How long do ORU kayaks last

Small experience report Oru Bay (sea)

Hi all,

Here is a quick / small experience report with the Oru Bay in Corsica (sea):

I bought the Oru Bay 3 weeks ago, reason: high flexibility for a Corsica holiday.
I usually drive a Prijon Kodiak, also on the sea (Croatia, South of France)
or with it on southern German rivers / lakes. I drove bay 2x2 hours on the quiet Neckar,
2x2h on calm sea, 1x1h on turbulent sea, 1x1h on 1-1.5m waves (clear wind).

The boat is 3.70m long. So it doesn't go like a 5,20m sea kayak. Nevertheless, it is in a straight line
not as 'bad' as expected, it runs much better than many fixed tourist boats that I already rent
had to. Yes, the bow injects something and burns propulsion energy, but we're talking about one here
quite compact folding kayak - compromises are required! And of course I don't do a 30km baggage tour with the Oru-Bay ...
Nevertheless, the ease of maneuverability is sometimes quite amusing compared to my Kodiak
(Completely different, every stroke of the paddle steers). The construction is actually very quick (10-15min) and
also very simple, few parts, foldability very well after 2-3 times ...

I also had water ingress on the sea, but mainly through the (non-ORU) spraydeck,
which is leaky at the assembled coaming edge if one edges + strongly. Also
of course by waves that wash over the upper deck.

In waves it is quite passable, better than expected. Both against and with the waves.
I even surfed a few 1.5 meter waves, and it wasn't bad at all (easy maneuvering,
rel. high stability against tipping). In general, the stability against tipping should be emphasized, important for beginners ...

What I found a bit ugly: if you have more water in your hull after 1 hour of 'surfing', it becomes
the boat tends to be wobbly. This is also clear because the water can slosh right / left. But yes, then you go ashore
and dumps the water out ... It is more unpleasant when you practice eskimo, there is a lot of water quickly
in the hull, but the main entry is through the crack in the coaming edge spraydeck, if this is in the water. And then
it is also uncomfortable that you don't have separation chambers like in a prion touring kayak: that of the water
The accessible volume is very large (whole hull), so you have to pour out a lot of water (e.g. before rescuing yourself
on the sea). Since the water is not located in the cockpit, there is a lot to do before the boat comes back
'Empty' is - at least much more than in a sea kayak. Yes, I also had empty pack sacks in the bow / stern, that helps
as insurance against sinking of the kayak, of course, but the water sloshes in the entire boat
and it is difficult to collect it for skimming / pumping out ...

Overall, my balance of the Oru Bay is POSITIVE, it does what I expected (maneuverability, transport),
and even some things better (stable). Weaknesses are the water entry - mind you on the sea with waves!
A little on river trips, too, but much, much less. So explicitly: the water entry is not a clear problem with
Occasional paddling on the calm river / lake. The disadvantage of the boat is of course the sensitivity to ground contact,
with the Kodiak I just drive onto the bank without thinking (rocks are not a real problem either), with which Oru should
i be careful. Shallow rivers are not the core area for the Oru I would say ...

What worries me as a sea kayak driver are the following 2 points:
- No holder for the paddle for self-rescue with paddle float - that would be nice if you had it
(I've tried paddle float, but it's extremely rocky then, especially with water in it)
- Somewhat wobbly coaming due to the construction, you might be afraid with the life jacket / spraydeck
getting stuck at the wrong moment (but that may be a bit paranoid of me - at the
Tipping + getting out I never had a problem - only once when getting back in ...)

One more tip: the second time I dismantled it, I partially broke off the rails (repaired with hot glue) that covered the upper deck
stick together. It is best to mark them in color so that you FIRST remove them and THEN kink the deck ... !!!

Best regards,
Peter

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