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Messing about in boats : Padldeski options

Regular visitors here may recall that I was planning to build a Vietnamese style coracle for estuary fishing. Well you can forget all about that. Because we are moving to a different locale the boat option has to change also.

I have been researching other means to float upon the water. Given the plethora of options -- especially in the kayak marketplace -- for now I'm chasing a sit on craft. at the cheapest price I can find.

I hate sit in kayaks and canoes don't belong on the sea. So sit on seems kosher. But why kayak when my background is as a paddleski-er?

Yep. That's how I spent my youth -- paddleski-ing the waters of Port Philip Bay off Sandringham. I surfed with my 12 feet 6 inch  'board'. Dived from it. Expeditioned with it. In the decades since I've yearned to get back upon the water just so.

It was a structure of wood that weighed one helluva lot . I got a retired carpenter and boat builder to make it for me.

Since I have done my homework -- kickbiking and kettlebelling -- I think the old bod may be up to paddling  and taking the waters once again. This time in something a little lighter perhaps.

But why a paddleski?

There is some confusion with the term, 'paddleski'. In Australia (and South Africa) long boards are called surfskis, paddleskis, or paddle boards. In the US these sit ons are synonymous with kayaks or are called waveskis. Now that long boards are back -- and even stand up long boarding/surfing with  a paddle -- the distinctions  within the genera is no longer an easy call.

This is complicated by the different functions and water environments the various boards and kayaks are deployed for. The plethora of shapes, sizes and designs will make you heady as will the prices!

But for now, I've settled upon a 10 feet 7 inches long 'surfski' from Northside Fibregalss which happens to be located across the creek at the end of my street. The item is pictured above.

Before I proceed we are going to trial the craft at the Nudgee Beach estuary. It is an older design but if it suits me -- my weight especially -- I hope to make deckside adaptions for fishing with handlines.  I  wanted a craft which can be paddled some distance as well as being stable enough to position me for an afternoon's casting.

When you drop your ass to a flat deck it's always going to have a comfort levy but I'm planning on creating a raised seat to sit on -- maybe even a blow up like this one at right used on  the Paddleski Seaeagle inflatable.

And maybe I'll sail -- initially by using an umbrella!

But sailing a surfski! A seat on a surfski! It's anathema! Nonetheless in Durban , South Africa,  the paddle ski club deploys a chunky craft with an enormous seating arrangement. It's like a lounge chair!

I do have other options --especially  given that way off Western Australia has such a rich surfski culture which is less focused on surfing the waves like their kin on the  east coast.


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