Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Discuss equipment, technology, gadgets, repairs...
Post Reply
Sean1982
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:12 am

Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Post by Sean1982 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:14 am

Hi guys,
I’m seriously considering buying a Rockpool Taran 16 but have doubts whether I’m too light for it. I weigh around 72 kg and stand 180 cm. Besides expeditions, I’d like to be able to use it for day trips and as a training boat unloaded and without using the rudder.
I have tried it once and experienced a lot of weathercocking going downwind in F3 conditions without using the rudder. Is this boat just not build for a light paddler to use unloaded?
I’ll appreciate your answer as I have a short window to make up my mind.
Cheers, Sean
Last edited by Sean1982 on Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

Krizzy
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Post by Krizzy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:26 am

Rockpool have made a Taran just for you - the tarantella.

http://rockpoolkayaks.com/tarantella.php

nigelhatton
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:29 pm

Re: Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Post by nigelhatton » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:45 pm

I have paddled a taran18, rapier 20, XP 18, sipre tsunami, and many other fast sea kayaks and they all weather cock without the rudder and i weigh 95 kgs. Why don't you want to use the rudder? The taran would not have such excellent manoeuvrability if it wasn't for the shape of the hull and straight line tracking if it wasn't for the rudder. Going downwind without something like a skeg or rudder is tricky to do in these fast kayaks.
Maybe Jim can give his experience of the taran downwind without a rudder?

Sean1982
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:12 am

Re: Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Post by Sean1982 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:02 pm

nigelhatton wrote:I have paddled a taran18, rapier 20, XP 18, sipre tsunami, and many other fast sea kayaks and they all weather cock without the rudder and i weigh 95 kgs. Why don't you want to use the rudder? The taran would not have such excellent manoeuvrability if it wasn't for the shape of the hull and straight line tracking if it wasn't for the rudder. Going downwind without something like a skeg or rudder is tricky to do in these fast kayaks.
Maybe Jim can give his experience of the taran downwind without a rudder?
Thanks for sharing. I prefer to be able to use the boat without the rudder for training purposes and in case it malfunctions during an expedition. Besides that, I'm trying to figure out if I'm simply too light for the boat or if it's normal behaviour. Did the Taran you paddle weather cock less when loaded?

Sean1982
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:12 am

Re: Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Post by Sean1982 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:13 pm

Krizzy wrote:Rockpool have made a Taran just for you - the tarantella.

http://rockpoolkayaks.com/tarantella.php
Yeah I know. Unfortunately the Tarantella will cost me a lot more, as I can get the Taran 16 or 18 at a discounted rate right now. Have you paddled the Tarantella? I curious about what the dimensions are. It's the same length and width as the Taran 16 but the Tarantella has only 312 litres of volume compared to 369. I wonder how it's specifically different from the Taran 16.

Graham T
Posts: 589
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs

Re: Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Post by Graham T » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:48 am

I may be wrong but if you are looking for a kayak with a rudder for what ever reason it seems reasonable that such kayak will have been designed so it balances with the rudder in the water give or take not a lot. You might find a kayak which has a rudder and is neutral in the wind with the rudder up, but if so I would expect that kayak to lee cock once the rudder is dropped. Of course you can then use the rudder to steer but causing more drag just to go in a straight line and possibly giving grief attempting to turn into wind on a breezy day (not good), this also means that a kayak designed for speed it would not IMO be as fast as possible.
Nigels experience seems to back this up
I get the concern over using a ruddered kayak due to possible system failure from a safety perspective but if it weather cocks with the rudder up at least that ought to be safer than being blown downwind
I have paddled and like both Tarans, but suppose if your too light/small then i'm right out of luck 163 cm and target weight 65 kg

Irish Sea
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:04 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Post by Irish Sea » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:27 am

Hi,
the rudder blade in the water is comparable to having the skeg fully down on a skeg boat so I guess it makes a lot of sense to design quite a bit of weathercocking into a boat that's meant to be used with a rudder. So that, with the rudder down, the boat is reasonably neutral in wind.

In fact excessive lee cocking is one of those things that I have experienced with skeg boats with retrofitted rudders....Not nice

For a fast sea kayak that works well for a lighter paddler and does not necessarily need a rudder you could have a look at an INUK. If I'm not mistaken this one was originally designed to be used without rudder or skeg. I paddles very differently to a Taran but I find it is a very nice boat in it's own right.

RickC
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Cornwall/South West England

Re: Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Post by RickC » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:30 am

Hi Sean

As far as weight/height is concerned, you will be okay in a Taran16, Tarantella or full-size Taran(18). Shoe size is the limiting factor in a Tarantella - bigger than a UK8 gets a bit tight.

Rudder - as others have said, these kayaks are primarily designed to be used with a rudder but Mike Webb at Rockpool will fit a skeg instead/as well as a rudder if you prefer. That will solve any weathercocking when paddling downhill. I'm an adaptive paddling specialist for leg amputees and both Taran16 and Taran18 are paddled successfully by my clients with and without the use of the rudder.

Alternatively, take a look at the the Quantum, a new design from Sea Kayaking UK. Some details here http://britishseakayaks.co.uk/quantum

Cheers, Rick

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13515
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Am I too light for a Rockppol Taran?

Post by Jim » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:51 pm

If you lift the rudder it acts like a sail and causes the boat to weathercock.
Ask Mike about spare parts for the rudder if you are really concerned about breaking it - I bust a spring once and ended up leaving the blade trailing behind me to avoid weathercocking and found it quite controllable like that.
You might also want to ask some of the guys who have completed UK mainland circumnavigations if they had any concerns with the rudder.

I don't think you can be too light, it's not like you are going to squirt the stern or something.

Post Reply