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28" beam UTE and speed

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:33 pm
by DLee
Has anyone paddled one yet?

I have the 25" Ute and really love it. But, it's a little tippy for serious fishing and I've found myself feeling a little uncomfortable in rough conditions - sometimes I think maybe the sponsons ride a little high so it's really more like a 22 or 23" beam. Secondary stability is good, but once my upper body mass starts hanging over the edge an inch or two of sponson isn't saving me. Ha. But I can maintain a pretty good lean on the sponson when sailing or turning. Anyway, the new 28" version is tempting.

But, I've also been dreaming about a MKI. So here's a question:

The 28" beam Ute is 12'11" long and weighs 49lbs, the MK1 expedition also has a 28" beam, is 15'10" long and weighs 72lbs. - I've been told the cockpits are the same size. How will paddling and speed be different between the two boats?

The reality of my situation is that as much as I would like to go out and adventure in my kayak, I can't. I don't have the time. If I do, the family trip comes first. So I end up day paddling as often as I can in either our neighborhood lake, Long Island Sound, or other large and small bodies of water that I can get to - but never really overnight. I'm starting to think that weight and transport wise it might be easier to stick with the wider Ute? But will I be at a serious cruising disadvantage in the smaller boat?

How much difference in speed does kayak length make?


Re: 28" beam UTE and speed

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:14 pm
by siravingmon
Hi D,
Hopefully someonw with both a Ute and a Mk1 wiil get back to you, but in the meantime here's my 2 bits' worth..
A waterline beam of only 22 inches would explain the Ute's reputation for being quite fast, as the wetted surface area will be quite low making it easy to paddle. The new 28" version would be more effort to paddle.
Longer boats can be a lot faster - I have no idea how fast my Narak is at 18 ft long as I'm not strong enough, but I can get it to 6 knots in a sprint, while my F1 at 14 ft tops out at just under 5 knots (but only if I have the seat well forward, otherwise it squats at the stern which slows it down). But at 28" wide, the Mk1 will take a lot of effort to go fast imho (Narak is 20.5 inches wide)
However, my average speed over longer day trips is a bit higher in my F1 than my Narak as it's less effort to paddle at just under 4 knots (3.5 knot moving average is the best I've done over 20 nautical miles). I believe this is due to the lower wetted surface area. If I was bigger and stronger it might be a different story. How strong/fit are you as a paddler?
For shorter dashes I love the pace of the Narak, but the F1 is more fun close in as it turns so much more easily, as well as being much easier to lift on beaches and so on: before buying a 72 pound boat I'd try lifting a weight similar to that of the component bags to see if it's manageable for you.
For sailing I've no doubt you'd be faster in the longer boat in anything other than light airs, but I'm sure you already know that :-)
Lastly, I know you're concerned about capsizing, but has this ever happened to you in your Ute while NOT sailing? It may be that a pool session or messing about in the warm shallows in summer reveal that your Ute is actually very difficult to tip over - correct me if I'm wrong.. :D

Re: 28" beam UTE and speed

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:13 am
by DLee
Simon, I may have misrepresented the Ute above; the actual beam is 25". It feels like 22" to me because when I put my hands in the water the sponsons feel like they're still riding above the surface? I can't imagine this is actually possible with my 200lbs sitting in a 13' boat... but that's what it feels like. I need an official observer...

I really appreciate your thoughts about the Narak and your F1. I was talking with a guy in a shop the other day and he was telling me about a 17' boat he had that was very fast, but he physically couldn't keep it at the upper cruising speed so he traded down to a shorter boat that he could push nicely. I also think it's very interesting that you do better in the F1 on longer trips. I would have thought the opposite. I think I'm a fairly strong paddler and my technique if finally improving because of the T9. I was however a little disappointed the other day when I did a 1/2 mile sprint home in the Ute. It was into a pretty good cross/headwind I admit, but when I calculated the time/distance it came up to just 3 knots/hr. Disappointing to say the least. Especially when normal paddling of the AII solo comes close to that. Anyway, this is the main thing that started me thinking about speed vs. weight/length.

