I posted a question on the forum of the alpacka website. I will post the same question here as I would really like to hear about other people's opinion.
Here is the text:
I bought the fjord explorer with the rowing frame back in late fall 2009 and used it considerably on flat water!
I wanted to hear what are people opinions in terms of speed / efficiency differences between the rowing boat and the more conventional alpacka paddling boat.
Needless to say I have the old boat design, bathtub style as opposed to the new boat design of last year. I read some posts about people saying the new design is 10% faster due to the pointy stern which would take the boat track better. Would that be the case for boats equipped of the rowing frame as well or would the improvement pretty much have less effect? Could it mean the benefits of rowing would be less then before (theoretically speaking)?
Did anyone write or post any lengthy articles on the subject? I would love to hear about others opinion.
The way I see it there are a few benefits and cons from rowing to paddling.
Speed (long term): Would love to have statistics here. That was the main factor driving my decision at the time.
Body movement: Rowing is suppose to be a more complete body movement, energy efficient. I would tend to believe you use less energy per km here.
Weight: Take more space to row then paddle, as you need to extend legs. Hence the requirement for a bigger boat. Total boat weight is heavier because of the set up as well.
Vision: When you row you don't see where you are going, hence you need to turn your head quite often.
Whitewater: obviously less maneuverability between rocks (not really a consideration in my case).
Share your thoughts!