Carbonology Vault

2 years 8 months ago #27497 by Hulk
Carbonology Vault was created by Hulk
Hi fellow paddlers,

I'm paddling the always reliable Fenn Swordfish in a Glass Vacuum layup at the moment for the last 3.5 yrs. I'm 1m88 and 76kgs.
I'd like to upgrade to a different boat or to the new swordfish S.

In 2wks I'm going to trial the new Carbonology Vault and was wondering if there is anyone at this forum that could give me any feedback about his experience with the Vault and/or upgrading from the Swordfish.

Cheers
Pete

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2 years 8 months ago #27511 by Atlas
Replied by Atlas on topic Carbonology Vault
Hi Hulk.

I'm afraid I can't help you with the Carbonology Vault. However if you haven't done so, check out Brett's' great post. www.surfski.info/forum/19-boats/5830-car...ers-review.html#5830

I'm happy to share my experience of "upgrading " from the Swordfish to the Swordfish S.

FWIW; I'm nearly the same weight as you at 75 kg but my centre of gravity is lower than yours because I'm 175 cm. I'm reasonably fit but at 44 years old my strongest days may be behind me. I would consider myself to be of low intermediate skill. However I'm not afraid to paddle outside my comfort zone because I employ various risk mitigation strategies with which I won't bore you.

My Swordfish was of vacuum fibreglass construction and my current Swordfish S is of hybrid carbon construction. The first thing I noticed with the new boat was how loose and uncomfortable the bucket is for me. The original Swordfish was as comfortable for me as I can imagine a boat being. It was also snug without restricting my ability to rotate (it's only my lack of skill that restricts my ability to rotate). Once I (reluctantly) padded out the bucket, I found the Swordfish S to be of similar stability. Given that my S is lighter than my original, it suggests to me that the new boat is actually slightly more stable. I also found that the new boat catches runners more easily than the original. This was really fun until I paddled in bigger, steeper waves. I found that it nosedives into the wave in front much more easily than the original. I'm happy to concede that this probably has more to do with my lack of skill than any design fault but that's what I experienced. Having said that, I found that if I had some momentum, I could paddle over the top of and thus catch some waves that I'm confident I could never have caught in the old boat. I didn't find the new boat to be any more manoeuvrable than the original but my old one did have a pretty aggressive rudder so I suspect the new one might turn a little quicker given the same rudder.

I also feel that I might be a bit light for the boat. I've had it out in some really rough windy conditions and while my stability wasn't overly challenged; I did find it really hard to maintain my chosen course. The bow was blown down wind every time I crested a wave. This might just be due to my lack of skill and the fact I'm not particularly strong. I'm not sure if a shorter, lower volume ski would have been more manageable but I hope to test some such skis over the next few months.

I do like the Swordfish S but I can't say that I'm in love with it. I think it might be a case of; "it's not you; it's me".

Current skis:
Epic V10L, Think Zen, Fenn Bluefin, Fenn XT double

Previous skis
Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Swordfish S, Fenn XT, Spirit PRS

Most with DK rudders.
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2 years 8 months ago #27513 by PhilSE2
Replied by PhilSE2 on topic Carbonology Vault
Like you I own a Swordfish, hybrid together with a Stellar SES G2 Excel layup. I Do a lot of flatware marathon and ultra marathon racing and quite like the Swordfish except for races over 4 hours where I suffer a degree of seat discomfort. I can only manage 3 hours in the SES. To get to the point I recently tried out the new Vault, hybrid layout, paddling some 50km, with a 30km paddle included. I now own the Vault and have completed a number of 20km a 47km race and a 65km race.. I have found the Vault the most comfortable boat I have ever paddled, though that is a personal observation. As a comparison to the SF it is a little less stable but as a low volume boat has very nice handling in rough water and is a little faster. I weigh 74kg and am 178cm tall and 70 years old. As a comparison I did the 47km race last year in the SF in 4hrs 42min this year in the Vault I was 12 min faster and a lot more comfortable. It is also easier to remount than the SF Definitely recommend you try this boat, well worth it
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2 years 8 months ago #27514 by Hulk
Replied by Hulk on topic Carbonology Vault
Thanks Phil I look forward trialling it!

