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Paddleski options: the Finn Gadget -- stability and function

Although I may  not actually launch myself upon the waters because of all those factors I touched on in my last paddleski post , I am still fascinated by the option of -- or the chance to --   mess about in boats.

I haven't owned a boat since I was a teenager. Nothing big mind you -- a lumbering wooden paddleski -- but I loved paddling the thing, surfing with it, touring and spending my Summers atop its hard flat wooden surface.

And now, I want to relive my youth but  with certain caveats in place....My backside is much older... and more worn... and (let's be nautical) beamier  for instance.

Here on this blog you'll find a lot of discussion about the Thuyền thúng Coracle which I'd be constructing now if I wasn't moving house. The thing is that while the Vietnamese coracle may suit the Nudgee inlet on Moreton Bay near here-- it won't suit the two main environments I have in mind to boat about in at Beachmere -- the river and the tidal mud flats.

While any old boat would do, any second hand sit on,  I reckon there's a boating niche there that warrants  my utmost engagement.

This is where the Finn Gadget comes into the navigational  picture.

The Finn Gadget

The Finn Gadget is  a 'sit on top' kayak. -- at least that's its classification.  But  in shape, beaminess, broad catamaran like hull, the Gadget reminds me more of a coracle than a kayak (to be precise, the Ironbridge Coracle. With a great carrying capacity -- 130 kgm -- and short length -- 2.4 metres --  it's a well  engineered boat!

As the folk at Finn Kayaks tell me, " to sit around in comfort and stability (in all conditions – we’ve tried it extensively) it really is  comfortable."

Ah, comfort....

If you partake of the (sea) kayaking milieu -- and it's a big deal here in South East Qld -- you can go high tech, high price and craft-long  very quickly in ratcheting $100 segments.

But I'm after limited use window, very specific -- shallow waters , river mouth and upstream  with a preference for getting to places I can't walk to and keeping my appendages free of the pearly whites of any passing Bull Shark.

Sailing, Flat Bottoms... and Leeboards?

The more I contemplate the Gadget -- terrible name isn't it? -- the more interesting is its design. I think I can also look forward to sailing it  -- perhaps initially by umbrella!  This option has also revived my ongoing interest in leeboards., but with its cat hull the Gadget may not need to be leeboarded.

More's the engineering pity!
But leeboards are ideal for sailing acraft  in  shallow waters so that it won't capsize and Beachmere does its waters really shallow. (And if you run over a Dugong, the boards swing back as a leeboard  pivots.)
The other features of the Gadget that excited me  are its flat bottom -- handy if you are dragging the beast over mudflats -- and its lightness -- 18 kgm. I'm imagining myself also using it like some  river barg dragging it behind me as a cart while I wade the shallows fishing for Whiting, Bream and Flathead. Porting the boat the 700 metres from home to the beach  should be easy -- so long as the tide is in when I get there..

I already have a very large bike cart.

Then when I board I get myself a roomy seat and maybe I can even raise that seat's profile  a bit with  some interior redesign. I can store my  box of fishing stuff in the boot -- it's like a car hatch back -- and paddle off into the big blue.

The Gadget aint gonna track as well as a longer and less beamier kayak or surfski  but if I don't want to be in a hurry -- and a little bit of waddling is OK -- I reckon the Gadget and me will hit it off. Thats' the kickbiker in me talkling:' The more hurry the less speed

Great design job, Finn.
I aint got me one yet, but my thoughts are as you see...and I keep on thinking them.


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