north shore calypso

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
Guest

north shore calypso

Post by Guest » Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:54 am

Hi

My mates from up north tell me that before I go and buy a quest, that I should check out the North Shore Calypso.....

has anyone further south than Newcastle got one that I could try? or got any views on it.......

Have to say that after having borrowed a Quest from Scottish Paddler Supplies for a weeks paddling in Scotland, I am tempted to buy one....but given how much these sea boats are, would like to try out/hear about the alternatives first!

look forward to hearing from you
Claire

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Quest

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:29 am

Hello Claire,
The only way to get a decent comparison is to find a North Shore dealer to lend you one for a week.....

I can thouroughly recommend the Quest, I have 2 and have just ordered a third (with the front bulkhead moved back) from SPS (they were the only place who would let me demo a glass boat on the sea).

If you are interested in S/H contact me in 3 weeks as I will be selling one of mine then (white £1200 and yellow £1600) both fully kitted out: hand and electric pumps etc. You can get my email at Scottish Sea Kayaking Photo Gallery

Douglas

claireCL

quest/calypso

Post by claireCL » Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:21 pm

Douglas - thanks for the information. I agree, SPS let me have a quest for a week in Scotland a few weeks ago and I couldn't find anyone else who would hire out a glass boat!

I may well come back to you re your boats (why are you selling?! if it's such a great boat!)

have you ever found that the bow buries quite easily in the quest? that's my only reservation about the boat.
Claire

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Quest

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:47 pm

Hi Claire,

Iam selling the Quest to buy another Quest! (With the forward bulkhead moved back from the standard position and removal of the footrest rails.)

Compared with other sea kayaks the Quest buries its bow very much less. Over the last 3 weeks I have paddled Quest, Nordkapp Jubilee, Romany Explorer, Skerry, Capella, Avocet, Carolina, Pilot, Rockhopper in a variety of conditions up to pretty heavy surf. None was any drier than the Quest, none tracked so well in a wind as the Quest.

SPS supply a good number of the above but about 90% of their sales are Quests.

Recently in company with a Jubilee and Skerry in very bumpy shallow water off the West coast of North Uist my Quest was easily the driest:
Image
and it got a lot rougher than this but I could not use the camera.

But a Quest sure aint as purty as a Jubiliee:
Image

All the top expedition kayaks are really good but personally I would want to try them before buying.

Douglas

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Fri Aug 20, 2004 4:46 pm

Re "relative 'dryness'" - hmmmmm, having had a Jubille and now using a Quest, I'd have to challenge this! I'd certainly say that the Valley boats I've seen/used/paddled in company with have generally given a drier ride than the Quest.

Paddler weight is a big factor of course - at 6'2" and somewhat over 17st, I'm perhaps a bit bigger than Douglas - - - - -

I find it does tend to dip its bow (rather than "bury") a little easier BUT I also find it far more stable and forgiving than the Jubilee for example. I have two friends who paddle them, both slimmer (and with better balance than I have LOL) and when the seas get rough, they certainly are more "dynamic" with their balance needs. Fishing is a good example - one friend (a very strong paddler) is quite open about admitting he wasn't comfortable using a rod in a moderate sea where I felt totally secure.

In bumpy seas, the Quest's tendancy to dip it's bow is probably a contrinbuting factor in its stability - it's like an aircraft carrier whereas the Jubilee was bouncing around. The Quest has excellent primary and secondary stability as well whereas the Jubilee and it sisters have great stablity once you get used to them!

The weight distribution is v.important - I try and load the Quest bow light and that helps.

Both cope really well with large seas. Which is important.

In terms of speed, the Quest is fast but a Jubilee is faster. It does however depend on the paddler adn in everyday use, in a range of conditions, I dont believe it's a significant factor.

It remains a fact that there are a lot of very happy Quest users. Which says something. Mind you, there are also a lot of very happy Valley paddlers and they are very attractive and well-built boats.

As to the North Shore, I'd venture to suggest that the P&H or Valley boats may be the better choice. If nothign else, buying from a manufacturer to whom you can return the boat easily for any repairs is a major factor.

