Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1

6 months 5 days ago #37650 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
So, I've done a fair bit of research, and hunted suppliers. 
Fruit of my research
Nelo 510
Pros
Really good foot pedal adjustment.
Cables can be rigged for either under or stern rudder.
Bow looks like it would be less affected by crosswinds (I'll be paddling somewhere very windy).
Weight is good for PE boat (lighter than epic v7).
Camera, GPS bracket on foot strap.
Durable material.

Cons
Less volume in bow, might bury too easily, making boat very wet.
Nowhere to strap a chart/map so that it is visible while paddling.
Personal feeling - blue plastic looks cheap.
Shorter and beamer = slower, maybe (reviewer and racer concluded no discernable difference).
Reportedly the rudder can fall out if at 90degrees.
Side handles look basic and slippery.

Epic v7
Pros
Looks - Should hold resale value.
More bow volume, should be drier ride.
Bungies for chart and waterbottle.
Longer and narrower, should be slightly faster (Clubmate estimates slightly slower than Cobra).
Stiffer hull.
Better side-handles (much easier to hold and carry with cold fingers).

Cons
Bow height might catch wind.
Rudder setup looks like cable needs rethreading to switch to overstern.
Hull material more vulnerable to cracking from impacts.
Heavier.
Dealer is over 250miles away from me in the wrong direction.
More expensive by £150.

Two of the cons for the 510 could be overcome by gluing some loops for elastic in place. Sounds like that wouldn't be too difficult on PE (if more difficult than doing it on a GRP boat).

Question:
Boat leash - attach to cockpit ring, or just use that for the paddle leash?

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6 months 5 days ago #37654 by glakesfun20
Replied by glakesfun20 on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Hi there:
After a multi-decade absence from kayak, I went and bought an Epic 18X Sport but due to wakeboard boats etc with large waves hitting me broadside, I traded it for an Epic V8 Pro and am loving it. 
Once I'd practiced reboarding the ski, I've had no concerns about the size of any waves. Ironically, this has made me paddle better and I've yet to fall. 
Piece of mind is a valuable thing to have. 
Hope you enjoy it as much as I am.  

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6 months 4 days ago - 6 months 4 days ago #37664 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Get a ski not a sea kayak. I used to work as a sea kayak instructor and have no bias against sea kayaks, but learning to roll can be an incredibly long process. To roll you have to have your face deep underwater and upside down with water trying to force its way up your nose, and then counterintuitively push your face even deeper towards the bottom of the sea to get it done. If you are very phobic about that whole feeling it may not even be possible to learn. remounting a ski is 100x easier to learn and you don't need an instructor standing next to you for hours in cold water. If you want to do multi-day expeditions with camping gear a sea kayak is the only way to go, but for everything else a ski is better. Also under stern rudders, even small ones, offer so much more control that overstern. 

Re plastic vs composite, there is a significant performance difference. I personally think the performance benefit of a 23 vs 27 vs 32 pound composite ski is overstated, and the main benefit of that small weight reduction is ease of transport off the water. But the difference between a composite ski vs a 50-55 pound plastic ski is very real on the water, and the huge off the water. If you are just cruising around recreationally it might not make much difference, but if you enjoy the feeling of a boat accelerating from a paddle stroke, or want to accelerate onto waves to learn the addictive pleasure of downwind, a composite ski really is better. And off the water it is so much easier to carry and not drop a lighter ski especially when traversing uneven ground. 

If your paddling is going to involve landing in many different random rocky slimy nasty places and banging the thing around  a lot plastic might be the way to go. But most ski paddlers just figure out a few spots where they can safely get on and off the water. Have you considered a used fiberglass ski? Those are cheap and more durable than the ultralight composites, and would be much more pleasurable to paddle and carry than plastic. Keep in mind too that the plastic skis use a different construction than most plastic sea kayaks and recreational kayaks. Rather than solid plastic they are a sort of sandwhich construction with aerated plastic "foam" in the middle between solid plastic walls. They are stiffer than solid plastic, but the trade off is they are a bit more brittle and prone to damage from sharp impacts. 

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6 months 4 days ago #37665 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Thanks, that is all really useful information.

Lots of thinking here - I definitely want an all-weather boat. The area is also known for very strong winds - and that makes me lean very much towards to Nelo (less windage on the bow).

