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New Expedition comments/questions

Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:07 pm
by DaveMI
Greetings! I just got an AE Expedition, and finally got to take it out on the lake for the first time this weekend. I was somewhat frustrated, but I see a lot of potential to fix things. Here are my thoughts and a couple questions:

1) I had a tube kink in the right side near the bow, and I think that contributed greatly to my inability to paddle straight. I saw some fixes in other posts, so I'll try those next time I inflate it.

2) The seat. I found it nearly impossible to do what I believe is a 'standard' entry, sliding forward from a seat just behind the coaming into the cockpit. Every time I did, I found myself sitting on the back of the seat unable to get it out from under me. Any advice on how to avoid this?

3) More the seat. I found myself not being able to sit up properly. I had to use my abdominal muscles to hold myself in an upright paddling position, which was very tiring. In other kayaks, I have had no trouble in sitting upright - is there some adjustment I should be making? What recommendations do you have to setting up the seat straps correctly? Or, alternatively, should I look into a rigid seating arrangement? I've also thought about getting the backbone in order to elevate the seat a bit, but I'm not sure that will actually help with the seat being able to hold me upright. And, btw, I'm not very tall, only 5'9" so I'm pretty sure that's not the issue.

4) The spray skirt. I purchased a spray skirt, and find myself very disappointed that it's well over a foot longer than the coaming. Is this normal? Why would you sell a sprayskirt that doesn't fit the coaming?

5) My arms just aren't long enough. The desk lacing is so far forward of the coaming that I can't imagine anybody can actually reach it, unless they're 7 foot plus. I had my 6'1" friend try it out, and he couldn't reach it either. Are there additional lacing kits I can buy, or plans for sewing on additional loops? All I've been able to find on the net so far are screw-in add-ons, which won't work well on the inflatable.

Thanks for any advice! I'm hoping that I can work through all these issues and turn this into something I can use frequently.


Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 1:17 pm
by BladeZealot
well...I'll address the things I can possibly help you with...

I use a deck bag, straped to my deck rigging to carry needed gear. This puts it right at your fingertips.

I also found that by moving the foot rest closer to the cockpit, that this aids in sitting upright. I also found the seat offered more support deflated.

I have no problem with mine tracking, given proper inflation and no kinks.

I have no spray skirt, so offer no insight there.

I've had my Expedition since December, am in the water most weekends...and could not be more pleased with it.

hope this helps.

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 1:46 pm
by DaveMI
I'll definitely be trying your suggestions of moving the footbrace and not inflating the seat. I think those will both help dramatically.

I was thinking of getting some of the D-ring patches that NRS sells and installing a set of deck lacing right in front (and right behind) of the cockpit, so I can actually reach stuff strapped there. Have you heard anything about these? Are they good/bad/ugly?

Thanks for the insights!


Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 2:27 pm
1) Kinks can happen when folded up. All it takes is adjusting the inards to get it straight. Do this before inflating the kayak. Try to make ure the bow is pushed all the way to the front and the stern is pushed all the way to the back. It could take a couple of trys to get the kinks worked out.
2) The kayak is very stable so if you are worried about entering any other way then sliding in, you shouldn't. I have neve had a seat fold under me. I have had it where I go forward and the seat slides with me but this is an easy fix because I just lift myself up and adjust it. Try entering more from the side. You can also unzip the front of the cokpit so you can get in further forward.
3) This is basically fixed by pushing against the foot brace and making sure your seat is correctly positioned. Try adjusting the seat so the straps are pulled a little tighter. You can play with different adjustments to see which is best for you needs.
4) The spray skirt is designed to fit the cockpits of all our kayaks. All are about the same size except for one which is bigger thus a bigger skirt. Before getting into your kayak, place the skirt around the coaming chamber. Tuck the elastic part under the coaming chamber. From the back of the skirt, pull the bungee tight and tie it off when at the desired tightness. Now, next time when you get in the kayak, place the skirt over you and tuck the elastic bottom of the skirt under the coaming chamber. It should fit tight.
5) For gear that you need to access during paddling, most people just keep that on their lap, behind the seat or under the deck by their feet. To access gear that is under the deck lacing, you can unzip the deck and scoot forward to reach what you need.

If you need further assistance or have questions, please email us and let us know.


Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 5:32 pm
by BladeZealot
I guess I should have made it clear that the deck bag is attached to the rigging only at the rear of the bag, thus positioning the front right where you need it. It covers that "empty" space between the rigging and you. btw...I'm 5 9 as well :)

Sewing a number of D rings to the Canvas sounds like a good idea. My deck bag has rigging on the side {top, when on the yak}, thus solving that problem for me. Not familiar with the patches.