he spray skirt works very well as anticipated: tight fit with the boat and my body, easy to snap onto the cockpit coaming, flexible enough for some torso rotation and other paddling movements. The velcro stickers seal the water well, and two pockets could hold the camera, and some other miscellaneous things. At least, it’s much better than my previously – bought skirt, which is of quite an amateurish design. Next is the important job of building a wooden Greenland paddle.
The rationale of a Greenland paddle, as I understand, is that: the smaller blades put less strain onto your arms (while propelling the boat at a slightly slower speed compared to the larger wing paddle), and at the end of a long paddling day, you would end up covering almost the same distance, with less fatigue sustained, and this is specially true for lighter boats like Serene – 1. At least that’s my theory, and let see how this would turn out in practice. Well, to really know, you need to build one and test.
I start by jointing thin (1.5 cm) strips of wood to form the paddle, which would have the length of 210 cm, 75 cm for each blade and 60 cm for the loom. I choose to joint wood instead of starting from a single big piece, (it depends on the specific situation), but sometimes, glued wood is stronger, consider the strength of epoxy. The blade would be 8.5 cm wide, and the loom would be slightly oval in cross section: 3.3 x 2.8 cm. Next comes the job of meticulously carving down to the final desired shape.
The Bosch machine planer is very useful, most jobs could be done handily with it, I only need to use the hand planer on the edges. Much wood is removed, the paddle is quite light now. For a paddle, weight and balance is important, I check the object balance from time to time while working.
The plastic – blades, aluminum shaft paddle I’ve been using for a long time is kind of… a toy paddle 🙂 , it’s very fragile, I’ve always been worrying about breaking it in some power actions. But it is super super light. Need to finish and see how this Greenland paddle would prove himself in practice!