My launching point is a semi-rocky beach and I want to be able to do wildlife spotting some of the time (the area is well known for otters, dolphins, seals, minke whales, occasionally orcas and sperm whales). 

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6 months 4 days ago #37666 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Take the idea of windage completely out of your decision making process.

A tippy k1 with a tiny rudder or over stern rudder, controlled by a tiller bar is massively affected by crosswinds and really wants to weathercock. A ski is totally different.

First of all pedal steering solves the weather cocking issue in a K1 completely. I know this because I took one of my K1 (kayakpro Aurum) and built pedal steering for it and it went from horrible in a cross wind to having the steering 100% unaffected by crosswinds. I just paddle and don't think about the steering at all. My feet automatically make tiny adjustments (way smaller than with a tiller) and the boat just magically goes what ever direction I want with no extra effort and no loss of leg drive, wind be damned. 

Secondly all surfski are designed specifically to be paddled in massive wind and waves. If you are in 25 knots of wind and the waves are over a meter tall any boat is going to be hard to turn from downwind to straight upwind, including surfskis. You will especially feel this when the boat is cresting a bump and the bow is in the air. Some skis are more affected by this than others, but those are differences of slight degree.   You are looking at shorter skis which are all going to be easier to turn upwind. 

You should definitely get something stable. Also because you will be out there alone on cold water, leash, PFD, proper kit (neoprene or drysuit much of the time I imagine) and having your remount rock solid is essential. When I am alone in big waves and cold water I always use a paddle leash as an extra layer of safety against losing the paddle or the boat. And you have to make it a matter of habit that when you capsize you hold onto the paddle with one hand and put the other arm over the boat. Sounds complicated but it is not. just practice and it becomes automatic. 

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6 months 4 days ago #37667 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
I'm not bothered by weather cocking (the usual effect of this in a K1 is a very nasty blister from the tiller bar). It is wind catching bow when going over waves. It was a post on here about an Epic that got me thinking on that.

Where I'm moving, 25knots is the average wind speed, year round. Winter storms commonly top 60knots. So, stable is important. 

I have a full wetsuit (bought for swimming) for winter. Will pick up a pair of neoprene bottoms for summer paddling, combining with vest and other layers.

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6 months 3 days ago #37676 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Makes sense. 

when it comes down to it i think the choice of boat will not be the main determinant of how much fun you have. Being out in wild nature and having adventures is what matters. I think anything that is stable, so that you can go out in all kinds of conditions, will be just fine. 

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6 months 3 days ago #37677 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Sounds to me like an Epic v8 or v8Pro in performance lay up would be a perfect boat for your needs. I recently traded my Epic v8pro in performance layup for a v10 in ultra layup. The ultra is great construction for racing,  but it seems super fragile if you bang into things. 

The v8 and v8pro are both super stable, fun, fast, and great do anything, anywhere boats. If you are coming from a K1 background it will feel like paddling your sofa. Both are floating dock stable in mixed conditions so you can relax and take photos or just enjoy the scenery. 

I'll second Zach's recommendation for a  surfski over a sea kayak. I have a beautiful full carbon sea kayak that has sat in my garage ever since I picked up a surfski. The surfski can do everything except multi day camping trips. 

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5 months 2 weeks ago #37772 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
I am now the owner of a Nelo 510.
Not paddled yet, I picked it up today.
It is a demo boat, so has a few scratches and was a bit dirty - Ivan gave it a give of a scrub but admitted it had been filthy. Still looks shinier than my other boat.

I discussed ski stability and 'having fun' with Ivan. His words:
"There are a lot of blokes have a mid-life crisis and get a ski. They usually buy the fastest ski they can get; it is a big mistake. You want to be looking at a wave (gestures above his head) and thinking 'whoohoo', not 'oh, crap'."

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5 months 2 weeks ago #37773 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Congrats! You will love it. 

where will you be in scotland? I want to look at a map of it after all this discussion. 

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5 months 2 weeks ago #37774 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Isle of Lewis, a bit south of the capital, Stornoway.

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5 months 2 weeks ago #37775 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Wow - beautiful and exotic. Practically the faroe islands. It looks amazing.  Thats the type of place i would want to go if i visited the british isles. I like weather. Warm and sunny everyday gets depressing after a while. Another nice thing about nasty cold weather is that it makes it much easier to dress for immersion without overheating.  

