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Thread: Alpacka's new boat

  1. #1
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    Default Alpacka's new boat

    This looks like an awesome boat, the increased rocker is interesting, they are more narrow too, looks a lot like a kayak. I may have to try one of these too. lol
    Anyway, for those who want to try some whitewater packrafting, I would check them out.

  2. #2
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    Whats the model name?

  3. #3
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    Just punch up Alpacka, they call it their whitewater boat, it's front page advertising.

  4. #4
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    I don't see how that boat could possibly be worth the cost that it is listed at.

  5. #5

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    As to the cost, I don't know. But if I were serious about packrafting whitewater, that looks like a much better solution. I have been out packrafting in whitewater, and I have done a fair bit of whitewater work on the job. Our joke in swiftwater rescue classes is that packrafts are job security for rescue teams. They are usually not well suited for whitewater in the first place, they are often used by people that are not primarily water adventurers, but hikers that want to get a river ride on their adventure travel route, and often without appropriate PPE. That boat at least starts to take out the first of those issues, by being better designed to be stable (the huge air horn behind the seat...keeps it from being so stern heavy) and have enough flotation to deal with the reduced buoyancy white water offers. As to the paddler experience and PPE, no boat will help with that...

    But I saw that price and it immediately eliminated any likelihood of me getting one. Oh well.
    14 Days to Alaska
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  6. #6
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    The flotation difference in the new boat versus the 2011 boat? The 2011 is actually a wider boat so should have more flotation . The adjustment to the stern will make it easier to (boof) the boat over holes below ledge drops, they achieved this by adding rocker to the stern.

    They also supposedly added rigidity to the boats, over the 2011 models, this should help the boat melt a wave instead of the boat wanting to ride over it, this causes a lot of flips in waves that kayaks cut through like a knife.

    The boat is also more narrow, it will be easier to Eskimo roll, and flip too.
    What has happened with packrafts and rescue, is they are easy to use on pretty moderate whitewater, so people have minimal skills sometimes and are doing fairly juicy whitewater, fun until they swim.

    There are a few people running class V-ish whitewater in packrafts, most just think they are, but instead, like me, are doing class V at lower water levels, which usually makes it class IV-ish. There are guys doing L Su at 850cfs clean, Magic Mile at kayak levels, other gnarly runs at higher water, but they are all B's with very good skill.

  7. #7

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    I know there are some good boaters out there doing this stuff, I have watched the videos. A lot of the appeal is not aimed at boating though, so we see a lot of people going places in these boats where they wouldn't consider going with a raft because they don't have a rafting background. When I talk about flipping I am not really talking about rolling, I am talking about getting dumped over backward...that new boat is a very nice design in terms of longitudinal stability for a lightweight craft.

    Alpackas in general are pretty expensive, but they are nicely made craft. If I was rich, I'd have the new one. As it is, I don't even own the old one, just have used some for work and helped test out the prototypes when they were in early development over a decade ago and one of the family was working with me.
    14 Days to Alaska
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  8. #8
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    The 2011 boat is probably the best for avoiding a bandersnatch/ getting flipped backwards, because the stern does stick out more than the older boats, which were really prone to bandersnatch. However, the 2011 with the long stern, with no rocker, is harder to boof, and that is a most important move to pull off when you have to clear back wash under ledges or waterfalls. The new stern has got my attention, it has as much rocker as my kayaks, I think that is the main change of merit. It took me awhile to get good at boofing my 2011, these new boats should make that much easier.

    I do agree that the price is steep, ouch. I would still put thigh straps in, and a kayak back brace, these additions have worked well for me and my buddies in our current boats. Alpacka has always had a thing against thigh straps, so everyone I boat with puts their own in.

    When Roman first loaned me a packraft, that was old style, I was convinced they were a hiking tool for AK. In 2011 I took a new packrafter, in a 2011 model, down Guardrail around 800cfs , who did not even know what an eddy was. I was in a kayak, actually had to roll once, and after he ran it clean I bought me a new boat like his.

    If more people took swiftwater rescue, it would certainly be safer for everyone, one of the best classes I have ever took. I enjoy the war stories too. lol
    Last edited by mark oathout; 11-11-2014 at 16:19.

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