Wednesday, October 8, 2008

P&H Scorpio Low Volume

As Scott said, he and I went out in the ocean yesterday (October 7) to try out some new boats. I normally paddle an Impex Force 3. The Impex is a long, skinny, fast boat that is tough to turn unless I put it up on edge (but then it carves a nice turn!). The folks at P&H think that the Scorpio LV would be to my liking.

Immediately upon sitting in the boat I discovered one challenge - When I adjusted the footpegs as close to me as possible, they were not close enough. I know my legs are short... but this is something I think P&H needs to address. Otherwise, the cockpit fit me pretty well. I would need to pad out the sides a bit, but that is all. The knee braces were comfortable and allowed for a high knee position while paddling (see Ben Lowry's forward stroke technique!).

As we paddled (sustained wind of about 15 knots with gusts up to 20 knots; confused seas with waves between 2' and 4'; pretty strong current from the incoming tide) I couldn't help but compare it to my Force 3. I also tried to compare to the Capela 161 that I have paddled some recently. The Scorpio punched through the waves with gusto. It is a fast boat. It did weathercock a bit more than my Force 3 -- just about any boat would -- but it didn't take much effort to correct my direction and stay on course.

Before getting too far into the waves and wind I needed to see if I could roll the Scorpio LV. Halfway through my roll (while hanging upside down), I realized that the cockpit fit (both side to side and the footpegs not getting close enough) caused me to fall "down" out of the seat. Hhhmmmmmm this would be a challenge... After a few attempts, I was able to roll up, but I had to really focus on my lay back (which the boat does allow for). I think once fitted properly, it would roll easily.

Onward into the clapotis! I felt very comfortable and stable in the Scorpio LV. The boat reacted predictably to the wave action and was lively in response to my strokes. I was pleased to feel safe and very sea-worthy in this plastic boat!

Overall, I like the Scorpio LV. It is fast, adequately maneuverable, and fun in the waves. It is definitely an option for medium-sized women and some smaller women (but unless the footpeg position is changed, not an option for most small women) who want a quick, ocean-worthy plastic boat.

There were lots of dolphin in the area this day. They were very active - tail slapping, circling. The dolphin must have been driving the fish to the surface because the pelicans were diving and taking advantage of the dolphins' work. I caught a couple of glimpses of a very small dolphin with its mother - the small ones are so cute! And one larger dolphin came up about 10 feet from me and gave me a really good lookover.

I hope to see you on the water soon. Paddling this time of year is quite comfortable in the cooler weather, but with the water still warm. - Sue

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