ND are nice boats too and worth considering - I think that they still rely on the cord-operated skeg system though and personally I dont like that. The wire/slider idea is better.

The Quest is a large boat of course - you've already tried it so that isnt a factor for you perhaps. Valley boats are perhaps generally a little trimmer. Finally, I find the Quest is physically a heavy boat, relative to many others.

It's all down to personal preference at the end of the day and you have got to try them all before you choose.

There are some previoius discussions on a variety of boats on the Sea site at Sea / Almanac / Boats and Equipment that might help if you've not seen them yet.

If buying a new boat, insist on having it "made to measure" where at all possible. Most of them can have the b/head moved back at manufacture and that reclaims a lot of space. If you're buying new, then I's also suggest having a foot-pump fitted at the time and this will influence the b/head position. I know Douglas likes his electric pump.

Fore-deck pumps are good too of course, but how do you pump the thing out when you're trying to brace with the paddle?

Soooo many choices - - - -

HIH - regs, Mike.

User avatar
meatballs
Posts: 1444
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 3:11 am
Location: Swindon

Post by meatballs » Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:05 pm

We have a demo quest at Bournemouth Canoes, and I think Kayaks and Paddles may have some demo north shore boats, but you'd have to get in contact with them. Tis a bit of a hike down from Newcastle however :)

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

correction

Post by MikeB » Sat Aug 21, 2004 7:55 pm

I've just been looking at the ND site (linked from almanac / retailers) and see that they offer "both rope and wire (controlled) skegs".

(As an aside, they say they also offer a repair service for all kayaks, including plastic.)

IF you are ever anywhere near Glasgow it could be worth getting in touch with Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Kayak Club - I know they have a few North Shore boats in the club fleet although I can't remember exactly which models they have. IIRC I paddled a Feugo once and found it very small and I certainly didnt have enough leg room in the cockpit.

Mike.

User avatar
CCL
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: Oxford

Calypso vs other boats

Post by CCL » Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:56 pm

as a fairly recent newcomer to sea kayaking based in the Thames Valley (perhaps not the best place to be based but great for paddling on the weirs!) all your replies/advice have been really welcome!

i'm really quite envious of your weekend trips to arisaig etc and belonging to a local club clearly has some advantages

I hope that P&H are giving you a good deal on your boat Douglas, becasue you and Mike are certainly doing an excellent sales job on the quest.

Fortunately, there is a sea symposium at Cwm Pennant very soon, so I shall try a few more boats then make a decision!

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Comparison Quest v Skerry, Nordkapp Jubille, Aquanaut, Avoce

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:26 pm

I had the good fortune to be paddling in the sound of Arisaig sat the weekend in company with 3 Quests, and 4 Valley boats. I have said it before, I like the look of the valley boats.

They have much more rocker and the tip of the bow sits higher above the water than the Quest.

On sat afternoon a force 4 onshore thermal breeze got up and coupled with the westerly swell a quest, jubillee, skerry and aquanaut went for a brisk down wind paddle to the Glen Borrowdale islands then a bit of a slog on the way back.

The Valley boats seem to rock up and down more than the quest as they cross waves:
Image and so the tip of the bow does not go under the water so much as a quest's, just as Mike has said.

The Quest does have a more leisurely rise of the bow, (I think because of the greater volume of the aft section). However, water that does come over the bow washes off the Quest's higher fore deck. After our paddle all the Valley paddlers had wet life jackets, mine was dry including my non waterproof binoculars in the front pocket.

I do not know if this is a coincidence, but all the Valley paddlers had thick neoprene spray decks, the quest paddlers had light weight nylon ones.

Lastly the Quest does seem to be faster downwind and at catching swells. The Skerry and the Jubillee paddlers have both been paddling since the mid 80's I have been paddling for less than 2 years. Despite this the Quest caught the waves better and as we all had identical gps units, we discovered that the Quests max speed was 13.1km/hr and the best Valley max speed was 12.0 km/hr. I do not think that this difference can be due to me being a better paddler!

