Monday, November 12, 2007

The Long and Short Of It

As most of you know, the main determinate of how fast a displacement hull will go is the length of its water line (LWL). Most sail boats with top out at about 1.4 x the square root of LWL. So, my Romany at 16 feet will not go as fast as the Romany Explorer at 17.5 feet.

That is about top or hull speed. In reality, each boat has a cruising speed which is less than its hull speed. This is the speed at which a decent paddler can keep the boat moving with efficiency and reasonable effort (how's that for precision?). To get the boat to go faster than cruising speed and approach or reach hull speed takes far more additional energy than just paddling at cruising speed. This to point out how hard I have to work to keep up with the other children when I paddle in a group. Their cruising speed is close to my hull speed, and I have to work like a steam engine if I don't wish to be left behind. There is a point to all this (which I pray I can sell to Lady Linda...but I digress).

A retired man my age, a father, a grandfather and a veteran should not have to work that hard to stay up with the group (I can almost hear you yelling "right on " and "you tell 'em Silbs" in agreement). The Universe is clear on this and is virtually shouting to my soul, Silbs, get a longer boat. And whom, I ask, am I to deny manifest destiny?

So, I have been paddling any longer boat whose owner will allow. I was in JB's Explorer one day, Doug's Impex that's named after an island with horses and sounds dirty when said too fast, and Tim's Force 4. All were good boats, and all had their own characteristics. So far, the Explorer stands out as it handles so much like my Romany. I still need to take an Acuta for a spin along with a Nordkapp and Outer Island. The search goes on.

Paddle safe...

DS

11 comments:

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

more important then speed, the design, the color... is comfort. The key is to find what works... we all end up paddling alone most of the time anyway. Might as well do it in comfort.

This coming from a canoeist that has 1/2 his roll down in a kayak. :-O


The Capt'n

Silbs said...

Which half, capt'n? :)

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

It's pretty much just a splash and gulp for the ole capt'n. great entertainment... :-)

JohnB said...

Don't forget that there are other issues too--

1. Storage--
a. In your garage when not being paddled (the boat not you ;0))
b. In the boat for your touring gear.
2. Price--can you say "employee purchase"?

If speed/ease of keeping up with us kids is your only issue, you may come up with a very different decision than if it is one of the issues.

You are welcome to paddle the Explorer anytime you'd like, until we find that workspace to rent for the winter to do boat modifications and repairs--the one with heat, internet access, some easy chairs, small microwave and a refrigerator -- LOL!!!

Alex said...

If you go Nordkapp, definitely try out the LV version. It's definitely a nimble and surprisingly fast kayak. I'm a big fan of the Force 4 as well.

Silbs said...

If you have a rental for less than $50/month that meets JB's criteria, please let us know.
I have been reading about the LV Nordkapp and look forward to finding one to try. I found the force 4 a bit "unstable" although that may have been because I was unused to its habits. The one thing I've learned in this process is how much I need to be in a boat before I can really tell how we will get along.

DaveO said...

Nothing prompts the comments like encouraging another guy to spend money on a boat. I personally see a rolling boat coming down the pike in my direction....

DaveO said...

PS I understand the Impex Outer Island is a dangerously swift craft also, maybe even more than that ass boat.

RoyM said...

I'd say that you DESERVE another boat....raised good kids etc...

Just don't digress too much when you talk to the Lady of the house.

Best Wishes
Roy

sue said...

Jeff said I should work with you on your forward stroke technique. My Dex has 15 feet in the water.

Silbs said...

The forward stroke seems to be coming fine thanks to Gary's workshops. It is a matter of how hard do I want to work in order to keep up. Remember, work is a 4-letter word.