Has anyone out there got a Tiderace Xplore???^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
smallbear
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:41 pm
Location: Fife

Has anyone out there got a Tiderace Xplore???^

Post by smallbear » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:13 pm

Into my second season kayaking and feeling the need to add to my plastic Valley Aquanaut HV. I've tried a few composite boats now and the one that fires my imagination so far is the Tiderace Xplore which I demo-ed a few months ago. So far, I only know one person who has a Tiderace (Xcite) and they rate it highly although I think they've only done a handful of trips in it so far. I'd like some other points of view before I make any more plans to buy one.
Most of my paddling is day trips on East coast Scotland with weekend trips further north and west.
Anyone heard anything good or bad about the Tiderace boats, in particular the Xplore? Any advice appreciated - thanks!

cornish yaker
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:59 pm

Post by cornish yaker » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:24 pm

Oh, i can't actually reply to this post buddy. I done my 3 star in the kayak your talking about. I don't know much in comparison to other kayaks, but it's a very nice kayak. Little trouble turning it, but that was probably on my part. It's light, fast & plenty of space to store stuff in. It's very expensive though. There are alot of kayaks with the same spec's which are cheaper.
My 2 cents, i hope it helped a little. :)

User avatar
soundoftheseagull
Posts: 1561
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:11 pm
Location: Lives in a Pineapple but NOT under the sea, Prestatyn, North Wales
Contact:

Post by soundoftheseagull » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:48 pm

Erling has one!
Image
Dave

Rockpool GT

User avatar
soundoftheseagull
Posts: 1561
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:11 pm
Location: Lives in a Pineapple but NOT under the sea, Prestatyn, North Wales
Contact:

Post by soundoftheseagull » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:00 am

Dave

Rockpool GT

User avatar
al27
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:45 am
Location: Wirral.

Post by al27 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:01 am

Went paddling with Aled at the symposium in Anglesey and had a chance to paddle one briefly there. For the quality and specification I don't think its expensive. Liked the footplate a lot, very comfortable, as was the seat. Very relaxing boat, not at all twitchy; could quite easily eat up the miles. Would jack the seat up a bit if I had one to get a bit more power into the stroke... only comment.

Al.

Owen
Posts: 2106
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:42 pm
Location: Nr Stirling
Contact:

Post by Owen » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:52 am

soundoftheseagull wrote:What about the Rockpool Menai 18?
I tried one of these last year; very nice. The handling was not surprisingly similar to the Alaw's. I was out in the Firth of Forth with a very short fetch and about a force 4 or 5 wind, so quite choppy but no big waves. I found it did slam a lot going into the waves but was really easy to handle going down wind. The boat I tried had a Hydro-skeg fitted which has quite a large blade, far more blade that the boat needs. The smaller Rockpool one is more than adequate.
There looked to be loads of storage space for doing long trips or more likely carrying all the luxuries people can't live without. I found the knee braces very high which made edging something I had to work at. It could have been that I didn't have the seat/footplate in the best position for me and with more time maybe I could have sorted this out. I'm 5ft 9ins and 13 st, and I found the cockpit huge, if it were mine I'd be fitting lots of padding in there. All together a very good kayak to look at if you like doing extended trips.
It would be nice to see a test report comparing the Menai 18, the Tiderace Xplore and the P&H Cetus.

tenboats1
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:59 am
Location: scotland

Post by tenboats1 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:25 am

We have just bought two Xcites after testing these and the Xplore.

The build quality of the 'glass' work is very good indeed. However, I had to reject the first Xcite I was offered (out of store, still wrapped) because there was a fault with the skeg (only approx 75% deployment). I took another boat which has been fine.

My wife's boat had problems too. On the second outing the skeg failed. Bit of a disaster as this boat seems to need skeg.
The problem was two fold. Firstly the grommet thingy that seals/grips the cable where it goes from the cokpit into the day hatch had been badly fitted and was not gripping. Secondly there was an excess of cable overall, resulting in the outer cable flexing in the hatches and not tranfering the required forces to the skeg itself.

I have been able to fix this by P clipping the cable to the deck, but this is not what you'd expect from a £2k boat. I'm still waiting for a replacement grommet from Knoydart (one of the 'fingers' was damaged which is why it didn't work as it should).

But I still rather fancy an Xplore to compliment the Xcite!

User avatar
Cornholio
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Kincraig- "This Is NOT The Sea!"

Post by Cornholio » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:07 pm

tenboats- disappointed to hear that, I thought from the look of the prototype/1st boat they had at Paddle 07 it (and all of them) would be flawless!
(Unlike my British made Quest LV and it's out the package leaking stern toggle hole- but then again that was a one off that missed the hatch pressure testing. Hmmm...like the Cetus in for repair at Brookbank with exactly the same problem...? ;->)
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

Owen
Posts: 2106
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:42 pm
Location: Nr Stirling
Contact:

Post by Owen » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:01 pm

tenboats1 wrote:We have just bought two Xcites after testing these and the Xplore.

