"The boats you seem to like could be of little interest to someone who favored a high degree of maneuverability for playing rather than going forward at a certain rate of speed, for example playing in surf and tidal races."
Agreed. These boats do not have a high degree of maneuverability. I would choose my maneuverable, non ruddered, boat, for playing in surf, which I do not generally do.
" As others have mentioned, there were native paddlers using both plumb and raked bow boats as the purpose dictated - a long time before well funded yuppies (including me) decided to start paddling kayaks for fun."
Agreed. But native paddlers did not use boats with rudders. I am happy to be a well funded yuppie. Life is easier with a rudder.
"Whether a bow type seems to be a trend is really just a matter of what you have been paying attention to - various types have been out there for a long time."
Well, it seems a trend to me. I think the oldest boat on the list is the Epic, and not all that old.
"But you seem to be asking for input about boats towards a new one with more racing use - or are you?"
Not really asking for input. Just expressing my interest in this newish trend. Not at all interested in racing. My Q700 seems to allow very efficient ocean travel and comfortable traversing of areas of turbulence and chop. Being a well funded yuppie, I would not mind another similar design if I though it would be a bit more stable and comfortable, when paddling unloaded on day trips, as well as a bit lighter in weight.
The Kayak Wing
Classic Freestanding Rack
Canoe Pack Liner
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