Raptor UK canoe sailing

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July 2010

I drove down to the OCSG Lakes Classic meet at Ullswater on Friday, 9 July. First I had to pick up my Raptor's main hull and ama from Solway Dory. I made a special (6-hour) round-trip down to their workshop on 17 June to deliver the hulls and they agreed to have the repairs completed before the meet. I also asked them to make me custom-fit carts for each hull. DaveS, who had actually done the work, was at the workshop when I arrived shortly after noon. He admitted that he'd only noticed the damage to one side of my ama a couple of days previously, leaving him with barely enough time to scrape it down, repair and paint before I

Ullswater map.

arrived. He had been busy making carts for other customers when I'd dropped the hulls off in June, so I'd discussed the repairs with DaveP. I should have phoned them in the interim to check that everything was being done as I requested, but luckily no harm was done by this miscommunication. The only sign of a rushed job is that the starboard side ama hull is more pitted where it has been

repaired than the port ama and main hull repairs. Dave said that he thought he'd found a perfect colour match for the Raptor's blue hull paint but once applied he was a little disappointed to see that it was a slightly

Starboard ama repair.

Port ama repair.

Main hull repair.

different shade of blue. To my eye the difference is barely discernible and should become even less with time, so I am happy with the quality of the repairs. The new carts look well made and sturdy. DaveP said he would rig up fore and aft tethers for each cart (to prevent them sliding along the hull) but DaveS made them with simple hull straps. These may be sufficient since the new carts have much larger (foam-padded) contact areas with the hulls than my previous (Molly) carts had,

Cart comparison.

Cart comparison.

Main hull cart.

Ama cart.

so maybe they won't slide around much. The straps have been glass-fibred in place, so will not pull through, and have metal fixtures. These are fine for the main hull, where the buckle will lie above the cockpit, but I'll need to place a piece of matting under the ama buckle to prevent it from scratching the deck. The total cost of the work done by SD was GBP260 (US$400) - GBP80 for each cart and GBP100 for the hull repairs. Here is a table comparing the dimensions of the new carts with my previous carts:

Cart type:


Solway Dory

Weight (2 carts):

3.3 kg

6.5 kg

Wheel diameter:

20.0 cm

25.4 cm

Wheel width:

4.5 cm

7.6 cm

Wheel separation (outside of wheel):

35.0 cm

40.5 / 48.5 cm

Cart height (ground to body's low point):

16.0 cm

19.8 / 20.2 cm

Having loaded my car, I drove back north to the Ullswater Yacht Club, where I was first to pitch my tent in the designated area. Luke and StuartS arrived shortly after me and pitched their tents nearby. I then drove down to the lake side and assembled my boat on the new carts. Luckily it remained dry (although windy) during this time. I decided to take advantage of the windy conditions, and headed south for an enjoyable sail at about 5:30 p.m. The wind became more sporadic after I'd passed the headland at Skelly Neb, where Ullswater bends west, so I turned back towards the clubhouse, where I arrived 1 hours after setting off. My peak speed for the outing was 7.8 knots, on a beam reach (port tack) while passing Sharrow Bay heading north. I had strapped the two carts to the aft end of the sidecar. This still leaves plenty of space for storing cargo during an expedition, since I can stack dry bags on top of each other on two levels. The bag mounted aft of the Raptor's seat backrest, which I used previously to stow my Molly carts, is too

View north.

Ullswater 'steamer'.

View south.

Sidecar cart stowage.

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