But I still rather fancy an Xplore to compliment the Xcite!
Tony,

The main problem with your new boats is that they're far to shiny to be out with us. We'll have to take them on a lot more rock dodging expeditions to give them that lived in look.

User avatar
Gareth Plas
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: "Wot No Alaw? Llangollen North Wales

menai........

Post by Gareth Plas » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:20 pm

I have an Alaw, and I have paddled the menai, that's me in Sound of the Seagull's picture.

I would happily add one to my collection, and I believe tht Mike may be doing some work to alter the deck height on it to change its character a bit.

It handled superbly in some fairly severe conditions in Penrhyn Mawr and in Rhoscolyn. It was comfortable, and as expected the build was superb.

To me it's a no brainer, go and see Mike and ask for a demo.

Consider after sales as well.

Also, what is the price of the Tiderace compared to the Menai??

G

Tourer
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:15 am
Location: Hamburg

Tiderace Xcite experience - 6 months almost weekly paddling

Post by Tourer » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:21 pm

"I tried one of these last year; very nice. The handling was not surprisingly similar to the Alaw's. "

Tried someone elses Alaw 2006, found it too high above the water. With hindsight should have gone for Bach or PERHAPS NDK Explorer LV that I have come across only recently, very tight cockpit fit for me but lower deck so less wind load. Obviously too big as a day boat. Smaller cockpit, almost classic ocean style/Inuit cockpit - better leg contact.

Manufacturers weight recommendations seem to secretely assume 30kg touring luggage - I am 184cm/93 kg but short legs/top heavy. For fun put someone of my weight in and myself on the front deck - still freeboard left..

Xcite is oversized as day boat for me - someone of 110 kg was spot on happy with it. Greed for a carbon version (I wasn't aware of the copy cat going ons then - see Gbasport quality thread) ended me up with this one.

By now I have paddled solo and in conditions I maybe shouldn't have more or less at least once weekly the last half year, e.g. Britany, IOW Needles Bft 4+, and it saw me through chop and races where my previous Quest would have ended me in trouble.

Any beginner I have put in was happy with it after a few minutes, except those who cannot edge yet. Huge secondary stability.

Paddling in strong cross winds/head wind > 5 or at some speed is a strain, due to weather cocking ++ that is a design issue due to the extreme rocker.

Downwind and surfing is fine but not very fast, broaches somewhat but well controllable.

"I was out in the Firth of Forth with a very short fetch and about a force 4 or 5 wind, so quite choppy but no big waves. I found it did slam a lot going into the waves but was really easy to handle going down wind. "

Yes it slams a lot, part of the reason is that factory fitted seat is way too far aft, a slight nose heavy trim is better, mostly, a little forward lean helps as well.. The slamming doesn't bother me really. But then it doesn't get the bow stuck in a wave trough as well, comes up early.

Smaller/less total volume ~280 litres, less rocker, lower foredeck, much lower aft, longer waterline would probably be better for a day boat.

That boat doesn't exist as a production model, as far as I know, hopefully will get something together http://www.thomassondesign.com at some point. Al made a nice offer, but he lives in France, no regular flights there either, we'll do it hopefully this winter here.

I read elsewhere here that Aled has a Angmassalik copy, and Thomasson claims his designs are loosely based on East not West Greenland designs...

Summary:

A beginners and rough water boat for big heavy chaps up to 120 kg, for long distance touring way too slow.

Something a regular paddler is going to grow out of at some point but inspires confidence in the rough foamy stuff.

Having said that NDK Explorer arguably handles just as well in the rough stuff, but the standard cockpit is somehow ill fitting and dodgy to me.

"The boat I tried had a Hydro-skeg fitted which has quite a large blade, far more blade that the boat needs."

The small Kayaksport skeg that is fitted in my copy cat has a protected guide wire but doesn't do that much really, mostly I am happy without.

" I found the knee braces very high which made edging something I had to work at."

Initially bruised my thigh when rolling on that brace which is why I have padded some foam in and moved the seat foreward > 10 cm from the cockpit end, now much better control, still experimenting with the right set up.

"It would be nice to see a test report comparing the Menai 18, the Tiderace Xplore and the P&H Cetus.[/quote]"

From what I have seen of the Cetus it looks very posh & shiny as usual with P&H, shape very similar to me compared to the standard Quest that I had before and that I think is very similar to the Kayaksport Millenium which was on the market long before...

Both make sense only if fully loaded. Menai 18 and Xplore - don't know who should need that if the Xcite still has > 1 " free board with a 110kg person in it and lots bow and stern sticking out.

With a low centre of gravity, heavy objects/water supplies well wedged in the bottom the Quest handles a keel boat, without can have a life of its own, when edgeing there is no "end-feel" unlike NDK/Xcite.

Would I buy it or something like it again ?

No - see above, and quality issues are apparently also a Tiderace thing as you say. How to control a manufacturer in Poland who does kayaks as a sideline is anybodies guess.

Hmm, certainly a bet for clubs, centres/coaches, due to seat adjustability and foot plate, if its only one user all excess space in the cockpit should be foam filled for lots of reasons, will do that once I get round it. Foot plate thyen won't be needed, glass seats tend to crack, so why not a foam seat.

