After having to delay some of our builds due to problems with sourcing materials, we're happy to report that we're once-again shipping boats. We apologize to anyone who had to wait longer than expected and to the few customers who have not yet received their boats. We're working hard to get them to you ASAP! Lynn was one of the customers affected by the delay but she had this to report when she finally received the boat:
Just wanted to let you guys know that my kayak arrived today, safe and sound with no issues (!).
I absolutely love it, although I've only sat in it, in my front yard thus far ...
It fits perfect and this 'custom thing' is going to turn out to be a great idea for me!
Husband and I are off to the local lake tomorrow to get it wet and check it out.
Timing is pretty lucky as Winter appears to be on schedule around here for Monday and all next week!
Thank you both so much for your efforts in getting it to me when you could.
The glue issue was obviously a bit frustrating but I fully understand.
I'm just glad I got a great product that I will forever love !!!
She also sent along a picture of her maiden voyage in her Griffin Performance. We feel terrible that she won't have too much time to paddle the boat before that lake turns to ice, but we're happy she's happy!
Thanks again to Lynn and the rest of you affected by this delay for waiting patiently while we resolved this issue!
This week, the Vermont International Film Festival brings exceptional films from around the world to Burlington's theaters and projector-equipped spaces. The VTIFF is unique partially in that it structures its movie choices around a few key themes each year. This year's emphasis on films about the environment and environmental justice should make it immediately interesting to many of our readers. Of particular interest to me is A Fierce Green Planet: the Battle for a Living Planet, a documentary directed by Mark Kitchell (perhaps most famous for his excellent documentary Berkeley in the Sixties) that covers the recent history of the environmental justice movement. I hadn't heard anything about this movie until I saw it on the VTIFF schedule, but the trailer's vintage footage of kayakers running the Grand Canyon immediately caught my eye:
If A Fierce Green Fire is half as good Berkeley in the Sixties, I'm sure it won't disappoint. Also of interest is the Festival's emphasis on "locally grown" Vermont films. Although many of the VT films were screened this past weekend, you can still catch a showcase of the winners of this year's Vermont Filmmakers' Showcase on Sunday. If you're in Vermont, be sure to check out the complete schedule and to support such a great event by attending!
Some photos of a test paddle with Andy, Ben, and John of Vermont Paddler. Boats tested include a Griffin Expedition (yellow deck), Jaeger Expedition (white hull and deck), Ibis Sport (orange deck), and a Jaeger Sport (blue deck).
We had a customer come in a few months ago looking for a very small kayak to replace the slalom boat she'd been paddling for decades. She wasn't using the boat for whitewater slalom; this was her touring boat, chosen primarily because of how well it fit her. The problem was, of course, that the thing didn't track at all. The combination of crazy-rocker and spoon-shaped bow and stern meant it tracked like a top. She ended up buying a custom boat from us, but wasn't about to throw out the slalom boat. To help her with tracking on those days when she's feels nostalgic and decides to paddle her old boat, we made her one of these tape-on skegs. It's very very simple, but should work well. It's so simple that I thought twice about whether or not a how-to was really needed (sorry in advance if it wasn't). The idea is to cut a piece of aluminum into a skeg shape with flaps on the top so that it can be taped to the hull. The dimensions aren't really critical. We chose a 4" x 12" skeg (with two 2"x6" flaps at the top), but you could make one bigger or smaller as needed. The farther aft the skeg is placed, the more effective it will generally be. I say generally because rocker plays a part here... If the boat has a lot of rocker, placing it farther back might mean that it's rarely in the water.The good thing is that relocating it to adjust the trim is just a matter of peeling off the tape and resticking.
Details and step-by-step photos below the fold.
This morning, while trying to conquer my overflowing inbox, I came across an email announcing the launch of thepaddler.co.uk, a new carbon-neutral (aka web-based) kayaking magazine. We're always happy to see new kayaking-related media and this one looks like a particularly-promising launch! I haven't had much time to look through it, but we wish them all the luck in the world. Check out their inaugural issue by clicking the screenshot below.
In the interest of keeping weight to an absolute minimum, the Griffin LT's deck uses "Maroske" fittings instead of the standard recessed fittings. As the name implies, we didn't come up with these fittings ourselves; they are the brilliant invention of Gerald Maroske, a very talented amateur kayak builder. Maroske fittings have been used by home builders for some time but, as far as we know, are not used by any other manufacturers.
Although they may look like nothing more than holes in the deck, the fittings are actually hidden underneath the deck. The deck lines run through a small tube fitting embedded in epoxy under the deck. This makes the fittings totally waterproof and extremely strong. Since this style of fitting doesn't require plastic or metal hardware, the fittings come out weighing a bit less and looking oh-so clean! You can't get fittings any more streamlined or snag-free than these.
We can always custom build Griffin LTs with standard on-deck fittings, but why would you ever want that!? To learn more about how these fittings are made, check out Gerald Maroske's original writeup.