I tried to ask part of this question in the 'Sea Wind Speed' thread, but I don't think too many sea kayakers will read down to see it.
How does the Sea Wind stack up to some of the most sea-worthy of expedition sea kayaks? Who among you considered a Sea Wind before settling on a sea kayak, or tried out sea kayaks before deciding on a Sea Wind (or Dreamcatcher?). How do they compare in terms of everyday speed, handling wind and seas, comfort level on a long trip, etc. At what price do sea kayaks begin to match up?
Sorry if this question seems a little broad, but I see sea kayaks as the major alternative to these fine decked canoes. My intended paddling waters are along the coast of New England, from the Cobscook Bay (ME) to the Hudson River (NY), Lake Champlain (VT), and the St. Lawrence Seaway (PQ).
Thanks in advance!
If you expect to be in any kind of surf or rough water you really want a boat with a skirt. That would be the Dreamcatcher in a Kruger.
I’m not sure what you would look for construction wise but you can get a pretty good fast Seakayak for half the cost of a Dreamcatcher. Of course then you have to sit on the floor.
Dunno if you have experience with or access to yaks but I have a plastic P&H Capella and a composite CD Caribou if you want to try some test paddling. I’m over in Wilmington, Ma so we ought to be able to hook up pretty easy.
The catch is if you do get a decked canoe I’d sure like the chance to try it out
Give a yell if you’re interested.
PS you might try posting to the North Shore Paddlers Network www.nspn.org to find out who makes expedition quality kayaks.
note what tommy said re seat
a big difference between a yak and a knu is the seat. in a yak you sit on the floor. canoes have higher seats, many find the seating more comfortable. yaks are more narrow, your weight is lower for more stability. knus are wider to compensate for the higher seat which is less stable. the narrowness of the yak is more efficient- less surface area (drag)- many canoers feel the higher seat provides better ergonomics which is more efficient especially for long distances. so its a tradeoff. get both!
OK so far
Thanks for the replies so far, and Tommy thanks for the demo offer. If I ever show up somewhere with a decked canoe, you are more than welcome to try it out.
I did a fair amount of sea kayaking when we lived in San Francisco a few years ago. Now that I am canoeing, I can say I definitely prefer canoe seating and the single paddle. I have just today signed up for a sea kayaking course with Charles River Kayak which will also give me three weeks use of boats in their rental fleet.
My primary purpose with this boat is to be able to paddle at sea, with a stable boat that can battle wind and some waves fairly well. I also would like to take our infant/toddler son (due any day now) for a paddle on flat water (yes, once he is older, and after his swimming lessons and with his class 5 infant PFD). A stable boat with a big cockpit would work well for this, I think. Perhaps it is silly to think of the Sea Wind to meet both of these needs, but I have to think about keeping the total number of boats in the barn under control.
As far as large cockpit (Sea Wind) vs. small (sea kayaks, including the Dreamcatcher), at this moment I do favor the large. Given where the Sea Wind has travelled, in Verlen's hands and others', I have to believe that the large cockpit with its sprayskirt offers pretty good protection in seas. If you've paddled the Sea Wind, or if you've used a large skirt on something like the OT Loon, do you agree or no?
I’ve used a Pungo and which has large cockpit. On that boat it is hard to keep the skirt on in calm conditions due to the long straight sides of the cockpit. I believe the Loons are the same.
Per the website the Seawind has stays supporting the skirt and uses snaps in addition to a bungee.
If Kruger says it will stay on in rough conditions who am I to argue?
The next question I’d ask is what happens in a capsize? Do you come out with the skirt ala SK or do you leave it on the boat and come through?
You wouldn’t bring you son out in the Wildfire?
I got to paddle one of those for a day last weekend. Sweet boat!
I have several boats in my fleet (including kayaks and outrigger canoe) but if I have to reduce it to one boat I would keep Sea Wind. She is certainly the most versatile boat I’ve ever seen and should be good for paddling with a kid. I paddled once with my 130+ lb Newfoundland dog sitting behind my seat (we were a little bit out of trim though).
My experience with Sea Wind in open water is limited to 300 miles around Florida west coast during the recent WaterTribe Everglades challenge. I had a lot of strong headwinds but no really rough sea, neither landing in surf. I had a completely dry run there.
When paddling through some rapids with steep hay stacks on Colorado River I may take some water through a spray deck that is not so tight as in sea kayaks. It goes over your pfd and with big zippers and velcro closure it is possible to easily get or fall out of cockpit in the case of capsize. I have never managed to capsize Sea Wind so far, but I was close when paddling rapids with seat in high position.
A few more things:
It is easier for me to load/unload and carry 60+ lb Sea Wind using an inverted seat as a yoke than my 46lb kayak.
Kruger canoes can be used with different sail rigs with or without outriggers, joined together as catamaran, etc. WaterTribe experience indicates that Sea Wind or rather Dreamcatcher with sail and outrigger may be the best solution for coastal cruising.
I still like to paddle my other boats …
Do you ever use any additional flotation in your Seawind?
For whitewater paddling I use two floatation bags in bow and stern under deck. In addition to it for WaterTribe race I packed most of my stuff into two big waterproof duffels tied in a cockpit behind my seat. I started to describe my cruising rigging in my EC’2004 pages:
I will try to add more. Right now, you can see a spray deck and what I had in front of me.
don’t own a sea wind, but i know owners who do use flotation bags. i’m pretty sure the dreamcatcher has a rear hatch and bulkhead. i’ve read posts from dreamcatcher owners who put a flotation bag in the bow. as for the sea wind, i’d like to think that anyone paddling big sea withe any boat would have enough flotation to right the craft in most situations. i paddle a bell rob roy and use flotation bags when i’m out in the gulf of mexico or while on trips.
OK Chad and Marek,
If you are too far out to swim the boat to shore and you capsize or swamp. What’s the recovery plan?
I’m assuming you aren’t going to roll. You tell me if you are with a group or alone.
If either of you practice self or assisted rescues, what kind of conditions are too much?
i can easily just hop back in the boat once it’s righted. with flotation, it’s fairly high and easy to pump out. i wouldn’t want to do it with 5-foot breaking waves… ALSO, i’ve only read of verlen seriously capsizing once. i’ve never capsized my rob roy unintentionally. only during practice. i’ve paddled it in some fairly challenging conditions. once i paddled from a bay area to the gulf of mexico with 25-knot plus winds and 4 foot rolling waves. a coast guard boat watched me for nearly an hour. i wasn’t scared at all until i saw them watching me. i really don’t think sea winds capsize that often, although i would seriously practice righting any boat before taking it on big water.
A wide and short hull would have lese wetted surface per volume than a long and narrow one.
A narrow hull is faster because it generates less form resistance, which becomes the main part of the total water resistance as speed reaches hull speed and above.
I hope others will chime in on this.
If I owned a Sea Wind today, I would equip it with some floatation fore and aft. I would also carry either the catamaran pole (if it is long enough), or another pole that fits the sleeve well, and a paddle float.
Then, I would practice practice practice self rescue in a good variety of conditions.
Certainly, I would hope that the Sea Wind is somewhat difficult to capsize, but I would never be confident paddling any boat if I didn't know all my options.
If you search 'rescue' on the Kruger boards, there are a few useful comments to be found.
For coastal cruising (WaterTribe EC’04) I carry bilge pump, paddle float and double blade paddle. I am also prepared to use paddle float with a rigging of my downwind sail (Pacific Action).
I am also considering sea wings sponsons or something similar as a recovery aid.