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The nimble black BP likes to surf, even on today's low wind shaped waves on Lake IJsselmeer.
Wind force 2+ from the rear and the
GPS peaks at 13.5 km/ hr now and then. It seems wave
length just works out, fits the shape of the hull and my paddling pace. On stretches where
the wind died out, the boat was still moving at 8.5 km/h. With the help of a little pressure
on the kettle, an average+ fit person can maintain this speed for a longer time. Later
I have paddled the TG over the same track and noted it is moving forward in just a
slightly slower pace in conditions that where about the same as described above.

A light boat to paddle, this 22km run felt easy on the arms
. Wind force 2+ blew
from the south, leaving very smooth low longish waves bending
over towards Regatta Center Medemblik ( Left above ).

Apart from gliding light, the BP doesn't weigh much either, 18 kg
for the partially
carbonized 2011 version, seat removed, later versions differ. The TG on the
other hand, a Heavy duty build version, tips the scale at about
22 kg. But
both kayaks in the same sort layup pretty much balance each other out.
Will I ever see an ice covered Lake IJsselmeer again ... I wonder.

BP surfing ripples, halfway the trip. TG would not go into surf here, it needs just a tad
more wave to do so and '' the wall " is more clearly detectable. Carving a turn by
weight shift is easier to perform in the BP but canting too far results in a lot
of gurgling, the low rear deck starts to scoop up water and directs the
stern back into the opposite direction, funny. TG excels in this.


The East-Greenland kayak, on which the BP is based, a historic workboat.
American Museum of Natural History. Drawing, Howard Chapelle 1948.

BP Superimposed on this drawing and keelrocker looks spectacularly identical.
Not so for the amount of flare
, which is more vertical on the BP.

A view from the top, now it gets interesting.

A cross section of the BP and the TG showing the amount of flare at the cockpit.
The BP has some more V in this section of the bottom and therefore can be
paddled riding on one cheek very relaxed just by sitting a little off centre.
Having no seat installed makes that an even easier task to perform.

Side by side BP vs TG, although the boats look pretty similar at first glance, they
do differ quite some in behaviour. The chines are running up higher at the front
and aft on the TG, creating stronger V shape in those parts and making the

hull act more like a '' semi banana "  good for rolling, bit less for speed.
But then again the TG was designed to be a first rate rolling monster.

Banana, not the fastest displacement hull shape you can think
of ... but good for getting back to the upright position.

The chines on the BP ( top ) and the TG ( bottom )
The BP gives a more tippy
and loose feeling, the TG feels more sunken in and secure as the deeper
rocker in that hull makes you sit lower under the water line. This is also
the reason why Skin on Frame Inuit boats miss a rib right there where
the pilot takes place, to place the point of gravity even further down.

BP Soft plastics taken out and replaced. The footrest rails in the TG are of better
fabrication ( anodised aluminum ) but I took those out as well. Saves quite
some weight, as I do not rent my kayak out I do not need adjustment.

The skeg on the first series BP was too small in area. This is my larger
homebrew version, a piece of trespa shaped into a Naca profile.

Seabird later changed over to the same larger skeg as Tahe is using on the Greenland.
And look, this is what you call a mirror finish. The Black Pearl is truly a deep black.
The Tahe is a slight duller black, I only noted this when both where side by side.


I tried paddling these boats totally filled up with water... except for the nose and stern sections
that is
, and they behaved perfectly, no nerve wracking balancing. Yes, the going became
heavy and the kayaks felt like submarines, but the rides remained remarkably control
lable. A swamped hull doesn't make rolling harder to perform and balance bracing
becomes even easier. As long as conditions are nice and fair, you can leave
your spray skirt at home, no worries, and have big fun messing about.

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