I’ve looked around a bit and haven’t seen any posts laying out the pros/cons of the currently available deck/sprayskirt options in 2012. There’s the “whitewater” model which is hailed as “the greatest improvement” to the Alpacka design, and the Cruiser, which appears to be somewhat lighter as well as detachable.
I’m hoping to get into packrafting and trying to decide which (if any) makes sense for me. Most of my usage of this boat is going to involve a folding bicycle I hope to tie to the bow, and long enough trips that some kind of deck is warranted, if only for weather protection. I also hope to take it on some backpacking trips, more for river crossings – in this case it might be nice to spare the weight of a deck if it can be avoided.
From these considerations, it seems like the better option for me would be the Cruiser deck. And yet – somehow it doesn’t seem right that I should pass up on “the greatest improvement” to the Alpacka design. So I have to ask: what would I be missing out on if I go with the Cruiser vs the Whitewater deck? Could it be worth the extra (permanent) weight for me? If I get the Cruiser deck now am I doomed to eventually upgrade to a second Alpacka with a whitewater deck in six months? Or is the continuation of the Cruiser because it really does make more sense for some people?