out of the congested gondola tourist circuit between Ponte Rialto and the Bridge of Sighs. That still leaves plenty of quiet back canals to explore as well as the sheltered lagoon and its countless islands. Bring your packboat to the 42nd Vogalonga. If like me you’ve never been before, it’s a great way to tick off Venice.

Kayaking the Spey – 2013

Sadly my pics area bit ropey; camera was set on 640px…

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We last did the Spey from Aviemore to the sea in 2007 when I still had the Sunny. This time round Michael was in Steve’s old, 19-foot Pouch double, Steve was in his Feathercraft Big Kahuna and  I was in the Grabner. Levels were low again, if nor lower, it was the last week in the fishing season but at least the weather was looking good.

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The first day is just 12 miles and not so interesting, with the best views behind you. With the hour-long assembly of the Pouch completed and the van stashed at Spey Bay, we set off about lunchtime.
Strong backwinds made my skeg-less Amigo hard to handle and I found myself expending a lot of energy trying to stop the back end coming round. Or perhaps I was yet to learn the knack with the Amigo, having paddled it on the sea with a skeg all summer. After a few hours we arrived at the Boat of Balliefurth bankside camp field and paid our three quid. Dinner was a freeze dried mash up from stuff I’d had lying around for months, made easier to prepare and eat with Steve’s half-hoop Eureka annex tarp.

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Next morning was another sunny, late-September day and we were relived to pass the point where one of the Kleppers got disemboweled last time by a submerged, mid-river fence post. On this occasion the boat-killing spike was visible a few inches out of the water.
We’d thought about doing the river a week later, when the fishing season was over, but timing put us here now, with the fisherfolk getting their last casts in before closedown. The tension between rod and paddle is an old story in England, but up here is exacerbated by the fact that the tweed and wader-clad anglers are paying – who knows? – hundreds of pounds a day for the privilege of fishing the famous Spey. With that cost comes the use of the many ‘day huts’ we saw on the finely manicured banks, as well as optional instruction from a ghilie. And then three kayaks blunder right through the spot where you’re prize salmon is lurking, like it’s a right of way or something.
We did our best to paddle round the back of the many anglers – some ignored us, some grumbled and a few lone ones appreciated it or were able to wave or indicate where they’d prefer you go. Struggling behind one bunch wading in the shallows, Steve got pushed across the current and flipped harmlessly while they just smirked and carried on casting.

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Once free myself, I shot off downstream chasing what some said was Steve’s paddle, but within a mile another fisherman said he’d not seen it float past. I walked back wondering how we’d get out of this one, but soon came across Pouch and Kahunaman paddling along. Seems the paddle had got submerged right by the boat, so all was well bar a lost pair of shades. Luckily that morning Steve had fitted his FC ‘sea sock’ – a body bag attached to the cockpit rim which stops the whole boat getting flooded if it flips. It was about that time so once back at my boat we spread out for an early lunch, letting out dew-soaked tents dry as some canoers from last night’s camp passed by.

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Aberlour was our destination that evening. We’d managed it last time, even with the ripped Klepper, but it seemed we were even further behind today. As we paddled on, the shallows and rapids piled up and the folding boats were getting a bashing, while I took on a couple of inches of water bouncing through the wave trains. Occasionally, if we misjudged the route we had to wade (left).
The famous and actually straightforward Washing Machine rapid was only running a half-load that day, but nevertheless succeeded in giving the inside of my Grabner a full rinse which took a few minutes to pump out. More white-water followed, and still I have to say the Grabner didn’t seem to handle well, requiring vigorous paddle yanking to avoid rocks or get in the right spot. Even in the pools, it still took some concentration to track straight before pulling back repetitive bow draws or momentum-losing stern rudders to keep the nose downriver. I’m sure the very similar shaped Sunny wasn’t so bad.

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Barely a mile went by without passing a fisherman. One grumbled that we should whistle as we came through, but that seemed like it would raise more antagonism, though passing them on the opposite bank may have been right on their target area. Trout were jumping for sure, but we never saw anyone actually catch anything. I’m not sure fly fishing is about that.
After a while riding the bouncy wave trains lost its shine in the face of the after-pumping required, though the swamping was certainly less bad than the Sunny which was best drained by pulling over and standing the boat on end. The canoers we were leapfrogging were getting knocked about and hung up in some rapids too. Shallow rapid followed shallow rapid while we had the feeling that the ghilies, aware of where boats were late in the day, patrolled the banks to make sure we wouldn’t camp on their land.

