Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Equipment

I thought it might be of interest to some to hear what equipment I used on this trip and how it has fared.
The first and main item is the kayak, a Welsh designed and built boat, a Rockpool GT. This is a serious expedition boat that consumed 30 days food and equipment with relative ease. It handles beautifully loaded with 60 kgs of gear and 90 kgs of paddler edging and responding to paddler input responsively and decisively. It showed it's true worth after leaving Deal Island sailing in a quite boisterous sea with a rear quartering 15 to 20 knot wind causing this paddler to have a permanent grin affixed as I played and bounced among the waves. The boat simply felt fantastic and it was so much fun to paddle, feeling very secure, responsive and fast. And it clearly confirms that an expedition boat doesn't have to have a rudder as some would suggest, sailing or otherwise. Plus even when fully loaded it responds happily to all the usual steering strokes..bow rudder, stern draw/pry etc :)
I am using a Werner Cyprus 210 carbon crank shaft paddle. A lovely light high angle paddle. Whenever i felt a bit tired I simply concentrated on full rotation and maintaining a good high angle style. Long distance paddling doesn't always mean low angle :)
My sail is a Flat Earth Kayak sail, well made and designed and completely unrestrictive with all paddle strokes. I did reef it on the windier days.
My paddle clothing consists of the best cag out there, a Goretex Kokatat Tectour.I also wear a Kokatat Outfit Tour PFd which is comfortable and efficient. This is teamed with Reed Aquatherm pants, Aquatherm sox (to keep the bootie smell down) and Reed thermal top. It all works well.
For colder trips I would have bought my Kokatat Goretex drysuit or Whirlpool Bib, both of which are brilliant pieces of kit.
My tent is a Mont Moondance III. A brilliant 3 man tent perfect for an extended trip. Packs up quite small and has loads of room.
For sleeping I use a One Planet Cocoon 500 sleeping bag (ultralightweight but good to about -5) and the ultimate luxury, an Exped Downmat 9. This mattress is like sleeping in your own bed at home :)
I am using a new stove on this trip and it is proving to be a really good stove. It is a Primus Etapaclite and it is fast, economical(the first 227gm gas cylinder lasted 10 days) and easy to use with great design features. It's great to use good gear :).

8 comments:

  1. Hi Geoff,

    Reading your frequent posts, means most of your technology gadgets look to be working quite allright (apart from re-charging the netbook?)

    Just today fitted my Flat Earth sail on my Explorer. Tomorrow and Thursday trying it out for my 'coming out' on Saturday with the club season opening trip. I hope they continue to accept me as a sea kayak sailor :-)

    Hope there is some wind to play with. Beautiful spring time weather over here.

    Enjoy the rest of the crossings and Bass Strait islands.

    Axel

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  2. Hi Axel, great to hear from you. Yep everything except the charging is good. Good luck with your sailing :)
    Very wet here last night with high winds, snug in the tent though :)

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  3. Glad the boat is all you wanted and that it is handling well and you happy with it. Sounds like all the gear is working well, other than the charger. At least you are still managing to keep the blog going, it's wonderful to be able to hear what is happening, it's a great idea. Will look forward to seeing pictures loaded onto the blog once you are back home. xxxx

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  4. Geoff
    Great to hear the GT performing so well. the updates are a great read and insight into the trip and day to day routine.

    regards
    Judge

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  5. Geoff, so how is the GT really holding up?
    No cracks on the footrests? any around the coaming? what about the seat?...other GTs I have seen had a few problems there and the thin deck layup always scared me a bit.
    Any reinforcements, apart from creating a base plate for your sail mount?
    Always good to hear reports from a paddler that loads his/her kayak for a long trip.

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  6. Hi Gnarly,
    The footbed was reinforced as a precaution only, the deck and hull is crackless, the deck was reinforced under the sail mount, the seat is fine. The boat essentially looks like it has only had one careful lady owner lol. I don't think the deck thickness/flex is any sort of a problem, I sit on the back deck regularly before getting into the boat and it's fine.
    I would be happy to buy another Rockpool and probably will before too long (the Taran looks good)
    Geoff
    Geoff

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  7. I certainly give you a thumbs up for the Exped Downmat 9, it is a great little sleeping mat. I use it for a number of trips throughout the year and it hasn't let me down yet.

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