Epic boat speed comparison

-- Last Updated: Sep-18-10 11:10 PM EST --

Just saw an article on Epic's web site comparing their line-up for speed over 10K (I presume miles [EDIT: km]). I'm somewhat curious about the speed of the 16 foot Epic being so close to the 18x. Does this sound reasonable? I can see these being close for a not-so-strong paddler over a long distance, but for Greg or an "intermediate" paddler I would have thought there would be more of a difference...

http://www.epickayaks.com/news/news/boat-speed-comparison

The numbers they give are as follows:

Greg [Barton, former Olympic champ, still in the top 10 usually at races with current surfski champs]:

Epic 16X: 46:40
Epic 18X: 45:50
Epic V10 Sport: 45:00
Epic V10: 44:00
Epic V12 & Legacy ICF: 43:30

Epic 16X: 53:50
Epic 18X: 53:10
Epic V10 Sport: 52:40
Epic V10: 52:00
Epic V12: 51:45
Epic Legacy ICF: 52:40 (slower in Legacy due to stability issues)

MiPP
There’s been much discussion on this over on MiPP (Midwest Performance Paddlers) yahoo group. The distance is 10k = 10 kilometers. These are theoretical numbers, and not something that was actually measured. So take them with a grain of salt. I think it’s just more useful as a comparrison tool between the various boats.

Here’s the average speeds translated to mph.

Greg, Legacy, 8.6 mph

Greg, V12, 8.6

Greg, V10, 8.5

Greg, V10 Sport, 8.3

Greg, 18X, 8.1

Greg, 16X, 8.0

Intermediate, V12, 7.2

Intermediate, V10, 7.2

Intermediate, Legacy, 7.1

Intermediate, 18X. 7.0

Intermediate, 16X, 6.9

I think tracking has a similar effect.

Just goes to show that “the numbers” really aren’t all that important since “the numbers” come either from flow tank tests, or computer models, and the real world is never that perfect.

Comparison
By comparing theoretical hull speed only, t(18)/t(16) should equal 0.943

Based on the numbers given for Greg, t(18)/t(16) is 0.982

It seems like the extra surface area and higher skin friction of the longer boat could explain the discrepancy, but as already stated, these are pretty loose numbers, and probably only 2 significant figures are warranted (maybe only one).

Well
Greg is in a position to time trial all of these boats and he chooses to speculate. I can certainly understand that - it would take quite a few hours to TT, speculation only takes a few minutes.

Certainly leaves more time to spend on the water!

Legacy & V12

– Last Updated: Sep-16-10 1:08 PM EST –

I don't agree with the statement that the v12 is as fast as the Legacy. For someone under 190lbs, a k-1 would be 9 of 10 faster than a ski. On the flats, a ski feels like a true barge...

In fact, I have never been able to paddle a ski faster than I can paddle a k-1 -on flat water- for a log shot. For instance, two paddling buddies, training for Mayor Cup & US Ski Champ switched to skis during our workouts while I kept paddling my k-1, their speed was noticeable slower during time control.

Note: Only very strong and heavy guys 200lbs and up, might paddle otherwise....

Barton is an outlier
I have the biggest admiration for Greg, but he cannot be used as testing subject -he is an outlier, who would skew the figures.

Ask 50 different paddlers to paddle all of those boats, and you will find that the top avg speed between the skinner boats like the Legacy and the fatter sea kayaks is quite greater than above stated. The amount of torque and power Greg can generate is so much greater than average that those number are useless for the average Joe.

Just my two cents,

Kinda makes all the p-net bs
speed threads among Brit / Greenland kayaks seem kinda silly doesn’t it?

Is my Avocet faster than my Romany…bla…bla… Oh, the latest elf shoe is way fast…wow.

I’d trust speed information provided by Mr. Barton.

The absolute key learning here is that for almost everyone here and any non-racer, speed pontification around touring kayaks is stupid, albeit a key focus among the masses.

Yep
When you are only talking a matter of seconds over a number of miles, you aren’t talking about numbers that matter much except if you are racing.

OR unless you’re a goober
trying to confirm your bias for your favorite elf shoe… So damn funny when some goob talks about how this ir that touring boat is faster than essentially the same thing with another logo on it.

Even Greg agrees
To quote Greg from the original link.

“- The Legacy will also depend on paddler weight. My weight is 175 lbs. Paddlers over 200 lbs. (even good ones with strong stability skills) will be faster in a V10 or V12 than a Legacy. The longer length of a ski more easily supports the weight of a heavier paddler. Those under 150 lbs. and with good stability skills will find more advantage in the Legacy over the skis.”

Aspirations
Judging from those times, I aspire to become “Intermediate”. I found the difference between the V10 Sport and the V12 at less than a minute over 10K to be really interesting. 2% is pretty subtle, espeially when you consider the many conditions that come into play in the real world, wether racing, or just paddling. Heck, taking a slowr track can cause a lot more difference than that.

Right, we are all more
interested in ferry boats, tug boasts and colregs !

Jack L

Drectional stability etc…
As Salty has noted in the past, directional stability impacts the actual speed a paddler moves a boat. I would add that lateral(?) stability also has an impact - if a paddler feels he has to constantly brace his progress will be slower. Comfort in the boat is also important as a paddler at ease in her boat will paddle more efficiently than one who is tense and uncomfortable.

I can feel differences moving my various ‘elfin’ boats through different conditions. I won’t assert it has much to do with drag figures. However, my Nordlow, with me paddling, moves faster through lumpy seas than either my Aquanaut or Romany. Though in certain states (either sea or paddler) the Romany or Aquanaut may move more quickly.

