River Elf Storm Chaser

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unkltwisto
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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by unkltwisto » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:36 pm

Awesome review Rick. You should be doing these for canoe and kayak magazine or something - very entertaining and informative at the same time! I really appreciate you taking the time to compose and post that and happy to hear you're satisfied with the boat and that it has met your expectations.
Oh btw, for future customers I've just secured a deal with FedEx to have piping hot coffee AND fresh doughnuts awaiting them at the dock - again, my apologies about the glitch :lol:

One question for you, I was a little surprised that your final weight was 37 lbs - could that have been a typo? I believe the "empty boat weight" was 26.6 lbs. for your boat (and with the hip blocks around 27 before outfitting). I guess I was expecting your final outfitted weight to be around 30 lbs or so. Just curious...

Thanks again for the purchase, the post and the kind words Rick.
Chris


PS: To explain for others, Rick ordered a custom layup that included an extra layer in the deck and an extra layer in the hull. Our standard version (like Adams) typically has an empty boat weight of 22-23 lbs. before outfitting.

Also just for reference Rick and Adam are both in the 165-175 lb weight range and both have the M/L version.

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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by mkoeppe » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:29 pm

I think I'm the first woman to buy a Storm Chaser. I have the "S" version which is narrower than the "L" and "XL" versions. My husband has the "L" version and I have paddled both boats. My "S" version is 23.5 lbs (not outfitted) and probably 26 lbs outfitted. I absolutely love my small Storm Chaser. I've been paddling slalom C-1 and C-2 for 30 years. So initially the Storm Chaser seemed a bit slow, but for 8.5' long it's a pretty fast boat. The "L" version was too big for me (I'm 5'4" and about 115-120 lbs) and did seem to plow water a bit. Chris and Trevor made some modifications to the "S" version ie to the bow shape and my boat doesn't plow water. It's definitely a faster boat than the "L" version. This boat front surfs REALLY EASILY! Here's a link to a you tube video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h3irl8e27Q" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The boat spins on a dime so eddies are really easy to snap into. It ferries well and actually holds the angle well. I find I set more angle compared to my Zealot C-1. It's an extremely easy boat to learn to paddle and I felt comfortable in it very quickly. Oh, right now I have my seat at 6" and the boat feels very stable. The outfitting from RIver Elf is the best that I've seen and the instructions for installing are excellent.

We've owned mostly Andy Bridge built boats (Valley Mill and Dagger). I would say that both of our Storm Chasers are as well built or better built than ANdy Bridge boats. No rough edges, fantastic seams and the boat is really solid! I think there are 7-8 layers in some places. It's very light weight! The finish is excellent too. Chris spent a lot of time with me to help me figure out what size boat I wanted, outfitting choices and of course getting the right color! My boat is the red and yellow boat on the website and it's beautiful! You will get excellent service from Chris at River Elf. We are hoping they will build a C-2 similar to the Storm Chaser C-1. We plan to buy one if they do!

Will post more as I get on harder water. So far have paddled Class I to easy Class II.

Sir Adam
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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by Sir Adam » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:41 pm

Glad to hear a few more are "in the wild".

It's such a great boat I"m hoping they make a C2 version:)
Keep the C!
Adam

Pierre LaPaddelle
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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:46 pm

mkoeppe wrote:. . . We are hoping they will build a C-2 similar to the Storm Chaser C-1. We plan to buy one if they do! . . .
You're not the first one to suggest this!

How about a march down to Alabama, and a picket line around the factory? I'll bring placards!

(You mentioned coffee and doughnuts, Chris?) :wink:

Rick
C'est l'aviron. . . !

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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by River Elf C1s » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:56 am

Thanks for taking the time to post that very kind review Mary! You are indeed the first woman to order a Storm Chaser and we really appreciate your perspective on the boat. We're hoping more lady cboaters will now have a chance to try one of our new smaller version boats.

Thanks again to all of you who have posted a review here. We're totally stoked that you guys are enjoying the Storm Chaser as much as we are.

