Delta 12.10 report.

Well I now have a total of 18 miles paddled in the new Delta 12.10. My impression is that as I become more experienced it will become more intuitive to keep tracking straight by paddle stroke and leaning technique.

I did notice considerable tendency for the stern of the boat to be easily pushed around by a breeze off the stern or beam.I fashioned a plastic test skeg (semicircle 5" deep and 12" long ) which I attached using cam straps just behind the cockpit as to not interfere with opening the rear hatch. There was a huge improvement in tracking and initial stability with minimal drag. The boats still turns on a dime with leaning. I believe that the very slight drag is compensated for by not having to put so much energy into tracking straight. The yawing that seems to rob forward momentum is much less pronounced with the keg attached.

I Will order the Feather Craft strap-on skeg since my test skeg snapped off when beaching the boat for lunch. I plan to use in all but totally calm conditions.

Aside from the tracking, I am totally happy with the boat.It is stable,high volume,lots of totally dry hatch volume,reasonably fast(3-3.5 mph), responsive,highly maneuverable and light weight.Design seems to naturally surf any speed boat wake I

encounter(good fun). The bow just lifts up and over the waves taken on a 90 or 45 degree to the bow .No problem taking the wakes on the beam either. IMO she is a real pretty boat too.

That’s curious
Thanks for this helpful report. Generally kayaks 14’ and under are considered to not need a skeg or rudder. It’s good to know about this propensity of the Delta 12.10.

I used to complain that my kayak was too skeg dependent when I first got it. Over time I somehow naturally adapted my paddling style to the whims of the boat, and I no longer notice the problem. Perhaps it does still turn into the wind a bit too easily, but I would rather shift my weight and adjust my paddling than drop the skeg too often. I think I do this without being aware of it.

That makes me wonder if we develop a certain paddling style that works with a specific kayak, and we unknowingly transfer it to the next kayak and then notice it doesn’t work as well. Hmm . . .

[However, it’s possible that a specific kayak could have some defect that causes it to turn into even a slight wind. I have owned two different versions of my current kayak, and the second one tracks much better than the first. Some say this is impossible with a thermoformed mold but in my experience it is possible. Note the recent thread that says that even thermoformed plastic can deform.]

not deformed
There is certainly no deformity in this boat. We ordered two and they paddle identically. It is simply that the skeg makes it much easier to track straight in wind off the stern or beam.No mystery here. I am happy to take the lazy way on this and use a strap on skeg.Even longer boats I demoed tracked straight much easier in the wind with a rudder.

Paddling technique

– Last Updated: Sep-09-11 1:16 AM EST –

I'm going to make a guess that yawing and difficulty tracking is mostly a technique problem. I see people paddle whitewater kayaks quite efficiently (though these boats are never all that fast), but plop a newbie into such a boat and it waddles like a duck, but only AFTER a period of learning how to keep it from simply making a sharp turn on the first stroke.

There's a whole lot more to a forward-power stroke than pulling on the paddle, and in time, you will be perceptive of lots of little nuances in how the boat responds to very slight changes in how the stroke is controlled. In general, your stroke needs to be close alongside the boat, the path of the stroke needs to be straight (not curved) and parallel to the boat, and you also should not be "lifting" or "pushing down" on the water during the stroke (the paddle needs to be fairly vertical as seen by an observer who's located straight off to one side). Of all these things, the straight, non-curving path of the paddle (as seen from above), close alongside the boat is the aspect you can control perfectly. Watch your blade in the water. I just bet that as you watch it pass by the boat, it is tracing an arc - a portion of a circle - and that's what's making your boat veer to the opposite side.

Maybe a canoeist shouldn't give advice to a kayaker, but paddle-stroke mechanics are about the same no matter what. My most maneuverable canoe, which is not really a whitewater boat per se and doesn't spin like a whitewater boat, will spin more than 90 degrees in less time than it takes to drop the paddle and reach for a camera, and that boat can easily pivot 90 degrees in either direction (not just away from the paddling side, but toward it too if that's what I want) during a forward stroke with the right adjustment (it'll turn even sharper in either direction during a forward stroke with a bit more effort) but being in-touch with what the paddle does during every part of the power stroke makes that canoe cruise in a straight line as comfortably as you please. That boat isn't my first choice for flatwater cruising, but making it go straight when cruising is second nature, and correcting course at the end of a power stroke is only a small part of making a canoe go straight. That's my hands-on proof that a boat that doesn't like to track straight will do so if you are mindful of what the paddle is doing at all times. I'd encourage you to work on your stroke, and to read about "how it's done" and/or get advice from any decent paddler you can meet. Betcha get some advice along those lines here before too long too.

I like your technique…
Most would probably carry the keg inside the boat, but it leaves it just soo available. I can see a scourge of drunken paddlers running down slow wildlife out there.

Just kidding! I couldn’t resist. As to your boat’s behavior, I am sure that guideboat guy has it. A stronger new paddler who hasn’t gotten their forward stroke worked on yet will usually cause a boat to yaw side to side.

You may want to think about trim as well. I trim the stern a little heavy in my usual day boat when I add the spare clothing, lunch etc, because she just loves to weathercock. In fact it is the exact opposite of my longer boat, which I trim slightly bow heavy except in surf because the boat has a very loose bow.

Low vs high angle
It’s true that paddling close to the boat will make a kayak track better, but that implies a high-angle style, which not everyone has, for whatever reason. I don’t think it’s necessary to have a high-angle stroke to correct waddling.

If you’re a caneoist high vs low angle isn’t an issue. Some kayakers aren’t physically capable of a high-angle stroke due to things like shoulder problems.

I do agree about the little nuances of the stroke that are discovered over time, either consciously or naturally, so that a person might become less skeg dependent over time.

If a person is routinely using the skeg to counteract what he believes are the natural tendencies of the kayak, that really is a problem. The skeg should be used in specific wind and current conditions, not to correct waddling.

A skeg always creates drag—that’s how it works. So it’s not a good idea to use it all the time. Also, using the skeg all the time will prevent you from correcting your stroke. When I was a beginner I actually used my rudder all the time. Then one day I had a paddling lesson with an expert. I was astonished to discover that my kayak didn’t need a rudder at all, even in wind and waves!

A deformed hull would make a kayak drift continually to the same side. That leaves only paddling technique as the cause of the problem. You need to compensate for the short length of the Delta 12.10 by adjusting your paddle technique. I’ve paddled that kayak before and didn’t notice any tracking problem. It’s an excellent little boat.

Good point about the trim. I’m guessing that a short kayak like the Delta 12.10 might benefit from some weight in the bow hatch. Try it and see what happens.

Good to know that it is not the boat
but my novice techhnique that needs to be refined for the boat to track straight. I do paddle with a very low angle stroke.The reason I am taking up paddling and no longer mtn bike is due to shoulder and neck problems from cycling crashes and over use injuries. I am determined to not injure myself so I have been keeping my arms low and hands in line with my shoulder width. Using the torso twisting to keep the stress off the shoulder area.Thanks for the input. I do have paddling lessons schuled for next month.