Sjösatt – en ovanligt välutrustad och väldokumenterad Panthera i Finland...
I'am happy happy to let you know I launched my Panthera on Easter friday! All went well. My Panthera was named "Viv" a two reason name: I wanted to name it "VI" partially because she is my sixth build AND my previous kayaks have a name that start with W or V.. But the roman numeral thing was a bit boring so I decided to name Viv .. and I tell people I originally intended to name her "Vivianne".. but she was too fast for such a long name and the rest of the letters could not keep up! ;) .. Also not to be confused with the Avalon model "Vivianne" ! not even by accident! :)
Initial feelings about Viv, is that she is a LOT more stable than I initially thought her to be! Some slight lightness in the primary stability, but nothing to really worry about.. but secondary stability is amazing!! Will be difficult to get her over by accident. Skeg/skudder up she turns on a dime when edged.
Pretty fast.. accelerates quite nicely (=easily)
During the weekend I paddled approx 55 kms with a light ballast of 15kgs and ZERO winter training.. I could paddle 20 kms maintaining an average speed of 6.2km/h (winds approx 4-6m/s, 10km + 10km coming and going) waters were mostly flat, only some small rippling on the surface.
Trim seems to be quite quirky.. and I will get back to that after some more testing. It would seem that at minimum a skeg IS REQUIRED for this model!
The bit that I'm a bit proud of is the fact that I incorporated the P&H Skudder system in Viv, so I have a skeg AND rudder, an "all in one box set"!! ;)
Construction of the system was time consuming and quite abit annoying! But initial testing seems to be very positive!
Time will tell how rugged and functional the skudder system will prove to be? It was the best I could come up with in this time and criteria I had set up for myself!
I'm not sure how much the skudder system construction added extra weight? The smart track toepilot foot pedals were quite heavy to begin with, and I had to add additional aluminium adapter pieces for the installation ANd there is the skudder box laminations which I'm sure I "over constructed" so that will have added some unwanted and unnecessary weight... oh well.. maybe next time.
Viv is built a bit heavy as I expect to travel quite bit with her, some extra Kevlar and glass in strategic points, as needed.. some heavy handed lamination however did occur.. so the weight did run out of hand a bit.. 29 kgs in total, but thats with full complement of deck gear. MY approximation is that I could have cut maybe 3 kgs from that amount with more lamination discipline and certain construction detail changes (example: normal skeg instead of skudder, or a lighther Kevlar keel tape instead of the one used..)
Wood used: Hull is of Spruce and Deck consists of Spruce and Paulownia
Originally I intended to paint over everything and as such construction quality and finish was to that effect. After hull/deck completion I decided to leave most of the wood visible.. last minute change which isnt too flattering finish-wise.. but She floats and does what She was meant for.
Surface treatment was tinted 2- component polyurethane marine paint with 2-comp polyurethane marnie varnish. Robust, proven chemistry which should take some beating.
attached a couple photos.