Choosing a boat: volume/weight range

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johns86
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:52 am

Choosing a boat: volume/weight range

Post by johns86 »

Hi all,

When choosing a boat, is it better to be in the middle of the weight range? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being on either end of the 'recommended' weight range? Anyone know of any good articles on the topic?

At the top end of weight ranges, the boat obviously sits lower in the water, so would be slower, and any rails might be more 'trippy' on eddy lines, boils, etc. Of course the best thing is to try out all the boats, and see what feels best. Sometimes however, you can't try every boat on rivers that will really test them. Flatwater wouldn't tell you much.

For example, I am looking to get a new boat soon. I am about 70kg, and have a small burn for the past few years (older design). It feels a little small, and unstable on boils/eddylines, so looking for something a little bigger.
Now.... look at the Waka Tuna. I'm just about in the low end of the manufacturer's 'recommended' range (70kg). It seemed really nice to paddle on a short river (I tried a demo boat at galwayfest in Ireland), but with all that volume, will issues crop up in holes etc. that I am not used to in the small burn, or is it all gravy? It felt very stable and easy to control (outfitting felt snug too), but the river was fairly low volume. Would it probably be different in a big volume river?

I repeat question: What are the advantages and disadvantages of being on either end of the 'recommended' weight ranges of boats? Discuss.

(Sorry this is a long rant! Thanks for your input!)

mountain_bikerider
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Re: Choosing a boat: volume/weight range

Post by mountain_bikerider »

We were discussing this subject at the weekend. I wish manufacturers would use load weights or capacities instead for boat specs. Paddler weights are a bit mis-leading in my opinion. Do they mean paddler weight at home in your pants? paddler weight in full winter kit and soaking wet after a swim? And what about any kit you want to put in the boat too. In sort of answer to your question I always say go for the bigger boat of the two and outfit it to fit you. This will leave you room to carry kit and the boat will ride over stuff better. A paddler too heavy in the boat will normally catch edges or get tail squirted in bigger water. The boat will feel sluggish as it is pushing more hull through the water. The above is from personal experience and has no scientific back up!!

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Sickboy
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Re: Choosing a boat: volume/weight range

Post by Sickboy »

As you have already gathered, a boat will be more forgiving if your at the lower end of the weight range, go to too larger size and you'll begin to lose the ability to control the mass of the beast.
I've finally found a playboat that I'm not right at the top of the scale in and its been a bit of a revelation , now I'm only looking heavenwards when I want to, not just anytime I get near a boil.
River runners and creekers are a lot more forgiving of weight though, but you'll still be needing to demo.
Rum and coke, best served by the pint.

johns86
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Re: Choosing a boat: volume/weight range

Post by johns86 »

Cool. Thanks for your thoughts!
Will have to do some pondering before I buy.

The 'trippyness' may not have been helped by the burns rails.. the new burn 3 model is supposed to have fixed that, so I might also try a demo of a new medium. Decisions.....

mountain_bikerider
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Re: Choosing a boat: volume/weight range

Post by mountain_bikerider »

As I understand with the latest burn the recommendation is to go a size up for what you would have paddled in the past. I believe the new small is smaller than the old one this producing a small boat that actually fits smaller people better.

kayakingistheway
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Re: Choosing a boat: volume/weight range

Post by kayakingistheway »

They messed up the weight range on the new burn IMO.

I demoed the medium and large, but the medium was significantly smaller than the medium mk2 (ignore the stats) and the large is significantly larger.

It also handles quite differently to the mk1 and 2 burns. If i'm brutally honest, i found it kind of boring.

Definitely a try before you buy purchase.

Mark Dixon
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Re: Choosing a boat: volume/weight range

Post by Mark Dixon »

johns86 wrote:Cool. Thanks for your thoughts!
Will have to do some pondering before I buy.

The 'trippyness' may not have been helped by the burns rails.. the new burn 3 model is supposed to have fixed that, so I might also try a demo of a new medium. Decisions.....
If you are 70 kg the medium Burn 3 will be ideal for you, I have 1 and I'm 72kg, you will need to demo of course as its not for everyone but I am too small for a medium mark 2 and a little big for the small Mark 2.
Mark

johns86
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Re: Choosing a boat: volume/weight range

Post by johns86 »

Thanks for the posts guys.

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