Kayak Sailing is FUN !!!

Sail vs. non-sail... which one looks like a "cool cruiser" ;)
Sail vs. non-sail… which one looks like a “cool cruiser” ?  😉

Now  be honest! Have you ever fantasized, in a following wind, under a heavy load , somehow .. harnessing that wonderful wind to help you get along….? Now don’t lie! I suspect EVERY sea kayaker has in one point or another thought like this. 😀

Springtime 2015 I found myself trying out something completely new. GnarlyDog  convinced me to give kayak sailing a try. Uptil now I’d only tried using windpaddle sail briefly, but did not like the concept at all as it is strictly downwind sailing and while it does not require a rudder equipped kayak, it works better with one… And I’m not going to install a rudder on my kayaks. End of discussion! Also it ties ones hands to operating the sail…

First time kayak sailor getting the hang of it! :D Lake Vanaja, Finland
First time kayak sailor getting the hang of it! After about 45 minutes 😀 Lake Vanaja, Finland

Gnarly suggested  SeaDog Sails, whom I contacted and some weeks later I received my first SeaDog Sail ! Its been fun ever since! It was early may 2015 when I was able to go out and start learning to use the sail.

About the sail, it is surprisingly smart set up. Contrary to common beliefs it DOES not require a rudder for installation! A skeg would be nice to have but basicly one can sail decently without a skeg installed, however here one will need to use corrective strokes or a paddle rudder quite often. That said I will be retrofitting a skeg in all of my kayaks!

Vortex and Whisper with Instaled with SeaDog Sails
Vortex and Whisper installed with SeaDog Sails. Sails are “up”

The sail basicly operates as follows: When you want to sail. You release it from “Stowed on deck” configuration, pop  the mast into its “mast up” configuration, cleat the up haul line and “Voila” ready to sail! If the going gets rough or you need to go into the wind, then you reverse the previously described operation and your kayak is back in its “pure kayak – mast down” mode. Quite simple! With a little practice each operation takes  no-more than 5-7 seconds to perform.

High wind testing and learning. This was Markos (orange kayak) second time out kayak sailing!!! No he didn't swim
High wind testing and learning. This was Markos (orange kayak) second time out kayak sailing!!! No he didn’t swim

While under sail, one can still use the paddle for correcting strokes, stern rudder or bracing… or not! So the sail does not tie the hands while sailing. Only during mast uphaul or downhaul, and tweaking the sail angle with the cam-cleat,  ones’ hands will be doing other than paddling. This last feature is one of my favourites!

Peacefully coasting along autumn 2015, Lake saimaa, Finland
Peacefully ghosting along autumn 2015, Lake saimaa, Finland

Another misconception is that this sail is purely for downwind sailing. Not true!  Depending on the sail set up,  kayak configuration and your sailing skills one can sail beam reach and perhaps even close reach. My rough best estimate has been to sail maybe 25 degrees into the wind, on a sharply chined kayak and quite a bit of edging…

However there are some little requirements or rather common sense suggestions before one should start installing a sail on ones kayak!

  1. One should be a confident and able kayaker. Minimum requirement (in my mind ) for kayak sailing is that one should be able to do self rescues, braces + some kind of eskimo roll. I haven’t had to do a single roll or self rescue under sail, but the fact that I know I can perform these gives me all the more confidence to handle the kayak under sail… me hopes ! 😉
  2. Some understanding about the concept of sailing comes handy.. though starting with light winds and  an instructor close-by one can be self taught quite quickly to kayak sail! I’ve had two “experimental students” to test this claim and both are still alive and breathing and in friendly terms with me.. 😉
Punching thru.. Lake Vanaja, Finland
Punching thru.. Lake Vanaja, Finland

While kayak sailing isn’t for the first or second time, “beginner” kayaker it does open a whole new world for the more experienced confident kayaker- A world of fun if nothing else!

At the writing of this I have logged some 360 kms with sail, of which approximately half have been under touring/expedition conditions. Most if not every km has been either fun or educational and thus very interesting! Introducing the sailing concept into kayaking also opens the world of sailing and wind in a new way to the kayaker.

