Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Walking a Fine Line

I am slowly beginning to think I have control of the weather. It seems any time I consider jumping in a boat the temperature drops 20 degrees and it begins to rain. This past Saturday was no different when I went to look at a custom made Kevlar canoe that I had considered purchasing. I was told that a bunch of people were meeting at the Farmington river to go “poling” and I could take the boat out for a quick spin to see how I liked it.

Indeed a bunch of people showed up to go “poling” and there I was among them waiting in the rain for Chris to arrive. Now I must take a stab at describing this activity… Basically one person stands in the middle (but towards the back) of a canoe with a large say 15-20 foot aluminum pole instead of a paddle. Then instead of paddling you push off of the bottom with the pole to run the canoe up and down river. Having showed up for a poling demonstration I basically had to oblige the group by giving it the old college try. It was interesting and I could see how with time one could get a greater sense of control and speed out of a boat, but it was also clear that one small mistake would also mean a guaranteed soaking. Having appeased the poling gods with some basic skills I turned my attention to the boat for purchase.

After I met Chris and saw his boats I immediately realized there is a fine line between custom-made and homemade. I would say this boat would be categorized as the latter. Also Kevlar can became a Kevlar fiberglass mix-which begs the question how much fiberglass and how much Kevlar exactly is in this old beat up boat? The canoe tracked like a sailor who just got kicked out of the bar on his first night back in port. So I carefully extracted myself from the situation with a very transparent “I have to think it over, I’ll send you an e-mail soon.” And got out of there quick. So the search continues-it looks like a trip to Old Town, ME may be in the future.



Blogger Dr. Pepe said...

FYI, be very careful next time your are invited to meet a group of people at the river for "poling." the weather will be the least of your worries...;)

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