As I said yesterday, it was time to take the kayak formerly known as Serena out for the very first float. In this time loop, I missed a full two months of water time: the first go-round, Serena had her first float the day before Turkey day. This round, I didn’t even have the skin on the boat until after the New Year roll over. Reasons, but I finally managed to do the deed.
No pictures. The water was 40° and I was dressed for such and since I was alone, decided to forego any distractions like GPS, Phone, extra paddle, paddle float and bilge pump. Just an easy little paddle around the bay of one of my regular put-ins. The wind was kicking HARD and I didn’t want to get out on open water, solo, in a new to me boat. Prudent too, because at one point the wind picked up and I could see the wake pattern shift as the boat was pushed laterally while moving forward. Interesting aspect, she did not weathercock: she held her heading even though she was being pushed sideways. No meed for a skeg on this girl!!! She is completely weather neutral. (No ‘good’waves so I dont know how she handles chop other than the frog ripples kicked up in the bay. Those don’t even register anymore.)
But her new name is SELKIE. And I am IMPRESSED. Great initial stability, solid wall secondary, even though she rides an inch higher in the water than Serena did. Easy hip snaps(though I didnt try a roll yet), perfect tracking even in wind, a little edge and she turns fast,and. FAST. Two or three good strokes of the blades and she is moving quick from a standing start. A couple more and she is cruising and then easy peasy maintain momentum strokes. No GPS so dont know what cruise is, but from experiance, I’d say 4.3 is close. And she holds it with so little effort, I could paddle all day and still be energized at the tail end.
Oh, and that hard decked cockpit? Frickin AWESOME. Control is rock solid with those thighbraces in there, and the adjustable footplate I made worked perfectly. (Tempted to find a ratchet system from an old IR reggie backband and improve what I have, but no rush)
She is gonna live on the truck now and gear will stay there as well. I intend on paddling at least once a week for the rest of the year. My drytop and other gear did just fine while trying my hipsnaps ▪︎(cold head but I do have just didn’t use, a neoprene hood.) My reactor Pogies always blow my mind at how warm they keep the forefeet, even when dipping them in 40°water repeatedly. So cold weather ain’tagonnabe a show stopper anymore.
(I promise action pics/vid soonest, just not this time)
▪︎ there was some leakage around the cockpit while hip snapping. I think, dunno for certain, that my spray skirt was not seated properly behind me. But the end amount of water in the boat was less than a 16oz bottle worth so I am not overly concerned with it.