Plastic Capella replacement

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In Amber Clad
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Plastic Capella replacement

Post by In Amber Clad »

I currently paddle a round-hatched plastic Capella 160. It's lovely, but it doesn't really have all the space, or the speed, I'd want to do longer overnight trips. I'm looking for a replacement, probably a composite boat, but there a few things I'm not so sure about. I had the chance to paddle an expedition boat, which was very fast, but also high in the water when empty. It was also a bit long for half day trips. I think I'd be happy with a boat that's shaped more or less like my current one, but I have no idea whether the composite Capellas were even remotely similar.

Help?

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MikeB
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Re: Plastic Capella replacement

Post by MikeB »

Having had a plastic Mk1 / square hatch Capella, a 3 hatch glass one and a 3 hatch plastic one like your current boat; and with my wife's glass one on the rack in the garage, I'll bite!

The Mk 1Capella got me into paddling, the only comparison between it and a glass one is the name. It was replaced with a Nordkapp Jubilee. Nice boat - I kept it a year or so and bought a Quest which suited me rather better. I kept the Quest for many years, and then it was replaced with a Tiderace XcapeX, then a T/race XploreX and there is a lovely, shiny, brand new T/race XceedX on the rack in the garage. When T/race get round to supplying the footrests they forgot to fit, I'll paddle it. The demo XceedX was very impressive indeed in terms of overall handling, although in fairness I hadn't really had a chance to properly put it through its paces. It was very fast, very agile but also very planted when you just wanted to go straight. I hope the smaller skeg fitted in the boat I've been supplied with is as effective as the long skeg in the demo.

The first Capella I had was a glass one which I'd bought initially as an attempt to get my then partner into paddling - an exercise that did not go well - but it proved the point of how different the glass one was in comparison. I paddled it occasionally and rather liked it, although it was marginally too small for me. Remember I had my Nordkapp at the time, and it compared reasonably well with that. I sold it having had the chance to get a virtually new plastic 3 hatch one, which was really better for lending to friends. I paddled it once, and it was ok, but actually a bit too small for me, and certainly smaller than the glass one (although I can't recall which sizes I had - they came in multiple sizes).

Anyway - there are some suggestions for you. But you should try a glass Capella and see what you think. The later plastic 3 hatch ones are closer in overall concept than the Mk1 ever was. The glass ones are in a different league, and while it's not a sporty speed machine, or a quick turning play boat, it's a very competent all-rounder. Try a Quest too.

But really I'd recommend looking at a range of boats as that which one person loves may not suit you at all. For me, the ergonomics of the Quest and of the T/race boats work very well, and the boats I've used suit my paddling needs and style. I really like the seat / backrest arrangement and find them very comfortable. This said, my wife tried possibly every boat in the T/race range and couldn't get on with any of them. I like the seat / backrest arrangement - she didn't. She eventually decided that when she changes her Capella for something else, it'll probably be one of the Valley boats (model escapes me) but I know I tried one and didn't like it at all.

In terms of size, I have to wonder what you're using as camping kit if the Capella isn't big enough! It's one of the bigger expedition boats available. Or are you referring to something like a Pace18 maybe? And yes, a big, empty boat is not ideal as a day boat. Realistically though, some of us have a small day/play boat and a bigger expedition boat. Me? I only have one.

Try, try, and try again. And factor in Comfort over "technical specs" - if it's comfortable and fits you, you'll paddle it more. Which is what the game's all about!

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Re: Plastic Capella replacement

Post by Beryl »

In Amber Clad wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 6:32 pm
I currently paddle a round-hatched plastic Capella 160. It's lovely, but it doesn't really have all the space, or the speed, I'd want to do longer overnight trips. I'm looking for a replacement, probably a composite boat, but there a few things I'm not so sure about. I had the chance to paddle an expedition boat, which was very fast, but also high in the water when empty. It was also a bit long for half day trips. I think I'd be happy with a boat that's shaped more or less like my current one, but I have no idea whether the composite Capellas were even remotely similar.

Help?
You can’t expect a fast expedition boat to be very friendly if you don’t pack with the weight it is designed for. It’s also going to be too long if your just out for a half-day rummage about. Just buy a second boat.

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