Last year, on a whim, my family and I rented some kayaks and had a blast. I’m not sure why we never tried it before, but it was something we wanted to pursue. Fast forward to this year, we went to an EMS demo day and I went out a few times with a friend who happened to be a kayak guide for the AMC. So this week, we picked up a couple of used kayaks. We bought a Perception Carolina 14 and a Wilderness Systems Pungo 140. Our first trip will be this morning.
I do have some questions about the Carolina, which came with a rudder.
- I’m not really sure whether I’ll use the rudder right away, but how does it work, once it’s down? Left pedal to go left, right to go right? Any tips?
- I assume the pedals are not adjustable on the fly when not using the rudder? My son is a little shorter so I’m not sure if I can bring the pedals back a few inches if he rides the Carolina .
- The front hatch cover feels a little loose, compared to the rear which is quite snug. I assume it should be snug, no? It’s a perception cover and ithe rubber actually looks to be in good shape, but can it just be “stretched” with age?
- The little rubber “v” that the blade rests on when up is a little torn. I think I can get a replacement from Harmony. Can I just unscrew the old one without damaging the plastic? Should I use some sort of sealant when I screw it back in? I’ve never worked with plastic so I’m hesitant to put any new holes in a boat.
That’s all I can think of for now but I’m sure I’ll have more.
Thanks much for any suggestions. Very excited.
It’s pretty easy to make a small adjustment on my perception. The rudder cables are each attached to a piece that slides on a rail. The pedals are attached to that piece which has about 6 different positions for the pedals. On mine, squeeze the clip behind the pedal and slide it to a new position.
Push on the left pedal to go left, you’ll figure it out in 10 seconds on water. I would suggest to start try not using it. It’s really there for dealing with winds and seas and it would be good to learn a solid paddle stroke first. The rudder can easily compensate for a bad stroke at let you ingrain some poor technique.
The screw is probably a bolt, there should be a nut on the inside. A little RTV silicone sealant in the hole wouldn’t hurt anything but I wouldn’t worry about it. Banged up is kind of it’s natural state.
Don’t know what to tell you about the hatch cover. They should not stretch.
Stongly agree with above.
I second what was just said about rudders. Yes they can be used to steer a boat in some cases, but that is not why the rudder is there. You will find out soon enough that wind and current will have quite an influence on where the boat wants to go. You can use the rudder to reduce the amount of edging, or paddle adjusting required to keep the boat on course, but you really should learn the subtle body and paddle tweaks that keep the boat on course.
None of my boats have a rudder and my longest boat doesn’t even have an adjustable skeg. Yet, it is the boat I want to be in when conditions are severe–or any other time for that matter.
In my opinion, other than the forward stroke, the most useful stroke for maneuvering is the bow rudder. Learn it.
Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t bother with the rudder yet. I will try to move the paddles back a little for my son. He liked the Carolina better than the Pungo. He said it was more lively.
I did manage to flip the kayak when trying to get out near a ledge. Bilge pump is next on the list!
As for the hatch, it’s not going to fall off, it’s just loose compared to the rear. I’ll monitor it.
The Pungo had some water in it. It was probably because I got pretty wet during the switch, but I’ll have to keep an eye on that too.
And finally, I need to switch the rack to my wife’s car, my truck is too high.
Overall, we had a great time.