05
Jun
15

A new exploration and shore boat for me

Elie Coast 100. 10ft, 31" width.

Elie Coast 100. 10ft, 31″ width.

Before we can head off into our 2015 adventure, I need to have a personal shore boat .. as I left HPV Yakuni back in SG. So I really need a new one for rock gawking and boat to shore shopping trips…

Elie Coast 120

Elie Coast 120

So what is it going to be? A SOT (sit on top) or a sit in kayak? Doug thinks we should go kayak trying at the NW paddling festival… just about the time when the weather is getting conducive for summer sporting getaways, is when the people start preparing for the season and retailers work to get our money, thus the reason for on water trials. I guess there is enough consumers to justify this marketing event eh.

Doug thinks this is the one for me...

Doug thinks this is the one for me…

Setting my budget at $1000, we went to the NW paddling festival to try out the line up of kayaks and paddles that were on display at Lake Sammamish. Pay $10 for state park parking and $7 for on water trials per person.

Elie Strait 120. Sit in kayak.

Elie Strait 120. Sit in kayak.

I have seen the Elie Coast 100 (Red SOT) on display at REI Silverdale and was one that I think is most suitable for me. Doug thinks the Elie Coast 120 (Yellow SOT) will be a better choice for the length will carry me faster thru the water. .. I like the yellow better anyway. Was happy to see that Elie distributor brought both lengths and a few sit in kayaks to the show…

So I tried the 100 and 120 1st. Yep, the 120 felt a lot more stable and cruise easier, but the 100 was probably easier to turn around in tight corners and among rocks. I am used to a short kayak, but the speed and stability of a longer kayak is addictive too…. so which is it going to be? Maybe I should try other brands and literally sit on it for a while… 🙂

I feel like I am sitting in a bathtub...

I feel like I am sitting in a bathtub…

And I tried a few sit in Elie kayaks, just to satisfy this nagging thought that maybe a sit in kayak might be more suitable… well… after trying 3 sit ins… I can truly say I didn’t enjoy climbing into the cockpit, beaching it and having it turn on the side as the waters receded from the beach and trying to climb out at a funny angle. Its only when I tried, I can truly understand why a flat bottom SOT suits me better.

How do I look in blue?

How do I look in blue?

Just for fun I tried this ugly looking green tubby kayak… it feels like I am paddling in a bathtub… sluggish… but surprisingly comfortable seat and knee rest.

This blue kayak by Eddyline is actually fast and quite comfy… but I don’t think the blue suits my image and the price is way up there… Could get both Elie SOT for the price of 1 blue kayak.

… At the end of the day, I am convinced that the Elie Coast 120 is the boat for me. .. and I like that Lavika paddle with a notch at the base, seems like that stopped drips more effectively than the highly acclaimed Werner paddles… but Werner paddles are easily available and a discount is coming up at REI… So Werner it is to be.

Me on launching day. I am color coordinated!

Me on launching day. I am color coordinated!

We waited for the REI sale… but happen to go to West Marine 3 days before the sale and the store manager agreed to match REI sale price 🙂 So got it on order and will receive it right here in PT. For that convenience, it is better for us, altho we will still be going to that REI sale over the weekend. Yup, $500 is all I paid for that Elie Coast 120.

This picture is worth $1000... literally...

This picture is worth $1000… literally…

At the REI sale, got the yellow Werner Skagit paddle at $110, neoprene pants at $90, quick dry T-shirt, shorts, dry bag and hat at $120. Got a yellow ONYX life vest $45 from Sportsmen Warehouse. All set for $865… Yup, got everything I wanted, color coordinated and stayed well within my budget… that was a surprise.

Kayak received and launched on the 21st May… I am all kitted out and ready for adventure… now we need a name for this new addition to our fleet. …

24th May, a paddling trip from Port Hadlock to Chimicum creek, a 4 mile round trip… ah…. HPV Yelli it is.

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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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