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About rfolster

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  • Location
    Exeter, NH
  • Interests
    Camping, Long Exploration Trips, Mentoring & Coaching

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  1. I am not aware of any Captcha, so would be very interested to understand where you ran into one. Please comment here or email [email protected]
  2. Heather, as you can see, opinions and suggestions run a wide range, so let me try to give you a few different things to think about to either help or hinder! Grab a snack and a drink, it's a long one!!! Your current boat is stable, but slow. This is a common combination, and you should understand that, for the most part, a faster boat will be less stable than you are used to. However, with a little bit of practice and patience, you should get used to it. Therefore, when demoing boats, don't let any feelings of twitchiness or instability affect your decisions too much. This is just a natural step of the development process as a paddler. You have done a lot of overnight camping trips already (assuming in the Sedna?), so any boat with an equal or larger storage capacity will suffice for continuing overnight trips. If you are looking to more extended trips, the only extra room you might need is for the additional food, water, and maybe an extra change of clothing. That will not take up much additional room compared to the amount of gear that is always needed for ANY camping trip, whether it is for one night or many. Even just an upgrade to a more packable tent or sleeping bag can offset the additional space needed. Generally speaking, going to a 16+' boat from your current 15' will probably have more storage space. You are looking for a boat that is "pretty fast" - but to the people on this forum, that can mean many different things. Are you just comparing to the Sedna, which is probably making it hard to keep up with other paddlers, or do you want to really cover some miles!! If you are just looking to go faster than the Sedna, then most any longer and/or narrower sea kayak will suffice. There is also differences in hull configurations that can get pretty technical, but basically a boat with a greater taper from the bow to the cockpit should be faster. Boats with vertical or "plumb" bow (think butter knife front) like many of the Rockpool boats, will really slice through the water and be a very fast boat, but with that high speed comes some sacrifice of maneuverability. Some might argue this, and say they can maneuver their boats just fine, but it is basic boat design physics. You ask for a boat that is "pretty stable", but that again is perception. If you want a boat faster than the Sedna, it will be less stable. The question you need to ask yourself is, how much less stability are you willing to work with in order to get the speed you want? As I said before, you should be able to get used to it, but it is just a matter of how much effort and time you want to put it. Ruddered boats is a big area of controversy. Many sea kayakers view boats with rudders as "cheater" boats, or for the less-experienced paddlers. That is, until you get into specialized boats like surf skis, then rudders are ok? My thoughts about rudders (and skegs) are that they are a tool. Period. Different tools have different uses. Boats with rudders generally need them to turn because their design does not lend towards turning the boat just by leaning or "edging". I would suggest you look further into what the differences are, how each work and why. Then make a decision on whether or not you want to stick with a rudder. My only advise is,, don't just stick with something because you are used to it. I will combine the ruggedness (dragging over rocks) with weight, as it is a mixed conversation. Basically, plastic is most rugged (nearly indestructible aside from warping), and typically heaviest (although can be similar weight to some "expedition" fiberglass boats with additional coats of glass and resin). Carbon fiber is stiff, but brittle and challenging to repair, but also the lightest. Fiberglass is most common, being a little lighter (in general) to plastic, a little flexible (but can develop cosmetic spider cracks), and relatively easy to repair. I don't recommend plastic because of the weight and speed (sorry everyone, but I believe that, taking direct comparisons, plastic is slower than fiberglass or carbon). I would also be against carbon fiber for you because you don't want to be dragging that over rocks. One option is to get a "50/50" which has fiberglass bottom and carbon fiber top, but that is typically a custom-ordered boat and might be hard to come by right now. I don't think you will go wrong with an all fiberglass boat. Overall, I think your budget is fine, unless you start looking at brand new custom-built 50/50s or expedition layups. Other options like custom colors, sparkles, or a select number of manufacturers can add to the expense. Buying a used boat has the advantage of getting something that you can easily sell again if it just doesn't work out for you, typically near the same value you paid, or at least for less than the cost of renting a couple of times. You can always opt to sell and buy a new version if you fall in love with the model. Sorry this is so long, but hopefully it was a little educational. Don't be afraid to continue reaching out to the club for help. Many people have been willing (at least pre-pandemic, and probably will soon again) to let others try out boats to get a feel for them, so it never hurts to at least ask. This is especially true if someone might be thinking of selling their current boat.
