Sunday 19 August 2018

Swift Caspian Sea Kayak

Last fall when I was making my regular rounds of kijiji a nice looking kayak came up at what seemed to me to be a pretty reasonable price.  16 foot Swift in fiberglass - older but still in great shape.  I don't know the kayak market like I do the canoe market, and I don't think I'd even been in a kayak before except maybe once, but I did know that much like canoes plastic was cheaper and heavier, fiberglass lighter and more expensive, and kevlar lighter and more expensive even still.  So when I saw a 16 foot Swift Caspian Sea for $750 I wanted to go see it.  But it came up at a time when I was extremely busy with vacation and then Scouts, and as such I really could not take the time to go see it.  So after exchanging a few emails weeks passed - 5 or 6 weeks to be exact - and by then of course I figured the guy had long-since sold it.  Then one day out of the blue I get another message from him - was I still interested for 500 bucks!  Well I was still interested at 750 so sure I'd take it for 500 - I went right over to check it out, and took home my first kayak.

Well almost a full year passed before I finally put it on the water - which is what we did today at last.  In 2 weeks we are going on a family canoe trip and we'll need the kayak to solve a logistics problem in how best to fit everyone.  So my 14 year old and I took it over to Westboro Beach here in Ottawa and both took turns taking it for a spin.  It seems extremely comfortable, and most importantly it was water tight with no apparent leaks.  We only stayed for about an hour during which we both got a couple of turns, and I also tried dumping it to judge how easy it was to get out.  We were not using the skirt, and basically it was like falling off a bike it was that easy.  So no worries there.

When I got it home I weighed it for the first time - a nice sleek 20 kilograms almost on the nose.  That's about 44 lbs.  It is definitely light to carry though a bit awkward to portage - I might have to pick up one of the clamp-on yokes that I've seen at the local outfitter.  Not for our upcoming trip since there is only one portage about 20 meters past a dam - but in the longer term I may want to pick one up.  Or make one.

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