Then I have better ideas still as for seats.

Adjustable thigh braces - not in sea boats unless the law kicks in ...

Do away with the back rest that flips round in so many boats, just a padded slopeing aft please.

With more and more women around there should be a much smaller version.

Regards

Rainer

tenboats1
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:59 am
Location: scotland

Post by tenboats1 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:44 pm

Owen wrote:
tenboats1 wrote:We have just bought two Xcites after testing these and the Xplore.

But I still rather fancy an Xplore to compliment the Xcite!
Tony,

The main problem with your new boats is that they're far to shiny to be out with us. We'll have to take them on a lot more rock dodging expeditions to give them that lived in look.
Well, given the silly hull colour (ie NOT white) they show every tiny scratch so it won't be long before they look knackered!

ian johnston
Posts: 658
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:36 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire

Post by ian johnston » Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:01 pm

I have an Xcite (in the "Hardcore" construction), and it's a fantastic boat. Strong, light, stable, very well built and handles superbly too. I find it plenty fast enough, and I can fit in all the gear I need for trips without a problem. It was a very close decision as to whether I went for a Rockpool Alaw or an Xcite, but in the end the carbon/composite layup and the development of the Tiderace design swung it for me. I have to say that both boats are superb sea kayaks.

If you're having difficulty finding an Xcite to test, you'd be welcome to try mine - only problem is that I'm abroad at work until October....

cheers

Ian

smallbear
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:41 pm
Location: Fife

Thanks for these......

Post by smallbear » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:04 pm

This is really helpful. I tried both the Xplore and Xcite at a Knoydart demon up in Arisaig a few weeks ago and was fairly blown away by the Xplore which I tried first. After a plastic Aquanaut, it was like paddling a feather after paddling a tank and I was well impressed by its handling. My problem was simply that I had only heard of one woman locally with an Exite and wanted a few more points of view.
Ian - thanks for the offer, I may keep it in mind as Aberdeen isn't too far away from us! My plan would probably be to aim to buy a boat in Spring 2009 so still plenty of time to drool over boats and dream.......
Cheers everyone and thanks for that!

User avatar
Erling
Posts: 497
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 12:56 pm
Location: Norway
Contact:

Post by Erling » Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:23 am

I have had my Xplore, Hardcore lay-up, since around Easter. I have done plenty of daytrips, a couple of weekend trips and a week-long trip in it. The short story: I love it! To elaborate:

I am 188 cm tall, use size 44 shoes and weigh 80 kg. I find the cockpit very comfortable and roomy enough to allow me to move my feet around. Also, with the seat in the rearmost position I can place my bum in the seat and lift the legs in afterwards. I have replaced the Kayaksport backrest with a simple backstrap that works better for me. I like the footplate better than the small keeper pegs found in many kayaks, the downside is of course that you cannot really stretch your legs. A slightly steeper angle would have suited me better though. I will modify mine with a wedge shaped foam block when I get around to it. The large cockpit opening with the small dayhatch in front of it make it hard to reach things under the shock chords unless you have very long arms, so I use a spraydeck with D-rings and chords for my map.

On the water I find it to be "pretty fast". Without any proper speed test to refer to, I can only say that the wife and I used to have the same cruising speed. If I keep my "normal" pace in the new Xplore, she has to work a bit harder in her NS Atlantic to keep up. I won't say that the Xplore isn't responsive, but being used to the extremely maneuverable NS Buccaneer I find that I have to edge quite a bit more to change direction. As it responds very well to edging this is not a problem now that I am used to it. I admit having to struggle when turning in strong winds at first. When edging, there is a distinct point where it tells me not to proceed.

I find it being rather sensitive to side wind - could it be the low rear deck and comparatively higher front deck? The skeg will normally take care of that.

The Xplore is a bit on the narrow side at 53 cm but I have no problem taking photos from it even when the water gets rougher. Fully loaded it is very stable, even with choppy waves from the side. Both empty and loaded it has performed very reassuring in any condition I have been out in. Up to a point it will go softly through oncoming waves. In really choppy waves though, like from passing boats, I experience that the pointy bow will tend to run into the waves, rather than lift over it. In these conditions it may give me a wet ride but then again it never slams the water.

I appreciate the large hatches - both front and rear are the largest ones available from Kajaksport. I had to epoxy eyelets inside the hull for securing them with chords, in my opinion these should really have been factory fitted. The low rear deck does restrict the space a bit but I had no problem packing for a week long trip.

Like I said, I love it. The fact that it looks absolutely beautiful on the water isn't wrong either, neither is the perfect finish.

Be aware that the smaller volume version, the Xplore-S, is now launched.

Image
The older I get, the better I used to be.

smallbear
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:41 pm
Location: Fife

Post by smallbear » Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:58 pm

Many thanks for all these - I am already trying to fill my piggy bank as fast as I can so I can go out and start buying one!! The woman I know locally has the Xcite but I actually preferred the Xplore. I'm no petite lightweight so anything with an 's' in its title will probably be a squeeze for me. It's really helpful to hear the different points of view though -

Post Reply