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The easy white water had kept us occupied so that round dusk the old Victorian foot bridge of Aderlour came into view. We camped on the bank right there, a long day of around 26 miles in about hours. The great thing with camping by the bridge is that toilets, the Mash Tun pub and a Co-op are all just a few minutes walk away.

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Restocked next morning and off by 9am, it was a 20-miler to the North Sea, during which time the riverside scenery got a little more interesting, the rapids kept you guessing and so did the fishermen. With no other dramas the breakers of Spey Bay rocked up at around 4pm but, just like last time, no one had the energy to go out and mount the surf.

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The old wooden-framed Pouch slipped through unscathed yet again and 70-year old Michael had handled the ungainly barge very well, helped by a rudder. The decks of Steve’s lower Kahuna were often swamped in the rapids but towards the end the Feathercraft sustained a bent alloy member (only $30) plus a small rip in the hull. The Amigo was of course immune to the knocks and easy to hop out of, but I’m again wondering about fitting an articulated skeg high on the stern. A bit like a fixed rudder that pivots up harmlessly as it scraps the river bed, and with a retractable and locking line (again, like a rudder) to pull it up out of the way when you don’t want the back pushed round in a sweeping current. I have an idea and it would be easy to fit.

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It’s fun to paddle the 60-odd miles from Aviemore to the sea, but next time on the Spey I’d miss out day one, hope for higher water levels and do it out of the fishing season. It would also be fun to do the sporty  Day 2 in the packraft with a skirt.
They say the Spey is one of the best canoe paddles in the UK but that just shows how few good, long rivers there are here and why sea kayaking, or short-range hair boating are much more popular.
The stony shore of Spey Bay is a bleak place the paddle, but the van was intact and there was a welcome cafe for a sit-down snack before piling the van up to the roof with our packboats and heading south.

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Grabner Amigo and Medway Canoe Chutes

River status

A sunny day in the south of England saw me back on the water with the Big Kahuna Man  after many months off. It was a chance to anoint my new Grabner Amigo’s slick, factory-oiled hull with the Medway’s occluded discharge. If you’re interested, there’s more on why I got myself an Amigo right here.

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BK Man and I started out of Tonbridge with a plan to replicate our icy winter run of last year when at times we had to crack our way down the river. Assembling the Amigo for the first time was of course simple once I had the bayonet adaptor fitted to the end of my aged Bravo foot pump, but that pump could barely manage to get the requisite 0.3 bar (4.3psi) the Amigo runs. More about all that malarkey on the mods page.

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We slipped down the rather tame Tonbridge Town Lock chute (right) where it soon became obvious the Amigo was not going to break any speed records. This may be a false impression as there was a stiff head-breeze, negligible current and my lack of paddling fitness and of course the Amigo’s 3.75m and 80cm width – over half a metre shorter and 11cm or 4.3 inches wider than my old Incept. All that made for hard yakka while the slick Kahuna glided effortlessly by.

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On a positive note the Medway hereabouts now appears to be fully chuted up for canoes – we could have got all the way to Yalding without getting out. As mentioned, some chutes are rather dull affairs where fixed bristles churn up the water and slow a boat down. Others, as we knew well, were steeper and more sporty numbers that you attack at full pelt (left). We like those!

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The recently fitted Gumotex skeg tracked flawlessly but still kept the curly ended Amigo turnable. It will be good to try paddling without it; not such a good idea at sea but always handy in shallow rivers where the current should provide the speed you otherwise gain from being able to paddle harder with a skeg.

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In between the fun chutes, the simpering Medway crept by. BK Man combed the water as gently as if he was brushing Kate Middleton’s perfumed hair, while I hacked away like the Barber of Seville with my too-large Corryvreckan paddle; very light and stiff it may be but it’s not the blade of choice when unfit. Also, the boat’s secondary seat lugs tended to catch my thumbs, the spare packraft seat was a bit sloppy on the factory oil and I was in dire need of a footrest: all things to refine or fit once relocated up north.
Later I just rested on the seat back with no air padding from the Alpacka seat and that was fine and enabled a good back posture, though I do worry about snapping that seat bar in a hard hit or clumsy moment. It did dislodge a couple of times as the boat flexed down steeper chutes. I suppose a stick or even just a strap will make do as a replacement.

