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Thread: Sex on the canal - a SWIFT maiden voyage.

  1. #1
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    Default Sex on the canal - a SWIFT maiden voyage.

    Since picking up my beautiful new boat two weeks ago, events conspired against me and prevented me from getting her on the water as soon as I would have liked.
    Firstly the weather was awful, then I had to work, then we were away for a pre-planned short break, during which time I put my back out again , so no doing anything much for the last week.
    However, a visit to the chiropractor got me on the road to recovery and the weather has been improving all week, so I thought today is the day to find out how she performs.
    I couldn't have picked a better day. The temperature gauge in the car was reading 16C as I drove down to the local canal at 10am, the sun was shining and there was hardly any wind about when I arrived. So far, so good.
    I didn't want to do anything to aggravate my back, so I took my time getting the boat and a bit of kit from the car to the put in. I took a few pics before putting her on the water where she belongs - and as they say - like a leaf on the water .
    I tentatively climbed aboard, not knowing what to expect in the way of initial stability. I don't know if it's my imagination, but it seems to me - the lighter the boat, the more skittish they feel when you first get in them.
    I needn't have worried though, once in and settled she felt just fine. She heels over nicely from a kneeling position, although I didn't test her to the limit as I didn't fancy getting wet today and canal water isn't the best to quench a thirst.
    She tracks as well, if not better than anything I've paddled thus far and although I wasn't out to test her speed, there does seem to be some there if there's a good paddler aboard.

    I hadn't paddled far when I spied an open canoe heading towards me. Now this isn't a regular sight in this neck of the woods, so I was intrigued to see if I knew who it was.
    Turns out I didn't, but he introduced himself as David and he was paddling a nice dark green Apache 16 which he'd outfitted himself. As he was almost at the point where he wanted to turn around, he decided to paddle back towards where he'd started and keep me company.
    Among other things he told me, he said that whilst he was familiar with SOTP, he wasn't a member. I admonished him for this and made him say three Hail Marys before we parted company

    When we reached the lock where I wanted to turn round, he portaged the lock and carried on further, back to his start point.
    I had a break and a drink here as I'd been paddling for an hour and my knees were seizing up, then I headed back at a leisurely pace to my put in.
    There was a slight headwind in places on the return, and like any canoe the bow got pushed off line a little. I think that with some ballast up front or paddling tandem, the boat should handle wind reasonably well. She turns well too, at least on flat water, which is where I intend to paddle her. The acid test will be to see how she is when paddling tandem - hopefully I might find that out this weekend.

    Pics aren't the sharpest I'm afraid. Only took my waterproof camera with me as I didn't want to tempt fate by taking my best one



    At the put in. You'll see half a pool noodle cable tied to the KT. The factory position was a bit low for my creaky knees so I added this for a bit of extra height and comfort. It worked quite well but the ties need to be tighter.


    Someone will ask why I had four paddles. Well two of them are new to me and I wanted to give them a test run too.


    Boat on the water at last.







    Looks fine and nice doesn't she


    And off we go into the wild blue yonder.


    Obligatory SOTP shot.


    And a slightly better one.


    This was my turn round point and where my new found canoe buddy portaged and carried on.


    I'd have fallen in if I'd tried this


    Break time.


    Damn, managed to get my finger in this one. I tried so hard to avoid this





    And back towards where I'd started


    What a beautiful day. Haven't seen blue skies like that for a while.


    This reminds me of the first time I paddled my own canoe, which was along this same stretch. On that day I saw buzzards, kingfishers, a field full of mating swans and several deer in a field. Only saw one buzzard today but none the worse for that.


    Be good if we get a whole summer that looks like this


    Reflections in the water.


    I love these gunnels


    And there's the roaring M5, so almost back to start point.



    I learned some new stuff today - never too old for that are we !
    This is my first boat with any noticeable tumblehome and I now see the benefits of it.
    Although I was already aware of this, today made me even more aware (given my own set of personal circumstances e.g bad back) that the lighter the boat, the more likely I am to go paddling.
    Given my back problems, nice day that it is, it's unlikely I would have gone paddling today if I didn't have this boat. It was just so easy to get from storage to the car, car to water and do it again in reverse.
    When I got back to my start point - a nice low brick bank - it was taken by two anglers. Consequently I had to disembark onto a higher jetty on the opposite bank. Not a problem in itself but to get my other (read heavier) boats out of the water, I would have had to drag them up the bank. Not with this one ! After unloading my bit of kit, I just leaned down and easily picked the boat off the water and set it down on the bank.

    I put a few minor scratches on the boat today. Hurts a bit but the next ones won't hurt so much I hope

    Final thought ? I paid a lot of money for this boat and while I realise you only need to pay a fraction of it to be able to get on the water and enjoy yourself, for me and my circumstances it was worth every penny. When you're getting old and crotchety, composite is the way to go.
    I love this boat
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  2. #2
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    Nice to see it on the water where it belongs!......and a fabulous day for it too!
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    That's a beautiful canoe that you have there and I really like the colour scheme. It is sensible having the cream lower hull shade as the scratches in the gel won't show. When I had my Bell Merlin the scratches showed white when dry and whilst it was only an aesthetic issue you were always reminded that they were there. That's half the reason that I painted my Chestnut that colour rather than red.
    I will enjoy watching you put the miles on that canoe. Well done.
    Get Paddling!

