I am newbie paddler from the land down under - Aust.
Am looking at starting paddling with my local canoe/kayak club and am after a stable boat that I can hone my skills in and feel confident to go out by myself. I am looking at the Hurricane Sojourn although the club are recommending 5m + boats. Do you think I could keep up with the pack in a Sojurn at 4.1m?
As I have not paddled the Sojurn I would be keen to read a review if anyone has the kayak or has paddled it.
Thanks in advance for your help:)
Don’t let the 5m+ boats scare you. The club members have a lot of experience. It’s no fun being the slowest boat or waiting for the slowest boat.
Just looked at the Hurricane site…
Given the location is Australia, I assume you are talking sea kayaking - yes?
The Sojourn line, in deference to the manufacturer's web site, does indicate that it is useful for offshore paddling. It is basically 24 inch wide boats, with cockpits biggish cockpits at 36 inches and a mix of good features like full perimeter lines and not so good features for your use like a high seat back. The thing sticks up higher than the rear deck, which can complicate fitting a skirt. For your paddling, a decent skirt will not be optional
The Hurricane boat the club is talking about is the Tracer 165... except that there is a line through the name on the web site and I don't know if that means that Hurricane is getting out of that boat or planning to add models to the line. In any case it might impact availability.
There are a couple of considerations if you are planning to paddle with a group that go to what boat. One is that you will have the safety factor of being in a group. So if you capsize some at first it is no big deal - there will be plenty of people who can help get you back into the boat. In sum, you can go for a little less in the way of stability because you will be in a safe environment to get by the first few weeks of wobbling. And that is all it is - people usually acclimate faster than they expect.
The other is that you will be paddling with people who have a lot of seat time. A a day tourer like the Sojourn line may be, as Hurricane says, quite efficient for a shorter, 24 inch wide boat. We have a woman who comes out in a 10 foot Swifty in the local club and she regularly smokes people in faster boats because she has the time paddling. But that does not assure that you will like working hard enough to keep up with faster paddlers as well as faster boats. You will give yourself a break if you go to a skinnier boat.
I have a bit of a problem with how the Hurricane site presents things for a newbie planning to paddle in a serious offshore environment - and yours is certainly that. It asks if they like things like rescue practice and rolling with more visibility than where they plan to paddle. And in certain environments - like offshore in Australia - it doesn't matter whether the paddler likes the idea of learning this stuff. These are critical skills to paddle big water - they go with the water you are in and the paddler's personal opinion doesn't much matter. The only way it determines anything is that someone who really does not want to learn this stuff shouldn't be out there.
Are there other boats around you? Assuming the club works you towards a 16 foot boat, it'd be nice to have a choice of more than one boat and in the Hurricane line the Tracer 165 is it.
I actually replied to your question on the Hurricane Facebook page, in case you didn't see it. You had mentioned the Tampico 140L, which I currently own. I have no problem keeping up with longer boats, although the most challenging water I kayak is choppy bays, and nobody is racing to our destinations. It can feel a bit loose, stability-wise, until you get used to it though. Assuming what Hurricane is saying about the Sojourn (faster, more maneuverable, more stable) is true, you might want to get that. The 146 is due out, at least in the U.S., next month. I'm planning on checking it out myself.
Is this a reply to the OPer?
I did not discuss the Tampico in my reply...
Yes, my reply was to the OPer. I guess I wasn’t clear.
Thanks so much everybody for your reply, the information was very helpful. I decided to order the Sojurn and am looking forward to paddling it. Hope you all get this message this is my first time replying on Paddling Net and don't know what I am bloody doing.
Can you post a review of the Sojourn 146 after you take her out for a paddle? Would be great to know how the extra length fairs.
Although I may have to wait until next year to get it. And let us know what you think of your Sojourn.
Sorry I never did proceed with the Hurricane Sojourn - I ended up buying a Mirage 530 - Australian boat.
I did pick up a Hurricane Kayak secondhand, small boat with no rudder. The boat has a lot of flex although in all fairness Hurricane may have changed there fabrication in the last couple of years. I suppose I was reluctant to shell out the money for a supposed lighter build when I could pick a kevlar sea worthy kayak locally for the same price. Wishing you all the best - I do wish I had of tried the Sojourn and I would be grateful for any feedback as to how the boat fairs.