Robson Brooks 16' - Amerlite material ( looks and feels like carbon fibre )
I thought I'd post a few lines to leave a review of the Robson Brooks 16' - a german manufactured classic designed open boat in a lightweight material.
I've had this boat for about 6 weeks now after buying it second hand. The previous owner had owned the boat for about 6 months from new and had only launched it twice due to an injury. The boat was as new when I got my hands on it
I've paddled an Old Town Discovery and Wenonah Prospector before, so these are my only comparisons. I had my heart set on a Mad River Explorer 16 RX, but when I saw this boat, and managed to secure it cheaper than the Mad River with extras, the Explorer went out of the window!
Although I'm an active sea kayaker my open boat paddling mainly consists of local rivers, canals, Lake District lakes and Scottish Lochs. I'm not a serious white water canoeist (yet).
First impressions are good. I've paddled it about half a dozen times now both solo and tandem on moving water and local canals. The boat handles well with 1 or 2 paddlers and Ive got to say its pretty fast. It tracks well and turns well and the initial and secondary stability are predicatable and forgiving. I've had it out in breezy conditions too and the windage seems good.
The previous owner had fitted the boat with numerous bits and bobs including Yak buoyancy bladders to the bow and stern, decent length painters to bow and stern, spare paddle holder and numerous attachment points for storage whilst touring.
When I picked the boat up, the previous owner pointed out the protectors on the gunnels which are actually NOOKIE roof bar protectors bungied to storage points on the boat. He told me that he's fitted them to protect the boat and ash gunnels whilst putting in and extracting from his local canal. I must admit I was a bit sceptical but having now had the benefit of canal side launching when the water level was significantly lower than the tow path, I completely get it now
The seats are comfortable enough for a decent day's worth of paddling. I've bought a kneeling thwart for solo paddling, although I haven't fitted it yet until I'm happy with where I need it to be for the right trim point.
Whilst paddling solo, in addition to kneeling, I have used the bow seat and turned the boat to paddle the stern forwards - which works well ( if you know what I mean ) and I've also used the stern seat and paddled forwards. Whilst using the latter method the bow does rise a tad, making it a bit more lively on the turns.
The hull is rigid and I haven't yet experienced any oil canning from it, although to be fair I haven't loaded it up with lots of kit yet either. It's my intenton to run a few overnighters in it, so I'll keep this post updated as my experience of the boat progresses.
The boat is lightweight at only 28kgs and is easy to car top alone.
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with it so far. The boat handles well, it's extremely stable and personally I think it looks pretty good too ( not that appearance matters much ).
It has exceeded my expectations so far and it's always a talking point with fellow canoeists, usually in the form of 'What's that made of' or ' I haven't seen these before'
I hope this has been of interest and if you ever see me on the water come and have a look see.