    Blott

  4. #4
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    Nice one Paul, paddle and canoe.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

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    Oooh that's lovely Paul. I do like those gunnels, are they part of the hull or fitted on after like 'conventional' ones?
    Paul
    Just goin with the flow

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    That's a mighty nice new boat you've got there Old Man, I'll bet you're rightly proud of that. Love the translucence.
    Who's been sleeping in my porridge???

  7. #7
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    Ohhh, that's very very nice
    Selway Fisher Peterborough 15' - 21Kgs
    FU-BCU Level 2 (Owns a canoe and gets out there and enjoys themselves)

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    Thanks for the kindly comments folks

    Paul; Here's the answer to your question straight from the horses mouth.
    The gunnels and hull are infused together as one integrated piece when the boat is put through the mould, so everything is done at the same time. Thus the terms 'infusion' and 'integrated gunwale' that we often use in our marketing stuff. The idea is to ensure that the gunnels and hull are bound together evenly, with equal dispersion of resin and gel, so there's no extra risk of compromise by drilling extra holes, riveting, soft spots in the hull/trim, etc. There's also the weight advantages of doing it that way. You can see it being done here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XvhsGP-g6w

    Blott; Whilst I said some time ago that I wouldn't be able to attend the Big Meet, there are now tentative plans afoot to try and make it.
    If I do, I will bring the Swift with me.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  9. #9
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    Looking good Paul, great to see you out on the water, glad you enjoy it !!
    To Canoe is to be moved!!!

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    Great stuff Paul. Glad you were feeling well enough to finally get out with it on the water.
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

  11. #11
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    Great blog, which I really enjoyed reading. The pictures were great as well, although it did take me some time to work out what that big, thick yellow thing was, sticking out of the back of the boat in the second photo. I thought, at first, that you had tied the boat to a tree with the mother of all painters!

    It's a really beautiful boat! Lucky you!
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

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    Bee-eee-ay-ooootiful!!!

    Lovely boat... In one pic it looks like it is actually 'hovering' just above the water!!!

    Enjoy her Sir... And take lots of pics whilst you do so please
    If I could only paddle like a doggie oughta paddle

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    Those bloody seats look well comfy?

    Cracking looking boat!

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    In that "break time" photo, your gear bag was so close in color to the inside of the canoe that it looked like some unseen force had taken a big bite out of the gunwale..... I stared and stared..... and then it hit me!

    Keep a close eye on it, so it doesn't run off like Crow's Prism.

  15. #15
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    Sorry I know there's probably words in there but I just looked at the pictures I will now go and have a quiet lie down for a few minutes.

    Beautiful canoe dont don't come near Devon with it or I'll av it.

    Dave
    Many shores i have sailed to in my canoe,often against strong winds.Choose the tree well my brother if it is to carry you to distant shores. :- Chief Dan George

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    Keep a close eye on it, so it doesn't run off like Crow's Prism.
    Thanks Ez. Yes, that's always in the back of my mind and whilst I have it insured, I would hate to lose it to some opportunist scroat

    Once again, thankyou all for your comments
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    nice first outing in a great looking boat..

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    Paul,
    You are truly are a connoisseur of fine canoes!

    A fine lookiing vessel indeed!

  19. #19
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    Wow, it looks very very light. Good to see you back on the water enjoying some paddling.

  20. #20

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    Hi Paul, finally managed to get registered. It was great to bump in to you on Friday and your new boat looked great. I am glad to see you got my best side in the photos and hope to catch up soon.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhofmann View Post
    Wow, it looks very very light. Good to see you back on the water enjoying some paddling.
    16kg...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattT View Post
    16kg...

    Forgive my OCD Matt, but in the case of my boat your quoted weight is slightly misleading.
    The standard boat in kevlar fusion with carbon /kevlar gunnels is quoted as 16.8kgs.
    Every little extra adds weight, so in my case I ordered flax fusion, kneeling thwart and skid plates. Swift quoted me a weight of 19kgs with these specs.
    Unbeknown to me, Wolfgang did not order the skid plates as he thought them unecessary at this stage (they would have added 1kg to the total weight) so total weight should have been 18kgs.
    My boat weighs 20kgs, so 2kgs over the weight that Swift quoted me before the addition of skid plates.
    I mentioned this to Scott Way at Swift who was a bit surprised as they expect all their boats to be within 1lb of the quoted weight.

    Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with my boat and this could be splitting hairs, but I think that anyone thinking of spending this sort of money has the right to know that quoted weights aren't necessarily exactly correct.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Quote Originally Posted by David99 View Post
    Hi Paul, finally managed to get registered. It was great to bump in to you on Friday and your new boat looked great. I am glad to see you got my best side in the photos and hope to catch up soon.
    Hey David,
    Good to meet you too and glad you found your way here at last. It's not a bad place to be
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  24. #24
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    A lovely day to try your lovely new canoe.

