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Sit On Top vs. Sit Inside Kayaks

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Blog, Gear Reviews, Instructional | 0 comments

This article appeared in paddling.net which is a great resource for info on all things kayaking! Kayaks come in two basic styles. You got Sit-on-Top (SOT) kayaks and you’ve got Sit-Insides and both are available as singles or doubles. They also come as hard shells or as inflatables. Although there are some major differences between sit-inside and sit-on-top kayaks, they share many of the same parts. The top of the kayak is called the deck. The bottom is the hull. The front is the bow and the back is the stern. On top of the deck you’ll often have deck lines or bungees. At the stern of the kayak, you should find some grab loops and some kayaks have rudders. Rudders swivel side-to-side in the horizontal plane and are controlled by foot pedals. Skegs simple drops straight in the...

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Trip Report and Boat Review

Posted by on Mar 7, 2011 in Blog, Clavey Tours, Gear Reviews | 0 comments

My daughter Raini and I led 7 hearty souls who braved the rain on Sunday for a trip on the Petaluma River. In a constant drizzle and rain, we paddled through the marsh and tidal sloughs. The marsh is a fascinating place to explore, with signs of life everywhere. Route finding is very critical though, take a wrong turn and you’ll find yourself in a dead end. And you’ve got to pay attention to the tide as it can leave you high and dry very quickly. On this trip I decided to test paddle the Delta 15.5 After spending a couple of hours paddling, here is a brief sketch of my impressions: beautiful attention to detail–the hatches are easy to use, lift handles are comfortable. The seat was easy to adjust and comfortable. For a 15′ kayak with rudder,...

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Sawyer Lights Wood Oars – Review

Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in Blog, Gear Reviews | 0 comments

For over twelve years, I had been rowing a 14′ x 24″ cat with 9′ composite oars. Last summer, I decided it was time for something smaller, something a little more lively and playful. The choice was an AIRE 13′ x 19″ Wildcat with a set of 8′ Sawyer Lights Wood Oars. What a difference wood makes! Well OK, the Wildcat, another story, is a big part of the difference, of course. The Sawyer Lights, though, are a total surprise! After so many years away from rowing wood oars, I’m happy to be back. These oars are comfortable, light and lively! Sawyer makes this happen — first by laminating clear, straight grain ash and fir for strength and less weight. Second, Sawyer tapers the shafts’ circumference from the handle, 5-7/8″, to the blade, 4-7/8″. That 1 inch difference gives...

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The Clavey Half Box, Dry Box – Review

Posted by on Jan 18, 2011 in Blog, Gear Reviews | 0 comments

For most of my guiding career I rowed 18’ Avon Spirits with slant board frames. We would pile coolers and rocket boxes on the front deck and then cover them with a myriad of dry bags containing everything from cast iron fry pans to black bags full of melons. In the rowers compartment we would hang water jugs and propane tanks. The rear was loaded with so many black bags I could not see over my shoulder. Everything was tied down with 1⁄2” hoopie and once loaded resembled the family truck heading out of the dust bowl in the Grapes of Wrath. When I came to Clavey 15 years ago, I learned of a whole new way to rig a raft (blog coming soon) that kept the load low, out of the way and did not rely on a...

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Uncle Owen, this R2 unit has a bad motivator!

Posted by on May 27, 2009 in Blog, Gear Reviews, Instructional | 0 comments

I’m a big fan of the R2. Two people, one small boat, lots of harmony (lots of swimming). Don’t get me wrong, I like to row. I like the sole responsibility of taking my boat through the rapids. I like the ability to carry more gear, beer and food than I can possibly need for my time on the water. I like being able to carry people who can’t boat and dogs that can’t swim. I like the feel of a floating ’74 Country Squire station wagon when I’m on any river for more than a day. But I also love the R2 and here’s why: I’ve got a 12 foot Avon Scout. I can roll that boat up, stuff it in a boat bag and take it anywhere in the world. I can get it on the water...

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If you’ve got a sweet Clavey Rig you don’t need a Ferrari

Posted by on Apr 16, 2009 in Blog, Gear Reviews | 0 comments

If that sounds pretentious, it’s because you don’t already have your own sweet Clavey Rig pimped out on your own 15′ Avon Expedition, Aire 156R or NRS E-150. Because if you did have your own Clavey Rig, you would know that the only thing it’s missing is tinted windows. Let’s start from the beginning, from the water up, so to speak. Let’s take a look at a recipe for what we believe (humbly) is the “can’t be beat”, best multi-day rafting package ever created. Begin with a 15′ raft like the Avon Expedition. This is a boat designed with the family and multi-day river trips in mind. When we designed the Expedition what we desperately wanted was the west coast small river maneuverability of the 14′ Adventurer (something to fit comfortability on the Illinois in the spring or low...

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