Saturday, November 26, 2005

What's up with the Kruger?

Many of my kayaking friends don't quite understand my interest in the Kruger Dreamcatcher, it is certainly a different type of boat than those I've paddled before. But I have enjoyed paddling it so much that I've retired my NKD Explorer till after the Challenge. The Dreamcatcher is the very same boat as the Kruger SeaWind but it has a stern bulkhead and is more decked resulting in a smaller "seakayak like" cockpit. A recent review in Paddler Magazine's Nov/Dec 2005 issue on "Decked Touring and Tripping Canoes" explains it all quite nicely.

The following are excerpts from the article, parts from the review of the Kruger SeaWind:

"The SeaWind is impressively competent in rough water conditions. The hull is affected so little by adverse conditions that it almost felt bland, tempting the paddler to become detached from the usual on-water awareness. If you want to cover serious miles, a lively boat can be physically and mentally tireing. For eating up distance on an expedition, bland is good."

".... the SeaWind reached a comfortable cruising speed with ease and held it with little effort. It's not a sprint boat, but if you like to paddle the SeaWind won't give you reason to stop."

"The shallow arch and slight rocker make the SeaWind surprisingly maneuverable for a 17-foot boat, especially with the rudder engaged, it was easily the most maneuverable of our big-boat troika."

"The seating comfort was superb. Kruger professed that his number-one requirement was comfort and he designed his seats to be comfortable for long days on end."

"The SeaWind is cavernous. Many small cars won't haul as much gear as this hull..."

"The construction is bombproof. The busy appearance of the hull may not win any beauty contests, but it's put together for a purpose - to be comfortable, efficient, and not to fail."

"The SeaWind is the culmination of 80,000 miles of expedition paddling and the end result of Kruger's experimentation with 48 canoe designs. He called it the ultimate solo tripping canoe. He was right."