Rockpool GT

I've been toying with the idea of a second boat for quite some time and have considered most that fitted the criteria I was looking for which, in comparison with my Rockpool Alaw, were: a little faster; greater load carrying capacity; as good or better from which to take photos and ideally one which offered an alternative storage solution for my cameras; just as responsive which I feared I would have to compromise on to gain a faster hull and which overall, required a rather less aggresive approach.
Having taken the boat above for a demo, predictably perhaps, I have decided to stay within the Rockpool fleet but not without looking at the alternatives.
Now there are far more experienced paddlers than I who can offer their opinions on sea kayaks from all the usual manufacturers (though more than a few reviews of sea kayaks that I have read have raised more questions in my mind about the reviewer's abilities than the kayak's capabilities), and this is not meant to be a full reveiw in any sense, so I will simply say that I believe the Rockpool G.T does exactly what it says on the tin...
...and fulfils all of the criteria I was looking for.
I will continue to paddle the Alaw, a boat that I think I am only really just beginning to exploit the potential of and which I believe, contrary to reviews I have read and opinions I have received, is absolutely not a boat for relatively novice paddlers, (this view often cited it seems simply because of it's flat mid hull section and consequent initial stability, which to me at least, seems to be missing the point completely).
But back to the G.T. I was delighted to find it extremely responsive (more so than the Alaw); relatively forgiving while paddling across grabby eddy lines, boils and confused water running at 3knots; noticeably faster on flat water; more predictable when sitting still in small waves - important to me when holding an SLR instead of my paddle; and perhaps most surprisingly, it handled just as well overall I thought as my Alaw, without being loaded. Lastly, in moving water with small waves of around 1ft or just over, I'm not sure there was any noticeable difference rolling the G.T.
So, despite the fact that this will obviously be my boat of choice when on multi-day trips, I suspect it might see plenty of use on day trips as well.
One year on
I miss the Alaw, which had to go following a ridiculous bill for the car, but as an 'expedition' boat which is the role I always intended the GT for, it is superb. At 12st, I am too light for the GT unloaded, and the handling is affected as you might expect, but not so much as to cause a problem - for a big boat, it's pretty playful in the races, manouveres as well if not better than the Alaw in rock gardens and is noticeably faster whether loaded or not.
For our trip around Shetland in the summer, the GT was perfect.


Iain said…
Glittery top, in the case of my one. I love it.