I will not dwell into sail installation in this post, that will come later. However there are a couple of excellent blogs that covers sail installation: Douglas Wilcox’s site and  GnarlyDog News

Contrary to common beliefs.. A kayak sail will not make the kayak go faster! Well THAT fast.  Usually the defining factor is the maximum hull speed. But it does help make the kayak go at hull speed with minimal paddling! Going above hull speed will require high winds and following seas.. and that while is FUN as anything, it does add certain risks. I’ve usually been able to clock 9-11 km/h in winds of  approx 10m/s. This wind speed I have found to be the maximum safe wind speed. Any higher than 10 m/s one needs to be on ones toes, alert, awake and accept the fact of a cold bath.  I think the strongest winds I’ve encountered and still stay upright was in the 14 m/s range. The highest speeds that my GPS have logged momentarily under sail, high winds+following waves have been 16.4km/h and 17 km/h. This was with the Guillemot Expedition Single without any load.

Coasting along in a light to moderate breeze. Lake Saimaa, Finland
Coasting along in a light to moderate breeze. SeaDog Commander installed on the Guillemot Expedition Single Lake Vanaja, Finland

Under full expedition load I have been able to coast along at 6-7.5 km/h in a run or a broad reach, using the paddle as a rudder only. With light assisting strokes I have been moving about 8-9.5km/h.

The newest SeaDog sail , the Commander is my favorite, the added reefing points add more versatility to the sail. The sail is more efficient sailing into the wind than the previous models. The older Code Zero Black Diamond maybe easier to handle for a beginner than the Commander,  but the commander has the reefing option so this changes the balance quite nicely.  I have ordered the sail with the lower panel with Clearview panel, giving me some forward visibility, which can be useful in narrow (and congested) waterways.

Clear skies and Fairwinds, Lake Saimaa, Finland
Clear skies and almost no wind.. SeaDog Commander installed on the Guillemot “SnG”, Night Heron kayak Lake Saimaa, Finland

All of the SeaDog sails I have used thus far have excellent work quality!

Autumn sailing in Lake Saimaa
Autumn sailing in Lake Saimaa

Here’s a couple of my favorite sailing videos that I’ve found online – from downunder. Courtesy of GnarlyDog The first one shows how the sail works.

And some just sailing that brings a smile on your face..

The best of Orkney 2015

This post doesn’t have any kayaking.. but it still has something to do with kayaking ! Orkney is one awesome destination for sea-kayaking and it is my sincere wish, hope, plan, nay a master-plan to go kayaking there someday… hence this post and hopefully pictures will explain more!

Last summer, during a 10 day visit to Orkney I was strictly on land and while watching the waves, came to the conclusion that when the day comes to go kayaking there.. I should know more, be more experienced and hopefully have some local expert to teach the quick low down.. ie. “where not to be and when..? ”

I bought the local sea chart of the Orkney area waters… and I must admit there were some new markings and timetables to learn. I gathered that they  have something to do with the tidal flows, waves , BIG water thing-ama-jigs! .. yikes – Crikey!

There was something in the rugged, windswept look in and around Orkney that I found alluring. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but somehow it felt like a place I might like. The most foreign feature in Orkney was the distinct lack of forests! Very very rare occurrence! For someone who works with wood and lives in a country where there are like a zillion trees.. this was very Veird! Takes abit to getting used to.

In the meanwhile, enjoy some pictures from Orkney! It’s s surprisingly nice place! 🙂

At times some say… “Its just like Greece!” 😀

Paddling to and from Åland – Summer paddle 2015

Some pictures AND a map of last summers paddling trip in /around of Åland archipelago.

We started from the Ferry stop of Vuosnainen, Finland. The trip lasted some 2 weeks.  The planned one day of rest in Maarianhamn, grew to two days! It was such a nice town to see! Much recommended! We finished at the ferry stop in Parainen, Finland.
Overall it was a great trip, but we had to keep a constant watch on the changing weather and plan and re-plan our routes accordingly. Fortunately we were able to come up with alternate routes in the labyrintine passages of the archipelago and weren’t held ashore due to bad weather. We were lucky in that respect.

Picture gallery Åland 2015
Map of route taken


Maps for the Finnish coast

These maps pretty much cover the whole coast. total weight 2.18kgs

Usually when undertaking a 1200+ km paddling trip one compulsory item required for said trip besides the obvious kayak, paddle and a myriad collection of camping equipment is a map.. or two or three!  That is , if one  has an idea of where one wants to go AND actually perhaps find onesself at that hoped destination without accumulating too many extra kilometers in between.