Douglas Wilcox comparing elf boats
"The Nordkapp LV managed 11.6km/hr. In comparison; the Quest managed 10.5 km/hr, the Alaw 10.1km/hr, the Jubilee 9.8km/hr and the Aquanaut 8.6km/hr. This top speed is just the thing if you need to power round a headland against a tide but in truth all the boats seemed to settle down nicely at 6.9km/hr, my usual cruising speed."

http://seakayakphoto.blogspot.com/2007/01/valley-nordkapp-lv-test.html

Top speed - you are onto something here

– Last Updated: Sep-18-10 11:11 PM EST –

The difference for me when I paddle a 13 foot waterline vs. a 17.5 foot waterline over a longer distance on flat water (10-15 miles) is "only" about 0.5mph or less. That's close to about 10% speed difference. Not a huge deal.

On shorter distances (5 miles) the difference in the same boats grows to 1mph or about 20% of the slower boat's max speed for me, which is quite noticeable.

However, when trying to catch waves (boat wakes or wind waves) in these same boats the difference grows dramatically. The short boat does pretty well on short period small waves or on short period steep "big" waves, where it just flies. But give it faster (longer period) not so steep waves and it can't keep up where the longer boat surfs them very nicely.

With open water downwind conditions that would make a rather big difference I'd be traveling at 7+ mph in the longer boat where the shorter would barely hit 5+ average.

But back to the subject, I am still skeptical about the tiny differences b/w the wider and shorter 16x and the 18x or the V10. 10 kilometers is not that much and strong paddlers should be able to get more of an advantage I would think... Talking flat water to avoid discussion about balance skills and boat handling in rough water -;)

all looks reasonable to me
His relative speed estimates look reasonable to me.

50" gaps between the 16X and 18X for an elite paddler and 40" gap for the intermediate look right. Look at the force needed to sustain those speeds and the drag curves on the boats and there you go. It also meshes with my personal experience in stepping from a Q600 to a ski and then k1.

I’ve told more than one person that is paddling an EFT or faster boat not to bother upgrading until they threaten 50 minutes for a 10k. I don’t know why anybody would question Greg on these numbers when the numbers basically say “Paddle more, buying the next latest greatest boat will only get you so far.” I think it shows his character as a manufacturer to be honest with his customers about that instead of blowing smoke up everybody’s rear ends about how they must get the next greatest thing because getting the next greatest thing will make them super fast.

Legacy & V12

– Last Updated: Sep-20-10 11:49 AM EST –

... I did questioned Epic comparative figures between Legacy & V12. Although, I always keep in the back of my mind that a guy like you could prove me wrong, but in fact, I do not know many elite paddlers in the states with body building background and/or another Greg :D :D :D

Trustfully, I have never been able to paddle a ski in the flats faster than a k1 by a big margin. However, for a while, I thought it was just me that got a bit spoil using a swivel seat.

Nonetheless, a while back when two of our paddling buddies switched from k1 to skis to trained for Mayor Cup/ US surf ski champ, and I kept paddling my Nelo or Vajda Infusion (same venue as before) their speed was not the same...

As a color note, Jason clocked quite a faster time on his Legacy than on his multi-sport/ski at USCA on a more challenging/rougher day.

By the way, not arguing here: I do paddle both, so every too often have to decide which boat to paddle; thus, I had put quite a bit of thoughts behind my comments.

Regards,

PS: I was in your town last weekend. You do live in paradise! Amazing flat water venue and just 30 minutes from the ocean (surf was up!!!)

you did the SJR paddle battle?

– Last Updated: Sep-20-10 1:11 PM EST –

I didn't even know it was happening. I was doing a little training on Lake Beresford and about half way through my workout I noticed all the kayaks going by down on the river and realized that I had missed the race. That loop around Hontoon is pretty eh? How was the race?

Regarding the K1 vs. V12. I think you're pretty much right. I certainly won't prove you wrong on that point. With the bailer up I think that the V12 is close. But if there is any side or head wind then a k1 will beat a ski on the flat just due to the difference in wind resistence. I think that a paddler really needs to be 190lb plus to equalize a k1 and a ski. Now that I'm down around 175lb the advantage goes to the k1 for me.

Keep in mind though that I've not trialed a light weight ski with a flatwater rudder on the flat yet. I've only paddled the V12 in the bump and my regular boat is an old heavy millenium.

I know I'm personally faster in a k1 than on the ski. But part of that is me. There's something different between the two. Some of those guys that waxed me in San Francisco likely aren't as fast as me in k1 but in a ski on the flat or the bump, especially the bump, they are faster than I am. There's something muscle specific where if you do all your training in a k1 and then switch to a ski, you won't move the ski the same even if the drag coefficients are the same and even on flat water.

If you were in the Saint Johns Paddle Battle on Saturday I'm sorry I missed you. I should show at the Silver River.

SJR

– Last Updated: Sep-20-10 2:34 PM EST –

Yep, I did the race, and I was betting on you been there too. Due to not ever paddled the area, I was counting on your lead (big lead) to see some of the key turns/fastest lines LoL! Somehow I had to figure it out by myself and took a few short wrong turns :D :D :D

The first few miles were deep and fast, loved it -a nice change to the low/sucking water races, and the rest of the course was lovely. Yep, I am planning on Silver River as well -hope to talk to you there!

I saw your time at San Fransisco -if not mistaken, your first time in there: you did great job,..., the competition was outstanding and the water conditions from FL cannot be compared with CA. I am pretty sure if you come back next year, you be well into the top 10.

Regards,

I agree on the muscle specific of each boat....