Thursday, 17 October 2013

Video - The Rockpool Taran 16, Thumping…!

When we heard late last year that Rockpool were making a smaller Taran, we got very excited about the prospect of a small person's version of the revolutionary fast expedition tourer that we have come to know & love. 

Early reviews however, suggested not so much a small Taran, as a shorter Taran, the idea being a fast boat design more readily adapted to shorter, sharper seas where the ability to change direction & skip amongst the waves is optimised. 

Our first shipment landed last month, & we have been busy testing it out in as wide a range of conditions, with as broad a set of paddlers of varied skills & experience as we can muster.

This is our standard procedure with something new & likely to be a little hard to put 'in a box' as it provides perspective on who the boat is going to suit. It's an important consideration for us, in the context of the wide and sometimes very targeted boat range we offer. 

So far most test pilots have recognised the increased manoeuvrability in the 5.08m hull, but not too many have been prepared to say for sure if it's slower in any conditions other than dead flat water, or long ocean swell where extra waterline length is always going to make you run that little bit longer.

Yesterday presented a perfect opportunity for some pointy end research (we have a tough job), with a hot Sydney spring day generating a blustery nor easterly sea breeze that built steadily to 30 knots by mid afternoon. 
Rob & I sorted a car shuffle between Gunammatta Bay in Port Hacking & the coastal village of Kurnell just inside Botany Bay, & lined up the Tiderace Pace 18 & the Taran 16 for a superbly varied 17km paddle south.

The first 6km of the trip featured strong adverse winds, providing an insight into the boats' handling both into the teeth of the breeze, and later across a steep beam sea that frequently had the tops breaking off. 

Then of course, came the proper test, an unbroken 11km downwind run beginning with confused clapotis off the Cape Bailey cliffs, and ending with as pure a unidirectional sea as you could hope to ride as we scooted past Cronulla.

I was paddling the Pace 18, a boat we've already discovered to be well on top of these kinds of following seas, whilst Rob was thumping the Taran 16 along with much enthusiasm.

I'll leave it to Rob to pen a review of the boat (coming soon), but as an observer from mostly about 25m behind, I am looking forward to one day getting my own go in a Taran 16! In the meantime we can all enjoy the video….

The trace of our paddle is HERE. As is the sad reality with our Rockpool stock, there are only two Taran 16's left, so if you'd like to test one out, give us a shout.

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