Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Gear - Kayak

After 4 years and 3 multi-week kayak trips, finally picked up my own kayak, no longer need to rent and now can go kayaking whenever I want, which I plan to do lots.  Note: I also think Julie is going to get her own kayak, something about not wanting me out there alone all the time, sure sure,  you are as hooked as I am young lady, ok maybe not, but still, would be very cool if she does.

Struggled with 2 choices,  Seaward vs QCC kayak, personally I like the QCC much better and so wanted to pull the trigger,  in the end, Seaward won out purely on the fact that I could touch the kayak and see dimensions for packing/storage etc.. on the QCC which is only available online, I am such an impulse buyer and needed the instant gratification, even though the cost of the Seaward was much more, $3,600 + Taxes.  I still love the QCC boats and highly recommend you check them out if in the market for one. 

After 3 major kayak trips, I know exactly what I was looking for so I chose the Seaward Tyee for the following reasons, Note: Not bashing features of other boats, just for me, I now have some preferences and this boat addresses every one of them, don't feel as though I had to compromise on anything.

  • As I do multi-week trips mostly (not into day paddles) needed something much larger, went with 17' and the Tyee while it doesn't specifically say it, is High Volume, amazing that a few years ago I would have been like, whoa, how can you put everything into this thing to now,  whoa, look at all the extra room
  • Oversized cockpit,  wanted extra space behind the seat to store day items and as silly as it sounds, wanted more space in the sides of the seat to store, umbrella and rain gear. I would have preferred something a little narrower as this one comes in at 24" and 21" would have been nice, more than willing to sacrifice a little speed for storage space which is my number 1 goal.
  • Padded seat, no more hard shell fibreglass, actually have a padded comfortable seat, interestingly enough it also has a drink holder in the seat which is way cool, no more strapping to the deck and scratching
  • Oversized hatches,  not willing to mess with 8" diameters circles to try and pack everything, I want something you can crawl into and the Seawards really deliver on this one. 
  • Fibreglass,  I just can't go plastic, even though it makes sense in a lot of ways for just drag up on rocks etc.. just can't do it,  debated kevlar for extra strenth but hey, they didn't have in stock, back to the impulse thing
  • Having used 2 Seawards in the past, these boats are really waterproof, the seams from the bulkhead and cockpit is well constructed and the hatches with the neoprene have never failed me in the past, why change what has worked, I don't like my clothes and sleeping gear wet.
  • Rudder, can't stand skegs becuase they take up precious storage space in the rear bulkhead,  also wanted above deck rudder cable exits so they aren't under water leaking all the time and smart track rudder pedals vs push and pull.  Tyee has all these features and also instead of a pull rope for the rudder they integrated into a nice pull lever like they have for skegs, just a nice added touch.
  • Beyond that, nice looking boat with recessed attachments etc.. and lots of guy lines for spare paddle, bumpers, pump, etc..  
  • Also picked up a Pump, Throw bag, cockpit cover and skirt with center zipper for getting inside without having to take off the skirt and a kayak tie down system for the truck.

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