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Thread: Gatz Racoon

  1. #1
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    Default Gatz Racoon



    Length: 445 cm
    Width: 80 cm
    Side height: 35 cm
    Bow height: 50 cm
    Weight: from 26,5 kg

    Freeboard with:
    160 kgs - 22cm
    240 kgs - 18.5cm
    300 kgs - 15.5cm

    Maker's Write Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Gatz
    RACOON, a canoe that’s looks and performance speaks for itself. Made for small rivers and white waters. Fitted with a spray deck, you will stay dry under the most extreme circumstances. Racoon is ideal paddled solo or 2 up. A round hull and rockered keel make it a highly manoeuverable, with good secondary stability and straight running qualities. Racoon easily wins you over and gives lots of fun even in light white water. The Racoon gives experienced paddlers lots of new possibilities but is also forgiving to sporty new paddlers. The Racoon is made in extra strong Royalex. With the right options you can push your limits in white water.
    Sources: Gatz and UK importer

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    Review by Paddleworks (who want to sell them): Gatz Racoon – what we think... from which, this is just the summary:

    Well its a very capable small river and creek boat, in fact I’d go as far as saying that its the closest thing to a Specialist Open Canoe without a pedestal and with 2 seats. Personally you can keep your Mad River Outrage’s and alike, I like a tradition boat, it just feels more proper if you know what I mean. The Racoon has bags of rocker and a flattish section in the middle of the hull so it turns on a “dime” and even boof’s when required on the steeps. Good secondary stability rewards the over keen. Its limitation is clearly its size, at 14ft 6inches its compact which is great for me paddling solo fitted with a kneeling thwart but may prove too small for tandems of anything other than diminutive stature. Indeed its markedly smaller than a Venture ranger 14 or Mad River Explorer 14TT, both capable in a tandem role. No I like the Racoon because its small.
    Elsewhere in the review we read:
    • "not a boat for cruising on open water";
    • "extremely tidy on steep rapids";
    • "exceeded our expectations of wear and tear".


    They also convert the metric specifications....
    • Length: 445 cm / 14’6″
    • Width: 80 cm / 31″
    • Side height: 35 cm / 13.7″
    • Bow height: 50 cm / 19.7″
    • Weight: 27 kg / 59.52 lbs
    • Weight Capacity: 300 kgs / 661 lbs
    Last edited by GregandGinaS; 24th-October-2012 at 08:42 PM.

  3. #3

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    well I don't have any practical experience with their canoes but I know that I will "never ever" buy anything from them after they threatened the biggest german canoe forum with legal action if they ever mention or discuss their brand name on their forums again.

    any company that doesn't want their products discussed in public is not worthy of my trust - period

  4. #4
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    I heard something about that when I was in the Netherlands this year.

    It's all very strange!

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  5. #5

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    if some people really talked bad about their brand I can understand that they wanted to set things straight.
    the proper approach would have been to leave a statement inside the forum or engage actively in the discussion but to shut people up with lawyers only raises suspicions.
    to be fair I don't know what really happened and if they had legit reasons to silence unjustified bad mouthing of their brand but people new to canoeing are now simply confronted with a warning notice "don't mention them and don't discuss them". what do people make of that statement? my initial gut feeling was to stay away from that brand regardless of what really happened. so imho they just shot themselves in the foot with this course of action.
    to sum it up, nothing beats a fair open dialogue (except you really have something to hide)

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    "not a boat for cruising on open water"; is probably an understatement, although I do use mine regularly for doing so and it really teaches you to improve your paddle technique.

    However, on rivers it is a dream. It side slips, spins and accelerates almost as well as a C1 whilst being amazingly stable. If only mine had a competent paddler to go with it.

    Gatz seems an odd organisation, and I have heard the stories about not being allowed to discuss their products, and some decisions seem almost as odd as some of their boats (think Yoho). The Racoon has the odd feature of carbon deck plates which look marvelous until the first time you hit a rock.

    Not really a first boat for anyone, but if you want a boat you can use for general recreational use which you can also confidently run G3 in its worth a look.
    "Oh, Eeyore, you are wet!" said Piglet, feeling him.Eeyore shook himself, and asked somebody to explain to Piglet what happened when you had been inside a river for quite a long time.

