Friday, June 29, 2007

Fleet Expansion

I think kayaks are like fine hunting rifles; or maybe like Imelda Marcos' shoes. You generally have more than you need but not as many as you want. As I perused the SKOAC for sale page I came upon a Valley Skerray RMX. This I thought, would be the perfect boat for GalwayGuy, industrious college aged son of the Voice of Reason. Since he was engaged in making hinges for laptop computers from 3pm to 3am it was up to me and the VOR to jump on this opportunity and spend his cash for him. I would have loved to complete the several chores I had scheduled but when a hot boat deal beckons what can a man do?? After dinner we jumped in the car and headed to a nearby burb to reconnoiter. I suggested to the VOR that she might want to hide the tie down straps in the back seat lest the seller think we actually want to buy the damn thing. We checked the boat out and it was in fine shape for an older boat. No beer canning of the keel, hatches tight (I'd confirm this for sure later), and a nice silver/gray color. It also has the classic rope skeg, the nefarious device that caused RonO to become inverted in Lake Superior last October. The seller had upgraded to a nice new P&H Quest, a boat I'd had on the short list when I bought the Aquanaut HV. It was on his roof and I noticed he had nose plugs around his neck so we loaded up the Skerray and headed for Milfoil, er, ah, Medicine Lake (thanks again European freighters, for this fine ballast water borne addition to our ecosystem). The VOR went first and pronounced it very similar in handling, turning, and speed to her Avocet and light years ahead of her CD Storm. I donned my beloved Reed tuliq and took it out and turned it inside out. A very nice boat. I could almost do a static brace in the thing and it rolled very nicely. The question, "who's rack are you going to put it on, yours or mine?" resulted in short and productive negotiation and we lashed 'er to the roof of my Passat.

I drove it into the garage and noticed this morning that it had been removed from the roof and set next to the rest of the fleet. Looks like GalwayGuy had to climb in when he finished his shift this morning. Now I need to figure out where to put the thing but that should not be a problem. We have a 5 day Apostles trip coming up and I'm sure he's excited to be in his own boat for the first time. Its great to see a new, committed, and excited kayak owner who was willing to exchange his hard earned cash for what could be the start of a lifetime sport.


Ron said...

A stable of "Valley boats" ... very nice! Always remember to check the skeg rope is not tucked under the sprayskirt before you get out in the wind and waves.

Alex said...

I LOVE the Skerray RMX.

I actually owned a grey RMX for about half a year. It's a beautiful rolling kayak and I loved it for tripping. It's ridiculously maneuverable which makes sense given its pretty much a high volume Pintail.