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Thread: PakCanoe 150 (solo)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    260

    Default PakCanoe 150 (solo)

    Maker's Spec

    Max Width: 33” / 84cm
    Gunwale Width: 31” / 79cm
    Depth: 14” / 36cm
    Weight: 46lb / 21kg
    Length: 16’ / 490cm
    Capacity: 650lb / 300kg

    Maker's Write Up
    PakCanoe 150 is best if you like to paddle solo but want to have capacity for two people and camping gear for a week. It has good speed and tracks well on flatwater, yet performs well on Class III whitewater.
    Last edited by Canoe Guru; 8th-March-2007 at 09:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    West Sussex.
    Posts
    3,230

    Default

    Pakboat 15 Solo

    I took the Pakboat 15 Solo out for its first proper test at the weekend on the Thames and Cherwell at Oxford.

    Happily we arrived to discover the rowing regatta was on so Richard and I where able to camp at the Sea Scouts site for a few pennies.

    I chose to bring the Pakboat as i needed to borrow my wife's car and we don't have a roof rack. It is a tiny Kia Pride so space is a premium. The Pak boat bag fitted nicely in the boot laving the back seat for camping gear and nibbles.

    Once we arrived it was time to assemble the Pakboat. I have been lucky enough to paddle several Pakboats before in Canada and Finland so I kind of understood how to assemble the canoe. To be a proper test I enlisted the help of Richard and we followed the instructions provided with the canoe.

    The first thing that strikes you with the Pakboat is the quality of the materials. Everything provided feels robust. The bag itself is heavy duty Cordura with a decent closing system that doesn't rely on a zip.

    Each pole is properly anodised with good quality shock cord. The joints look reasonable robust. Time will tell.

    Once the whole canoe is laid out it is a fairly simple process to put together. It will take some practice to get fast solo. The bending of the poles takes a little effort but this is what provides the rigidity in the finished canoe.

    Once assembled the canoe takes on a life of its own. it is far more than the sum of its parts. It feels solid with good lines. I am excited waiting to get her on the water.

    The Solo 15 is narrower than the tandem version although it can be paddled two up. I found the initial stability pretty good. However it is not until you try and dip a gunwale do you appreciate how much secondary stabilty the canoe has. Within a few strokes I am paddling with ease. The canoe tacks well yet the reasonable amount of rocker allows me to turn the canoe effortlesly. It is possible to alter the amount of rocker and trim the boat by positioning any load around the vessel. Nearer the center will increase the rocker.

    I was very happy with the handling of the canoe. Sshe is fast and moves gracefully through the water. The light weight of the Pak means it was effected somewhat by the stiff cross wind we encountered over the weekend. Not really that much more difficult to handle than the Outlander I usually paddle in Chichester harbour.

    I will need to do more trips on big open water to see how she handles really windy conditions loaded and unloaded.

    We decided to run the weir near to the Riverside centre to see how much water she shipped. Richard managed to take on quite a lot in his Mad River Horizon 15. I was expecting the Solo 15 with its sharp bow to drop deeply into the water. The flexibility of the Pakboat once again takes over and the canoe flexes before shipping water. I have a perfectly dry boat and stay upright despite taking the drop too slowly.

    Moving water in Oxford is pretty scarce however a little beyond the weir we discovered a fairly big confused jet to play in.

    having never paddled a Solo 15 in moving water I first removed all my valuables. I shouldn't have worried. The canoe surfed the large waves really well. Ferry Gliding across the flow was fairly easy although the I needed better technique than my Rranger 14 to stay up right. Riding the waves side on proved more difficult and I managed to swim.

    The Pakboat has good natural buoyancy so doesn't require additional airbags. It was easy to right and empty. Once wet I practiced self rescues. The narrow beam on the Solo 15 made reaching across easy and the good secondary stability meant I was able to climb back in without shipping too much water. I did find the narrow gunwale a little sore on my torso after several attempts at getting a decent photo.

    I was happy to stand and pole the Solo 15. Although the adjustable seat meant that the usual pain in my lower legs wasn't present. I was initially sceptical about the standard seats having previously only used the optional wooden seats. I had expected them to be uncomfortable. Yet they worked well. I need to more practice with the straps to make sure that the seat stays in position as I moved around on the moving water.

    After a few hours paddling and playing we returned to the camp site. Lifting Richards canoe out of the water told me we had paddled far enough. The weight takes its toll. When I came to the Pakboat I was surprised how light it felt. Possibly lighter than my Mega Outlander. It was certainly easier to handle.

    Day 2.

    Once back on the water we decide to have a day touring the sites and seeing how well the boat behaved on flat water. Once again I was pleased with the handling of the canoe. Several miles of paddling the Thames and Cherwell and she performed brilliantly. Easy forward paddling yet about to turn on command. I am lucky that the seat position means my kness and feet go naturally between the structure of the canoe. Richard being over 6ft has longer legs and found his feet were sore againgst the poles. Pakboat sell a keeling pad which I would like to try. I used the carry bag as a front kneeling mat but found I didn't really need it. Although my ankle that rested across a pole felt sore. That said I am usually pretty sore after a few minutes kneeling in my Ranger and Dagger 15.

    To conclude: The canoe assembles easily with 2 people and fairly easily solo. Practice should see me get the time to under 20 minutes solo. I normally take a fair while sorting my canoes out on the roof or trailer. So assembling the Pakboat isn't too much of a hardship.

    The quality of design and construction are first class. I have yet to find any problems and I have looked hard.

    Dislikes? I would like a slightly more robust retaining clip on the cross members. They currently use a clip and a secondary rubber band. I will back up the front cross member and seat with a reusable cable tie.

    Likes? Too many to list. Weight is perfect and really is noticeable when the canoe is assembled. Handling is near perfect even with my lack of paddle skills. Floats without additional air bags. Lots of places to secure kit. The frame acts as a lashing kit.

    I am really very happy with my purchase. I expect many happy years paddling this canoe in the UK and around the world. It should be able to carry a decent amount of kit to keep me in luxuries for an extended paddle trip.

    The Pakboat Solo 15 is a perfect solo expedition canoe. It handles flat water with style and is equally at ease in moving water.





    Bushcraft Survival and First Aid Training.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Wayne
    They do look really good, I've been drooling weeks about these canoes. The only problem for me is the price, they are quite expensive.
    Alan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    West Sussex.
    Posts
    3,230

    Default

    I agree that they are not cheap. You need to thank the tax man for that.

    However they are extremely well made bits of kit. You can feel the quality when handling the poles and assembling the canoe.

    I paddled mine yesterday on the Arun. Every time I put it together I am a little quicker. Its a joy to paddle on the flat.

    I am seriously considering selling two of my canoes as the Pak performs their function so well.

    Bushcraft Survival and First Aid Training.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Southern Finland
    Posts
    48

    Default A thread from elsewhere in SotP

    This discussion is about PakBoats, so we agreed with lowlander and JuergenG to continue here in proper thread, since there is a number of others interested in these canoes:

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...974#post143974




    Keravanjoki river, Finland



    -Timo-

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