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Raptor UK canoe sailing

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May 2009

The only portage problem I found was that the width of the Raptor makes it was difficult to keep both sets of wheels on the tarmac on single-track roads.

When I was disassembling my Raptor I noted a couple of further problems. Firstly, the constant 'pedalling' I am having to resort to at times to get out of irons has resulted in the port rudder cable wearing entirely through the stern brass hull grommet and cutting into the hull itself. This damage will have allowed water to enter the main hull. I had drained some water from the main hull that morning, but it wasn't enough to be too concerned about.

At the time, I'd thought that the hatches must have been leaking a little, so was actually quite glad to realise that the water was probably due to the stern hull damage and not to my new Hobie hatches leaking. The second damage I noticed was to the rear of the seat backrest - the carbon fibre has started to crack. I will ask Solway Dory to reinforce this area and hopefully they'll also be able to repair the rudder cable damage for me.

It was during this week at Tayvallich that I really began to appreciate the competence of the Raptor for the first time. It copes with extremely challenging sailing conditions with remarkable ease, is light enough to be car-toppable, can be launched, recovered and portaged long distances by one person and can carry camping gear and supplies for a week's expedition. Truly a unique boat.

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