P & H Iceflow sea kayak info ?^

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P & H Iceflow sea kayak info ?^

Postby applejack » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:37 pm

Does anyone know anything about a P & H 'Iceflow sea kayak ?

Apart from a fuzzy photograph on 'Seapaddler' website I can't find anything about them through Googling.
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Postby Jim » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:38 pm

I believe it's Icefloe, and I believe it's a Hutchinson design so should be covered in his books. I might get round to looking later.

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Postby applejack » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:46 pm

Jim wrote:I believe it's Icefloe, and I believe it's a Hutchinson design so should be covered in his books. I might get round to looking later.

Jim


Thanks ....the different spelling helps. Found this....
http://www.npmb.com/cms2/content.php?review.416
Northeast Paddlers Message Board: Review: P&H Icefloe
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Postby Jim » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:44 pm

I consider it bad form to quote entire passages from books, but the opening lines are nice: (by Derek Hutchinson as noted earlier)

I designed the Ice-Floe as a fast, long range, large volume deep sea expedition kayak, capable of withstanding the severe storm storm conditions which can be found on the open ocean.
I used the stable mid-section of the Umnak (one of his earlier designs) and coupled it with an almost straight keel and a specially moulded stern to hold the boat on track in quartering seas


It goes on but he basically ends up describing a slightly bigger, more stable version of the Nordkapp HM as far as I can tell, and the colour plate (old fashioned print terminology for photo) does indeed show a boat not entirely unlike the HM, particularly in the deadwood region. The rise in front of the cockpit is I think less than a Nordkapp.

Actually, It sounds like a great boat from the designer's own pen - where can I try one?

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Postby Pelagic » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:45 am

Here's another picture of the Icefloe from Dereks book , luckily Jim and I have virtually the same library!
As you can see it would be a perfect boat for Jim as it can carry a kettle as deck cargo.
Image
I paddled one of these a long time ago and my abiding memory is how fat it was, 24 inches as opposed to the HM's 21 inches. This does indeed make it very stable, this stability seems to be common to most of Dereks designs. It was also considerably less wet than my HM when it cut up rough, however I found it to be hard work in those conditions and preferred the Nordcapp. Of all Dereks designs (with the possible exception of the Orion) it was however my favourite and I would have been happy to paddle it on a longish trip. Nice boat and can carry an absolutely ridiculous amount of gear. So I still maintain, an ideal boat for Jim. Anybody got one?

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Postby Chris Bolton » Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:40 pm

The Icefloe is certainly a big boat. I remember Stornoway Canoe Club has one in the 1980's and it was known as the Iceberg. The Fjord was a development of the Icefloe, and had an adjustable skeg, but I'm not sure what the other differnces were, if any.

I have always has a vague suspicion that the width of Derek Hutchinson's designs was dependent on the width of Derek at the time he designed them, but this may be unfair!

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Postby Owen » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:42 pm

The Ice-floe was a bit barge like but ok, as sea kayaks at that time went, I'm not sure what he did to it to produce the Fjord; but that was a real dog. I have a friend who still has one, luckly he doesn't use it much now, to keep upright he had a BDH bottle filled with lead shot glassed to the keel just behind the seat. Even with this it stilled wallowed all over the place. We happened to meet Derek Hutchinson out on the water. He said that the fjord was "one of his biggest disappointments".
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Postby geyrfugl » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:00 pm

For what it is worth, its 508 cm long, 61 cm beam and the ISKA survey says it is 330 litres volume - I'd have guessed it was more than that. We have recently bought one for the club for £331 on eBay. There were two others went on eBay in 2006 at £625 in May and £560 in June.

A novice took it for its maiden voyage with the club and she was quite comfortable with it, although that was on calm inland water. I suspect that it will have a lot of windage unloaded, especially when paddled by a smaller person, but we got it because our original club sea boat had far too little storage space for a novice to do a weekend trip camping out of it and the Icefloe has stacks of space...

