Any one else think that alpaka should sell a velcro on skeg kit for boats other than dory/explorer??
Whilst you may be able to buy a skeg and the Velcro mounting strips, you would have difficulty sewing the Velcro strip to the underside other than by hand stitching, as I believe that this is done by Alpacka prior to the floor fabric being attached to the hull.
Reinforcing and sealing the area in which the skeg is fitted should also be taken into account, as I doubt that it will be a case of simply sticking a self adhesive Velcro mounting strip onto a boat.
Some friends and I took a long trip in Prince William Sound last year. One yak had a skeg attached by a velcro strip, (the folks at Alpacka put the velcro on for him), and the other two packrafts did not. All the paddling on the trip was done on saltwater and we all agreed that at least with a heavy pack in the bow, the skeg did not let the yak track any straighter than the skegless boats did. I can’t remember how much better it performed without a pack in the bow, but I don’t think it was really amazing.
We’re going to back Ryan up on this one: we’ve done a lot of skeg-additions to kayak-paddled boats over the years, and no one’s ever come back and said they notice a big difference. The lateral forces of the kayak paddle seem to overwhelm any effect of the skeg. We now advise against it. It doesn’t hurt the boat, but it’s unecessary expense and weight.
Hig & Erin (www.groundtruthtrekking.com) have done some interesting “longboat” experiments for flatwater travel, lashing two craft together with a keel-pole. This is worth checking on their website. It’s not something we’ve investigated or check the boats out for yet, but their experiments are promisting. The longer hull and keel-pole seem to stabilize the boats a lot.
I guess I’ll just have to paddle straighter
You & me both, man… and aesthetically, I just love the whole “longboat” idea
We found one of the first hurdles to getting comfortable in flatwater was realizing that the bow zig-zagging was ok. It feels weird, but packrafts are easy to push up to nearly as fast as they’ll go, so some inefficiency isn’t a huge problem. We did find though that without any weight on the bow the zig-zag was so severe that it was a significant hindrance. I’ve even headed out with a log on the bow just for the “dory stone” affect.
The longboat is actually really cool. I think there are a lot of great applications for it. BUT it doesn’t substantially increase your absolute speed. They do let you go faster because one person can paddle while the other eats, takes photos, or naps (packraft naps are soooo nice…) And they help a lot when fighting wind. And they provide a vast improvement in stability. And they make you look bigger if an army of sea lions is thinking about eating you (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXmDE22SNFY&feature=channel_page).
A very easy thing that I keep thinking about and not getting around to trying is to put a pole along the bottom of a single boat. I think it’d act nicely as a keel…
So it has been determined that a velcro skeg does not assist a raft track state whilst paddling, but what about when you are not paddling? Is a velcro skeg effective in stopping the raft from spinning after you stop paddling? I fish from my raft and find it has a tendancy to spin after you stop paddling particular if there is a breeze or even the weight you transfer in the act of casting, particulalry with a fly rod can encourage it to spin and this makes fishing more difficult. So would a velchro skeg assist with this? Does anyone else use any other methods to stop the raft from spinning and to slow the drift while fishing, a miniture sea anchor perhaps?
Gus - I’ve been thinking of a small sea anchor also. We could knock some up pretty easy.
How was spot X ?
You’re right a sea anchor should be relatively straight forward and, what material did we have in mind for material? I might try using one of those light weight dry bags. I’m even thinking a small fold up anchors could be handy at times on trips where weight is not a concern. I’m still curious about the Skeg and drifting, what have you found?
I can’t recall which spot X you are referring to, when are we going for a raft? I’m keen to check out a few spots in RNP.
I might be catching up with Steve this wkend down South.