  3. Welcome back!! Just so you know, as a Guest you are welcome to post to the General Message Board, and Classifieds forums, as well as view the Trips and Trip Reports Forums, but won't be able to post to them or use the Private Message system. If you would like to reactivate your full membership ($15 for twelve months), please let me know by posting here or send an email to [email protected] and I will have the system generate a renewal email for you to.
  4. I want to make sure that we are getting terminology and concepts right. What exactly do you mean by "tiedown" straps? You definitely need straps to hold a kayak to whatever transport system you are incorporating, whether it is foam blocks, j-bars, cradle feet, etc. If you are asking about whether or not to use a bed-rack with mounting system vs just laying the boat on the cab roof and tail gate using only straps and padding, you are better off with the bed-rack since you put less stress on the boat and the truck and it is more secure. You will want something to protect the boat from the bars, since two hard objects against each other will cause damage to the softer object (your boat!). J-hook support systems are popular, but since they hold the boat on its side, they create the highest overall height, and not ideal for taller vehicles like your truck/rack. Cradle-style feet (like on the car in the above pictures) will support the boat well, and can be used on your truck rack. The only downside is that they hold the boat top-side up, and so the bow and stern will create high points to be aware of. This is also true with the foam blocks (seen on the truck), but they tend to be less expensive than the cradle feet and less bar-shape specific (round / square / oval). I have even seen "pool noodles" put over rack bars as a cushion, but keep in mind that they are not made for that purpose, and so effetiveness and lifespan will need to be taken into consideration. If you are able to manage it, mounting the boats upside down (as mbhazeltine) suggested using foam blocks on the bed-rack will offer the lowest overall height. The boat topsides are also flatter than the bottom sides, so you get more support upside down than right side up. What you need to watch out for is that the bow of the boats may curve down enough to hit the cab of the truck, which would be bad. You would need a tall enough rack to prevent that from happening. Hopefully this will help you understand that the actual truck bed rack you choose, whether it is the Bakflip CS carrier or some other brand of rack, doesn't matter as much as what mounting system you want to secure the boats to the rack. You should consider that first, and then decide if the rack you want will work with it.
  5. Short answer.... Yes. Walden Pond sessions have struggled in the past years due to overcrowding of the parking lot, so those sessions tend to be more sporadic, but still a long-time favorite due to its location and history. Chebacco Lake sessions typically start mid-May to early June, depending on weather and water temperatures. There are occasional algae blooms to keep us away, but tends to be rare. There have also been some salt-water-based practice sessions held around the Portsmouth area (if I remember correctly), which has lot's of sheltered water to play in, as well as opportunities to explore open water. I don't see any overwhelming reasons why these sessions couldn't run again this summer, albeit there will be the potential conundrum of vaccinated and unvaccinated people commingling together, so I would expect social distancing protocols to remain in effect at least into the summer. My recommendations would be to keep an eye on the Trips forum as well as the calendar for posted sessions as they get scheduled.
  6. Dan, I took the liberty of changing the title of the post to reflect your change of plans. I hope that is OK.
  7. Quite a paddle, Andy! The "relive" video-map thing is pretty cool.
  8. Sent you an email just now, so you can follow up with me through that.
  9. The current list of COVID-19 lower-risk states and territories includes: Hawaii Missouri Oregon Puerto Rico Washington
  10. Could be a membership issue, since non-members can read the trips forum, but not respond. If you want to PM the member name to me, I can have a look into it.
  11. i believe Rick Crangle has done this. Might be worth reaching out to him.
  12. I think it comes down to who is creating the tide predictions. NOAA does not have any predictions for the Narrows, but Canada does, probably because it is part of the greater Canadian waterways of Passamaquoddy & Fundy. Since St. John is the closest major port, all tide predictions are based on that. Another indicator of this is to look at the chart depths. Most NOAA charts are in feet, but the couple of that include Canadian waters have soundings in Meters. Want to guess where they might be getting the bulk of their chart data from?
  13. Just got an email from Snapdragon confirming that they have shut down. They are hoping to partner with another manufacturer, but nothing firm yet. Let's hope that they can, so don't count them out just yet.
  14. Alex, there was an issue with your automatic renewal not being applied. I will let tech support know to fix it, but in the meantime, I have given you the access you need to use the forums.
  15. Joe, you have come a long way from that cold and windy morning on Devereaux Beach not so long ago. I know that you have worked hard for it - Good job!!
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