Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

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Northern Blue
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Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by Northern Blue » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:04 pm

Having spent a few years with a couple of Scorpios, it was always my intention to make the move to a composite Cetus, however after paddling a friend’s demo Rockpool Taran last year, I’m giving a lot of thought to placing a Taran on order over the summer.

I’ve read quite a bit about the Taran 16 being more manoeuvrable, but at 5’11” and 96kg, I’m thinking the 18 will suit me better and I was wondering what the collective thoughts are, before I get round to the obvious and comparing both in varying conditions, before making my decision..... 18, 16 or Cetus ?

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Jim
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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by Jim » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:28 am

I've had my Taran since before the 16 was designed and I wouldn't swap it for anything, so I haven't actually tried a 16....

Taran is a long distance fast cruiser, it doesn't really need to be manouevrable, I'm just not sure why manoeuvrability is a consideration for this kind of boat? If you need manoeuvrability you might be looking at the wrong boat, if you are just reacting to other people comments or suggestions consider if you really need manoeuvrability or if it is red herring. I have used mine for Ravenglass Seaquest several times and found it quite manouvrable enough to get to the controls up the Mite, and in and out of the channels half way up the Esk.

If it helps I am similar height to you, but have mostly paddled the Taran when heavier than you. I'm a little lighter now, but have been too busy paddling WWR boats to get out in mine for a while - I'll need to soon though.

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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by mcgruff » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:53 am

I'd also consider an Epic V6. For expedition-type use - ie when you might have to push on in less than ideal weather - I'd find it hard to argue against an open cockpit & easier launching/landing.

The hybrid surfski designs would be a blast on a long downwind leg. The rudder is slightly further forward in the Epic V6/16X/18X but I don't know if it's enough to really make a difference (probably not as much as a bigger blade).

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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by Northern Blue » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:05 am

@Jim - When I tried the Taran 18 last year, it didn’t seem significantly less manoeuvrable than my Scorpio HV, but it’s been mentioned in a couple of reviews that I’ve read recently, which is why I queried it. It’s not something I need on a sea boat.

I’m hoping to get my hands on my friend’s 18 again soon and as he has recently bought a 16, it will be easier to compare them both.

@McGruff - I’m sure there are advantages to open cockpits and the Epics look good, but they’re not for me at this stage thanks.

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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by Jim » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:31 am

Northern Blue wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:05 am
@Jim - When I tried the Taran 18 last year, it didn’t seem significantly less manoeuvrable than my Scorpio HV, but it’s been mentioned in a couple of reviews that I’ve read recently, which is why I queried it. It’s not something I need on a sea boat.
Sounds like you can probably filter out manoeuvrability as irrelevant then!
I suspect some reviewers either haven't completely got the point of the Taran, or are trying to explain things to readers who don't completely get it, or maybe they are just ticking off items they think they should cover.

I know some ocean racers say the overstern rudder is too small and they find it is sometimes out of the water in chop (hence Mcgruff's comment about epic rudders being further forward and less likely to be wavibng in the air) but I can't say I have ever been aware of this issue myself. If it is something that becomes a concern, smarttrack do make a larger blade that can be swapped into the housing (http://www.smart-tracker.com/foilblade.htm) (I'm not sure which one the Taran comes with). But that is about using the rudder to hold a straight course rather than for turning, I certainly haven't found it undersized for low speed manoevring, and with the rudder up the stern disengages enough to turn using sweep strokes.

For touring, the Taran will swallow loads more kit than a traditional sea kayak - take care not to pack more than you need!

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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by GregMiller » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:57 am

I've the Taran 18 and totally love it.
If you want to go anywhere efficiently with a high cruising speed, it's the one.

Have also paddled the 16 and thought it was really good as well. I didn't notice much of a difference in hull speed and when paddled side by side the 16 was able to keep up with the 18 on a downwind run, so they're both fast boats. The 16 was more manoeuvrable (due to being that wee bit shorter and having a little more rocker) and I think it would make a great all round boat for doing a bit of everything. I'm 6'2'' and 95kg and it fitted well.

For the days when I don't take the Taran (which are very few) I've a Nordkapp LV and a Delphin in the garage. Every boat is a compromise in some way and what you gain in one area (manoeuvrability or stability) you tend to loose in another (cruising speed, etc.) so the best thing to do is get a paddle in them. There's no substitute for sticking your bum in the boat and getting it out on the water. I initially had reservations about buying the Taran 18 and knew within 5 minutes of paddling it that it was the one for me. Totally gorgeous.

I suspect that whatever one you get you'll be very pleased. Mike does make lovely boats !

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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by sea monkey » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:06 pm

@Northern Blue

I faced a similar decision as you last year but chose a Taran 16. I have a massive grin every time I paddle it, what a fantastic boat.

I am sure that the 16 or 18 would be great choice but don't pick the 18 on the basis of your size, the difference between the 2 boats is in the ends not the middle (the cockpits are quoted as the same volume). I am 6'1" and 93kg and there is lots of room to spare in the 16 (4 inches more travel on the foot rests and I have hip pads fitted). The 'Taran for small people' is the Tarantella not the 16.

The 16's title can be deceptive - it is 16'8" and the vertical ends mean that the waterline length is comparible to a traditional 18ft sea kayak. Also the high volume front and lack of skeg box in the back means the 16 has more interval storage than a Cetus HV, Explorer HV, etc.

With the rudder up, the 16 turns very easily but tracks perfectly with the rudder down. The 16 is plenty fast enough for me (if you buy a Taran 16 or 18 you have to accept that you are going to spend time waiting for your friends).

I chose the 16 because I didn't need anything extra that the 18 would provide versus the extra practicality of the 16 (slightly lighter, fits in my garage, easier to get on and off the car, more manoevrable, etc). Either way, 16 or 18, I don't think you can go wrong.

An alternative worth considering that isn't on your list is the Kirton CTrek (16 or 18). They are modern fast cruisers but slightly better all-rounders than the Tarans. I would have both if I could...

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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by Northern Blue » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:41 am

@GregMiller @sea monkey

Thanks both for responding with the extra valuable information. I’m looking forward to getting both out on the water.

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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by Kevin Cooper » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:17 pm

Another really happy owner of a Taran 16 with same stats as you at 5’11” and 93kg.

Loads of room left in the cockpit, fast and more than acceptable manoeuvrability when heeled on edge. Great boat.

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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by Fast Pat » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:32 pm

I'm 6' and 95kg and have both, although technically speaking I have a 18 and the missus has the 16 which if I'm a good boy I'm allowed to paddle. Both are great boats the key difference that you feel is in forward speed (18) and manoeuvrability (16). If your not bothered about forward speed / have friends then I'd go for the 16 as it can be thrown around and even with the rudder up it doesn't feel much different to a conventional boat.

The 18 puts a big smile on my face whenever I paddle it, but it is an antisocial boat unless you are paddling with others in FSK or skis.

If I was only getting one I'd probably still get the 18, or the 16, or the......just get both!

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Re: Thoughts - Rockpool Taran 18

Post by Northern Blue » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:56 pm


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