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    The stuff about Gatz "interference" sounds weird. No company should be that arrogant if they want to gain any customers. It would certainly put me off too.


    I had a quick go in the Racoon on Ullswater at the Big Meet in 2011. Hilarious! What a super little boat for having fun in. Brilliant to turn, spin, accelerate, stop etc, but even in challenging windy and wavy conditions is failed to throw me out. Of all the demo boats I tried that weekend, most of which were good but left me happy with my Prospector as an all rounded, this was the one that would have tempted me to buy for fun if I were dripping with cash! I'd love to have another go in it, now I've done a little more whitewater.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthRhiner View Post
    if some people really talked bad about their brand I can understand that they wanted to set things straight.
    the proper approach would have been to leave a statement inside the forum or engage actively in the discussion but to shut people up with lawyers only raises suspicions.
    to be fair I don't know what really happened and if they had legit reasons to silence unjustified bad mouthing of their brand but people new to canoeing are now simply confronted with a warning notice "don't mention them and don't discuss them". what do people make of that statement? my initial gut feeling was to stay away from that brand regardless of what really happened. so imho they just shot themselves in the foot with this course of action.
    to sum it up, nothing beats a fair open dialogue (except you really have something to hide)
    Totally agree. Sounds really bizarre. The German legal system must be different from ours, and favour the producer over the consumer, as I don't think they'd get away with that here.

    Still, could be an opening for me there. Or possibly for Mal. I think despite our lack of social skills we could do a better job as PR manager for them. How about it mein Herren?

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I think despite our lack of social skills we could do a better job as PR manager for them. How about it mein Herren?
    Hehe, no doubt about that!

    P.S.: a short lesson in krautology
    singular= mein Herr / plural=meine Herren (just in case you wanna send out your application in german, lol)

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthRhiner View Post
    Hehe, no doubt about that!

    P.S.: a short lesson in krautology
    singular= mein Herr / plural=meine Herren (just in case you wanna send out your application in german, lol)
    Aha Gordon, NorthRhiner has just done a you on you
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    Good for him! A man after my own heart.

    Off to write my application now, may need more help with my German or they might sue me for murdering the language!

    Here comes the future and you can't run from it
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    The German language is quite easy.
    I had more problems in learning the English language.
    Dull Knives are the most dangerous ones.

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    I'm always fascinated by how all young children everywhere around the globe learn to speak a foreign language while the only language I learned before going to school was dutch...

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    I met Digger once. He does not use much words. But he says a lot.
    Dull Knives are the most dangerous ones.

  15. #15
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    Hi had a Racoon for some years now and it is great fun SOLO but can be a hand full tandem.I can managed paddling with my lad Dane as we work together well but put a stanger in the front and all hell gets let loose.We found that the best way to go straight is to lean it over and paddle on the same side which is ok on flatish water but if you paddle on opposite sides it tries to spin and spit you out.
    My lad swopped with a mate to paddle his kayak my mate who I will not name to save embarressment sat in the front (he has only paddled a Prospector ) he paddles like stink and I keep correcting it (on the Wye) then I didn't and we started to spin he grabbed the gunnels and went white as a sheet.
    So it's a great boat SOLO nice tandem with the right partner but NOT a beginners boat.
    I personally like the boat tested a lot before buying but was unable to test this one first but it superseeded all expectations met my needs nice on moving water, hard work on canals and open water, just loves shooting wiers.[IMG]<a href="http://s237.photobucket.com/albums/ff45/littlelynn_photos/?action=view&amp;current=268938_2217079233051_1429 724901_32582686_3366152_n.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff45/littlelynn_photos/268938_2217079233051_1429724901_32582686_3366152_n .jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[/IMG]
    " IF YOU TRIED AND FAILED YOU NEVER FAILED TO TRY

  16. #16
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    Based on the hull pictures and the measurements, I think Gatz's claims for the boat are fair. It would sit light on the water as a solo, and could be maneuvered easily for its weight and length.

    But I'd rather have a Mad River Caption, or my old Mad River Synergy, both of which have more "definite" handling qualities. And my Synergy is faster on the flats, solo or tandem.

