We made it to Pugney’s and put her in the water, with an absolute minimum of drama! She floated nicely, upright and to her theoretical marks. No water came in, though there was a slight visible dampening of the canvas in some areas, notably along the keel line, but even by the end of the afternoon the only water visible inside the boat had come from drips off the paddle – very pleasing.
She felt a bit twitchy, but maybe that’s just a characteristic of a very light boat that has to be lived with and in the end trusted. She took off nicely as I paddled her away from the dock. Straight lines are excellent, turning took a little more effort and technique, but she came around when she was asked and as I discovered later, was even somewhat sensitive to the light but increasing breeze. So a very good beginning.
If I was delighted by the boat, pretty much unreservedly, I was in truth slightly more diffident about the paddling experience, which was somewhat uncomfortable. I suppose I’m not small and I do have fairly long legs and so maybe the fit isn’t all that good. Or maybe I just have to figure out how to work my frame into a small space! I do have a couple of foam pads that I shall try next time to raise my seating position a little to ease the pressure on my knees – but not too much for fear of raising the centre of gravity. It did feel a bit better as I learnt to lean forward in the paddling stroke – much to learn in terms of technique!
Next time is planned for late this week. Meanwhile I shall turn my attention to the Wee Rob – the wooden kayak that is 75% built. I will be interesting – hopefully even by the end of this month – to get that in the water and compare the two experiences.
Here are some pictures …….