Coracling in New Zealand

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20 March 2016

Our member in New Zealand, Pete Sullivan, shares this report of the completion of his first coracle, originally mentioned in our 2015 Journal. The coracle, named PV Gloria (PV = paddle vessel), was launched on St Patrick's Day from Naval Point, Lyttelton

PV Gloria - first impressions

Seating position: 1 out of 10 – the seat surface (my fault) is as slippery as hell. I will afix some thin closed cell foam I have in the shed for some bum grip

Steering: 1 out of 10 – she is a true lady and goes wherever she wants to. I found by sculling on the right or left of centre or switching hands seemed to allow some control. The wind was quite gusty and tended to take control at times. I wasn’t able to apply too much power as I was using most of my energies staying upright – The power will come and hopefully a sense of direction

Concentration required: 150%, make that heaps, one false move and Gloria’s got you by the short and curlies. I sort of muffed a couple of strokes and was very thankful for the paddle skills I have accrued over many years

Stability: 1 out of 10 – the centre of gravity is way too high and - can’t really do much about the centre of gravity but toughen up I guess. It’s like sitting on a saucer but with your bum about the height of the cup lip, much tippier than my k1

Speed: speed, what speed?

Beauty:  3 out of 10 – na! Seachbhad, my recently finished outrigger is beautiful

Wet socks department: no wet socks today but I can fully understand how a newbie might just go to sit down, the hull scuds away and they end up in the water. All those years in/of tippy boats is paying off!

Cuteness: 12.5 out of 10 – I mean, what can you say, every time I look at her I smile, it’s got to be good therapy

Enjoyment: 12 out of 10 – It’s a neat boat to paddle and I will enjoy many hours getting to know her

If anyone gives me stick or laughs: they will be invited to paddle her! Ha! And finally – drumroll...

AOB: There were a few (3-4?) wee leaks where the stitching holes (I sewed all the tucks so that the surface is reasonably tight) were, sort of a drip every 5minutes sort of leak, not a problem really but I will dry her competely and then apply some more sealer, I used about half a can/litre for the initial 3 coats, I’ll put the rest of the tin on her

End of report from a very happy Pete