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You can see from the pic on the right that even with my weight and only .25 bar in the side tubes, the Amigo is as straight as a boiled hardshell and unlike the Sunny of old. In future I’ll pump it up to 0.33 or so to compensate for the cooling once it gets in the water.

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By the time we got to the sporty Sluice Weir Chute (lef and right) I was knackered, sore and starving, a torment made worse by the gusting breeze and the succulent aroma of wild garlic emanating from the lush, green river banks. Southern England in early summer really is a great place to be an insect.

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We had high hopes of snaring a good feed at Ye Olde Anchor Inn at Yalding, but it was so poor it wasn’t even worth a picture. I ate as well in primary school back in 1968. What a waste of a great location; someone keel-haul the chef! Next time we’ll revert to the tea room on the other bank. As we approached the Inn we were puzzled by a string of schoolkids in mini kayaks lining up to slip down the flat Yalding weir face. Like some neoprene Pied Piper, their teacher or guide was actually pushing away the orange safety booms so the little mites could slip through and potentially plummet to their deaths. I suppose the river police must allow it. At the low levels we knew  the flat slide down the weir face was not so suited to our long boats – the Kahuna’s nose would dig in to the concrete at the base and spin the back around while I’d scrape my skeg all the way down to the sound of melting plastic. Btw, check out this vid of what happens at Yalding when they open the taps. Scary!

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Gastronomically unsatisfied, we lowered ourselves back into our boats for the short hop to Hampstead Lock (no chute). Here, in the full spirit of The Pack Boating Way, we dismantled our boats, walked 5 minutes the station and caught the train back to Tonbridge. I can confide that like a Sunny, an Amigo is so easy to dry, just splay it out (right) like a Peruvian hamster entree, give it a wipe, roll it up and off you go.

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One thing I can to say about the Grabner – you do appear to get what you pay for. Construction appears to be flawless – far superior to the Incept, better than Gumoes I’ve had and with not a smudge of stray glue or ill-adhered creases, gaps or lumps. Once the set up is optimised it’s an IK that ought to last many, many years. More Amigo action to come up in the Summer Isles in the next couple of months

Preview: Incept K40 Tasman kayak

Missed the K40 intro? – it’s here.
For a brief test run, skip to this.
For initial impressions of my K40, go here.

With three months on the coast of northwest Scotland lined up for 2011 I was looking for a more seaworthy boat than the Sunny or making the Sunny faster (see this and this). Two weeks watching the weather blow through September 2010 showed it changes a lot up there. First from the east then the west, it blew at up to 50mph so when it’s good you’ve got to drop everything and get out there. But if it changes on the water while most probably paddling alone you want to be sure you can get back fast and not have to jeopardise making progress by either bailing in a frenzy or struggling to re-board. Well, that’s the way I see it.
In Shark Bay, it didn’t take much of a swell – maybe a metre – to fill the Sunny up every 20 minutes or so. I’d hook onto Jeff’s tandem and they paddled while I pumped. And that was the warm Indian Ocean not The Minch, off the North Atlantic.
It’s not like I’ll be setting off for St Kilda every weekend to pick up half a dozen gannet eggs, but either a deck or self-bailage is needed to be able to paddle alone around there with security.
As you do, over the previous months I gone through periodic frenzies of internet research. A hardshell SinK was never in the running. I don’t like being jammed in those things, they’re awkward to transport and would need getting rid of after. Plus I can rent a decent sea kayak locally.
Instead, I wondered about the other extreme, an SoT; very popular with the rec paddling masses who may not know a hard chine from a Chinese burn, but have a whole lot of inshore fun nevertheless. Most SoTs are wide enough to do the Can-Can while wearing flippers and come in awful ‘explosion-in-a-paint-factory’ colour schemes.

