Paddles with an Anas acuta...... unashamedly biased toward the sea kayak of that name (actually the voyages of two boats, one 'traffic over gold', one 'quill')

Monday, 15 October 2012

KAPE boats

Yesterday, we had a chance to demo the KAPE range of boats, recently becoming available in the UK 

First up the Zephyr 480, a stable 'beginner' style boat, available with rudder or skeg, not very exciting, but then it is not meant to be. No discernible vices either.
 Then the Rapido Ski, this was a lot of fun, everyone enjoyed paddling it, here is Steve having a go. I could see myself paddling this in summer off the beach and felt very stable after a paddle across to Portchester Castle.
 The seat held you snugly. There was also a chance to try the K1 Rapido, the same hull but with a sit inside deck, with no hip or thigh grip this felt more wobbly, I preferred the ski version. For some reason we don't have any pictures, but look at the website.
 The Destroyer is something else again, it really does look like a battleship! All square shapes, barely a curve in sight. This is a new model, not even a picture on the website. The hull has something of the Angmagssalik about it, almost a square box section in the centre, but faired at the ends, chines very very sharp, more rocker than the Angmagssalik, so it turns surprisingly well. Fantastic secondary stability, it just paddles along on edge with the cockpit rim under water. Very fast. Despite the high foredeck I wasn't scrapping my knuckles. I thought that I'd hate this boat, but I have to say I enjoyed paddling it.
 I'd like a go in choppy water, and heavily loaded for an expedition. Ideal for size 12 feet, the cockpit could fit a whole family and the dog inside. This model had a skeg, out in the harbour with F2 on the stern quarter, it needed maybe 1/3 skeg, so I would guess that keeping it on course in any wind would not be a problem. But could I look at that foredeck for hours, always expecting some sort of naval rating to open the fore-hatch and scan the horizon for the enemy?