However, if one is the lacka-daisical, exploratory, “que sera sera” -type then , by all means traveling without a map of any kind is always an refreshing, exciting experience, if you don’t believe me, ask Cristoffer Columbus! 😉

Many paddlers in the past have, paddled the finnish coast equipped with nothing more than a collection of 1:250,000 road or bicycling maps, locally known as “GT maps”. This probably is the most economical and lightweight option available. This is fine, the information contained in these maps is minimal and the accuracy is tolerable, but the trip can be accomplished!

I have compiled a list of the maps I have found useful for the Finnish coastal paddle and which I intend to use next summer.

First off is a selection of maps that are made for paddling purposes, and thus are GOOD as is! That is to say, slap them in a waterproof map case and Voila, its ready to go!

Kokkola isles map set. printed on water resistant paper, A3, ringbinder, 1:50,000
Kokkola isles map set. printed on water resistant paper, A3, ringbinder, 1:50,000
  1. Kokkola region isles. ” 7 Sillan Saaristo” The map maybe ordered online. Queries thru the local paddling club in that area ( Central Ostrobothnia Touring Paddlers ) . The map is made by paddlers for paddlers.  Ringbinder A3 size, scale 1: 50,000, so it is good “as is“. Even though it is printed on water resistant paper, it should be used in a waterproof mapcase

    Setail of Kokkola maps
    Detail of Kokkola isle mapset
  2.  Qvarken region (Vaasa) . ” Merenkurkun melontakartta “. This map was also available from the Vaasa Tourist region, but at the writing of this post it is out of print. The map works nicely with the Kokkola region map as this Kokkola map continues from the northern reach of the Qvarken Map. Only difference from the Kokkola map, the Qvarken map is that it consists of two sheets instead of a ringbinder format. Otherwise same style and ideal for paddlers.

    Detail of the Qvarken mapset
    Detail of the Qvarken mapset
  3. Porkkala-Helsinki-Pellinki. Available for purchase thru Karttakeskus, Single large sheet, printed on a water resistant paper. Scale 1.50,000 . has camping sites, restricted zones, navigational aids etc marked. Ideal for paddlers
    Porkkala-Helsinki-Pelllinki paddling map

    Then came the hard part. I had to make choices and none of them easy.. there are sort of reasonably priced nautical chart books available, scale @ 1:50,000 showing all of the Nautical information that one could possibly hope for! These charts do have several drawbacks that essentially make them un-usable for seakayking purposes as is.

Size: they are larger than A3 size, way too big to fit the kayak deck or any of the commercially available waterproof map cases.

Material: some form of semi hard paper/cardboard which doesnt take too  well to being folded repeatedly. Maps being over-sized, they NEED to be folded IF used in kayaking.. dilemma

Information: being navigational maps they mostly have ONLY  information in regard to nautical navigation. Nature preserves, restricted bird preserves, camping areas etc ARE not marked..

SO with these kinds of charts the only option is to buy them, scan them, print, add missing required information and then in the end laminate them! An awful lot of extra work for something that one has paid for in the begining..

Yes, maybe I have been a wee bit naughty and done as described as above, I can neither confirm nor deny… 😉

To some areas of the finnish coast there are nautical charts printed on weatherproof plastic which are almost at the A3 size,scale @ 1:55,000 which as is, works reasonably well.. however these also have the same problem as their paper brethren. Only navigational information printed on map! Now being plastic sheets I have yet to find a permanent ink pen which markings will last longer than 1 paddling season…. so these maps also need some work!

Map set 1 .
Starting from Virojoki towards Hamina there is no ready made map for paddling use. Sea Chart is available paper printed @ 1:50,000. Camping sites, No-GO nature preserve markings need to be penned in afterwards…

 Map set 2.
From Hamina to Hanko, Karttakeskus offers a ready printed on weatherproof plastic ring-binder type @ 1:55,000 scale. Basicly this is OK. it has the nautical, navigational markings. It is slightly bigger than A3 sized which is about optimal for kayaking use. However it is missing restricted areas, nature preserves and camping areas, also it is very difficult to make lasting markings on said plastic as almost all “waterproof” marked markers aren’t really very waterproof at all on a weeklong seakayaking trip. Just about all over the selfmade markings will wear off at some point.  Also it is pretty heavy for kayaking use. To boot it is pretty expensive, list price is around 149 €…

