Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What I paddle and why? The story of the Sea Wind: Solo Expedition
Canoes. Part 3:

Part Three: Another great feature in the Sea Wind is its construction strength. It has 12 layers of Kevlar in the hull! Kevlar is what bullet proof-vest are made of and so are many canoe because of its light weight and strength. The Sea Wind holds the record as the boat with the most layers of Kevlar than any other canoe or kayak manufactured in the world. Most manufacturers use 2-4 layers, much less than this canoe. I've had mine come off the top of my truck going down the road at about 50mph, watched it cartwheel, and only suffered a few minor nicks and scratches. When
Verlen Kruger was alive back in the late 90's he showed me how strong they were by smashing the bottom with a just bounced off. Try this with any other canoe or sea kayak and you will disappointed. I've dragged my boat over logs, rocks, sand bars, hit pipes, submerged cars, dropped, and watch the wind blow it around my yard without harming it. This is the ideal expedition canoe for those wanting to go beyond the normal range of exploration. Verlen used this same design to paddle two expeditions one being 28,000 miles and the other about 21,000 miles. Each took more than two years to complete. This boat handled the waters off of Alaska, the west coast of the U.S to Baja, the Atlantic coast, the Caribbean, Amazon, the Great Lakes, the Yukon and rounded Cape Horn Argentina as well. I feel this boat will last me the rest of my life for solo paddling. Combined with comfort, effieciency, strength, manuverability, and roominess this to me is the ultimate tripping canoe.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Part 2: What and Why I paddle: The story of the

Kruger Sea Wind-Solo Expedition Canoe

One of the great features of this boat is the amount of room and easy accessability to gear. There
are no tiny hatches to cram gear into, oft times requireing many small dry bags in order to do so. You can use just a couple large 5000 ccm bags to hold all your gear. I've watched friends spend a lot of effort in getting gear in and out of their kayaks. They even have one special dry bag just for their sleeping bag. It's one big hassle if you ask me when you can put all your clothing, tent, sleeping bag and whatever into one big bag. I never feel limited on what I can or need to bring. Its a canoe remember! In 2004 I did a solo 6- month journey carrying far more than the average person would normally carry. Not only did I have my necessary gear and two-weeks supply of food but I also carried a large Pelican case containing a lap-top computer, another P-Case containing a satellite phone, and two cameras. I also carried two folding solar panels to recharge all my batteries. This was for a historical project involving the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial...thats a whole different story. The Kruger Sea Wind has a removable seat so I can sleep inside the hull. Many Kruger oweners have built a tent to erect over their canoe..sort of a canopy type thing. How many times have you watched a sea-kayaker spend so much time and effort limiting what they bring and fitting it into cramped deck holes? And then after that, they themselves cram their bodys into the cockpit. You can probably tell I'm a little biased, but after experiencing all these discomforts myself before owning a Sea Wind, I would never want to go back to another boat. Even if you're just paddling for a weekend outting with friends; why not bring the cooler, two burner Coleman stove, folding table, and a case of beer? It too will all fit in the Sea Wind. Its a great canoe for dog owners as well!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Part 1:

What I paddle and why.
The story of the Sea Wind: Solo Expedition Canoes.

The Sea Wind:
A solo-expedition canoe built by the late Verlen Kruger.

People have said, "is that a kayak?". I usually don't try to explain the differences in boat designs or the history of the canoe & kayak, so I usually tell them its a hybrid. What Verlen accomplished in this boat design is combining the some of the best features of both types of crafts creating the ultimate paddling boat. The Sea Wind is the most comfortable canoe I have ever paddled. I have been in plenty of sea kayaks and was always uncomfortable. In a sea kayak I was always crammed in the cockpit with no freedom to move about.. Like a foot in a tight shoe. I like to move around, have good circulation in my legs and ventilation of fresh air so that I'm not roasting like being inside a plastic bag on a hot summers day. I wanted to feel the wind on my legs and be able to get out of the boat on a moments notice without having to make a big production out of it. So after paddling the Sea Wind during a test drive with Verlen back in 97, I vowed never to get back in a sea kayak ever again. From that day on I have enjoyed the long days of paddling sometimes putting in 15 hours without ever getting out the canoe. Its THAT comfortable! Comfort relates to efficiency and speed as well. If your not comfortable you certainly cannot paddle efficiently, if you then not efficient you will then be sloppy and fatigue will set in causing more inefficiency in your paddling. It will then become a bear and unpleasant. I find those long 10-hour days very enjoyable. End of Part 1.