The angler-oriented models are less hideous and I narrowed it down to an Ocean Kayak Prowler 15 (above left) or OK’s slimmer Scupper Pro (above). One went on ebay for just 300 quid while I was thinking about where I could store it. They say an SP is from the same mould as an RTM Tempo (left; 24kg 4.5, on 67cm) and their Disco (below right; 23kg 4.3, on 65cm) looks pretty good too for a plastic sea clog (the shape I mean – not the colour). Fast I imagine, easy as a bike to get on and off, but might require suiting up too often to be fun without getting chilled. Either of these would be a lot of fun if I lived in Florida or the Aegean. Not so sure about northwest Scotland.


So according to my calculations that left a folder, and for me the pick of the bunch has always been Feathercraft’s Big Kahuna (left; 4.5m x 64cm; 16kg – 14′ 9″ x 25″; 35lbs) featuring an extra big cockpit for creaky old men who can’t bend like they used to could.

Feathercrafts are expensive and the marked up price new in the UK is so far beyond the pale to give them an admiring cachet among paddlers. I missed one in the UK for £1800 then tracked down another in Hawaii with every last option plus a few extras for £2200. I could have brought it back and then sold it in the UK for what it cost after 3 months paddling.

It then turned out matey down the road had a Big K so we went out for a spin on the local, freezing river this week. More about that here. Short version: the BK would be a flaming good yak that could be left assembled for the duration and wouldn’t get turned away by security at the Sea Kayak Christmas Ball. On the scungy Medway it took a bit of turning in my clumsy hands but tracked fine, glided smoothly and weighs only 16kg; easy enough to portage on the shoulder. But it still has that unnerving SinKiness I don’t like and is a bit awkward to get out of – well for a spaz like me with a dodgy shin and who’s used to IKs you can fall into drunk.
The Feathercraft would have been a lovely boat up in the Isles, but has the same re-entry issues as any SinK. The way I see it, if it’s bad enough that you tip over, getting back in and staying upright long enough to pump it out is going to take some luck alone. Until I learn how to roll a kayak I don’t fancy that at all.
Nevertheless, I was all set on buying the slinky BK as it would cost me nothing once sold on and doubtless have been a pleasure to behold. Then Gael from SSKT slapped me out of it and pointed out that Incept from NZ will be selling their decked K40 IK in the UK next year – and without a usual horrendous UK mark up (Knoydart take note…). UK distributors Seakayakoban tell me they have a demo in stock now with the next delivery in March for around £1500.

The K40 is similar to the Grabner Holiday II which might be classed as one of the original twin-side beam IKs which begat the Gumotex Seakers I and II. The solo Seaker 1 (left; 4.8m x 75cm – 18 inches more than a K40 and 3 inches wider) is officially as expensive as the K40, though has been going at half price ($1500) from Innova in the US.
A fellow IK blogger recently got one. At just £1000 that’s a great price, but the problem is the deck is fixed (packing and drying issues, IMO) and it manages to weigh no less than 33 kilos/73lbs according to the Gumo.cz website (US distributors Innova claim 60lbs/27kg). Whatever it is, I had a chance to buy a used Seaker from Czecho a year or two back for just £800, but pulled out when I appreciated you can’t take a boat that heavy on a plane too easily, nor haul it too far.

Readers have occasionally emailed me about decking a Sunny. It could be done I suppose by gluing velcro or a zip onto the sides or maybe some understraps, or even an elastic-edged canopy, like fitted bed sheets. How good will that look if I was left to do it?

It’s actually something that might be a little easier to achieve with a semi-decked Gumo Helios II (above left) were it not for those ghastly sewn-in seats they have. In fact I see Grabner offer such a thing with their Helios-like Explorer II (right; 5m x 75cm) as part of the €600 accessory package. Nein danke.

So, the Incept K40 Tasman
Like Gumotex, Aire, NRS and the rest, Incept seems to be an established raft manufacturer who’s turned to IKs. The Incept K40 Tasman (4.3m x 69cm; 17kg. 14′ 3″ x 27; 37lbs) seems to have been refined since I last looked at their website at which time there was no UK distribution that I could see. There seem to have been at least two other versions but this one looks the most complete by far and following this investigation I bought a K40.
I don’t know about you but for an IK, that picture below is of a pretty good looking boat. I do wonder about the 27-inch width, being used to the 30-inch Sunny, but at 30-inches I cannot imagine ever tipping out of a Sunny short of getting crossed up against a rock or branch a couple of times. If I measure 27 inches across my lap, it looks just right as long as you’re sat low. The simple answer is of course to go up to Oban for a demo.