Map set 3.
So I was missing a bit between Hanko-Kasnäs, Her I used an old  1:50,000 scale sea chart I’d bought back in 2009. It seems a bit of an overkill for this small portion of the trip. I used adhesive bookcovering plastic to give some protection for the map. I think this map cost 20€ back in the day. Miising markings added as required

Map set 4.
. I had to buy the set  (Sea Chart set D, Turunmaa) of maritime charts for the area in question. The cost was about 49 € for the set. Scale is 1:50,000 ringbinder, size is larger than A3, also it is printed on a stiff cardboard like paper which has no weather resistance whatsoever, and once folded will leave a crease that will eventually break off! As is, this map is not suited for paddling in anyway whatsoever…

DIY map set

Map Set 5
 Uusikaupunki-Tornio  North of Uusikaupunki the coast becomes less dotted with islands and at this stage I figured that maybe the accuracy of  1:100,000 maps should be enough for my purposes. Also at this stage I was broke, so I had to DIY the maps entirely. To my luck the National Land Survey of Finland (NLS) had released some  digital map data for the public use in 2013! I was able to download Topographical maps of the rest of the coast in 1:100,000. After I had the map rasters, I needed to spend lotsa time playing around with PhotoShop  to get the rest of the coast in A3 size @ about 1:100,000. This time around the problem with the NLS material was that while they had most restricted zones, nature preserves etc marked they lacked all maritime navigational markings as well as water depth lines… GRrrrr !! Apart from the printing and laminating cost,  I got these maps for free.

With the above set of modified, DIYied, bought maps I should be fairly well set for the trip. total weight of the map package is 2.18 kg. It is a pretty heavy package, but I intend to mail used portions back home as the trip progresses.

….  Ofcourse there is the option of using the GT bicycling maps scaled @ 1:250,000, currently a set covering the entire finnish coast costs approx under 60 €uros  😀


Rough Guesstimated route for summer paddle 2016

My biggest anticipated paddle for summer 2016 is the Finnish Coastal paddle. That is to say, paddle the finnish coast in its entirety from the Finnish-Russo border, Virojoki to the Finnish- Swedish border, Tornio.

To give some idea of the planned trip I made a VERY ROUGH DRAFT plan of the trip. That is to say it gives a very basic idea of where I will be paddling with Marko. From experience I know that the routes will probably differ either somewhat or alot depending on the weather, mood and /or  physical conditions encountered and experienced on the trip… so regard the map with a pinch of salt .. or two.



Helsinki Boat Show goodies

Some maps.. always a good thing!
Some maps.. always a good thing!

I visited the Helsinki Boat Show. It has been 17 years since my previous visit. A lot has changed since. A lot of it for the better. This post however has nothing to do with the merits of the boat show, rather about some goodies I found there, maps!!!

Being a paddler who spends alot of time on the waters  traveling from point A to point G Via Points X, Y and Z, I am somewhat obsessed about good quality maps. Yes, the printed variety that do not require wi-fi, 3G or a battery to operate! Sure I have a GPS, but that I use to log and track where I have been.  Not so much of where I’am going.  Yes yes..  in otherwords I’am a dinosaur navigator.. but if it ain’t broke…?

Traditionally printed maps in the Finnish hemisphere have been prohibitively expensive,  however during the recent years that has been changing for the better.. maps are becoming more affordable. Another thing traditionally has been that there have not been that many maps or charts that are suited for the paddler! Now .. sloooowly this too is changing !

I bought three maps from the boat show;  Porkkala-Helsinki-Pellinki 1:50 000, Canoeing Map, An inland waterway chart 1:50,000 Puula  and a ring binder set of charts printed on weatherproof plastic for the waterways area between Varkaus and Kuopio @ 1:55,000.

The latter was on sale for 29 €. This particular set of charts was of an area I have planned to paddle in the future but lacked any maps. So it was a “must have” purchase.  the bonus of this set is that it is slightly larger than A3 size and printed onto solid plastic sheets. As is it is suitable to be used on a kayak deck, as long as a safety line keeps it attached to the deck. Does not require water proof packing.

