Feb 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm #1286357
G Foster McLachlanMember
Any opinions on the new deck available by ALpaca? I saw one thread from the site, but no more. The new design sounds amazing, and being dry is a plus, but I'm sure it creates new limitations as well-especially for multi-purpose use. As it's new it's all conjecture I guess, but I'm listening.Feb 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm #1846507
Unless I'm misreading their website, it's about twice as heavy as the 2011 version. It also employs rigid poles to give it shape.
It may be great for keeping water out, but IMHO, the 2011 spray deck is much better for the "pack" part of packrafting. Lighter and smaller volume. Plus, I like that the 2011 is removable.Feb 29, 2012 at 4:52 am #1846596
I have a boat with the 2012 deck on order. I'll post photos, weights, etc. when I have the boat in hand in a few weeks. The website is a little thin on details around the deck opening size relative to a person, details on the poles, details on the include spray skirt, etc.
lightpack.blogspot.comFeb 29, 2012 at 6:30 am #1846631
From the initial reports I've heard, the new deck functions quite well for what it was intended: hard whitewater. It's the second major step (the big butts where the first) in a series of things which will be necessary to keep expanding a packrafts ability it whitewater. Photos of the latest whitewater prototype show some of the design elements coming down the pipe.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04jZJQcVUd8 (at least watch the last 37 seconds)
IMO the new deck is a must-have if you consistently and mostly run class IV and V. That's not me. I like the light weight of the 2010 deck, and the versatility (remove it for summer fishing trips, multi person crossings, etc). Alpacka is wise to offer both.
Generally we'll continue to see divergence and specialization amongst packrafts. I'm particularly interested to see how much of this the market will bear. In a few years they'll probably have a ~12 pound whitewater boat, with little rocker, much less air volume (necessary for punching big water), a skid plate, harness for rolling, and the ability to only carry very modest cargo loads. There's obviously a market for this, and I look forward to seeing some major wilderness class IV and V packraft first descents.
I also think the lighter end of the spectrum will continue to grow (backwards?). Things like Roman Dial's super scout and the Skurka boat have an audience amongst the long-distance crowd. And throughout it all the original line will continue to be the best answer for most people. Versatile, and with a high volume roll over everything style which suits scrappy low volume wilderness boating.Feb 29, 2012 at 6:53 am #1846636
For me, the 2011 deck was a no-brainer because I need to be able to remove my deck for multi-person crossings etc.
That video was awesome. Some of the best whitewater yet.
I'm happy to see Alpacka et al pushing the white water envelope because some ideas (ie. big butts) transition well onto regular boats. It does seem that more focus is being placed on this, than on making the boats lighter/more 'packable' however and I feel like they're missing some opportunity here.
Some quick (non-thought thru) ideas for a lighter/more pack worthy raft are:
1) Use lighter material on the inside of the tubes where there's less abuse (class III boats)
2) Offer an entire boat with lighter tube material (class I-II boats)
3) Better pack/stuff attachment system for bow
4) Lighter valves (especially the mouth ones, since there's 4 per boat)
5) Lighter inflation bag (ie. carbon rods instead of wooden sticks)
6) Redesign the seat to work optimally with no backrest
7) Design an inflatable PFD that integrates the seat backrest into the PFD instead of attaching it to the boat.Feb 29, 2012 at 9:01 am #1846688
I agree with Dan. There is a gap between the bullet-proof class IV capable Alpackaraft and the lightweight still water capable flyweight designs boat.
Lightweight and packable, good flat water paddling speed and ability to handle moderate gear loads (30-50 lbs of gear) and capable of handling some class II moving water would be an ideal boat for me.Feb 29, 2012 at 9:45 am #1846721
@fluffinreach-comLocale: no. california
peter has the scout, at least i think it's the new model, scout.
it has the big butt, and it's yellow. the thing is great. it could weigh less to be sure, but it is a bomber as my orig alpacka.
if sherrie was going to cut weight, she could take some of it out of the floor. you'll still float with a torn floor. you won't float so nicely with a ripped hull though.
alpacka's are just sooo nice. i can't really find issue with them in any serious way. they don't cost all that much, and if you have ever been alone out in the middle of something big, and filled with millions of grinding shards of floating ice, i can assure you … they don't cost Near Enough !
btw, the scout seems a bit faster (a nebulous term as relates to packrafts) than the orig alpacka. just a tad. but it's still nice.
it goes straighter too.
that ACE hardware Flexible Vinyl mender they recommend Works Great if you clamp it overnight.
and… you can eliminate the extra mass of the inflato bag, if you make a carrying sack with no extra supports in it at all. peter is not really gett'n the inflato sack thing… the boat inflates just ducky with a big stuff sack. it takes a wee bit longer i think, but heck, who's in a big hurry to cross freezing water ? it might be just me. i don't know. perhaps if i rafted more often it would increase speed's importance.
i don't know squat about spray decks. but i just thought i'd post here anyway… kind'a like.. you know … at random.
v.Feb 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm #1846950
Duy Tam NguyenMember
@totoro85Locale: Northern Ontario (middle actually)
Any idea if the new spray deck will fit a wide range of bodies? I found the 2011 far too tight, especially with clothing layers and pfd that it was a deal breaker. I'm heavily considering the feathercraft baylee with the self bailing floors. No fussing with a deck and should perform well enough for me.