Lastly I think the Aquanaut is more difficult to hold on a course about 30 degrees off downwind than the Skerry, Jubillee or the Quest. It seems to want to point straight down wind and despite full skeg it required lots of extra strokes on the downwind side to keep its nose off the straight downwind line. Alan the owner said that unlike the other boats, it had not been designed to weathercock in a wind.

So there we have it, do not be put off a quest because water occasionally comes over the bow, it will not reach your lap! But If you want a really elegant boat buy a Jubilee, but I can just manage to squeeze into one and I cannot take photos from one.

Decisions, decisions.....

Douglas :o)

PS pumps, My Attwood battery waterbuster empties a quest with standard bulkhead position in 4 minutes after a reentry roll. The hand pump means that someone else can empty your boat if you are a bit shell shocked after getting in, it is also 3 times faster than the chimp foot pump which I have tried on a friend's Quest. Indeed Richard Cree who paddles a Bahiya in some pretty extreme conditions, often solo, is selling his foot pump as he has replaced it with a waterbuster.....
http://www.s106156335.websitehome.co.uk ... php?t=3297

User avatar
CCL
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: Oxford

quest etc

Post by CCL » Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:15 pm

no shortage of excellent advice! really appreciate it.



Douglas, have you a buyer for your quest yet? if not, I'm interested. Tried to email you using the link from your photo website but it keeps pinging back:



'Unable to deliver the message due to a communications failure'



you can email me on clairecl70@yahoo.co.uk

Chris Bolton
Posts: 2260
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England

Skegs

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:02 pm

Douglas wrote:
.
Lastly I think the Aquanaut is more difficult to hold on a course about 30 degrees off downwind than the Skerry, Jubillee or the Quest. It seems to want to point straight down wind and despite full skeg it required lots of extra strokes on the downwind side to keep its nose off the straight downwind line.
If you put the full skeg down, you should expect the boat to turn downwind. Consider a boat sideways on to the wind, with the skeg down. The stern is held against sideways movement, by the skeg, but the bow is not. Hence the boat turns downwind.

Skegs are not intended to make the boat run straight; they are there so that the boat can be balanced to go in the direction you want it to. To go upwind, raise the skeg, and thus allow the stern to blow round.

For a boat with no skeg has to be balanced by loading. If it turns downwind, the stern is gripping too hard, put more weight in the bow, etc.

I find with my Vyneck that putting all the heavy stuff in the stern works out about right - different boats will require different balance, but the concept works for all. The difficult boats are those which require repacking when the wind or course changes - these need an adjustable skeg or a rudder; but think of the slowing effect of dragging a rudder blade at a constant angle.

Chris

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Skegs

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:38 am

Chris has given a very clear and accurate description of the use of a skeg, however in practice it is not quite so staightforward as that. The wind has most rotating effect on a kayak when the wind is from the beam (side). I have found that the skeg is at its most sensitive in the quadrant from beam wind to wind dead ahead and small adjustments of the skeg can keep the boat balanced with paddling to reduce the effects of weather (into the wind) or lee (off the wind) cocking. Starting with the skeg fully up paddling into the wind, I find I have the skeg 2/3 down by the time I am beam to the wind up to moderate winds and fully down in fresh to strong winds.

on the quadrant from beam winds to dead down wind the sensitivity is much less and both myself and my friends who paddle a Jubilee and a Skerry have the skegs fully down in winds of moderate or above. In the photo above, we are all paddling unladen boats, the wind and the sea had moderated sufficiently to let me take the photo but you can still see that the Skerry and Jubilee on the left are easily holding our course 30degrees off downwind and the Aquanaut is pointing dead down wind.

The Aquanaut paddler is very experienced and he tried to lessen this effect by raising the skeg (we all had full skegs at this point) just as Chris has suggested, but when he did this, he either weathercocked or broached sideways onto the waves.

The skeg can be used to aid tracking even although this is often not necessary in a long sea boat. When I was testing the shorter more manouverable rockhopper for Paddles, I used the skeg all the time regardless of the wind direction or strength. In a sea boat in following seas, particularly when paddling at an angle as we were you can use the skeg to reduce the tendency to broach.

