Plastic boats

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Mark R
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Plastic boats

Post by Mark R »

Don't laugh...I'm considering getting one as the long wished for composite Nordkapp is not on budget yet..

Anybody have experience of the Perception sea boats?

Any thoughts on plastic boats?

-----------Mark Rainsley

Craig Addison
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Re: Plastic boats

Post by Craig Addison »

I was thinking of getting a plastic myself, as the Nordkapp takes a bit of a beating from being loaded on trailers etc.
As I see it the advantages of plastic over grp are,
1, More resilient to knocks & scrapes
2, Price
The disadvantages,
1, Harder to repair when things go horribly wrong
2, Generally slower (not a problem if paddling with a group)

The only Perception boat I have tried is the Seayak, a plastic battleship! I think it was designed for the US market, being big & wallowy, I haven't tried the Sealion though, that looks a bit sleeker.
I was looking at either the P&H Capella or the Valley Skerray, the latter being more pleasing to the eye, the Capella does have some ugly hatch covers.


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Yucky bendy stuff

Post by Mike »

I am truly horrified!

Even considering switching from the N/k to plastic ranks alongside fitting a rudder to one.

Seriously though - I think you'de be disappointed by the comparison. I say that having started with a Capella in plastic which was/is supposed to be one of the best of the plastic boats. It was stable, roomy and very comfortable but I found it very slow. I was always at the back of the group na dusually suffering some muscle pain at the end of the day.

Poor technique, unfit you say! Probably!

Bought the N/k and now I'm at or near the front of any group and don't suffer any pain. It's certainly fast if a bit tippier when unloaded, and (as a big bloke) I'm perhaps a little big for the cockpit.

It's much more bouyant and certainly gives a drier ride. I did a "side by side" comparison with the Capella when I was looking to buy a new boat and it's like comparing a greyhound to a cuddly old Labrador.

Whether the N/k would have been a good first boat is doubtful though.

Can't comment on the plastic Skerray really but there are a few around. (As indeed are there a few Capellas, in fairness).

No experience of Perception except to say that as a yank boat they won't be designed for speed but it will be roomy, comfy and stable.

Plastic cetainly takes the knocks and it would be fair to say that if you were paddling a knarly coastline then perhaps there is some benefit in plastic. Until you try to repair it, that is. Which also makes a plastic boat much harder to customise or modify to suit you.

Certainly they're cheaper and offer a way into sea paddling. I sold the Capella for what I paid for it after having had a lot of fun over a couple of years.

But, a good second-hand glass boat would be in the same bracket(ish). Second-hand N/k's do come on the market at competitive prices but be aware that there is the original N/k and the N/k Jubilee which is a bigger, updated design. My experience is of the Jubilee although I did once try an original and found it fast, but very tippy and too small by far.


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Re: Plastic boats

Post by Imupsidedown »

I paddled the plastic Cappella for a week (hired it from P&H) Dead comfortable, only slightly slower then my mates in a Old Norcapp and a Romany but not that you would notice, the only real minus point was it's weight copared to the others, but................. the advantages of landings on a variety of shores in dodgy conditions more then made up for it.
Not that I have bought one..............Istill use an old olym 4

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adrian j pullin
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Re: Plastic boats

Post by adrian j pullin »

I have a plastic Cappella and the club has a Skerry that I have used for a weekstrip (Rassay) and L3 assessment. I have paddled a Prijon Seayak, a Nordcap and a Romany Explorer.

The Cappella is slightly faster than the Skerry. I find it more comfortable, but that is probably down to build etc as much as anything.

The Seayak is a horrid lump of plastic that should be recycled as something useful.

I find the Nordcap too unstable for my taste. I'm unstable enough without a boat wobbling under me!

Comparing the Cappella with the Romany Exp. Summer 2000 I went to the Uist Sea symposium (brilliant). Paddling my Cappella I was working hard all the time to keep up. OK. It was Nigel Dennis leading the group and setting his normal gentle cruising pace (i.e. flat out for meer mortals). Next day in a Romany Exp. I was easily able to move from the back of group to the front. That is the speed difference between the boats. It may be partly design, but the plastic has something to do with it. BTW: New Cappellas are made in a much stiffer plastic, which should improve things somewhat.

When out on club trips, I have no trouble in the Cappella, so it depends on the company you keep. If I were doing a serious expedition, then I would get a Romany Exp. but I ain't, and I'm skint, so the Cappella will do nicely.

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Re: Plastic boats

Post by Bergen BoB »

I got the sea kayaking bug after a course at Plas-y-Brenin and went straight out and bought a Perception Carolina (exped spec version). I had some trouble with the 'slim fit' boats at PYB, but found the Carolina to be very stable and very comfy, both of which were more important to me at the time than speed through the wet stuff. Okay, the Carolina's not a strict sea boat, but it's been a great introduction boat for me and all for less than £500. It's one drawback I've found is it weighs a bit(25 kg) and it's a bit of a pig to load on the car on my own in a strong wind, but I guess that would be the same with any boat that long. That and the fact I keep hearing Shaggy sing 'Oh Carolina' while I paddle, but that's down to me :lol !

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Post by MikeB »

Just to update this, I paddled today in the company of one of the "new" plastic Capellas - the latest 2004 version with three hatches - it's an impressive boat!

It's paddler has been using an original Nordkapp (with skeg) which she found too tippy and unstable for her. She'd also tried one of the "old" plastic Capellas and found it comfortable but "like a tank".

The "new" Capella she likes. A lot. She certainly had no trouble keeping station with the Quest and says it's fast, stable and very comfortable.

Seems well outfitted too - very much closer to the glass Capella (which is a nice boat in it's own right).

Last edited by MikeB on Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by meatballs »

New creeker or a new sea boat? :)

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