The boat has an Ocean cockpit, which is an advantage over all these modern boats with their keyhole cockpits which put your chart and GPS too far way to read. Ours has a rather nice metal-bladed drop skeg. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to paddle it to see what it is like, which I had intended to do before it got too much use for new sea kayakers ...

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Postby Owen » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:09 pm

geyrfugl wrote:The boat has an Ocean cockpit, which is an advantage over all these modern boats with their keyhole cockpits which put your chart and GPS too far way to read. Ours has a rather nice metal-bladed drop skeg. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to paddle it to see what it is like, which I had intended to do before it got too much use for new sea kayakers ...

Andy


Andy,

The answer is simple; get a deck with the "D-rings" around the edge. That way you can clip your mapcase and GPS onto your deck so that it sits on your lap where you can see it. Your deck release loop isn't covered up so this isn't a problem. My boat has a very sharp V-shaped hull and an ocean cockpit; which is a total pain getting in/out in anything but flat calm. Also doing a cowboy re-entry in any kind of waves is a nightmare but with a big keyhole cockpit it's a doddle. So, I don't see ocean cockpits as an advantage, they might look like the real thing but there not very pratical.
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Postby Jim » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:21 pm

Sorry, I'm another ocean cockpit fan - spraydecks get quite enough abuse without strapping charts and things to them. I do sometimes wish I could egress a bit more nippy but a high pressure situation usually helps with that!

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Postby Craig Addison » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:38 pm

I had an Icefloe for a few years, thought it was great ubtil I started paddling other boats! As has been said it is a large sea kayak that can hold enough camping equipment for a whole year! Paddles ok with a fair turn of speed in most conditions, but you really don't want to experience quartering seas in one very often, they are a pig! The Orion is the better variant, basically in Icefloe with improved rocker.
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Postby geyrfugl » Tue May 01, 2007 10:10 am

The answer is simple; get a deck with the "D-rings" around the edge. That way you can clip your mapcase and GPS onto your deck so that it sits on your lap where you can see it. Your deck release loop isn't covered up so this isn't a problem.


Ah but it is a problem - because all my charts are stiff, laminated, and A3 in size. My wife has a deck as you describe and she can't use my maps. It's a real pain trying to jiggle bits of map to get useful charts which will fit on A4 for her :-(

Also, of course, the map would cover up the really useful "bale hole" - the fold-over-sealed tube in the deck which allows me to pump the boat out without waves refilling the boat faster than I can empty it or which (more often) is dead handy for getting a hand into the knee tube without popping the deck.

So, I don't see ocean cockpits as an advantage, they might look like the real thing but they're not very practical.


Clearly a taste/religious issue in which no-one will ever convince anyone else to change their view :-) I can't do a cowboy re-entry in any boat, but I can get back into my ocean cockpit in an X-rescue just as easily as a keyhole (tested this in the middle of the Clyde estuary in wind-against tide in an unplanned manner), and I can get the spraydeck back on a whole lot more easily. Re-entry and roll is at least as easy in the ocean cockpit. An unencumbered, low and flat aft deck make all these things easier much more effectively than a big cockpit...

Also they don't really look like the real thing - most arctic kayaks had fairly level cockpits whereas a modern ocean cockpit tends to be raked back (usually in a recess) to make entry easier. I'm struggling with this issue in the design of a baidarka right about now - I want a raked entry, but I don't want to raise the foredeck much as this will change the windage and general "look-and-feel" of the boat away from it's traditional roots. Mind you, building it out of wood, epoxy and fibreglass does a certain amount of that, too :-)

spraydecks get quite enough abuse without strapping charts and things to them


Oh yes, that's another advantage you've reminded me of. An ocean cockpit sized deck doesn't dribble as much water down my legs after I've got out of the boat, and I've never yet tripped over it like a keyhole deck whilst running to help the next person coming in through the surf ...

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Postby Westview » Wed May 02, 2007 5:57 am

geyrfugl wrote:
An unencumbered, low and flat aft deck make all these things easier much more effectively than a big cockpit...

