- Kayaks – Palm Aquabat
I know there are a few keen kayakists on here, so I thought I’d ask..
I’ve just acquired a old Palm Aquabat, which I’ve established is an old entry level Bath Advanced Trainer (I.e pools and flat water)
Does anyone have any insight into this model and it’s suitability for for small surf or river running?
I’ve done quite a bit of kayaking In the sea (L-2/3 bcu), although mainly in sea kayaks.Posted 1 month ago
How old is it? I’d be a bit concerned about the plastic perhaps having become brittle. I pulled my boats out from beneath the garden hedge they have been stored under for the last decade and powerwashed them last week. Once we are allowed I’m planning to try to get out in the rivers but am worried about the plastic. I know the tape grab loops have degraded, they pretty much disintegrated whilst being washed.
If you are planning to use the aquabat and have any concerns I suggest that you drop it onto a concrete surface from a height first, or hit it hard with a big hammer. If it cracks- there you go.
If it doesn’t crack carry on abusing it until you feel ultra-uber-super-duper-mega-confident that you will not inflict and bumps and bashes harder than those you have tested it on when you are actually using it in/ on the water.
Aquabats are nice little boats.Posted 1 month ago
Sorry quick hijack. How old does a kayak have to be for that to become a realistic concern?Posted 1 month ago
Timely thread. I’m looking at getting something for use on the local canal. Something my six year old and I can use. Figured I’d see the canal from the water at a leisurely pace as opposed to from the towpath on the bike. Any recommendations for a decent budget open Canadian style canoe? The waterways licence seems like a bargain too, so it’s definitely something I’m keen to tryPosted 1 month ago
Sorry quick hijack. How old does a kayak have to be for that to become a realistic concern?
Not related to this Aquabat question but…..
I’ve still got my Struer Hunter K1 (1968) wooden veneer… state of the art sprint kayak in its day. Beautiful still.Posted 1 month ago
Some quick answers. Kayak plastic tends to go brittle with age and particularly UV, so if it’s been stored outside it could be brittle at a much earlier age than if it’s been in a dark garage. Different manufacturers also use different plastics, eg linear, cross-linked, blow moulded (and/or different amounts of plasticiser) which also affects brittleness.
Open canoes vary a lot but the cheaper ones tend to be heavy; to the point when getting them on a roof rack is a struggle. Planned usage also makes a difference, a secondhand fibreglass composite will be OK on lakes but plastic is better for rivers. The best value waterways licence (in England) is British Canoeing membership, cheaper than Canal & Rivers Trust and includes a lot of other waterways as well.Posted 1 month ago
I started kayaking in about 1997 and aquabats were old school then. I’d say fine for mucking about and learning some skills on flat water but river or surf no.
You could surf in it but it will be rank rotten. You really want something with a planning hull. They weren’t really designed for serious outdoor use.Posted 1 month ago
Aquabat came out around 1989 I think. It will river paddle and it will surf, but it isn’t a modern design. As mentioned above, check the state of the plastic and if it’s okay enjoy it!Posted 1 month ago
It’s probably still stronger than the canvas covered kayaks we used to rip down rivers and through surf.
If you’re not far from the shore or bank, and don’t mind a swim. I wouldn’t worry about it.Posted 1 month ago
Thanks all, sounds like the worst that’ll happen is it’ll be a bit crap.
The plastic doesn’t appear to have degraded, moulded knee braces all seem nice and flexible still. It’s got a PPCA sticker on it (funnily enough that’s the club I trained with) so I reckon it’s been looked after and stored out of UV.Posted 1 month ago
You can’t beat a free kayak however, assuming it doesn’t crumble to dust upon contact with daylight, it’ll be fine for pootling about on flat water and ideal for rolling practice. I used to surf mine and it was actually quite pleasant, but if it’s the model you say then it is absolutely not designed for river running – if you broach or pin it’ll fold quicker than a new york minute. Bye bye knee caps. You used to get a river running version, it was much stronger with a full plate footrest and sufficient centre foam buoyancy to increase rigidity to stop a fold – it should be obvious if you have that one.
It might also have a ladder footrest, again fine for pootling but not great for anything harder really – if your feet come off the pegs you can disappear down into the bow and get wedged, not ideal when upside down.
Stick some buoyancy bags in it and they are fun enough though.Posted 1 month ago
It will be fine.
I’ve launched off Etive falls in ancient boats like Dancer, MI335(!) and Magic Bat. All fine.
I’ve paddled all sorts where, just like modern bikes, apparently you needed flat Hull, creek boat or sharp edges.
Would you take a rigid 1990’s Kona for a spin down trails? You’re not going to be fastest or comfiest out there. But you’ll be out there.
I’ve also repaired a Big Dog picked up from the local tip for free, with a 30cm split in the hull. Fixed with our kitchen mini blow torch and an old spoon. That too fell off triple falls, shortly after my 1983 Dagger Prophet OC1 which had faded from red to nearly white (aka ‘The Cock’). The plastic will be fine.Posted 1 month ago
Yeah, don’t look a gift kayak in the cockpit.
Looking forward to giving it a spin. Getting wedged in the bow sounds a bit rubbish, although there’s a bit block of foam in there just after the (folding) foot pegsPosted 1 month ago
My old Topolino saw a heap of service mid nineties in north Wales and Alps. Still going now if a little leaky it’s fine for gentle mucking about. Wouldn’t try a grade 4/5 anymore in it 🤣Posted 1 month ago
I’ve had it in surf but the spray deck is poop so filled up quicker than I’d liked…
Now that’s some fun right there…
Unfortunately being 6′ I find Topo’s uncomfy for any time so I’ve only ever done a daft few minutes..Posted 1 month ago
I ran so many things with my Gattino, the Toppolino’s bigger brother.Posted 1 month ago
Am 6.2″ and the top was great for hours….my projet squirt boat was another matter entirely 😱Posted 1 month ago
Yep, loved my topos, brilliant little boats (and I found them comfortable at 6’1”) . They opened up access to a lot of tight/steep rivers, and of course did a lot in the playboating world too, particularly once squished a little.
A Gattino was the first boat I bought, surprisingly capable and short (for that period in time) but it wasn’t a looker!Posted 1 month ago
Late 80s for the aquabat. They made a stripped out version and a slightly whitewater version with additional buoyancy and better footrests. Used one in the pool and on a river. The volume is quite low which was fun but not great for beginners on moving water.
The cockpit although keyhole shape is very small. Not that easy to get in or out of in a hurry compared to newer boats.
For all things kayaking check out my site – http://www.unsponsored.co.uk
I’ve been paddling over 35 years now and the site has been around over 20.
Also paddled spuds and owned a Gattino and Gambler. 6ft 2 and no issues getting in the spud even with trainers on.Posted 1 month ago
Her maiden voyage (with me) last night to the Mewstone
Buoyancy was achieved with a few pool noodles and a couple of empty milk bottles lashed in.
She’s not exactly a performance vessel, but I knew that and it was a fun trip.. could do with a back support and drain plug and lashings and… might be time to upgrade 🙂
Posted 1 month ago
Glad you had a good paddle, old boats like old bikes keep on trucking. Old helmets and buoyancy aids are best retired.
As people have mentioned probably best avoid any serious whitewater or big surf.
Have fun, stay safe.Posted 1 month ago
That looks brilliant!
The bug bites deep with boats btw… One of my happiest places is putting on the water for a day.Posted 1 month ago
Drain plug = wine cork.
Backrest – old rucksack hipbelt or similar.Posted 1 month ago
Excellent news, well done for getting it out on the water again.Posted 1 month ago
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.