I am just reporting a difference in behaviour between the Norkapp, Skerry and the Quest with that of the Aquanaut. I do not know if the explanation is to do with the time the skeg is out the water in the waves but the Aquanaut skeg was definitely out the water more than either of the other Valley boats.

I am not saying any boat bis better than the other, just different. my friend on the Solway who has been paddling since the 1970's thinks my quest feels dead in the water compared with his Jubilee which is much livelier. He is right, but while I am stopped paddling, taking a camera out of a deck bag and taking photos, he cannot stop paddling or bracing!

Vive la difference!

Douglas :o)

RichardCree

skegs

Post by RichardCree » Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:16 am

All this talk of skegs, and not one of you has mentioned using the shape of the boat to keep a direction. Remember your edges, a little bit here a little bit there, and voila no pussy footing around deciding how much plastic you need to drag in the water. As for boats buy a Bahiya, good dry ride specially when touring.

Guest

skegs

Post by Guest » Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:23 am

Hi Richard, you will be selling your skeg as well as your pump then?
Douglas :o) :o) :o)

RichardCree

skegs

Post by RichardCree » Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:06 am

Pump sold. i will however keep the skeg, might find a use for it one day. cheers

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:24 pm

Edging is good! Drop the skeg to the point where the boat is just turjing off, edge into the wind and the waves and bingo, stability on the waves and a straight course!

Skegs - modern progress.

Not convinced about the drag they create. Some, but not much.

Mike.

Guest

skegs

Post by Guest » Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:35 pm

Ah you youngsters! I have been paddling a Nordkapp Jubilee since 1986, it has no skeg but has a "modified stern" which is like a thin grp plate moulded permanently into the stern. To maintain balanced paddling I have to edge and now do it subconciously. The Jubilee responds superbly to edging.

However, I have paddled mates boats with skegs and I do quite like them new fangled things the surface area as a percentage of total kayak wetted area is very small and the drag from the slot must be small so its not going to affect speed much. I am considering upgrading to a boat with a skeg and have tried both the current Jubilee and the Quest. They are very different beasts, the Quest does not respond so well to edging when trying to maintain a course but I was surprised by its ability to turn when edged right over. On balance I do still prefer that "lively" Jubilee feeling but to be honest I am now a bit large to squeeze into mine.

I work as a photographer but have never taken a camera onto my Jubilee as its a bit like a bike: you need to keep paddling/peddling or you fall over when you stop. Recent photos here have made me realise not having a camera is a loss.

I have not decided finally yet but I suspect my next boat will be something more similar to the Quest than the Jubilee.

Regards Andy

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Post by Mark R » Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:52 pm

Erm...I'm happy to be corrected, but I think the Nordkapp Jubilee didn't appear until the late 1990's.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

North Capes

Post by sub5rider » Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:03 pm

It's a "HM" he's got, methinks.

Thought all Jubbllies came with an up and downy skeggy-thing

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:45 pm

Hmmm - I stand to be corrected here, but IIRC the Jubillee used to be available in either the HM form OR the HS version which had the more rounded keel and a skeg.

I have a recolection of the HM not having a skeg, for obvious reasons. THe latest Knoydart catalogue only seems to offer the skegged version.

Certainly those lucky enough to be able to fit into the confined space of an original Nordkapp have a fast, dynamic boat. And a very tippy one too!

The Nordkapp Jubillee was designed to be a "bigger brother" of the original.

Coming back to the Quest appreciation society, we mustn't forget to mention the superbly comfy seat with just the right amount of support and superb back-rest system.

Commission does sound like a good idea - - - -

Mike.

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Nordkapps!

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:53 pm

Here is Mair's 1988 Nordkapp HM (modified hull) with a fixed skeg glassed onto the stern:
Image

Here is Mair's 2004 Nordkapp with skeg, day hatch oval main hatch covers (that need a paddle blade to lever on) kehole rather than sea cockpit, more volume in stern.)

Image

Mair says she would never go back to a boat without a skeg! Go for it Andy!

Douglas

Post Reply