Seaward Passat G3 - School Me

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by buzzbomber, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. buzzbomber

    buzzbomber New Member

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    Well the good, bad, and the ugly, is this a great kayak for week long tours of the west coast of Van isle, or is it a dog, your opinion please.
     
  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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  3. Reef

    Reef Paddler

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    Oops. The photo above is not the G3, but the regular Passat.

    The discussion in the link above covers it all from my perspective. Love the G3. Paddled it with clients and on personal trips.
    The only downside to the G3 is that the bow cockpit was moved a bit far forward to make room for the center hatch, which can make for a bit of a wetter ride for the bow paddler when getting out through surf and surfing in steep following seas.
    And this is such a small complaint, almost unmentionable.
     
  4. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Oops, thanks reef.
    Here is the Passat G3, I hope
     

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  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Buzzbomber,

    I own a CD Libra (not the XT) with a center hatch which opens into the center space. It has a deck layout similar to the G3 Passat, making for acres of open space between the paddlers (no bulkheads there), and enough separation between paddlers they do not need to coordinate their strokes. The G3 is a couple inches narrower in beam than mine, so it should be a bit faster. But, my Libra, with fine ends, as the G3 has, is already killer fast. I think if you look at a top view of Libra XT you will see fuller ends, making for a somewhat slower boat, but significantly increased dry storage.

    So you need to examine the G3 carefully to make sure its finer ends will leave you with enough storage for a week long trip. We have done 4 nights in our Libra, and by strapping two large drybags to the hull between paddlers, deck loading our Thermarest pads over the aft compartment, and our tent on deck between paddlers, we are OK. But, storage fore and aft, which is dry, is in short supply. Plus, having to deck load sucks. In contrast, when we paddle in two singles, we do not need to deck load anything because two singles have more total dry storage than a double. Of course, in singles, we are slower than in a double.

    The second feature to eyeball carefully is how Seaward has configured the curved bulkheads which form the dry storage in the middle compartment. I searched their web site for info on that and came up with nothing. Done carefully, the middle compartment could be a bonanza of room; poorly, a disaster for the rear paddler's footroom and comfort. The way we use that space, which is not bulkheaded on either end, to restrain two large dry bags, does not make effective use of it. Good bulkheads will make or break that space.

    I would say the setup for the middle compartment is the deal maker/breaker for the G3. With its fine ends, the center becomes a critically important storage space. And, you might test paddle a Libra XT if you can find one to see if the fuller ends actually slow you much. Doubles are inherently so much more efficient than singles, you may find the fuller ends are not an issue.
     
  6. newfie in Alberta

    newfie in Alberta Paddler

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  7. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Buzzbomber,

    The Delta 20 newfie put up is a good illustration of a double similar to the G3 Passat in many ways, two feet shorter in length overall, very close in beam, but with much more volume in the ends. However, though dry storage aft is about the same as with the G3, the 20T is smaller in the forward storage compartment by about 20 L. It looks like it has about the same length at the waterline, which is important,, because a longer waterline makes the boat faster. However, this boat will likely be a little slower than the G3 because of its fuller ends. On the up side, more volume in the bow makes for a drier ride for the bow paddler. A knife edged bow such as that in the G3, will slice into waves, perhaps enough to send water on to the bow paddler when conditions are rough. Becky finds that very annoying in our CD Libra, but it does not bother me, because I am behind her. She makes a great shield against wavesplash! :D She is throwing things at me as I type this ... ouch! :)

    It would be worth comparing the total dry storage of these two boats to see which one has more. It would be good to paddle this one and fhen the G3 to see how much difference there is in speed.

    Unfortunately, Delta does not show how the center dry storage is bulkheaded, so that is something else to look at when comparing the two boats. Delta makes no claims about efficient, curved bulkheads, so I am guessing the use of space at the center is not as good as the G3.

    I suspect, at 26.5 inches beam versus 26 inches for the G3, and a similar length at the waterline, this may be nearly as fast as the G3, and as good a boat for a week long trip. Perhaps you would need to deck load, as with the G3.

    All this analysis of the two boats from specifications and hull shape means little compared to what you experience when you test paddle the two. I will be curious what you find out if you do paddle both. Have fun with it. You can learn a lot from test paddling, finding out how the hull works for you, in lieu of relying on the opinions of others.
     
