If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011: Post 64 – Christening the Disko

The forecast was calling for 40 km SW wind gusting to 65.  So we decided we would have a play day at St. Philips. A southwest wind meant there would be calm water in the cove.  I decided that it would be a good day to take the Disko for her maiden voyage.

I put the Disko on the car and began to strap it down.  I found there was too much fooling with the foam pads I had made up for the straps (see previous post/pic) and pulled them off…  I had a couple errands to do so I left the house early so as to meet the guys at our predetermined time.  My errands didn’t take as long as I figured and I arrived at St. Philips forty five minutes early.  I was anxious to get the Disko on the water to see how it felt so I did not wait around for the others….

I geared up and brought the Disko to the water’s edge. 

Since I was the captain of her I proceeded to give her my blessing…“I christen thee Sofie; may she paddle straight, edge well, and roll like a log” and then poured some Newfoundland Screech over her bow…

Then I put her on the water parallel to the slipway.  I had to steady her with the paddle on the slipway, sit on the back of the coaming, put one foot in, then the other, and slide down into the seat.  That will take some getting used to; with my Sirocco I just sort of drop my backside into the seat and put my feet and legs in after.  I put the spray-skirt on and sculled away from the slipway.

She felt tippy and I fit snug in it.  Sean had told me his was tippy at first and so I expected this.  I paddled around the flat water of the marina for about five minutes.  So far so good.  I decided I would paddle out into the cove and stay relatively close to the shore.  I paddled around the cove for about another five minutes.  Then I decided to try to carve a turn and I capsized.  I rolled up and thought “well she rolls pretty easy.”

I paddled around some more, paddled closer to the beach, and decided to do some rolls, on purpose this time.  I did both extended paddle and non-extended paddle rolls on both sides.  Then I paddled further out of the cove to get into a bit of wind and wave.  Then the guys started showing up...

I did not feel completely relaxed in the Disko and so decided I would not chase the guys out into the wind and waves.  I stayed in the relative calmness of the cove, but would venture out a little farther now and then to see how she felt in the waves.  I noticed Tony was not chasing the guys too far out either.  I had told him I found the boat tippy and I figured he was kind of hanging around to keep an eye on me.  I gave him my camera to take a few pics of me and Sofie…

Here are some pictures of the guys…

And, of course, we always rinse off in the river after we are done, and then we all went for coffee afterwards.... 

Here are my first impressions of Disko Sofie… Keep in mind these impressions are in comparison to my Sirocco…
Overall I am very happy with Sofie.  I found after about two and a half hours in her I was very ready to get out.  Obviously, I will have to spend some time in her to get comfortable before I take it on any paddles.  I’ll spend some time in her in the pool and some time in her at St. Philips, but I will not take her on any paddles just yet…

è I feel snug in her, but with enough room so as not to feel too confined.  I did get some cramping in my feet and legs, but that I know is likely just a symptom of not being relaxed enough in the kayak.
è When not moving forward she feels fairly tippy, when moving forward she still feels tippy but less so.  This feeling will go away after a while. 
è She’s a wet ride.  The bow cut through some of the steeper waves or would submerge when coming down off a wave.  She is a lower volume kayak so this is expected.
è She seems to be quick.  Not saying she is a very fast boat, but compared to my Sirocco she is a faster ride.   This is expected as she is a full 2 inches narrower than my Sirocco.
è She did not turn easy.  But I am thinking that this is more a function of not being comfortable in her.  I think once I feel comfortable in her I will learn to turn her better.
è She seemed to track pretty well.  When the wind was on the beam I was very surprised how straight she stayed.
è She rolls really easy, but I have to learn to get my body down on the back deck

Anyway, thanks to Derrick, Clyde, Sean, Neville, and Tony for coming out today.  We did not get quite the amount of wind that was forecasted, but it was a fun afternoon...


  1. Hope she enjoyed the Screech and you'll grow to to feel completely comfortable in her.

    Tony :-)

  2. Dean: Congrats on the new boat. Looks great!!

    Just a few comments on your observations from the initial paddle. I think most are based on the fact that you're coming to the Disko Bay from your Sirocco. The two are night and day in many regards. Low vs high volume. Hard chined vs round. Narrow vs wide. Cramped vs roomy. When I first paddled my Disko I was comparing it to my Point Bennett. The two are certainly not worlds apart - both are narrow, hard chined and tight fitting. As such, my comfort level may have been a bit higher but it only shows that it just takes getting used to before you'll be as comfy in the Disko - or any other such styled boat. Heck, it may even spoil you!! And the next thing you know you've come over to the dark side of narrow, hard chined craft!!! Once you go hard, you'll never go back. At least I won't!!!

    As for some of your observations, here's my take.

    Snug is good!!! I'm wedged into my Point Bennett and it really makes you feel a part of the boat - especially in rough water!! On the negative side, being too tight in the cockpit makes some rolls harder to do! You need to find the balance.

    The Disko is fast because it's new and shiny. Your plastic boat's been dragged over many a rock and I'm thinking she might have a pretty "fuzzy" bottom.

    The Disko is not going to turn easy - no matter what you do. The more you edge it, the more it digs in and resists any turning. It's a pain in the rump, especially when you're like me and rely on edging for 90 percent of your steering correction. Sweeping is about the only way to turn this boat. My advice is "live with it." and find a workaround!

    In direction relation to the previous observation, the Disko tracks like a train on a track. How can it not when there's more boat under water than above? This also makes it great for surf. Of course, you'll find the following waves coming right up the back deck after you!!!

    Easy rolling is a given. This boat is a rolling machine - 'nuff said!!