    Wouldn't it be nice to source some waterproof tan leather like material to pop over the pink foam on your kneeling thwart. Perhaps brown nylon sleeving with Velcro ..like some roof rack pads have.

    Shes a lovey boat.. Look so light on the water ..to nice for my muppet antics.

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    Thanks TB.
    I have been trying to think of a better system for padding the KT. Yours is a good idea except my feet only just fit under the KT so anything that covers the underside too will make access, and more importantly exit, even harder.
    I thought about glueing some cell foam to it, but I don't like mucking about with an expensive, pristine new boat. Not until I've given it more thought anyway.
    I'm sure you can see my OCD hovering in the backrgound
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  26. #26
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    How about self adhesive Velcro on the underside side of the thwart ..the pad would have Velcro tabs along its length interlocking from side to side.. Discrete and when you take the pad off there's nothing to see..

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teign Beaver View Post
    How about self adhesive Velcro on the underside side of the thwart ..the pad would have Velcro tabs along its length interlocking from side to side.. Discrete and when you take the pad off there's nothing to see..
    Can you be a bit more descriptive about the padding e.g a drawing or a link to what you have in mind ?
    I quite like the idea of the self adhesive velcro under the thwart.

    This is a learning curve for you. You now know, that as well as the OCD, I'm a bit thick too
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  28. #28
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    It was just early stage thoughts.. .. A piece of foam to fit over the top of the thwart.. You could make a nylon sleeve to fit over the foam . On the sleeve you could sew Velcro tabs (hooks) along its length. So when they engage the fluffy strip along the under side of thwart they interlock .. Giving good retention so the pad doesn't roll off the top of thwart.

    Ive been try to find an image online to best describe what I mean

  29. #29
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    Sounding good TB. I'll leave it your capable hands.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    WOW, this IS a VERY nice canoe!!!!!! Beautiful!!!!! Congratulations!!!
    Tony BR
    www.companhiadecanoagem.com.br
    www.canoacanadense.com.br/english.htm
    Past 20 years teaching Biology!
    Next 20 building Canoes!!!

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    Teign Beaver, couldn't he just pluck some fat, cushy fungi off the trailside and stuff them under his shirt, on top of his shoulders?

    And OM, you said, "My boat weighs 20kgs, so 2kgs over the weight that Swift quoted me before the addition of skid plates.
    I mentioned this to Scott Way at Swift who was a bit surprised as they expect all their boats to be within 1lb of the quoted weight."


    You have failed to correct for differences in thickness and density of the Canadian Shield and of your homeland. Your Swift is weighed down by more recorded history than is Canada.

    EZ--- Fungi
    Last edited by ezwater; 13th-April-2014 at 03:45 PM.

  32. #32
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    It's for his seat/thwart not carrying Ez I suppose pants stuffed with razor strop fungi would be comfy..

  33. #33
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    ooohh nice boat Paul

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    Dumb question alert, given I searched for Swifts.

    Is it only for me that the images are fuzzy and out of focus, or are they the same for everyone?

    ETA
    Seems to be a Photobuttock thing?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    Dumb question alert, given I searched for Swifts.

    Is it only for me that the images are fuzzy and out of focus, or are they the same for everyone?

    ETA
    Seems to be a Photobuttock thing?
    I think a visit to Specsavers is in order .
    I've revisited them on my phone and tablet and they look fine to me, although if I expand them they do tend to lose resolution. The camera I used to take them doesn't have the best lens the world.
    Anyway, you should stop tormenting yourself, you won't get yourself one of these for a figure commencing with a 1.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  36. #36
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    Random man on t'internet turns all Ray Winstone hearing this news...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    I think a visit to Specsavers is in order .
    I've revisited them on my phone and tablet and they look fine to me, although if I expand them they do tend to lose resolution. The camera I used to take them doesn't have the best lens the world.
    Anyway, you should stop tormenting yourself, you won't get yourself one of these for a figure commencing with a 1.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    Random man on t'internet turns all Ray Winstone hearing this news...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonefish Blues View Post
    Dumb question alert, given I searched for Swifts.

    Is it only for me that the images are fuzzy and out of focus, or are they the same for everyone?

    ETA
    Seems to be a Photobuttock thing?
    Nope, not just you, the picture are indeed blurred now, for me anyway. And I've seen that canoe, and its not blurred at all!
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  38. #38
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    That’s good old Photobucket. Like me, I suspect Paul did not wish to pay their new fees so they watermark and blur any photos which were held on their website hosting.
    Get Paddling!

    Blott

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    I'm getting my cataracts done soon.... Over the brink and into the foam! Wonder why they're called cataracts...Why am I being asked for the link for a smiley?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Nope, not just you, the picture are indeed blurred now, for me anyway. And I've seen that canoe, and its not blurred at all!
    Damn. I'd hoped that it might be from the Swift Factory Store, discounted because it had been built out of focus.

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