Thursday, September 29, 2011
A float test
The test paddle was a success. I took the outrigger down to the local reservoir to see how it performs under paddle. I'd say it paddles about like a comparable size recreation canoe. It maybe tracks a little straighter and is harder to turn, but it drifts along very nicely. Also, it's very stable. I paddled while standing a few times and even hopped up on the center seats and tried rocking it around. The foam ama seems very positively buoyant. It took me about 30 minutes to pull off the car roof and get lashed together. The boat wasn't as heavy as I anticipated. I was able to grab a hiking beam and the center seat, pick the whole boat up and walk with it.
Sailing in spring is going to be a blast. I can't wait. :)
Also, I met three other homebuilt boat enthusiasts at the ramp. Pretty weird, really, since I've only met two or three, locally, in the past couple of years. That access in Springfield Lake/James River is mostly a plastic kayak kind of place. But I met a guy named Jim with a nine foot nutshell pram and two others with kayaks, one strip built, the other skin-on-frame. I wish I wasn't in so much of a hurry or I'd have liked to have looked their boats over in more detail. But I only had so much daylight. I finished up and put things back on the car about sundown. The mosquitos just descended on me when night fell. Untie this, slap leg, hoist up this, slap arm, repeat. Didn't matter, though. I was too excited to have been out on the boat, even if just to paddle it around.
As well as the the boats mentioned above, I also saw a few rec canoes, one racing canoe with an older couple that looked to be training for an event, a couple rec kayaks and a girl and her dog on a stand-up-paddle board.