Also they don't really look like the real thing - most arctic kayaks had fairly level cockpits ( WHAT ? Westview ) whereas a modern ocean cockpit tends to be raked back (usually in a recess) to make entry easier. I'm struggling with this issue in the design of a baidarka right about now - I want a raked entry, but I don't want to raise the foredeck much as this will change the windage and general "look-and-feel" of the boat away from it's traditional roots. Mind you, building it out of wood, epoxy and fibreglass does a certain amount of that, too :-)


Andy


As a SOF Baidarka builder/paddler I strongly suggest you make the rear deck flat. A level coaming of replica size is a pain to get in and out of and dangerous in surf exiting when seconds count. If you do make it level then make it plenty long.

Aleutian kayaks are truly unique being exclusively rough water boats for a people who were entirely marine dependent. It is a shame that more isn't known about Aleut paddling skills but they must have been extraordinary.

Ballast was ESSENTIAL.

Given their beam baidarkas are very mediocre boats in flatwater.

Recreating these unique kayaks in rigid materials results in a loss of ... um feel shall we say. The flexibity of the boat made them what they were.
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Postby SJ » Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:59 pm

I'm resurrecting this old thread simply to say that I now have an old Ice Floe that I am going to attempt to restore. Lots of work to be done but it should be satisfying to see the final result (some day).

I may blog my progress, if anyone is interested. I'll be relying heavily on other threads in this forum.
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Postby SJ » Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:26 pm

I felt that I should mention that the support received so far from P&H has been excellent. They are sending me some new stickers for the boat and are helping to match the gelcoat colour.

This is the sort of thing that I take into account when I'm choosing a supplier for my next boat!
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Postby applejack » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:16 pm

Alas...my Icefloe came and went very quickly. After coming to the boat after paddling plastic boats with big keyhole cockpits and rudders, I hated the little ocean cockpit and the fact that it didn't even have a skeg.
Nice looking boat which felt stable but handled like a barge.
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Postby DC » Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:14 pm

I have paddled my Icefloe for about 15 years, has it's good points and not so good when compared to more modern designs. Case of horses for courses but certainly enjoyable in most conditions but ballast is needed if not loaded.
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Postby SJ » Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:25 am

DC wrote:ballast is needed if not loaded.

I guess that would depend on the weight of the paddler! It works fine for me without any additional load.

I've started a blog at http://icefloerefurb.blogspot.com/ to describe my attempts to bring my old boat up to scratch. It's mostly for my own benefit but there may be opportunities for others to learn from the mistakes that I am sure to make.
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Postby DC » Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:47 pm

Interesting blog SJ, started me off refurbishing my old boat, just a new rear hatch and skeg repair in my case. I'll watch your blog to see how your Icefoe proceeds.
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I bought the icefloe @ 625 pounds in may '06....

Postby davyowens » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:37 pm

geyrfugl wrote:For what it is worth, its 508 cm long, 61 cm beam and the ISKA survey says it is 330 litres volume - I'd have guessed it was more than that. We have recently bought one for the club for £331 on eBay. There were two others went on eBay in 2006 at £625 in May and £560 in June.

A novice took it for its maiden voyage with the club and she was quite comfortable with it, although that was on calm inland water. I suspect that it will have a lot of windage unloaded, especially when paddled by a smaller person, but we got it because our original club sea boat had far too little storage space for a novice to do a weekend trip camping out of it and the Icefloe has stacks of space...

The boat has an Ocean cockpit, which is an advantage over all these modern boats with their keyhole cockpits which put your chart and GPS too far way to read. Ours has a rather nice metal-bladed drop skeg. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to paddle it to see what it is like, which I had intended to do before it got too much use for new sea kayakers ...

Andy


I bought a pristine example of the Icefloe for 625 pounds (ebay) in may 06'....I was new to the sport & after having read Hutchinson's book, I was struck by the bold lines of this boat - the high hatchet shaped bow & graceful stern are pleasing to the eye. However it has no rocker whatsoever & a mouded skeg almost exactly like the nordkapp HM... but I belive the HM retains some degree of rocker..(in my blissful ignorance, I had little understanding of the significance of rocker) ....& I have to admit it steers like an oil tanker when compared to my NS Shoreline but then it holds course with ease in roughish conditions.
I would'nt part with it now as I've learned to love it but neither would I recommend it...Talk to people who've paddled different boats & try before you buy.
Davy..(East Kilbride)
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Postby Robert Craig » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:27 pm

Somewhat by chance, was paddling yesterday in the company of two Icefloes. Both had been modified by the addition of an overstern rudder.

