Maiden Voyage

I took my new Shearwater 17 S&G out for the first time with the Cape Cod AMC group yesterday. I had made a trial run on a pond in early April, but was a bit spooked by the zero initial stability and tight cockpit, so decided to wait until the water warmed a bit before making a real run. Now I can say I love this boat! This is a brilliant design that performs as well as it looks. Like the designer, I am a 6'4" 200 pound male and don't fit in a lot of yaks. This one fits like a well-made suit, which makes it easy to control. It is fast, easy to steer, tracks well and has a slight weather helm. The low initial stability and hard chines make carving turns easy. Secondary stability is very good and it responds well to bracing. I haven't tried an eskimo roll or wet exit - will wait until the bay warms up more for that. The Shearwater is about ten pounds lighter than my CD Pachena. I can easily carry it on my shoulder and hoist it onto the roof of my old Tahoe wagon.

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RE: Maiden Voyage

I should also mention that this boat got loads of admiring comments from the others in the group, and even from some fishermen at the landing and on the shore along the way. Many people commented on the puzzle joints and the gorgeous lines. It's hard to believe that flat sheets of plywood can be bent into such sensuous curves.

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