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5 months 2 weeks ago - 5 months 2 weeks ago #37776 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Oh it also gets sunny. I've spent about 5.5 weeks there over the last two years and in August just about every day is sunny. Just cool water temp year round and windy (actually it is better when it is windy, because then the midges don't savage you). 
Amazing, amazing beaches. If you google luskentyre beach you'll find lots of images; that is just one of them (very family-friendly for swimming).

So, today was my maiden paddle in the 510 (just on a placid river).
Pedal steering is taking some getting used to. I had the pedals at the wrong angle to begin with (tilted towards paddler). Once I tilted them away (nelo's mechanism means you can easily do this while in the boat), it was easier. Still will take me a couple of hours more to be proficient. My reflexes are for Tiller bar steering; where if you want to turn left, you push the bar over with your right foot. So I keep pushing the wrong pedal!
The weight (22kg) didn't seem too bad, until I was carrying it back. I am 800m from the river and that is a bit far to carry a 22kg boat. Will look into getting a trolley.

Speed; cruises without effort at about 9kph. Can't accelerate worth a damn though. That will be partly the boat weight and mostly the hull shape. I'm comparing it to one of the fastest K1 designs ever produced (in delta form). 

Sizing; From pictures, I thought that the bucket looked huge and assumed I'd have to pad it. Nope, my ample posterior completely fills it. Leg work and rotation is a bit compromised due to the narrowness at my big fat calves - they only just fit.

Fittings are good, but I realised that it doesn't have a leash attachment point. This is boat 31, so I guess very early in the production process. Will have to work out an attachment point; maybe using some of the bailer screws.

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5 months 2 weeks ago - 5 months 2 weeks ago #37777 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
Congrats on your new Nelo. I hope you have many amazing paddles with it. I should never have Googled luskentyre beach. Wow, that is beautiful. I'd love to paddle there someday.
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5 months 2 weeks ago #37780 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
That is just stunning. 

leash attachment points were not standard til sometime in the past 5-10 years. Before then, or on old skis, girth hitch to the foot strap. 
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5 months 1 week ago #37781 by Reavley
Replied by Reavley on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
If I am not mistaken, the Nelo 510 does have bungee running through mounting holes behind the seat. You should be able to add/mount stronger cord using the same holes  - as we did with my wife's 550 to serve as an anchor for a waist leash. There has been a fair amount of discussion about waist leashes on surfski.info. That is the kind of leash I prefer. 

You can also check out this reference for info about various kinds of leashes and considerations for choosing them:  leashes
Paul
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5 months 1 week ago #37782 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
The 510 also has bow/stern handles - I was thinking of running a line from the stern handle to by PFD, with slack tucked under the rear bungie cords. 

That would give me enough slack in the leash to dismount, and, say, inspect the rudder for damage or weeds. 

My PFD has side straps so I could attach a leash to those with a snaplink. 

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5 months 1 week ago #37783 by Reavley
Replied by Reavley on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
A number of locals in my area like the stern attachment in part because of the reduced pull from the surfski lining up downwind instead of sideways to the wind in really windy conditions. I have been fine with attaching my leash behind my seat. At least one of our locals prefers a loose belt because he says it can slide instead of wrapping the leash around him if he rolls. The straight to stern connections I have seen did not have enough slack in them to need tucking under the rear deck bungee, but those were with belts where the leash was connected in the center on the paddlers back side. Will you need some slack to keep from being pulled unevenly a bit if you connect your leash on the side of your PFD?  There are certainly plenty of folks that attach their leash to their PFD. 

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5 months 1 week ago #37784 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
That's food for thought.

I can see that a straight run to the stern needn't have any slack - maybe a very light connection under the bungee to keep it on the deck would help (a bead on the leash could tuck under a bungee). 

There are various, conflicting views on how strong the leash needs to be. 
A paddle leash could be quite weak. Possibly shockcord would do.  Even 4mm has a breaking strain of 50kg.

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5 months 1 week ago #37787 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Sea Kayak/surfski/OC1
I use shock cord as paddle leash. 5mm I think. I have a bowline knot locked extra tight at the end making a loop just big enough to fit over the paddle shaft when it is split in two. Snug enough not to wander on the shaft. I dont notice it at all once paddling. It provides extra safety for me. It makes it easy to drop a paddle and fiddle with the phone or footplate etc. And if I need to stabilize someone’s ski to help them remount or allow them to mess around with something it makes that much easier. At first would only use on on occasion.  Now it just lives on the ski and I use it every time.  

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