Wednesday 27 May 2009

The Rockpool GT, Design Notes.

The Rockpool GT, a few words about the design from the boat designer & manufacturer, Mike Webb......
"The Rockpool GT
The G.T. is the latest edition to the Rockpool sea kayak fleet. Whether you are looking for a solo circumnav of Greenland or just to explore your favourite stretch of coastline, this is the boat to place at the top of your list! Initial design criteria for the G.T. was for it to be: a fast boat (we wanted an easy cruise of over 4 kts), stable enough to take photos, large enough to carry exped kit and as manoeuvrable as a day boat – without any compromise!
The G.T. is a high volume sea kayak that is fast and incredibly easy to manoeuvre, combine this with predictable and precise stability (and the new FB seat) and you’ve got a sea kayak that handles like a dream! The hull can carry all the kit you want, the cockpit is roomy enough to ensure you are comfortable on long trips and a front day hatch makes it easy to access to all those little essentials! The G.T. is ideally suited for both long open crossings or just weekend pottering along the coast.
Between the Lines:
Sit in the G.T. and you’ll be surprised; it’s as fast as a long boat but manoeuvres like a short one – the sort of boat that puts a smile on your face! This is a boat that does fill the gap between exped and day boat, and does it well. It’s a cracking good surf too!
G.T. - In the Detail:
The G.T. is a high performance sea kayak designed for paddlers looking for a fast, stable and manoeuvrable boat. A large amount of work went into the G.T. hull to achieve the combination of speed and manoeuvrability we wanted. The overall length is 5 inches less than the Menai 18 (to make off the water storage and handling easier – it should fit in the garage!) but the blended hull form gives a cruise speed which is a touch faster. The boat is quick to reach cruising speed and easy to maintain there.
The hull section changes character, from a Vee at the entry point of the bow, rounded through the front section, to a flattened-U beneath the cockpit (no chines), rounded again under the stern hatch to a gentle blend into short keel section at the stern. The bow and stern sections of the hull have been designed in combination to minimise ‘over-pitching’ as the nose rides over large waves. Enhanced volume distribution gives a balanced boat which results in a unusually smooth and dry ride. The deck is shaped to shed water quickly (without splashing) when conditions get a little boisterous! The rounded sections of the hull give a cushioning effect in waves. The flattened-U centre section gives edging that is easy to initiate but progresses at a constant rate, resulting in predictable and confident edging. The G.T. remains stable and relaxed with even extreme leans (water on the deck stuff!) Turn response to edging is very quick with a good turn rate; as soon as the edge is removed the boat tracks straight without overturning. The shaping of bow and stern sections combined with a reduction of deadwood give a boat that is easy to steer, small heading changes and corrections can be made without leaning. The G.T. has been designed to remain directionally neutral in most wind conditions with a slight (and welcome) turn into wind as conditions strengthen, the hull shaping has also been designed to minimise broaching in following seas.
The G.T. deck has a conventional hatch layout with a round front hatch and rear oval. There is a standard day hatch behind the cockpit and a smaller day hatch just ahead of the cockpit to give easy access to life’s paddling essentials. No more need for that ugly deckbag! An extensive array of deck elastics make for easy storage and access to bulkier items. The front deck is designed to give a dry ride and minimise those annoying face splashes!
The rear edge of the cockpit rim is lowered to makes the G.T. easy to roll and when combined with a raised deck contour behind the cockpit it gives an easy and smooth snag-free entry. Behind the cockpit is a clear area to allow fitting of a deck mounted tow system. Adjustable fittings are incorporated in order to carry split paddles on the front or rear deck. All deckline fittings are recessed for a neat and smooth look, they also make life a little easier during rescue drills.
The integrated thigh braces of the cockpit rim and the adjustable seat make for a precise fit that provides accurate feedback and handling. The G.T. is fitted with an adjustable plate footrest. This is angled for a strong natural ankle position which allows the paddler to finely adjust their leg alignment. Matched with the adjustable seat this places the paddler in a dynamic and comfortable position for paddling.
A choice of the standard Rockpool seat or the new FB seat (developed from a white-water competition seat) can be fitted to the G.T. As per the rest of the Rockpool fleet the seats are moulded GRP shells which are adjustable front-to-back at 10mm intervals. The adjustable seat and footrest are mounted on internal hull fixings without drill holes. This relieves the cockpit rim and deck of unnecessary stress and provides a variable seat position for improved feedback and handling for the paddler. Alternatively the G.T. seat has been designed to allow it to be glassed permanently in place to perfectly match the individual and give ultimate feedback and comfort.
The G.T. is a boat with dreamlike handling – it is fast but turns like a much smaller boat; it is comfortable and manoeuvrable with crisp and precise edging."
We can't wait for our demo boat to arrive in July - only two of the boats remain in stock, so be quick if you want to be among the first to own a revolutionary GT.

1 comment:

  1. Geez Mark,it sounds bloody good! Big daddy for the Alaw bach?


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