Alpacka: New 2014 sterns

What do folks know about the new Alpacka sterns for 2014? Their site says 3" longer and that the difference is only noticeable in Class 3+ water. Anyone try one of these yet? If so, what’s your take?


Essentially they extended the stern a few more inches and added some rocker to the stern as well.

Link attached to a pic of Jeny on the Salt in her new extended stern Alpaca.

Note that she has 5 days worth of food and overnight gear in her boat, her deck is moved forward a few inches, and the boat is loaded a little front heavy here.

I like what this change does for the boats. You can still spin it almost as well as the old stubbies because of the added rocker, but you’ve also got plenty of length behind you to prevent backendering. Essentially it feels like Alpacka has removed the need to get a longer boat and cram yourself forward in it the way we have been for so long. Not sure they intended all of that, but watching it in action under Jeny on Gunny Gorge and with a 5 day load on the Salt convinced me pretty thoroughly. I’ve got one on order.

I’ve been more then happy with mine. I am able to load the boat with considerably more gear then the older extended stern. The most notable gear loading difference is that I can load a full size internal frame backpack into the new stern without any weird pressure points. I wasn’t able to do that with my last boat. This last trip I guided with the new boat, I had over 80 lbs of stuff and 2 packs in there and it worked great.

As far as whitewater performance, I feel that the new boat tracks considerably better, and I am able to roll the boat easier (which is still hard, even in an empty boat).

I am 6’1" and have always used a llama, and got a new llama with an extended stern, but would definitely consider a yak instead if I was sticking to mostly whitewater runs with this new boat. They feel bigger and more comfortable then the older style stern, even if they technically aren’t.

Worth it if you are in the market for an upgrade.