The Puula region inland waterway chart is a standard inland waterway map which is suitable for paddling use, even though it isn’t a particularly designed for it. It has the standard maritime chart markings and navigational aids. This one is printed on paper and needs to be used within a waterproof maps case while on the water

Porkkala-Helsinki-Pellinki paddling map
Porkkala-Helsinki-Pellinki paddling map

The Porkkala-Helsinki-Pellinki 1:50 000, Canoeing Map is aimed particularly aimed for paddlers. The map is printed onto weatherproof paper basicly could be used as is, but it is always  good practice to use it in a map case which can be attached onto the deck, so that it stays with the kayak in case of a sudden wind gust or rogue wave.

Sample of the map
Sample of the map

The map is clearly marked with the boating+shipping lanes,  restricted military areas, camping areas, protected nature preserves, shallows and pretty much all the standard topographical map data.  Pretty much everything a paddler needs!

This chart will definitely be on the upcoming summers Finnish coastal paddle!

Thus far there arent too many of these “paddlers choice” maps, but hopefully with time these will become available to other areas around Finland.


New Kayak: Skim Kayaks Beaufort

The Beaufort makes for a very nicely shaped overall balanced looking kayak
The Beaufort is a very nicely shaped overall balanced looking kayak

So… Long story short. I was helping a friend pick a kayak for his upcoming expedition along the Finnish coast summer 2016. He got his kayak.. and so did I! I really had no real need for a new kayak.. seriously! 😉 But it is a NICE kayak!  So what the hell, there went my retirement emergency funds! My fleet had space for a shortish sea kayak that had a very nice speed-to-agility ratio…

A view form the side
Side view

Skim kayaks is a Finnish base company that has several seakayak  models to offer.  The Beaufort doesnt have very much visibility on the web, probably due to the smallish manufacturing numbers..? Who knows? A couple German paddlers, Eike Köhler and his friend Basti have used the Beaufort on long sea expeditions; Gothenburg to Helsinki and more recently a trip along the Norwegian Coast. So the Beaufort cannot be all that bad?

The Beaufort has some rocker. just enuff to be reasonably agile, while edging, yet tracks straight
The Beaufort has some rocker. just enuff to be reasonably agile, while edging, yet tracks straight

At the writing of this, I have logged less that 50 kms with it, so I will not dwell too much about how it goes on the water, suffice to say; If I’m confident that enough to paddle the finnish coast in one, it can’t be bad? For now I will do a short review on the initial impressions.

Deck layout on the Beaufort is very functional. large oval deck hatches. Extra bonuses are the paddle attachement and the towline cam-cleat.
Deck layout on the Beaufort is very functional. large oval deck hatches. Extra bonuses are the paddle attachment and the towline cam-cleat.

These are the spec’s , as copied off the manufacturers website:

"Length: 513 cm
Width: 53.1 cm
Hullshape: Shallow/medium V, Strong chines
Cockpit depth front: (inner) 32 cm
Seat depth: 20,5 cm
Forward: 88 liters
Cockpit: 147 liters
Day hatch aft: 71 liters
Day hatch bow: 5.2 liters
Aft: 47 liters
Total: 358,2 liters
Optimal paddler weight: 70-100 kilos
TR: glass fiber/diolen/polyester
RH: Hull: vacuum infused Kevlar, directional glass and Carbon sandwich/vinylester Deck: Kelar reinforced glass/vinylester
CL: hull: infused carbon fiber sandwich/ vinylester, deck: vacuum infused carbon fiber sandwich/vinylester
Hatches: 44/26 cm
Dayhatch aft: 20 cm
Dayhatch bow: 15 cm
Manufactured in: Finland"

We ordered our kayaks thru North-West Import, located in Espoo, Finland. The service was top-notch. The icing on the cake was that we were able request certain modifications made for our kayaks! This was something new and pretty darn cool to boot!  I requested that my Rockhopper version would have a Kevlar rubstrip installed along the keel. This is serviced offered at an extra fee of 150€. Also I really liked the KajakSport Flexjoint-footpads on the footrests.  I Don’t recall how much they cost.. but they are quite nice! Time will tell how long lasting they will be. Initially I thought these were .. umm yuppy posh extra luxury items that no real seakayaker would use !… but after trying them out.. oh well, I guess I’m getting old or sumthing.

underneath. A layer of extra carbon to give the kevlar some Oomph! Nice Kajaksport footrests- WITH the REALLY nice Flex-Joint pads.
underneath. A layer of extra carbon to give the kevlar some Oomph! Nice Kajaksport footrests- WITH the REALLY nice Flex-Joint pads.

Being a short Hobbit sized paddler I wanted the forward bulkhead moved back some –  to minimize extra space in the cockpit and maximize “dry space” up front.