Owner describes then as being a pig to hold on course with a beam wind without the rudder.

But perfectly functional boats - and room for an infinite amount of geat, provided you can get it through the wee hatches.
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Re: P & H Iceflow sea kayak info ?^

Postby Sidflash » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:27 am

Hi
Just bought an Icefloe. Have been Kayaking for about 10 years mainly on plastic boats and have an old Carolina which has served me well around the coast of the UK. I am a big lad 6"4' and 115kg and when I got into the Icefloe I was surprised how much it wallowed all over the place. I had no ballast and I am hoping that when it is fully loaded up it will improve. Cannot wait to get out on it again loaded up to see if that improves the stability.
Maybe one day I will be able to afford modern composite kayak. I had a very laughable exit from the Icefloe. The guy previously was firly small and he had inserted a makeshift backrest. This pushed me forward and my legs were pretty cramped. So much so that when I tried to exit the boat I couldn't feel my legs and fell over. That was on a nice sandy sheltered harbour god help me on the area's/beaches I usually land on.
This has been my first effort on the forum and thank you all for the information and stories.
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Re: P & H Iceflow sea kayak info ?^

Postby GrahamKing » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:32 pm

I have a friend with an Icefloe, and I'm sure he would support all the comments about the need for ballast when unladen (or, alternatively, lowering the seat). The boat goes like a rocket, but windage is an issue - unless you get the trim just right, it can be very hard to turn. On one occasion, my friend was forced into an unplanned surf landing as a result. Incidentally, he's a sculptor, and this boat is probably the only one on the water with a gargoyle over the bilge pump outlet. If anyone can host a photo, I can supply one...
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Re: P & H Iceflow sea kayak info ?^

Postby Sidflash » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:29 am

Good! I am glad that I am not the only person who thought that it turns like an oiltanker. Using the waves is the best method I found to turn the beast, but my Carolina turned on a sixpence. I am looking forward to getting back out on the Icefloe loaded up to see if it helps the handling, and to some good open sea crossings this year.
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Re: P & H Iceflow sea kayak info ?^

Postby SJ » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:07 pm

Sidflash wrote: 6"4' and 115kg

The perfect size for both the Carolina and the IceFloe!

I find that the loading of the boat is quite important in controlling the response of the boat to the wind. Get the weight distribution wrong and it can be a complete pig to handle. It is probably worth experimenting a bit before heading out on any big open crossings.
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Re: P & H Iceflow sea kayak info ?^

Postby Landmann » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:53 pm

Hi there from Norway and Tromsoe (the gateway to arctic :-))

I've got my '84 mod Umnak Icefloe for 8 years now. I live close to the fjord so I use my Icefloe very often. And I agree:

(1) Icefloe without rudder is an oiltanker to handle. After buying it I soon had to modify with an overstern rudder. I bought a Kayaksport navigator rudder http://www.kajaksport.com/?components_e ... r%C3%A4sin

(2) ... and without ballast you should be careful. I'm 181 cm and 94 kg. On daytrips I use stones as ballast. On longer journeys tent, sleeping bag, fresh water, clothes and food seems to be enough

I've had to rebuild the rear hatch to a kayaksport "KS-oval hatch 44/26" to get tent and sleepingbag inside the Icefloe http://www.kajaksport.com/?components_e ... hma=Luukut

My longest trip was from Tromsoe to Harstad, about 170 km in 48 hours crossing open water and fjords ...

I would say that Derek Hutchinsons Umnak Icefloe is more or less like an Alfa Romeo from the 80's; if you are entusiastich you love them and use them .... but you would not recommend it to others.