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2 years 8 months ago #27515 by Hulk
Replied by Hulk on topic Carbonology Vault
Hi Atlas, thanks for your response I read your response and the other feed with great interest and can't wait taking on some runs next week in Mandurah in the Vault!

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2 years 8 months ago #27535 by nightfuel
Replied by nightfuel on topic Carbonology Vault
Hello mate, I too possess a Vacuum Glass Swordfish.

I've tried only once a Swordfish S for few kilometers in a semiflat water environment, in which I could only observe, given a ferryboat wave of 15kmh, that the ORKA elliptical rudder I use on my old Swordfish gives a track to the boat with an easy pression of the pedal, whereas the original Swordfish S rudder isn't that effective and you have to shift the weight much more to get the same results...I was also skeptical on the new seat position - like Atlas said it's meant probably to help with the small runners but the other side of the story is the more weight forward on the big waves taht should nosedive easier...

Then I choose to buy a Carbonology Zest in hybrid layup, as I am rather heavy at 1,86mt x 93 kilos and the Vault seemed out of weight range for me

I did read several topics regarding the different hull shape and the moderate increment also in thoretically speed versus the Swordfish, but actually I feel the boat is much more tippy and less predictable than the Swordfish, where the great primary stability is a trademark - so the Zest requires a higher level of technique, and I don't know if I could say it's faster - because for me it's quite tiring to be on the Carbonology at this moment. The boat also has a lot of rocker even in the front respect to the Swordfish, so I need to spend much more bucket time than now to judge that.

Fact is -all Fenn boat have a family feeling, my wife is on a Bluefin hybrid layup and I have also an Elite S so I could feel the same mind project behind them all: nice primary and predictable secondary, whereas the Carbonology Zest is a completely different concept and you can feel it from minute one.

So the obvious advice is to try before you buy, or at least before you sell the old boat :-)
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2 years 8 months ago #27543 by crallan
Replied by crallan on topic Carbonology Vault
I used to have a Vacuum glass SW that turned into a hand-me-down to my wife so I could get the SF S Carbon. I'm 180 cm 77 kg. Intermediate
I absolutely love the S! Yes sometimes it can be a wet ride but for me that's a small trade in for the lower volume and the forward seat and rudder. More comfort and better maneuverability. I use it in everything from flat water to 40 knots downwind. I paddle surfski for the downwind so flat water speed is of zero interest. It picks up runners really easy, is VERY stable, more so the the old version. For me it really was an upgrade (and I assume the same goes for my wife as she steals my ski when I'm not around...)!
I haven't paddled the Vault or Zest a lot but for what it's worth; I didn't like the Zest at all, far to big for me, felt like paddling a tanker/bathtub, not very fond of the high volume bow. The Vault on the other hand was a very pleasant experience, not as stable as the SF S but for my weight a lot more stable than the Zest. Wouldn't trade my SF S for it but it would definitely be an option if I didn't have it. I DO love my SF S!

Swordfish S Carbon
Swordfish glass vacuum
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2 years 8 months ago #27545 by Hulk
Replied by Hulk on topic Carbonology Vault
Interesting read thanks crallan.
I was unfortunately not yet able to trial the Swordy S - would love to trial it in a hybrid layup - although is see some great benefits of the lower volume Vault and look forward experiencing the feeling of the Vault.

Any more Vault paddlers on the forum with downwind experience in this boat?

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2 years 8 months ago #27556 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Carbonology Vault

Atlas wrote: Hi Hulk.

