Posted by proud new sectional kayak owner, and a Rockpool, nonetheless, by John on May 18, 2008--notice the clip system.
Well, after 2 years of waiting and a great deal of persuasion, I finally picked up my new Rockpool Alaw Bach 3 piece kayak last week. I believe this is only the 5th created and will probably be the last. The others are owned by some extremely eminent kayakers including Freya Hoffmeister and Derrick Mayoleth and so I don't know how I got one, but I'm glad I have - it's superb.First Rockpool build a standard Alaw Bach. They then proceed to saw it into 3 pieces. After that the new bulk heads are moulded and the clips which hold it all together are added. The 3 pieces are aligned by using male to female sea shell moulds as shown below. These allow the pieces to line up precisely and with no twist or slippage. Why sea shells? Well not much else has such a large surface area enabling maximum contact. Each segment is held together by six adjustable clips as below, although just one seems enough. It may well be over engineered but I'd prefer it that way when battling a tidal race!There is carbon in the cockpit but due to technical difficulties the boat is mainly fibre glass. Having said that there is a minimal weight penalty for having the portability built in.So how does it handle? Well to my surprise it is different to my standard Alaw Bach. It's more twitchy and playful. I can only assume that the centre of gravity is slightly different. Whatever the reason it is in my opinion the ultimate rough water sea kayak which enables me to travel the World. It's next appearance should be Vancouver Island, Canada, in the Summer.--John.