Friday, August 07, 2015

The kayak that started it all

As John noted yesterday, we've been blogging here at Kayak Yak for ten years now. And the kayak that started us all paddling together is still being used this summer. The Pamlico from Wilderness Systems wasn't new when we bought it from a kayak rental place at Elk Lake; it probably wasn't new when they bought it.

This has been our go-to boat for a lot of purposes. That wide-open cockpit is useful. Are we paddling at a sheltered beach in a flotilla with kids? Put a kid in the front between the paddler's shins and the Pamlico can handle it, if everybody's careful and wearing PFDs. Is Bernie going to harvest some bullwhip kelp for making pickles? The Pamlico makes it easy to snake a couple of kelp pieces into the boat. Getting a beginner on the water? This is an easy boat to climb into or out of even for someone with a stiff knee.

The keel on the Pamlico helps this ten-foot long kayak glide a little straighter than a smooth hull.

Now the rotomolded plastic of its hull is scratched from being run up on rocks or dragged along the sand. Still holding together, this is one tough boat. The Pungo from Wilderness Systems is what they make now instead of a Pamlico single; it has a bulkhead and hatch cover like Bernie installed in this one. If people are thinking about going to a hardware store and buying one of those thin cheap kayaks with no flotation, I hope they decide instead to go to a kayak store and buy a tough kayak like the new versions of this one. It's safer and it's built to last or repair! And the kayak store will teach you lessons.

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