I managed to get on the water a few times with the extended C1. The first session was just to see how it floated. It was surprising stable, so much so that I raised the seat by two centimetres for the next outing.
It weighs 21kgs, so is a heavyweight compared to The Darkness at 8kgs, but it is a prototype and it will form the plug IF I go into production.
It holds a straight line better than The Darkness, unsurprisingly as it’s so long. Turning it 180 degrees takes about a zillion sweep strokes.
It certainly seems faster. I managed a standing start one mile in 10:15, so not far of 6 mph, but I’ll need a lighter boat to give it a real test. I also need to get it on to a river to see how it performs in flow.
All a bit late now, as I’ve moved on to a C2 version. It took some time to install two sets of seats and footrests, but the flange really helps as there is no messing with brackets. As the boat has longer parallel sides, the length of the seat support bars don’t have to be changed. The thwarts did have to be repositioned though as they were in the way of the seats and I do need the bars to pull me up to standing.
I positioned the seats according to the best guess of where the most buoyancy was.
This is much different to The Darkness Duet as there is not so much buoyancy towards the stern.
I’ve gone for the wider seats as standard now. I’ve also used pull bars to help with the stability.
It looks a bit weird with so much open space behind the rear seat. This will change IF I go into production as I’ll close up the opening.
Anyway, I phoned John and persuaded him to help my try it out. So we met at Froxfield gave it a go. John is now training three times a week in a K1, so is very fit and very stable, unlike me. He was rock solid at the front whilst I took some time to relax. I contemplated lowering the seats until we got onto a rhythm, and then it was like the old days.
The trim was far too bias towards the bow and John felt he was paddling downhill! The boat keeps a straight line so well, but I would need to see how it handles some decent bends.
It was also again, surprising stable once we got going. OK, not like the Duet, perhaps a 5 or 6 K2 wobble factor, so racing kayakers would find it easy.
There is still a reasonable free board but it would need a spray deck for the river. John is 72kgs and I am 75kgs, so it’ll take a fair payload.
So it seems to float OK, feels fast but I need to do some proper comparison. But before that, I need to set the rear seat further back.