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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:32 pm 
I am investigating purchasing a Ute.
It is undergoing a design change to widen the beam a bit according to LH.
This concerns me being a novice and this my first boat.
Apparently people found them unstable enough to bring this about.
Any comments?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: Southeast Michigan
My 118lb, 5'2" girlfriend loved the speed of the Ute, but in the end preferred the stability of the Aleut she usually paddles for the kind of casual nature watching she likes to do in a kayak. The Aleut is a really wide boat that's just about untippable, but it is significantly slower than the Ute.

I think if you're an athletic paddler the current Ute would be no problem at all. Someone looking for a more relaxed boat might well prefer a wider design.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:59 pm 
My first boat was a 22"wide cedar strip that I built myself. It is a moderately stable boat. Not tippy but if you push it and you don't know how to brace properly it could surprise you and go over. Though I had to really reach out to have that happen. I quickly learned where the tipping point was if I didn't brace. I've not tipped since my second paddle in that boat, unless I've wanted too.

You know I just bought a Ute myself so I haven't had a chance to paddle it yet but looking at the lines of the boat compared to my other boats this should be more stable. Compared to a wider Aluet or a Yukon it will be tippier but boats of that width are often referred to as barges because of their excessive stability. That added stability will make the boat less lively, and slower too so there are trade offs for sure. You could order a Ute V2 if you are concerned. I'm sure Mark would be happy to make you one!

Personally I feel if you learn in a boat that is thinner you will become a better, more advanced paddler quicker. The secret is to find a boat that challenges you a bit while still being comfortable to paddle when you don't want a challenge.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:23 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 382
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Wainair says it well; stability is a subjective quality. A couple of decades ago, my first paddling experience was with one of the late Bart Hauthaway's Rob Roy kayaks that had about a 27 inch beam. My first thought was how tippy that little boat was. The two boats I own now have beams of 21 and 22 inches and I find them reassuringly stable. Last week, I had a go at a Feathercraft K-Light which is about the same length and width as the Ute. I felt that the K-L was quite stable, perhaps could be a bit more narrow. Still, it was a fun, lively little boat and a very good swimmer. I can't imagine a boat with a 25 inch beam lacking stability provided the center of gravity was not too high. There isn't much useful user info on the 'net about the Ute but it looks like fun boat to paddle and Long Haul has an established reputation for the quality of its boats.

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