First, greetings from beautiful -paddler’s Paradise- Maine!
I’ve been interested in kayaking for several years, but only recently am I able to get started. To that end I just bought an older kayak that the seller knew nothing about. It was a good price so I figured, WTH, lets do it.
I found the HIN and learned its a 17’ (the seller advertised it as a 16 footer, tape measures are such a marvelous invention) 1994 Great River Outfitters boat. Anyone have any info on them?
The specs so far:
Mfgr: Great Rivers Outfitters
Beam: ~23" less at the waterline of course
Cockpit: 24" x 17"
WT Cap: ??? The kayak guy at the local shop (Ski Rack in Bangor, Maine) said about 325 (ish) maybe more.
The hull’s in good shape, not showing any signs of getting beat on the rocks or dragged around. A few dings, but overall not a bad looker. This boat has suffered from neglect more that abuse. Looks like she spent most of her life out behind the barn or in the woods, which one could call abuse too I suppose.
The front hatch (8" round) and the rear hatch (17 x 10" oval) were MIA (well the rim of the front neoprene lid is there) and all the shock cord needs to be re-rigged as well as the skeg lines and control. I’ve found hatches that’ll work already as well as sources for perimeter lines and shock cord.
The skeg control has me stumped tho. This one did not utilize an integral slider control so what did they use in the pre slider era? There are 2 small holes (located about where my left elbow would be at rest) that look like some sort of devise that held/released the control line, got removed. The control line is the same as the perimeter line, btw and the skeg is held down (deployed) by shock cord. The control line comes up from the skeg box, runs forward (external) thru a small pulley and I assume to whatever got removed near the rear of the cockpit. The skeg box runs straight thru from rear deck to the bottom of the hull.
She paddles pretty well and I don’t feel like I’m going over at every stroke, knowing to keep my hips loose goes a long way. I’m a rank noob that’s had a little paddle time a few years ago. Today I test packed her with about everything I might need for a weekend out and had room to spare. I’m 180 lbs and 6’ with long legs and it’s a snug fit. I have to sit on the rear deck to get my legs in and out, its kinda like getting into an Indy car. There are no thigh braces, but with only 12" from bottom to the under deck I can brace pretty good with the pegs set where I feel the best with it. Once I get my stroke worked out she’ll track straight, I’ve kept the skeg retracted to force myself to learn that aspect.
I’d love to play with her some more, but I’m heading back to Ukraine to spend the winter with my wife (hoping for the Golden Ticket soon and to return next Spring together.
Ok, that’s about it for now. I’ll try to answer any Qs I can, but have a few days left here. After Sat. Sep 1 I’ll be plunked in front of my laptop watching trip vids until May.
Thanks for reading this far.