Wee Rob – launch day!


Pugney’s again then, for the second launching in a month or so!  Wee Rob was finally ready for the great adventure.  Actually the first adventure was getting her securely on the roof rack, which, I’m glad to say, was an easier process in the end than it had been in my imagination in the “wee small hours”.  I was obviously concerned to damage neither boat nor car, and equally anxious to try and do the job on my own so that I could be sure of being able to function single handed on at least some occasions in the coming months.  Similar anxieties at the other end, but again, mission accomplished without too much drama.  Encouraging!

The “C-Tug” makes it much easier to move a canoe / kayak around and indeed forms a handy launching trolley on the slipway; and then there she was sat on the water.  I found my way in – there’s a technique that wants perfecting! – paddled round in a circle, came back and checked the buoyancy tanks, both of which were bone dry.  Then I set off and worked my way round the lake.

My impressions were that she is easily driven and accelerates through the water nicely (although I don’t have any real benchmark – the IGO is a very different prospect, and not a fair comparison).  She held a straight line reasonably well, but the moderate to brisk wind did tend to push her off line by the stern.  That tendency was quite marked coming downwind – either there’s something to be learned here in terms of paddling technique, or maybe it will be worth fitting a skeg.  Time will tell.

Certainly the experience of paddling her was much more comfortable and indeed easier than had been the case with the IGO.  That said, I was conscious of the effort in arm and shoulder muscles – there’s an obvious issue of strength and fitness here which I can work on – there’s an equally obvious set of questions about technique that I might find help with on uTube.  I also have the “greenland paddle” almost finished in the workshop and its longer, more slender blades will offer a different feel in the water no doubt.

A successful and encouraging outing then.  I think the next move will be to take her to Bishopthorpe and launch her on the Yorkshire Ouse and see how it feels to paddle upstream toYork and back.  Next week maybe …… meanwhile here are some pics …….

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Two things I should add!  First of all my thanks, as ever, to Kay for her understanding and companionship, and for her photographs.  Secondly a thought about Ruston’s IGO …… I think I’m going to offer her for sale on the basis that Wee Rob feels a lot more comfortable and indeed better suited to the waterways that I have in mind.  I’ll try that tentatively on the “Song of the Paddle” forum, and we’ll see.

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