Rockpool Alaw Bach^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Rockpool Alaw Bach^

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:12 pm

The long awaited delivery of the new Rockpool Alaw Bach's came to Scotland at the weekend. (No one knows how Cailean managed to get his so soon!). Richard Cree drove through the night with a trailer load.

Callum has a very neat white hull with black deck/silver glitter, Kenny has a black deck and hull with multicolour glitter with plain black starfish, Mike has a white hull with dark blue deck/blue glitter and white/glitter Southern Cross stars, mine was the Rockpool signature white hull, blue deck with large white starfish.

Image

Image

Enough of the details! The craftmanship on all four boats is simply stunning. The high gloss finish is ripple free with no slight ridge to betray the presence of bulkheads. The definition of the edges and the way the chine tapers away into the round forward section is highest quality moulding I have seen on any sea kayak.

Following my recent test report in Paddles a few things have changed. The main forward and rear hatches are now the heavy rubber Kayaksport items though the lighter plastic centred ones may still be an option.

The seat is now adjustable fore and aft using the same alloy bar system and attachments used by the adjustable bulkhead footrest. Ingenious and it has not affected the low seat which (because of the flat bottom of these boats) is the lowest seat I have seen in any kayak. This lowers the centre of gravity of the paddler which must help stability and control.

Image

The deck recesses have been enlarged slightly so that the line and elastic knots lie below the surface. The seat back is now made of a thick layer of minicell foam bonded to a flexible plastc backing sheet. My only slight niggle is that the thin supporting shock cord elastics for the seat back will still wear and be difficult to replace.

On the water? Well can I refer you to the Paddles test?

Lastly there is no skeg! Nothing to jam, kink, fall to pieces or leak!

Elswhere on this board people are debating the merits of buying boats made in England, Eastern Europe and Sri Lanka. At the risk of being accused of bias because of the Celtic connection, may I suggest Wales?

Rockpool have plans for the Menai 18 Expedition boat. Their website includes a very extensive spec including electric pump but one thing is missing, the under-fore-deck Kelly Kettle carrier!

Image

What an omission!

Douglas :o)

PS following the safe delivery of the Alaw Bach my 2005 Alaw (same pattern as above) MAY be for sale BUT I am currently negotiating with the Missus to try and keep both!

User avatar
Sharky
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 11:51 pm
Location: Gone Global

Post by Sharky » Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:25 am

The Rockpool boats are indeed a unique range. The Menai 18 should be something to behold.

In fact why would anyone discuss buying anything else?

More importantly though, if you MIGHT have to sell your first ALAW. May I add my name to the list of people that might want to buy it?

All the best and enjoy the best of Wales
• aimin' to be misbehavin' •

Post Reply