Mi 370 or sit on top

Inland paddling
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fazer6
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Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by fazer6 »

I have been going out with my 3 boys in a Sevylor Hudson for the past 3 years. My eldest is 10 so things are getting a bit cramped now. I have not got the energy to get everyone out, and inflate, deflate and put away 2 inflatables. I have been offered a MI 370 Slalom for £70 that's only 15 minutes from my house. The only other option that's not very expensive is a childs sit on top for £100. I know the 370 isn't really a lake kayak, but for the price will it be OK for just messing about? We go to the west shore of Windermere and Coniston. They spend a fair amount of the day just paddling about close to shore (on a rope if an adult isn't in the water with them). Then we also head off and explore an island. We all wear full wetsuits (I hate cold water) and proper life jackets and I always have my phone on me. So I'm prepared incase anyone somehow ends up in the water. Do you all think the 10 year old will be better in the 370 than the childs sit on top? I'm a bit worried he'll grow out of the kids kayak.

jamiemagee
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Re: Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by jamiemagee »

I'd say go for the mi 370 and let him learn how to paddle a proper kayak. The downside of course is it'll get expensive

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Jim
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Re: Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by Jim »

Kids do well in slalom kayaks, they are light and easy to manouvre. The MI370 isn't a proper slalom kayak and is a very old school shape, but I reckon it will still be an appropriate boat for kids on a budget. The child in the MI 370 might struggle to make it go straight for a while, so be prepared for a bit of extra faff on the island trip (I hope it's Peel Island, every kid should be given a chance to paddle out to it!).

jamiemagee
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Re: Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by jamiemagee »

Knotted rope trailing behind might help keep it in a straight line.

I'd try to bargain on the £70 price too. Unless it includes a paddle

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fazer6
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Re: Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by fazer6 »

How heavy is the 370 likely to be? Realistically it's me and three kids so me and the 10 year old would have to get it on the roof on our own. I work with fibreglass anyway so am used to moving large fibreglass moulds and they can be really heavy. That's my main worry right now. Either go for the 370 which is actually a proper kayak, or the little sit on top which the kids can manage on their own. I got a garden trolley last year so I load everything in it and they take stuff down to the water for me. I don't carry stuff any more. So he will be able to learn how to manage the 370 then?

Of course we'll go to Peel Island. Hopefully with the pandemic it's not as full with Dallam school and loads of kids this summer! We like going to all the little islands on Windermere, but there's just so much geese poo. First trip we're planning will be down the west shore, across by ferry nab and up to fell foot. If they manage that I'll treat them to an ice cream. I like Coniston because it's quieter but you don't have the same number of islands as Windermere. Normally we go to Brown Howe but I don't want to be around too many people this summer so we'll have to stick to quieter areas.

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Re: Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by Chris Bolton »

My guess is that the MI370 will be 15kg or maybe 17kg (I can't find the specs for it but have checked similar kayaks of that era). Sit on tops tend to be heavy, for their length, and I suspect that a child's SOT that's lighter than the 370 will be much shorter and correspondingly slow. I would expect an adult and a 10 year old could lift the MI onto a roof rack (and it wouldn't have been a success in it's target market, back in the day, if that wasn't the case). I think you'll be much better off on the water with the 370.

If getting it on the roof is difficult, get an old blanket or piece of carpet, lay it on the back of the car, put the boat behind the car but a little to one side and overlapping, then lift the front of the boat onto the blanket. Pick up the back of the boat and slide it forwards onto the rack.

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Re: Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by jamiemagee »

You should be able to lift that no problem. Definitely lighter than the SOT as mentioned

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Re: Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by Jim »

Yes desite being shaped like a slalom boat, I don't think MI built the 370 in white water spec, I think the PE is quite thin on them, might even be a little under 15kg. Under current rules slalom kayaks have to be 9kg minimum, although that is not enforced below div 1 so there are some kids using 8kg boats from before the latest rule change, the MI probably dates back to an era before minimum weight when people using them might have been competing against 6kg boats or lighter, so I would think it is as light as practical in PE at the time. Certainly nowhere near the weight of a fibreglass mould. I have mould for a ~10kg boat which must weigh over 30kg itself, and it is not a particularly well built mould, in fact apart from a bit of coremat and some short 2x1s either side of the cockpit opening on the deck mould it has no stiffening.

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Re: Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by heybaz »

A little off topic but hopefully useful information...

Sadly Windermere, Coniston and Brown Howe in particular has been absolute hell as lockdown has been relaxed. You may struggle to avoid crowds unless you are prepared to get up very early.

The road along the east side of Coniston Water has been closed to non-local vehicular traffic in response to the hordes of idiots parking on the roadside (to the point of blocking access) and generally trashing the area. Brown Howe is regularly choked with cars & vans - folk displaying parking tickets but parked outside the marked bays are being booked. The amount of rubbish left all along the accessible parts of the lake is appalling and Peel Island has had all sorts of tree damage & rubbish left on it.

Dallam groups - usually local youngsters led by qualified staff who most certainly do respect their environment (I was one of them but no offence taken) - are nothing compared to what the great British public have managed to "achieve" in the past few weeks. The ethos promoted and shared by the Dallam staff will hopefully result in their charges also respecting their environment and appreciate that the wildlife living in it - geese for example - "poo" from time to time. All quite natural for the animals that actually live there.

Windermere is little better with wild camping (but not as we know it) and campervans pitching up wherever they can park. Thankfully the police are starting to take action (but not confiscating vehicles or levying fines which are often less than the price of a night on a campsite...)

fazer6
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Re: Mi 370 or sit on top

Post by fazer6 »

I get everything ready the night before and we do head out early. Early enough to park the car at Brown Howe and then paddle accross to one of the east shore bays or we get to the east shore via the north avoiding the road closed. We always park in a car park or an actual bay wherever we go. Thursday we were at Brothers water. That's quieter but to be honest I found it boring. No coves or Islands. I've been to the bottom of Wray Castle which can be quieter than the rest, and away from the groups of young guys drinking beer (I can't wait till they can go to foreign holiday resorts again). I love and hate the Dallam groups. Hate it when they fill up a parking bay on the West Shore of Windermere and I can't park, but love it when they fill up a bay and there's still a space for me!!! I totally agree on the rubbish being left everywhere, that and the fires. There's remnants of fires everywhere. The other week there were a few young guys on Peel Island with a tent and they were smoking weed. This was on a sunny saturday so loads of people were passing through. Maybe now I'm over 40 and have kids I'm just a party pooper. But if you want to smoke weed by the water choose a more secluded spot.

Well in the end I got a little sit on top for £100. The fibreglass 370 was too hard for me and my eldest to get on the roof so I went with small and plastic. It turns out all my kids loved it, even the 5 year old who took to it like a natural. After a few minutes he was just paddling as though he'd been in it for months. The inlaws were very generous and gave me some money towards another one becuase one and my sevylor werent enough. The plastic ones are out of stock so I was lucky enough to get a small Pyranah recoil with paddle and also a spraydeck for £150. My 10 year old is finding it harder than the kids one to go in a straight line so I jsut trail a rope behind for now. So we spend a lot of time out on and in the water. I'm almost an expert in strapping them onto the roofrack and seem to spend my life packing up wetsuits and picnics. We seem to have been on the water at least twice a week so we are certainly getting the use out of them.

Next year when everything calms down I'll get the eldest two into some lessons either with Dallam or the spot at Millerground on Windermere so they can learn to roll. Until they have learnt and an instructor has told me they are safe I won't let them use the spray deck.

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