And Rick, no need to picket just yet. We do have a C-2 near the very top of our "to do" list. If you haven't heard anything more on it in say 3-6 months, bring the placards and I WILL supply the coffee and doughnuts - just be forewarned that we might enlist you for sanding detail :D

Chris
Chris
River Elf
http://www.riverelf.com

Sir Adam
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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by Sir Adam » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:52 pm

FWIW - if you build a "play" (meaning non-slalom) C2 I'll buy one. You folks do great work, and there just aren't many options out there (Hydra Duet's are plentiful, but the Canoah Americana is not...)
Keep the C!
Adam

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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by River Elf C1s » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:55 pm

Thanks Adam. Our thoughts are something designed off the Storm Chaser - so definitely a rec design - think "storm-chaser-built-for-two". It would have the same round chines, higher volume, etc and probably around 12'-13' long - yet, also borrow from modern slalom C-2 design with a slight continuous rocker (banana hull) and close, inline/centered cockpits.

Although the plug has not been started, we are very serious about it - and, it sounds like we've got a number of potential customers already lined up :wink: - we've just got a couple of other irons in the fire right now that are keeping us occupied.

Thanks for supporting what we are doing! I'll definitely keep you posted.

Chris
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River Elf
http://www.riverelf.com

mkoeppe
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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by mkoeppe » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:56 pm

In regards to the C2 design John and I would like to see the bow shape more like the "S" version than the "L" version Storm Chaser. Something that's a bit faster and doesn't plow the water as much. Our thinking is that it would be a bit more of a river runner and a bit less of a "creek" boat. Anyway, just our 2 cents worth!

We were wondering about the length - 12-13 ft. Is it possible to make it closer to 12 feet or less. Or does the boat become too much of a slug if you go too short? ie under 12 ft. Just curious....

Mary

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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by River Elf C1s » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:19 am

Thanks for the input Mary. We're on the same page with you guys - definitely designed more as a river runner and we're thinking along the same lines with the narrower bow similar to the Small and Medium SC and the smaller cockpits. I'm not sure we'd want to go too much shorter than 12' though - just to keep the hull speed up. I imagine that it will still feel pretty "short" for most C-2 teams even at 12'. We'll keep all you guys in the loop once we get closer to starting on a plug.

Chris
Chris
River Elf
http://www.riverelf.com

Pierre LaPaddelle
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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:22 am

River Elf C1s wrote: . . . I'm not sure we'd want to go too much shorter than 12' though - just to keep the hull speed up. I imagine that it will still feel pretty "short" for most C-2 teams even at 12'. . .
I'm with you here, Chris. I'm envisioning something big and stable enough that it won't scare off folks who have never seen a C-2 before. My guess is that 13' might be optimum -- like a Blast with a lid.

Rick
C'est l'aviron. . . !

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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by Sir Adam » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:45 pm

If you haven't paddled a Canoah Americana I'd recommend doing so before you build something. Not that it needs to be imitated, but as a "recent" rec C2 design it is worth checking out. I'm assuming J. Not Elvis still has his....

I think 12' sounds good... but hull speed will be important, and I guess 13' is still substantially shorter than a slalom c2;)
Keep the C!
Adam

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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by mkoeppe » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:43 pm

We own 3 slalom C-2s. Our Savage Grok Shark (designed by Lecky and Jamie), which is a late 1980s vintage C-2, we find is a very good and stable river running C-2. We had John Kaz (MillBrook boats) build us a Grok Shark at 13 ft. He just filled in some of the mold (both bow and stern) to make it 13 ft. It still has decent hull speed, surfs well and is better for running steeper rivers - like Cheat Canyon and Kitzmiller section of the North branch of Potomac. So a 13 ft C-2 is not a problem. However, the slalom design with the pointy bow is a concern for us on steeper stuff. We bow pinned once at Anticipation on the Cheat Canyon. We often run steep ledges at an angle if we can to avoid bow pins. So we would love a C-2 designed after the Storm Chaser that would not bury punching through holes and going over steep ledges. I think the Canoah Americana that you suggest still would have too "pointy" a bow for our needs.

