Today I had the oppertunity to try out Iris`s new kayak, please note that although there are many kayak manufacturers out there in the real world, we only get to see and use a very limited number here. The club uses the French Rotomod, and has Wilderness fiberglass kayaks for the instructors. There are a few individuals who have imported their own, eg Arele who has a Current Design Nomad, a very fast boat and quite long too, and my homemadekayaks.
So trying out a new kayak is quite a novel experience for us. Her kayak is a Vital, made by the French company Polyform, whose website is only in French and because I dont speak or read the language I cant understand their information . So what were my first impressions? Well initial stability is not very good and its a very tippy boast, definitely not for beginners. But then edging, and rolling become quite easy as the secondary stability is pretty good. Today the sea was flat and so no wave experience, just good tracking and it goes pretty fast too. I didn`t use the rudder but think it will be useful in windy conditions. the seating is a bit spartan and I felt that the seat should be a bit further back.Generally I enjoyed paddling it and think that once you get used to the boat it will be a great kayak for daily trips, fast and easy to manouver.
Now on the homemadekayak front, I am just putting on the loops for the deck lines and bungee cords before joining the 2 halves together. I have made loops out of webbing that will be placed in slots cut out in the deck. This has the advantage of not having anything hard protruding on the deck to catch clothing or body parts when doing rescues. You can see the pictures here.