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Thread: Medway canoe pass advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sevenoaks, Kent
    Posts
    5

    Default Medway canoe pass advice

    Hello all,

    I'm quite new to all this and so have just started off with an Intex inflatable kayak until I can upgrade to something sturdier.

    I did my first trip on a stretch of the Medway from Tonbridge just down to Porters lock and back yesterday morning. I've seen the canoe passes that are along the Medway and they look more fun than getting out and portaging every time but I'm not sure how well the inflatable would stand up this.

    Additionally it has a rigid skeg on the bottom and I was worried that it would get ripped off coming down.

    Anyone have any advice?

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    SW France
    Posts
    2,856

    Default

    Clearly I’m not fully familiar with the Medway pass but in general, I doubt I’d run a glissière with a skeg on the bottom of the boat.
    Having said that, I can’t see how deep the pass runs at
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Nr Rochester in Kent
    Posts
    3,843

    Default

    I'm pretty sure you'd lose the skeg. The passes vary in how they're made. Some are solid bases, some are brushes but I'm not sure how an inflatable would fair on any of them to be honest. It's always a little scrapy. Definitely East Lock and Sluice Weir will be too hard. Tonbridge might be OK, and Eldridges. Porters is anyone's guess. Oak Weir might be OK - it tends to have the most water.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sevenoaks, Kent
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Hmm ok I think that puts it to bed quite quickly, I think I'll avoid until I have something a little more solid.

    Thanks both for you input, most helpful!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    182

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paxto View Post
    Hmm ok I think that puts it to bed quite quickly, I think I'll avoid until I have something a little more solid.

    Thanks both for you input, most helpful!
    I paddle the Medway quiet a bit in both inflatables and solids (live near Tonbridge). My Gumotex has a optional skeg, when I first started paddling it I needed the skeg, but with experience I can now do without it, definitely don't do the chutes with one fitted. In my opinnion inflatebles cope with the canoe chutes better than solids, and I have lent my inflatable to several peopel who wouldnt tackle them in a solid. The only time I have capsized on a chute was in a solid sit on top, probably because I wasn't used to dealing with the extra length, the front went under and I followed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sevenoaks, Kent
    Posts
    5

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    Thanks, maybe when I've got a bit more experience we'll give it a go without the skeg but play it safe until then.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    182

    Default

    Might be worth trying to put a Medway forum paddle together, its a lot more reassuring and safer to have company when doing the chutes. Having said that some are very gentle.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Hope, Peak District
    Posts
    282

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    I’ve done all the shoots in a Gumotex Solar with a skeg fitted, both tandem and solo with no problems. The flex of an inflatable probably helps with skeg preservation.

    There is a micro second of wobbliness as you exit the chute and the boat bridges on its bow and stern.

    Brilliant fun and a lovely river, if you start at Tonbridge you get a gentle introduction at the second lock down, which is a gradual chute.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    182

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    Depends what the conditions are and your particular boat. My Gumotex has a large aluminium skeg that's a bit of a beast, even without it I have had to bounce my way down some of the chutes! The Tonbridge one is particularly bad, probably why they close it so often.

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