  8. Tatlow

    Tatlow Paddler

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    We were divided on which double to purchase given all the options. No regrets, we contacted Robin at Atlantis kayaks and had him customize a Talon. We used it on our shared trip from Bella Bella to Port Hardy last summer with our home club, the Nanaimo Paddlers. The bulkheads were moved and a centre storage added. Pro's: really fast and agile and comparatively light weight. Cons: you really have to minimize space using compression bags etc. - you can't simply toss in a dry bag. Initial concerns that paddle coordination would be essential did not materialize. These are rare boats and a G3 would be a fine boat to own as well but given we were willing to adopt the mindset that the investment was for 10 years or more, we wanted to match as closely as possible our needs and are pleased we did.

    http://www.atlantiskayaks.com/talon.htm
     

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  9. DALAJS

    DALAJS Paddler

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    I would be very wary of the Delta 20-T if it is going to be used for more than day trips. Having used them for commercial tours for a season, I won't ever take one for a multi-day trip again. Thermoform just doesn't cut it for a serious touring double.

    Due to the length, and the lack of structural strength that thermoform offers, we ended up with numerous cracks around the carry handles and I even had one carry handle rip right out. The rotund, upswept shape of the bow and stern makes for very difficult carrying without carry handles (especially loaded for a multi-day). I can't verify the truth of this, but I was told one guide had a T-20 "taco" on him during a trip due to the weight in the center hatch.

    Overall, a great boat for a day trip, but be very careful if you plan on loading it for a multi-day.

    Given a choice, I want as many Passat G3s as I can get my hands on for multi-day tours. Very stable for their width, quality components mean I've never had to field repair a G3, and they are solid enough that I'm not afraid they are going to fold in half on me. The long narrow bow and stern make it incredibly easy to carry by wraping an arm under (saving those poor carry handles).
     
  10. Rodnak Kayak

    Rodnak Kayak Paddler

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    I have also spent time in a G3, and we called it the "Chuckwagon", holds a ton of gear, but with both of us, (the wife and I), we could indeed go like hell, it was sleek and fast, even fully loaded. Enuf room for 2 weeks of gear and food, and water! Cannot go wrong with this unit! Most other paddlers could not keep up with us, although we never had any rough weather that week, it did feel very stable and tracked nicely
     
  11. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Wow. DALAJS's description of the structural issues with Delta's T-20 astound me. I am surprised that a well made thermoformed boat would have those issues. However, unless the sheet material used in fabrication were thicker in areas of high stretch during the forming process, then thin areas can result, and that could be disastrous. With that report, I would stay away from those hulls.

    Eddyline was an early manufacturer of thermoformed boats, I believe none in tandem length, however. Several were sold out of a local shop, all singles, and they held up fairly well, but were subject to hairline cracks at the keel, first round, perhaps before they used material thickened at that high bend point. Repairs were fairly simple, and the repaired keels held up well. Paddled with a couple who owned a pair.
     
  12. DALAJS

    DALAJS Paddler

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    To be fair, I am a big fan of Delta's 16'-18' singles, it is just the 20-T that I'm not impressed with.

    The issue with tearing out the carry handles can be relatively easily fixed. A large plate, or washer of some kind can be installed inside the hatches to distribute the force of the handle. That is what we ended up doing with the T-20s we have where I work. It distributes the force over a wider area, rather than focus it at two small bolts.

    As I said before, I cannot speak to the validity of the folding kayak story, as I didn't hear it directly from the source.
     
  13. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Our club has a Passat G3. One of our most in-demand kayaks - everybody seems to like it.

    The build quality is excellent - we've had no problems with it in the 6 years we've had it, which is saying a lot for a club boat. It's fast, stable, and surprisingly responsive for such a large kayak. Although 2 single kayaks might technically have more stowage, the stowage compartments on the G3 are quite large so are more easily usable than the fine ends of single kayaks. When taking a trip in this boat I can pack pretty luxuriously.

    I also feel it's a fun boat to paddle in rougher water, and doubles usually don't feel 'fun'.

    The downsides: a smaller paddler will probably find the cockpits too spacious and the deck too high. Also the hard hatch covers are secured by bungies, which it's hard to avoid using if you have a paddle float, spare paddle, tow rope, etc on top of the deck. There seems to be a risk of dislodging one of the bungies if you're sliding things in and out.

    There's plenty of room between paddlers, so as Dave said there's no need to coordinate paddle strokes. To share snacks though, we need to pass things forward and back on our paddle blades since it's too far too reach by hand.

    All in all I think it's a fantastic tandem kayak.