Just trying to decide between a Baylee 1 (10lb) and Baylee 2 (12.5lb).Feb 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm #1846988
G Foster McLachlanMember
Some good points mentioned here. I'm going to pull the trigger on a new Alpaca this week, and I'll opt for the old deck at this point-I was leaning toward the new deck at first but I like the open boat and weight, and would suit my purpose 70% of the time, although velcro can often be a pain.Mar 2, 2012 at 5:49 am #1847744
I have been packrafting with the new 2012 deck for 5 days now, of which a 3-day trip with some whitewater and a bit of hiking. I'm very pleased with this deck for what I intend to do with it. If Alpacka raft says this deck keeps you completely dry, I think they got it right. If you feel some moisture on your legs under this deck it will more likely come from condensation rather than water leaking through as I have experienced so far.
The aluminum tubes seem to be somewhat awkward to carry while hiking with my golite pinnacle. Put them inside the pack and the organisation of all my stuff inside the pack becomes troublesome though you can get away with it. Have not tried to fix them carefully on the outside of the Pinnacle yet. On my ULA epic I found a way to fix the tubes on the pack safely (at least it feels secure) and they fit rather well inside the 70L StS drybag as well (since this drybag is rather wide).
I intend to use this deck on trips where I will do more boating then hiking. For hiking trips with some shorter packrafting section or on bikerafting trips I still have my undecked Yak. So I think the choice between the 2012 deck or the velcro one will still be determined by your preferences in boating style and the weight of the decks.Mar 2, 2012 at 6:12 am #1847752
Thanks for posting that Joery. Good to get some first-hand info.Mar 2, 2012 at 7:29 am #1847777
My boat was in the process of having the deck installed yesterday so it should ship today or Monday. I'll post photos of how open the deck is without the support poles or spray skirt. My thought is that I can use the boat like this for mild water trips and bring the poles and skirt when I expect rougher water. From the limited photos I've seen, the compromise is minimal but we'll see soon enough.
DMMar 2, 2012 at 7:48 am #1847790
Nice racing stripes.
Are those thigh strap attachments they're doing factory now?Mar 2, 2012 at 7:53 am #1847795
Yeah, the ones on the back side of the boat are standard (I didn't ask for anything special). I got several photos of the boat in process yesterday but can't see any evidence of the other tie down up front to add the thigh straps. I plan on adding those myself sooner or later if they aren't already there.
I figured I needed stripes to keep from mixing my boat up with all the others here in South Carolina. ;) Hopefully you'll see some surfing photos pretty soon…
DMMar 2, 2012 at 9:55 am #1847850
On second thought they're too far back for thigh straps. Must be the new backrest.Mar 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm #1848782
Yeah that's where my backrest attaches.Mar 25, 2012 at 12:32 am #1859017
Where is your packraft review??
Edit. Just saw it on your blog. Niceeee. Whenever I get a boat, we'll have to get up and paddle the Saluda or somethin.
KyleMar 25, 2012 at 6:46 am #1859058
Kyle, I'm giving the Saluda a whirl pretty soon. After that, I'm eyeing a trip down the Tyger River to the Broad River then out on the bike through Harbison.
DMMar 25, 2012 at 7:53 pm #1859295
Let me know when this is going down. I want in!Mar 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm #1860724
Also, are you going to try to learn to roll it?May 14, 2012 at 1:42 am #1877425
Regarding the deck, how small do the poles fold down (or do they remain a large oval shape)?
Also, does the $250 include the skirt (looks like grey sil) shown on the Alpacka site (https://www.alpackaraft.com/index.cfm/store.catalog?CategoryID=63&ProductID=177)
Thanks a bunch,
Jeremy.May 14, 2012 at 4:22 am #1877431
The poles break into 4 sections… 2 sides and the two ends that have the most curvature. I'm not at home right now so i can't take photos but you can probably estimate it by looking at the photos. If not, shoot me a line… I'd be glad to take the photos after I get home.
The price does include a skirt made out of gray sil with bib style shoulder straps.
DMMay 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm #1877983
Thats great, thanks a bunch Don.
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