The aft edge of the seat had slots for straps incase I want to have my thermos strapped down.
The aft edge of the seat has slots for straps in case …I want to have my thermos/whatever strapped down.

Normally the cockpit aft bulkhead is installed slanted and right up-to the lip of the cockpit. This is to facilitate easyish emptying of kayak in case of wet exit, rescue situations. Personally I prefer to have some extra space behind the seat for an anorak, waterbag, thermos etc. So I requested that the aft bulkhead was to be installed vertical and approx. 40mm more aft of its standard located.

Since it is my intention to use a sail on the Beaufort whenever possible, my last request was to add an reinforcing layer of Fiberglass under the deck for about 350mm just forward of the fore-hatch.

Initially my intention was to buy the “Traditional” layup version but I envisioned that I may wander off to more rockier waters in the future, so I ordered the Kevlar re-inforced “Rockhopper”  (RH) version.

Finishing quality was good-to-excellent. It is comparable with more expensive british made kayaks. finishing of the interior was smooth and clean. The only minor flaw that I found was a tiny blob of dried adhesive along the cockpit rim, under the lip. A small annoyance that would probably caused the spray deck edge to wear thru on the long run. However a couple gentle swipes on the offending blob with 320 grit sandpaper smoothed things out.

All hatch lips were installed smoothly flush to the deck. Kayaksport hard rings with the soft/hard variety of hatch lids. No fault there! All installations were neat and clean.

Among the immediately visible peculiarities on the Beaufort are: The reverse slanted stern, a largish semi-circle groove along the center-line of the deck, a paddle attachment, and the cam-cleat attachment point for possible tow-line.

A standard kajaSport skeg.
A standard KajakSport skeg.

My immediate guess for the reasoning of the stern shape would be to increase waterline length and thus possibly increase speed?  I cannot say whether this actually works but for a kayak thats overall length is a modest 513 cms , she does paddle very easily  at a rates 7.5-8.5 km/h even with a load  of 20 kgs! So there might be something to it? I will get back to this later when I have more experience on the matter.

The kajaksport KS-selfrescue grips for paddle, test fitting for my spare GP paddle. It fits!
The kajaksport KS-selfrescue grips for paddle, test fitting for my spare GP paddle. It fits!

The paddle “park” , or attachment point (not sure what its called?) was another quirky looking standard option. At first I was going to go without it, but then I decided it may be useful on extra uber long crossings. If need be I could use it to make an out-rigger, for a lunch break or sumthing. Not sure if the manufacturer had that in mind when designing it or how they feel about my idea of its possible use.. but thats what I thought.

One possible way of having the rescue towline installed on the aft deck/towline cam-cleat. hitch thingy.
One possible way of having the rescue towline installed on the aft deck/towline cam-cleat. hitch thingy.

Being a short hobbit sized paddler I quickly found that having a belt towline on while paddling got to be a little stuffy. There really isnt much space between the lower edge of my PFD and the spray skirt. Wearing a belt pack-towline would very quickly wear a hole thru my neoprene spray skirt.. which is a no-no to my budget. The installed cam-cleat with re-inforcing bar on the aft deck were features that I’m hoping would ease matters a tad.

The final immediately visible oddity on the Beaufort is the  half-circle groove along the center of the deck running front-to-back.

Testing out a possible location for a deck compass. The odd looking "groove" on the deck serves to make the hull more rigid, but also gives a possibilty to install a compass or stow a water bottle to offer a low profile.
Testing out a possible location for a deck compass. The odd looking “groove” on the deck serves to make the hull more rigid, but also gives a possibilty to install a compass or stow a water bottle to offer a low profile.

The grooves purpose is to make the deck more rigid. as an extra bonus it offers a nice spot to stow stuff like water bottle, water pump etc. Also it makes the installation of a compass and kayak sail slightly more challenging, but more about those at a later post.

my 204 cm spare GP paddle fits just on the fore deck! I might have to come up with a different design for my sparepaddle...
my 204 cm spare GP paddle fits just on the fore deck! I might have to come up with a different design for my spare paddle, when used in conjunction with a sail.

SO initial impression on the Beaufort is that it is a very well made kayak, that has several promising features that I eagerly await to test out properly on a long, very loooong trip! Sofar, Very good!

More to follow…

First Outing with the Beaufort