Just like the Alpacka the K40 has a deck that zips across to one side to roll up for sunny, calm days. We like that about IKs; it keeps the legs tanned and makes packing, drying and, if necessary, draining the boat mid-water so much easier.

The hull is composed of three I-beamed chambers with twin-beam sides to help give its 14 feet better rigidity. The Sunny had round, single chamber sides which, although they get nice and taut on a hot day, the boat still flexes with the swell or even just with my weight in it. With I-beam chambers the K40 features pressure-relief valves on all three chambers including the sides rated at 5psi which are out of the water. This reduces the strain on the welded I-beam seams but it’s possible that some air will be purged through the valves as it expands in the course of a hot day. For this reason I see that Incept recommends carrying a small, top-up pump (right) as can be seen on the deck of the kayak pictured above. With it, you can re-pressurise the boat for maximum performance, and this can be done on the move as the valves (grey) are right there in the cockpit (the sidewall PRVs are behind the seat).
The twin beams also add up to less width (69cm or 27 inches – 3-4 inches less than my Sunny) and so more speed – although re-entry may be harder and all without – I hope – making it too tippy. It’s got a rudder because those high sides may catch a crosswind at times. Scoffed at by Brit sea kayakers who use boats that have hull profiles designed to turn when leaning out (very odd if you’re a motorbiker!), with a rudder you can paddle normally across the wind and use the rudder to correct the tracking.

A rudder will be good for sailing too. The boat also comes with a neoprene spray deck, a handy K-Pump and even thigh straps to enable control across a swell, better core muscle work-outs I reckon, and even eskimo rolling. In fact my boat came with no spray deck, no straps, no strap fittings (though there are markers), but it did have a K-Pump. Thigh straps are one thing I missed on a Sunny, more for the efficiency of paddling effort against the torso, than balance and control of tippiness (not a problem with that boat outside of hurricane conditions).
While getting the drum on the K40 I came across this video of a Kiwi guy who did an NZ South Island coast-to-coast over a fortnight. That is, upstream from the Tasman Sea, tough portage to a pass, then paddling down to the Pacific. (Ain’t these guys heard of packrafts!) His less driven mate came along in a 100-year old wooden replica boat – they were engaged in a historic C2C re-enactment using old and new craft.


It’s actually three, short videos of two guys having a little Kiwi back country adventure. Have a look at the K40 in action on vid II at 2:20. Many times on the rivers and seas you’ll see how a relatively modest waves wash over the deck of the K40 – a Gumo Sunny would be a brimming paddling pool at this point.
And again the vid reminds me of the advantages of an IK when it comes to bouncing off rocks and general abuse that would hurt a hardshell or loosen the joints of a taut folder like a Big Kahuna.

Packraft MYO sailing

See also this

First sunny spring day around here so we went out to try out the flip-out disc sail I made over the winter on my Llama and Steve’s Big Kahuna. Wind was forecast at about 8 mph but was gusty – a bloke in a dinghy sailboat said it was up to 15 mph.
Folded and clipped on the packraft, the sail sits out of the way and can be opened and – more importantly – closed easily with a twist, as long as you have a clip of some sort to keep it closed (and that clip is attached to the sail so it does not spring off and sink to the bottom of the lake…).

Initial impressions were disappointing, I did not rip off across the reservoir like a hooked marlin out of a Roadrunner cartoon. But watching the vid back it’s clear the boat did noticably drift downwind across the reservoir with the sail aloft, often at speeds similar to paddling (about 3 mph). Problem with the sail on the Alpacka was the boat soon turned off the wind one way or the other, swinging left and right. The pointier Kahunayak was better, especially once Steve trailed his paddle like a skeg. Didn’t get to try that on the Llama as I was fiddling about with the string trying angle the sail so as to steer the boat into the wind. This worked quite well in correcting the direction as you can see in the vid, but staying in that position was a problem.
Could this be due to ‘wind-spill’ off the flat disc sail which lacks dishing like a WindPaddle? Maybe. It will be interesting to try it on my ruddered Incept IK when it turns up, as well as the new-shape Alpacka which I am picking up next week.
More testing to come this summer up in windier Scotland with my all-new packboating flotilla. Or just enjoy this 2014 video from Finland by JP. More here at leftbound.