Tuesday, March 15, 2005

First Day in a Production Jefe

Johnnie and Bryon have been up in Pennsylvania for the last week getting the Jefe ready for production. Which means breaking in the mold, tuning in the cook cycle so that we get the best cure for the plastic, and making the final adjustments to the outfitting. It takes a while to break a mold in so that it can run boats smoothly. In fact molds usually take a week or more to get broken in properly if you include the tuning of the mold and getting the best cook cycle for the boats. The guys were up there for a week and were able to start getting good boats so they loaded a few up and brought them down for us all to check out. What better place than our home run here at LL, The Green.

So of course the first thing we all wanted to do was go run the river. We called up the gang and everyone was psyched to check out the final version of the boat. The paddling group was Johnnie Kern, Tommy Hileke, John Grace, Nate Elliot, Daniel Delavergne, and myself. We also ran into a bunch of others that were on the water that day. Here is a video of the trip.
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It was a sweet day. We all took turns paddling the boats. Checking out the feel. The first thing that I noticed was the comfort factor. Johnnie worked hard to dial that in. The deck is a little higher from the front of the cockpit area through the foot area so there is a ton of room up there for your feet. The first paddling thing that I noticed was how it planed out on the surface as you went into rapids. It was sweet. You didn't feel bogged down in the water at all you sort of skipped across stuff. There is a shot in the video of Tommy going into the eddie in Gorilla and you can see that he just skims right into the eddie even though there is some pretty weird currents right there. The other thing I reeeeaaaallly like about the Jefe is that it comes off of drops smoothly. It has a really nice amount of crown in the hull that allows you to pull the hull under you as you slide off drops of water, or rock. I also liked how easy the boat was to manuever. The hull is a little flat it lets you spin and then head a different direction. You can see examples of that in the first part of the video. Where folks are running different routes through Frankenstien and they can change direction instantly. This last picture is a sweet shot from above Sunshine that John Grace took. In the video the last shot is of Tommy running the left line at Sunshine this is that line. Its a cool shot because if you look closely you can see the loss of altitude below. Thanks to John Grace for shooting the action shots. I will put some more stuff up in the next week with final measurements of the boat. As well as a closer look at our outfitting for this thing.

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