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New Boat done (now I yak)
By:David Walker
Date: 7/6/1998, 9:13 pm

Well, I finally got my new CLC 16 wet and thought I would share a few comments. I should preface this by saying that 99% of my kayaking time has been in a plastic Sealution II so any comments as to performance should be viewed with that in mind. First off, it is very attractive as one might imagine. I know some are very fond of natural finishes but each to his own - I did mine in white with black trim (i.e., bungee, hatch straps etc.). Although I have only had it out twice (Friday and Sunday which in CT was pleasant and windy with small whitecaps, respectively), I find it to be quite seaworthy. It is fun to have all that secondary stability such that I can get it up to almost a 90 degree tilt. On Sunday, I believe that the conditions were such that I would have been a bit anxious on my other boat, but felt totally at ease in the CLC. I was surprised that it still retains a good amount of primary stabililty since I thought that these two played off of each other. For example, I can still do the cowboy scramble with ease in moderate conditions, and sit on the stern while dangling my feet and drinking coffee from a water bottle. It is not as speedy of a boat as I had hoped. It is, perhaps, marginally faster than my 10 pound heavier plastic Sealution. I believe that this is due to the hull shape and displacement. Also, because this boat is a bit wider, particularly towards the bow, I cannot get as full of a stroke as I am use to when I really want to move. My average cruising speed seems to be 3 knots. In my Sealution, I usually tend to be a decimal point or two less than that. The weight is heavier than the specs call for. I am sure I was too generous with the Epoxy. In any event, it is a bit easier to tote around than is my sealution (part of this is also due to the fact that the Sealutions cockpit is too far behind the center of gravity and so the bow tends to seek the earth when it is carried). However, I donít seem to care so much when I knock my plastic boat around so the ease of lifting it isnít as much of a concern. With this one, every time I bump something sliding it up onto the car or carrying into the storm cellar, I know that I am leaving some paint behind (one advantage to a natural finish I suppose).

I put a day hatch in and really like having it there. I was always struggling to figure out where to put things on my sealution. This is a higher volume boat to begin with (more room between legs), the day hatch I really enjoy for lunch, emergency stuff, or fish, and I also put in a knee tube type thing. For this, I went to home depot and got some approx 6 inch diameter corrugated flex tube. I epoxied some eyestraps underneath deck in front, and put bungee in. The corrugations on flex tube provide a 1000% solid grip for bungee, and so I now have another place for light things like jacket, hat, etc. On a side note, I have found that I can sit comfortably on the hull (sans seat) all day long and also that my barely inflated paddle float makes a perfect back rest when placed against bulkhead which in my boat comes right up to coaming.

Despite all the good stuff, the initial sea trials did reveal a very annoying problem. The boat wants to go left (port for you nautical types). It is a mild tendency and I didnít really notice it for a couple of hours, but after I noticed it I really began to notice it. There is a barely perceptible curvature in the last couple of feet of the keel line which I suspect accounts for this. I have been mulling over a number of options which are the subject of the next post. (contíd).


Messages In This Thread

New Boat done (now I yak)
David Walker -- 7/6/1998, 9:13 pm
Re: Day hatch
Mark Bodnar -- 7/6/1998, 9:50 pm
Re: Day hatch
David Walker -- 7/8/1998, 1:38 pm