I'm afraid I can't help you with the Carbonology Vault. However if you haven't done so, check out Brett's' great post. www.surfski.info/forum/19-boats/5830-car...ers-review.html#5830


It's important to note the review I wrote all those years ago was on the Gen1 Vault.

The new Vault is a completely different boat, in fact I was surprised they stuck with the same name as if you put the two side by side you wouldn't think they came from the same manufacturer.

That being said, while Carbonology aren't flashy with their marketing they are making some huge improvements in paddler friendly designs and growing via word of mouth rather than slick marketing.

I'd encourage anyone looking at a new ski to check out the new range. As for longevity, my 4 year old hybrid layup Flash is still going strong with no soft spots in the layup.

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)
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2 years 8 months ago #27557 by Atlas
Replied by Atlas on topic Carbonology Vault
Thanks for pointing that out Brett. I had no idea the Vault had been updated.

The poor marketing of some ski manufactures and distributors is quite frustrating. Not all of us are in the "in club" in order to get current information by word of mouth.

Have you paddled the current Vault? I and Hulk would be really interested in your impressions if you had.

Cheers. Adam.

Current skis:
Epic V10L, Think Zen, Fenn Bluefin, Fenn XT double

Previous skis
Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Swordfish S, Fenn XT, Spirit PRS

Most with DK rudders.

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2 years 8 months ago #27558 by crallan
Replied by crallan on topic Carbonology Vault
For the record, my previously posted impressions regards the MKII Vault! The MKI is a different story! Less stable, higher sides, harder to remount.

Swordfish S Carbon
Swordfish glass vacuum

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2 years 8 months ago #27566 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Carbonology Vault

Atlas wrote: Thanks for pointing that out Brett. I had no idea the Vault had been updated.

Have you paddled the current Vault? I and Hulk would be really interested in your impressions if you had.


Adam, since doing that review 4-5 years ago I've progressed to very tippy K1's and am a lot fitter and so I don't know that my thoughts or doing a review on this type of ski would be of much use to the type of paddler looking at these level of skis.

I think the reason why that review was so popular is that it was written at a time when I was in your shoes, comparing it to other skis and looking for something that met my needs at the time.

To be honest most ocean skis feel very stable to me now.

I think the best reviews are done by those who are moving up through the various skill levels and reporting on what they experienced at the time.

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)
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2 years 8 months ago #27567 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Carbonology Vault
I cant find any good photos of the Vault, have asked for the Aussie dealer to post some for reference.

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

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2 years 8 months ago - 2 years 8 months ago #27568 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Carbonology Vault
May help to look at it amongst the other models to see differences. The buckets on the updated models are all much shallower than previous models.

goo.gl/photos/gZepigkWPQrLAdyp6

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

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2 years 8 months ago #27569 by Atlas
Replied by Atlas on topic Carbonology Vault
Yes. All good points.

Current skis:
Epic V10L, Think Zen, Fenn Bluefin, Fenn XT double

Previous skis
Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Swordfish S, Fenn XT, Spirit PRS

Most with DK rudders.

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2 years 8 months ago #27588 by Hulk
Replied by Hulk on topic Carbonology Vault
Hi All,

This Saturday I had the great opportunity to paddle the Vault 2 for 45mins in Mandurah.
The winds were average without real downwind conditions.. although there was enough of a bump and a wave on a sandbank to get some feel for its behavior in the chop and on the lighter runs.

On the dry:
Good looking boat and the green GT stripes / decals make it look fast - back to the technicals. The Vault 2 has a fair bit of rocker and looks narrower than the Swordfish I paddle at the moment. The lines look sharp and not bulky which I guess is why it is a "lower" volume ski for people up to 80kgs. The lines taper out towards the seat and narrow down again towards to tail. The seat itself is shallower than the Swordfish (my comparison) and possibly a bit higher - which in the case that is correct will allow you for a stronger catch. With lower rails it allows you for much better remount - although you should be paddling and not swimming!!
It is fitted with a surf rudder on stainless cables with the last part are ropes to the rudder pedals which allows for easy adjustment without tools! (really handy)
The Vault 2 is fitted with a really useful self breathing bung/plug - no more forgetting of your bung!
Then there are two side handles fitted at the rails around knee level, they make carrying a bit easier I guess. They are not in the way while you are paddling. Haven't found them being a problem for mountain the ski. Maybe for re-mounting? Although they can be helpful when remounting. I am not sure if I like it or not - good thing is that you can always remove them I guess.

