The Extra Kayak

posted Apr 9, 2017, 9:39 AM by Richard Sevenich   [ updated Apr 12, 2017, 1:22 PM ]

Now that Eli and I have kayaks that are close to perfect for us, what do we do? Eli has her kevlar Looksha IV and I have my Mariner Express (as enhanced/rebuilt by John Abercrombie). Perhaps we need an extra kayak for visitors . My elder daughter is visiting this summer; and later my youngest granddaughter. They will need a kayak, won’t they? After that I can sell the extra ... maybe.

Mariner Kayaks in their later years had an excellent builder, Noy Palatvong. When Mariner ceased production, he started his own company, the Noyak Kayak Co. I don’t believe Noyak lasted that long, but one of his kayaks was modeled vaguely on the Mariner Coaster. This longer version (at 15’ 2”) was called (somewhat unfortunately) the “DeRide”. Noy had 4 of these still bagged up and still new at his place in Moses Lake, WA. So I made the harrowing trip to Moses Lake and purchased the purple one, a royal color persuading me to name her “Daenerys”. This fiberglass kayak has a bow hatch, a stern hatch, stainless U-bolts fore and aft, fiberglass bulkheads, and weighs around 45 pounds. There is a Mariner style paddle park just in front of the coaming in those situations where you temporarily need to perform a task unencumbered by your paddle..

The DeRide has various deck lines, but all of the bungie variety. So I mounted some self rescue straps behind the cockpit and a perimeter line (with a pair of needed extra pad eyes) – all new lines of the non-bungie variety. The foam seat was unattached so I used velcro to secure it. Otherwise, the seat was ready to fly elsewhere
, for example, on a cartop transport. Finally I attached a spare paddle holder, made by North Water. I already had a spare light weight skirt that fits.

The Mariner kayaks were famous for needing neither skeg nor rudder; would this hold true for Daenerys? Her hull is not actually that close to the Coaster. On my first voyage I found that she weathercocked, but not at all severely. In a white capped lake, she remained quite manageable.
On my next attempt, even though she weathercocked only slightly, I loaded the stern hatch more heavily to successfully reduce the effect. All this is rather hard to judge since the lake currents are a bit stronger and more random than they will be when the lake has filled to normal pool level. There is typically at least some current since the lake is really a natural (and deep) reservoir with major input from the Clark Fork River and outflow into the Pend Oreille River.

On my most recent tour with this boat, I did a 7.4 nm loop which I've done before. I found my speed (measured by gps) was the same as with my longer boats. This surprised me, because I wasn't trying to speed along. Of course, I'm expecting Daenerys to be slower if I attempt to move at my race pace (i.e. my version of race).