I have an Aerius II so I'm familiar with too much weight, although it's probably 10+lbs heavier than the MK1. Even the Ute at 50lbs is too heavy to carry more than 30 or 40 feet. The cart is just too easy beyond that. But the weight certainly is a serious consideration.

I've gone over in the Ute at least a half dozen times right at the shoreline trying to get in or out of it. Of course it only happens when a crowd is gathered... I've also gone over out in real water - but honestly, I think I may have done it on purpose for re-entry practice. I've actually done it several times and I think maybe only once did I do it by accident. Probably while trying to do something in the boat. It's a difficult boat to re-enter. I haven't been able to do it without a paddle float. You may be correct about perceived vs. actual stability. Worth testing again when the weather warms up. I'll take the GPS and test cruising speed as well.

I have a bent stern piece which keeps turning me to starboard, drag. So I'm going to talk with Mark probably next week. I'm really interested to hear what he thinks about the new 28" Ute.


Re: 28" beam UTE and speed

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:46 am
by siravingmon
Interesting about the Ute being so tippy, Dennis - didn't one forum member return hers for the wider one for that same reason?
I didn't pay much attention to the length of the Ute before but maybe at 12'11" and 25 " wide it's just a bit too short for what you want and your weight. The general consensus I think is that, for the same width, a longer kayak will be more stable, so maybe a 25" wide 15' kayak is what you want, but one that tracks better for you than I seem to remember your saying your T9 does. Can't remember if you sorted the rudder out on it or whether your T9 is faster over a long day than your Ute for you.
Perhaps a better comparison for your Ute would've been with my Fujita, which if I remember correctly tops out at around 4 knots maximum on the gps (it's 13' 1" by 24" by 26 lb). The Fujita is definitely slower than my Narak over distance, to the extent that I only used it once with my hardshell club buddies as I was slowing them down, but I still love its relatively quick assembly, its maneouerability and light weight for fun solo days exploring the Capri coastline (up to about 10 or 12 nm with all the coves thrown in) after the ferry trip.
The Fujita sits very low in the water with my 150 lbs, so windage isn't an issue, but the nose goes under a lot in any kind of sea - not dangerous but it does slow it down. I find it very stable for my weight, but not so much that it's hard to edge.
I agree about the need for gps to really get a feel for speed, plus similar testing conditions of course (same paddle and paddling technique, same time into the trip, windage, seas, well fed and rested)

Re: 28" beam UTE and speed

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:03 am
by jcbii
I didn't see anything about a 28" beam Ute kayak on Longhaul's website. Just the 25" Ute.

Re: 28" beam UTE and speed

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:13 am
by DLee
Hi Simon, I do think the length of the Ute adds to the tippiness. I took it out again last week with the GPS and averaged 3 knots with a top speed of 3.5. It was again breezy and my stern piece is definitely bent to starboard a bit.

I did have one funny kinda moment when I let the air out of the sponsons about 100 meters from shore. Convinced as I was that they weren't doing anything I figured, "what the heck, I'll pull the plugs and see what happens." Well, what happened was I suddenly found myself floating on what felt like a plank, Ha! The sponsons had indeed been doing their job and it was a little delicate making it to that beach to re-inflate them. There's no way I could have done it out on the water - the inflation tubes were just a little short for that... with the increased tippiness.

I've been doing a lot better with the T9 and I do believe it's a faster boat for my size. The downside of the T9 is that it doesn't have the sponsons so it becomes more like a standard kayak in weather with more bracing and and balancing required. As a fisherman, I like that extra comfort zone of the sponsons. I think the A1 might have similar paddling characteristics to the T9 and the MK1 is touted as having better handling and speed than the A1. Of course each upgrade comes at the cost of additional weight... Back to square one. Ha.

I did a fair bit of reading on your Cape Falcon - sounds and looks like a really fun boat. I think I'll keep paddling the Ute and the T9 and the AII and continue to dream out loud. I'm going to talk to Mark at Long Haul about the new 28" Ute. Cost wise it's considerably more affordable than the MKI and could be a good platform for small boat fishing. The AII is the obvious choice for serious fishing expeditions, but once again; slow.