On the water:
The ski I trialed was the hybrid vacuum layup 12-12.5kg with a fibreglass hull and a carbon deck! Ski was feeling solid and strong while carrying it to the water.
Mounting the ski was no problem - the seat felt immediately really comfortable and it felt SNUG!! Wow finally a ski I'm not floating around in! Initial stability felt a bit twitchy. (seat height? or narrower boat? I guess) But then secondary stability was perfect and prevents you from falling out. - Like to hear other people's experience and how they adapted to that.
The boat is very alive and fun I had to pop through some spilling waves on the way out without issues - the bullet venturis do their job perfectly. Turning is super quick and with the chop side-on the ski sits really good in the water - this is one of the great advantages of the lower volume for a light weight (me 76kg) paddler. The Vault 2 picked up the small runs very easy and the steering on the runs is beautiful. It responds immediately when you want it to respond and tracks in the direction you want it to. I was playing with lots of direction changes while on a run and it went exactly where I wanted it to go. This in contrast to the Swordfish which does not respond as quick to requested direction changes.
Playing during a trial, made me stuff up the rules of catching runs and forgetting about technique sometimes which results in mistakes.... although I created a big wobble (wobble; a moment of intense instability) every now and then, the ski kept me dry and I didn't end up swimming!
Ski design in relation to paddling technique: The design of the ski allowed me to apply a narrow catch - as the ski is nice and narrow around your feet - it feels a lot narrower for the catch then my good old Swordy. The seat as previously mentioned was comfortable and snug it allows good leg drive.

That's it for now. Let me know if you've any questions.
Later on I will post some photographs and summary of paddling speed.

Cheers,
Pete
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2 years 8 months ago #27590 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Carbonology Vault
Great stuff, that's what others want to hear, the experience of someone at that boats level, thanks for sharing.

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)
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2 years 7 months ago #27696 by Hulk
Replied by Hulk on topic Carbonology Vault
Hi All,

I wanted to let you all know that I bought the new Vault 2 in the Hybrid layup.
Great paddling experiences until date!
I will write a proper review in a couple of weeks time when I'd some solid downwind time with it!

Kind regards,
Peter
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2 years 6 months ago #27813 by owenw
Replied by owenw on topic Carbonology Vault
My wife, well over 50 :whistle: and weighs 52Kg recently bought a new Vault, replacing her Gen1 Stellar SES. She bought this after trying several others and it finally came down to choosing between the Vajda Hawx and the Vault. She then critically compared them (off one, onto the other) several times (handy when Brett Greenwood is the supplier of both). She then made her choice and has no regrets. (Incidentally, I tried both the same day and preferred the Hawx, but I'm a lot bigger @80Kg).
She loved the SES, its just with the big "nose" she had troubles handling it when the wind came in. (It's certainly not a balance thing as she races a skinny K1 in Marathon races).
She's been paddling the Vault for a coupla months now and knows she made the correct choice. The one serious omission on this ski is the lack of a built in "strong point" for affixing her leg rope. She appreciates the very fine and low entry and can get the paddle in "just like the K1". She has no difficulty in re-mounting. The build quality appears to be very good - time will tell
My impression, compared to my Gen2 Stellar SEL, is that initially the Vault feels a bit "twitchier", but when leaned over a bit a fair amount of 2ndary buoyancy comes in, a bit like a sea kayak.

Life truly lived is full of risk; to fence out risk is to fence out life itself
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