(My other kayak is a Sibir Expedition M3 in carbon/kevlar http://www.coboltkayaks.com/scan/default.htm. A very fast one ..... but not as stable as the floe)
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Re:

Postby TechnoEngineer » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:12 pm

geyrfugl wrote:the map would cover up the really useful "bale hole" - the fold-over-sealed tube in the deck which allows me to pump the boat out without waves refilling the boat faster than I can empty it or which (more often) is dead handy for getting a hand into the knee tube without popping the deck.

What make of deck is that?
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Re: Re:

Postby nickcrowhurst » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:00 pm

TechnoEngineer wrote:
geyrfugl wrote:the map would cover up the really useful "bale hole" - the fold-over-sealed tube in the deck which allows me to pump the boat out without waves refilling the boat faster than I can empty it or which (more often) is dead handy for getting a hand into the knee tube without popping the deck.

What make of deck is that?


Reed make one :
http://www.chillcheater.com/products/sh ... &pid=13496
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Re: P & H Iceflow sea kayak info ?^

Postby paulinthenorth » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:18 am

The Iceflow sea kayak

Having paddled lots of sea kayaks world wide and the Iceflow since 1981, when it was a new design I have some comments to add to what is already in this post.

This kayak has been used on many of the major expeditions world wide for nearly 28 years it must be good, just recently the leader of one of these expeditions said to me he considered the Iceflow to still be the best expedition kayak in the world.

I have paddled the Mariner which others have said is the best sea kayak in the world, they are both different, I love them both the Mariner is so fast. All I can say is if you paddle a plastic boat buy anything in glass and it will be better.

One of the attributes of the Iceflow, is the tanker like turning, it is what makes this kayak great in a sea, and its designed to carry a load so it gets better with more weight, this was noted in other blogs and they are good points and part of the design that make it work so well.

But empty the kayak is still a dream to paddle, if one finds it unstable its because they are not an experienced paddler its as simple as that, the boat has life and will never tip over.

There could be a better kayak out there today, but I love the old girl and its taken me to Cape Horn and back, no other boat has done that.

If you can get one learn to paddle it, in time you could find that you like it as well.

Regards Paul
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Re: P & H Iceflow sea kayak info ?^

Postby nitebeatdisco » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:06 pm

Hi My Name is Dave and are the proud owner of a Umnak Icefloe Fjord (P&H)I believe the only one in New Zealand.
Image
P&H sent me a photocopy of one of there old manuals a said.....
THE ICEFLOE:
Was Designed as a fast, long range, deep sea expedition kayak, capable of withstanding the severe storm conditions which can be found on the open ocean.
The stable midsection is coupled with an almost straight keel and a specially moulded stern to hold the kayak on track in a quartering Sea.
The high powerful bow and straight stern, which is reminiscent of the hunting skin boats of labrador and greenland, is designed to slice down onto oncoming seas and then slice cleanly out again, thus giving the paddler a dry ride in steep oncoming head seas.
The icefloe is a straight running kayak and needs no rudder. Turning can be easily carried out by simply leaning the kayak over and using a sweep stroke,which allows the kayak to spin around.
LENGTH: 16ft 8ins
WIDTH: 24ins.
WEIGHT: From 44lbs.


FJORD:
The Fjord was designed after a request that the icefloe should be made more manoeuvrable when used in the more enclosed areas and yet still be used for open sea jouneys.

The upsweep of the bow was made more gradual by removing 1" from the for-foot.
This together with the removal of the skeg in the stern, altered the whole character of the boat.
To give the fjord straight running qualities when the need should arise a drop down skeg is used inside the hull at the stern.
A sliding control just to one side of the cockpit combing allows the skeg to be raised or lowered at will.
During test conditions in winds of force 4 to5, in a quartering sea it was only necssary to move the control knob to the half way position in order to hold the kayak on track.
With the skeg fully raised it is possible to turn the Fjord Quickly, thus making it ideal for coping with surf conditions close inshore and amongst rocks.
LENGTH: 16ft 8ins.
WIDTH: 24 ins.
WEIGHT: From 42 lbs.
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