First Impressions from a "survivor"

AE1009-R Ultralite(2006)
AE1009-Y Advanced Frame Expedition(2007-Present)

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First Impressions from a "survivor"

Post by chuckiek1 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:09 am

- on/off for 5 years on a sit-on top ( doubles and singles ), with/without leg straps, usually solo, to deserted islands in the southern part of Palau and so far, I've lived to tell about it, but I don't usually say anything 'cause people are just too jealous or amazed.
- others describe me a a survivor - I just like going where others dare ( I like the feeling of freedom ), and to get away from the crowds
-170cm/67Kg/47 years old and in pretty good shape

Today's conditions:
- southern coast of S. Korea (Namhae Island )
- Goretex dry suit with 7mm booties, cotton balaclava, neoprene gloves, winter toque, hiking socks ( synthetic ), synthetic ( fleece ) long johns, T+synthetic long-sleaved hiking shirt+fleece pull-over
- 10-12C
- some head winds ( around 10Kph or so - maybe a tad more )
- some swells, a couple whitecaps
- average continuous waves encountered ( during winds ): 50cm - but this was only for perhaps 15-20% of the trip - 11KM and change, in around 5 hours
- it was a great trip and I felt completely invigorated afterward
- next time I take a spare pair of socks, they were soaked, but the rest of me was all but perfect

- best investment I've made since the financial meltdown
- fast, relatively easy to carry from A to B
- will pass the weight restrictions on flights
- is fast enough for me ( I paddle for mental focus - consistency is my aim ), and frankly, on par with the single sit-on tops I"ve used.
- stable, very stable; you should be taking medz if you manage to tip one of these/fall out
- easy to get in and out of water
- easy ingress/egress
- it's stiff enough for good tracking - it'd be interesting to see how the backbone affects this, but like I say, it's good enough as is
- comes apart easily enough ( I like to take things apart to see how they work and to examine workmanship )

- the front end is a bit twitchy, but if you put in a 4 liter jug of water in the front, no problem or just pace yourself better
- to keep water from coming in through the front zipper I kept my knees wedged up against the cowling, but my right foot got a little cramped after a couple hours. This problem is well documented and can easily be remedied with a PVC truss. Of course I say if you've got the time and the money to be doing this, you should just grin and bear it ( and get the dry suit ).
- any wind over 20 Kph and your looking for trouble; this is only conjecture as I figure at these speeds you're getting continuous whitecaps and that wouldn't be too much fun.
- the spray cover is a functional necessity ( if you're picky about water in the unit, don't have appropriate dry bags for storage, or in cold water conditions where you don't have the appropriate gear ), but should have Velcro on the combing and unit for fastening as opposed to a draw string

All the above are fairly well discussed, but:
- the pockets for housing the plastic inserts in the front and rear ( inside ) are too flimsy; I would strongly urge sewn ( for strength should I wish to add some 'custom' inserts for increased rigidity ) elasticized mesh "pockets" ( for drainage )

If you've got the time, buy one, but you MUST have the time; otherwise rent one and don't keep track of how much you spend as you'll eventually discover you could've bought one.
I also know for a fact that these puppies will do things for your less than ideal body shape in no time, not to mention the focus it'll add to your life.

Safe passage all.


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Location: Malaysia

Post by Pearly » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:17 am

That's a great summary and review. I always like to read someone else's view on what I think is a superb piece of engineering. I've had mine for almost 2 years and it is still going strong. Mine is faded now after hours and hours and hours in the baking hot Singapore sun, but physically it is still great.

I'm dreading the day I eventually have to part with it, but hopefully, that wont be for many more trips to come!

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Fading away and Whitecap Question

Post by chuckiek1 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:31 pm

Out of the box I applied 500ml of 303 for the fading. I'll be darned if some of it didn't seem to wash off when I hosed it down after yesterdays journey. This included my PFD. Next is water repellent for the pontoons inside, combing, neoprene alongside the combing, tie-downs.

Nothing lasts forever, but I figure once I get my roots set and upgrade, perhaps someone will buy it secondhand if it still looks pretty.

Kudos to Pearly for being an 'on-the-ball' moderator and responding quickly to my post.

OH, and the weather site said there were winds of up to 20Kph yesterday, so if someone knows what the speeds are for continuous whitecaps I'd be most interested.

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Location: UK

Re: Fading away and Whitecap Question

Post by JimD » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:17 am

chuckiek1 wrote: ...
OH, and the weather site said there were winds of up to 20Kph yesterday, so if someone knows what the speeds are for continuous whitecaps I'd be most interested.
Check the Beaufort wind scale, lots of ways to judge wind by force number, or speed

That page has pictures as well.

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2011/03/18 cruise

Post by chuckiek1 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:17 pm

Went out for what turned into around 8Km in 2 hours - wow, that can't be right. Power stroked the last 500m and keep it straight, so fast is possible.

SW wind, but relatively calm seas. Swells of 70cm top to bottom. Could feel the floor bend a bit, but no big deal. Just keep it around 70 degrees ( off the wave's crest ) to the wave.

Tracking was straight unless I overexerted and didn't concentrate on form.

You need to know how to paddle in any kayak. I was told that you don't pull with the bottom hand, you push with the top. This is why I love exercising ( body and mind ) with this baby; afterward your upper-body feels invigorated. As well, lean back and relax, keeping an eye on your destination ( like riding a motorcycle actually ), and try to concentrate on slow, consistent breaths.

Will work on something for lifting the front combing. I sprayed waterproofing on the deck ( 303 ), and with a dry bag in the front, the depression in the deck meant that all water came into the cockpit. No big deal, but I'm a tuning guy. Will chop up some bamboo and experiment.

Regarding the waterproofing. I sprayed the pontoons and they didn't seem to take to it very well. They dried fast enough, but I expected better.

The zipper on the carry case is flimsy. If you don't get the packing right ( with pfd, paddle, spray guard, 30 liter dry bag, and seat - yep you can, and without any strain on the zipper, but I was in a hurry ), you get those funky kinks in the zipper. I'd prefer a zipper similar to the large gauge used on the pontoons - lots of room for packing error/haste.

Didn't take the inserts out for drying this time; too much of a procedure, and perceived lack of integrity of the materials used to secure them, to perform. These things will be the bane of my existence. I can foresee mildew forming in the stern and aft because of this 'design'. Am considering creating my own full-sized inserts that would slip into place, but there's nothing to secure them.

My prior post suggested a mesh pocket redesign, but the insertion is tedious at best and arduous at worst. A Velcro strip running perpendicular to the center line ( bow - stern ) could be used to secure a tab protruding from the insert. This would allow simple ingress/egress.

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Windspeed photos

Post by chuckiek1 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:23 pm

JimD wrote:

Check the Beaufort wind scale, lots of ways to judge wind by force number, or speed

That page has pictures as well.
Many thanks.

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Post by PJohanson » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:26 pm

8km in 2 hours sounds about right. I've done that in an Expedition lots of times. I often do 4 km in an hour in my Dragonfly (an older version of the Lagoon).

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