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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by John Coraor » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:13 pm

Mary:

As someone who was a member of the design team for the Torrent and Torrent XL slalom C-2s (from a slightly earlier period than the Grok Shark), I want to note that C-2 design can be even more tricky than designing a new C-1. This isn't said to discourage River Elf from the task; it would be awesome to see a new river running C-2 design! However, features that are desirable in C-1 don't always translate the same in tandem boat.

Designing for two paddlers increases the number of different parameters that need to be incorporated into the design. To start off with, the range of combined weights for a C-2 can cover an even wider span of weight possibilities than in C-1. Imagine two small women paddling C-2 as opposed to two beefy men in the boat together - the design weight difference between the former and the later is going to far exceed the range encompassed by the current line of differently sized Storm Chasers. Center of mass can be a critical determinate of boat performance, dictating how a boat is trimmed bow to stern, as well as its responsiveness to leans. However, in a C-2 you have to envision teams that encompass a wide range of possible teams (e.g. partners of similar weight, teams that are markedly stern heavy, and teams that are markedly bow heavy). This typically is dealt with by allowing C-2 cockpits to be positioned specifically for each team when the boat is built in order to ensure a well balanced boat (i.e. at the desired level of performance, there is no such thing as ordering a "stock" C-2, each boat must be built for a team of a specific size/weight distribution).

We encountered many of these problems when designing the original Torrent C-2, whose impetus was to translate into C-2 the same kind of leap forward that Davey Hearn and Jon Lubill had made in C-1 by going from the Cudamax (the last slalom C-1 with a "full width" hull) to the narrower Batmax (with a narrower hull that required "wings" to meet ICF width regulations). The Torrent, which was much lower in volume than prior slalom C-2s and had wings at least as prominent as the Batmax, was targeted at lighter C-2 teams (particularly C-2M teams) under a combined weight of 285 lbs. The subsequent year, we "expanded" the Torrent to make the Torrent XL, which was designed for heavier teams (mostly all male C-2 teams). However, the original Torrent design was probably a little too radical for the planned target weight range and probably worked best for younger junior C-2s. My wife and I were literally the upper limit of the original Torrent's target weight range, yet built one of the first few Torrent XLs and found it to be a much better performing design for our combined weight. The sharp Batmax-style bow used in the Torrent to allow for greater forward speed also had to be altered as there was insufficient volume in the bow to keep water from piling onto the deck, which tended to slow the boat in chop. Although Lecky really liked the sharp bow in the original Torrent, which was also used initially in an early version of the paddle-able plug for the Torrent XL when he and Davey Hearn tested it in the David Taylor Model Basin in DC, we eventually had to widen the bow to add sufficient volume to keep the bow from burying as easily in waves. This is just one example of how ideas from C-1 don't always work the same when translated to a C-2.

However, as to a C-2 version of the Chase Chaser, I can't wait!

John

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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by Sir Adam » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:33 pm

https://www.cboats.net/c_db/list.php?ty ... %20America" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


The bow and stern may look pointy, but are really pretty bulbous (especially compared to my Tomahawk C2).

Again, not to say that it should be replicated, but there aren't that many rec. C2's out there!

Of course, there is an Imperial Cruiser some where;)
Keep the C!
Adam

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Re: River Elf Storm Chaser

Post by mkoeppe » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:11 pm

John,

I very much agree with your assessment that there is no such thing as a "stock" C-2. My husband weighs about 190 lbs and I weigh 115 lbs. We are a bit unusual in that John paddles bow and I paddle stern. We built 2 Gemini C-2s (Steve Chamberlain design - mold from PCC) in the 1980s, followed by a Savage Grok Shark, then Whoopatar both built by Andy Bridge. We are all too familiar with proper cock pit placement. Our cockpits as you can imagine are shifted further back than most C-2s to have the proper trim and good handling of the boat ie so it's not bow heavy. I know all about the Torrent as I paddled a Batmax for 8-9 years (Max II before that and Zealot after that). We paddled and raced wtih PSOC folks and they built some Torrent XL C-2s I believe. I do have confidence that River Elf will design a very fine C-2. We both love our Storm Chaser C-1s - very fun boats and vastly different from our zealot C-1s.

Mary

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