    Tyro, are you comparing it to any particular c-1? It couldn't touch either of mine, though it might be better than my old Hahn.

    Funny that they called it "Racoon". I wonder if they had the New World raccoon in mind (we had two as pets) or the Old World "Racoon Dog". Some good boats have been called "Wombat" though, which is even less suggestive of whitewater agility.
    Last edited by ezwater; 27th-December-2012 at 02:25 AM.

  17. #17

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    I hope this is the right place to post this... I currently paddle a MR Reflection 15; it's my only boat so it does everything, lots of flatwater but, increasingly, grade 2 river trips including a handful of grade 3 rapids in low water conditions. I fancy getting something more maneuverable that I can use for some fun on bigger grade 2/3 rivers and I quite like the idea of the Gatz Racoon for solo use. Although I appreciate that there are loads of other options, I wonder if anyone who paddles one of these regularly could comment on their experiences. If anyone would be prepared to let me try out their boat, that would be even better. However, any advice will be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  18. #18
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    If you are ever up in SW Scotland ? - I have a nice red one here you can have a try out.. (subject to there being water in the rivers) ...

    I am near Lockerbie ...
    I like canoes ......

  19. #19

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    Thanks very much for the offer. I'm trying to get a group for a Spey or similar trip in October so if that comes together I'll be up that way and will definitely be in touch beforehand.

  20. #20

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    I picked up a Gatz Raccoon canoe today - in New York State in the U.S. - not sure how it got here.

    In looking at it I don't see it as being a good tandem for the considerably heavier US population, but it looks like it will make a really nice solo canoe.

    Going to strip it down and set it up for kneeling.

    Before I do, any suggestions?

    I have 8 other canoes ranging from a 1934 Old Town 15' wooden canoe to an assortment of Royalex canoes ranging from 12' - 17'.

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    I set my two up in the style of a Novacraft SuperNova with two thwarts 60” apart and a kneeling seat to suit my 350 lbs weight. Works well for me. I use the seat as the yoke - it rests nicely on my shoulder blade area for short carries.

    I also replaced the loose gunnel fixings (Robertson screws) with pop rivets AND glued the gunnels to the Royalex. I think I used Novacraft sp3 vinyl gunnels which appear to be much better than factory .....
    Last edited by barelyafloat; 14th-February-2019 at 09:46 PM.
    I like canoes ......

  22. #22

    Default Making the Raccoon a solo

    Thanks for the response. I did something similar with an early 1920's E. M. White Featherweight. It was a horrible tandem but made an awesome solo canoe. That's pretty much what I had in mind.
    How far from midships did you put the front of the seat?


    Quote Originally Posted by barelyafloat View Post
    I set my two up in the style of a Novacraft SuperNova with two thwarts 60 apart and a kneeling seat to suit my 350 lbs weight. Works well for me. I use the seat as the yoke - it rests nicely on my shoulder blade area for short carries.

    I also replaced the loose gunnel fixings (Robertson screws) with pop rivets AND glued the gunnels to the Royalex. I think I used Novacraft sp3 vinyl gunnels which appear to be much better than factory .....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Paddler View Post
    Thanks for the response...
    How far from midships did you put the front of the seat?
    I put the seat in 13” behind the centre of canoe. Ideally perhaps it should be nearer the centre.

    If the carbon fibre end decks are broken or needing replacement, I found the Novacraft Sp3 prospector end decks a perfect substitute. Tougher, cheaper and look better in my opinion.
    I like canoes ......

  24. #24

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    Thanks for the response.

    Overnight I decided that I am going to sell this canoe - I already have 3 other solo canoes and I generally only do flat water the last couple of years.
    I am in the process of cleaning it up - removed all the wood and am touching up the minor nicks in the hull with g/Flex epoxy - tinted to match.

    Will only put in the yoke and carry thwart after I refinish them and will let the next person configure it as they like.
    The canoe is in excellent condition - hardly used because the last two owners tried to use it as a tandem family canoe and found it too unstable - both families were novices.

    To the right person this will be a great solo boat - I can't see it being a good tandem.

    Thanks again.

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