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 Post subject: Puffin Swift 14'
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:40 pm 
I just bought a 14' Puffin Swift (can't beat the clearout price of $695 US!) and took it out for the first time. It's nicely built and very fast, tracks well, turns on a dime and packs up to a very manageable size/weight. Overall I'm quite happy with it. However, I noticed the lack of thigh braces more than I thought I would. The boat felt a bit tippy, which I think was partly due to the fact that I was unable to make those constant unconscious little corrections with my thighs, that normally keep me upright. I also didn't like the fact that if I did go over, I likely wouldn't be able to roll up. I didn't fancy a swim in a Canadian mountain lake in late September! The reviews I read before I bought the boat stated that it was roll-able, but without thigh braces I don't see how.

I have seen ads for Puffin thigh straps, but they appear to mount to frame components on the underside of the deck, and the Swift doesn't have any bars under the deck itself, so I assume those won't work on the Swift. I'm wondering if it's possible to fashion thigh braces from foam and mount them on the two stabilizing bars that run on either side of the seat, just below the deck. Has anyone tried to figure out a thigh-brace solution for this boat?

 Post subject: Re: Puffin Swift 14'
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:18 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:55 am
Posts: 575
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
The lack of thigh braces was one reason I upgraded from a Swift to a Feathercraft Wisper. One trick I did find useful in getting a good contact with the Swift was to pump the top sponsons hard, but leave the lower sponsons a little softer. Just seemed to give me a better grip on the boat. But I'm broad in the hips. If you're slimmer, it might not help.

I have seen a video of the rolling guru Dubside rolling a Swift. (Can't find the link now, sorry.) It looked like he gripped the boat by bringing his knees up against the underside of the deck. But for normal (!) paddlers, thigh straps are probably the way to go. My only experience of using straps was in an Innova Safari inflatable:
The straps attached to the backrest, and to the side tube near the footrest. On the Swift, you might be able to run straps from the rib supporting the backrest, to the first or second rib in front of the cockpit.

Let us know how you get on.


Not in Oxford any more...

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