The Taran brings a radical new look to the Rockpool fleet, it is fast and sleek but with friendly handling characteristics that will please. It is designed for the intermediate to advanced paddler and steps away from the look of the conventional British sea kayak to give the high performance that modern paddlers are looking for.
The Taran is a sea kayak that covers a multitude of roles: Day boat, Distance Cruiser, Weekend Tourer and Fitness Training through to Expedition Boat. It even has a reputation for setting records and winning races. The more we paddle it the more we find it can do!
In 2011 Jeff Allen and Harry Whelan put the Taran on the map as a serious expedition boat after completing their record breaking 25 day circumnavigation of Ireland. In 2012 John Willacy took this to a new level, paddling his Taran to break the long-standing 80 day record for the circumnavigation of the UK. John covered the 2000 miles in 72 days. But just two weeks later this record was broken once again, this time by Joe Leach in an impressive 67 days!
There is no doubting the expedition credentials of the Taran now; the circumnavigation of the UK is a serious undertaking and in 2 weeks, there were 2 new records, with 2 Tarans!
But the Taran isn't all about setting records or paddling expeditions; within Rockpool it is the boat of choice for our local day paddling, from cliff bottom bimbling to tide race surfing. Why plod along when you can cruise effortlessly? Choose a Taran!
The Taran is now a regular choice for those looking to improve their paddling fitness too. Locally it is a common sight down at the Menai Straits training sessions. The confident handling and good speed give it a useful role as a fitness training boat, making for productive sessions even in the most demanding conditions.
We are pleased that the Taran is chosen by such a wide range of paddlers from Intermediate to Elite level and for such a wide range of sea kayaking roles. For us it really has become a boat for all…
Between the Lines:
Paddle the Taran for a while and you really wont want to go back to an 'ordinary' boat; you cant help but enjoy the performance handling it brings. The Taran is a fast sea kayak but it was designed to be a friendly and fun boat to paddle too this is a fast boat that is easy to paddle
TARAN – In the Detail:
Hull: Length 18 feet 0 inches (549 cm) Width: 20.5 inches (52 cm) Volume: 383 litres.
The Taran is fast but with easy and predictable handling in even the most demanding conditions. The high volume bow gives a dry ride and maintains high speed through chop and rough conditions. The flattened U-shaped centre section ensures the fast hull is not compromised in terms of stability or manoeuvrability. The Taran is fitted with the Smart Track rudder system as standard; this enhances the handling even further, giving easy and precise heading changes. Without the rudder deployed the Taran is designed to weather cock slightly and responds well to lean steering. Though the Taran has fast, sleek lines it actually has the largest volume in the Rockpool fleet (383 litres), so there is enough space to carry all the camping kit needed even for long term expeditions try 67 or 72 days for example!
The hull section begins with a deep V at the bow, blending into a tapered and flattened U-section for the centre, fading back to a buoyant V section for the stern. A combination of rocker and deadwood shaping gives good manoeuvrability and positive reaction to steering.
The buoyant bow is designed to maintain a fast and dry ride. The stern is blended smoothly to give low drag whilst maintaining plenty of volume for enhanced handling in following seas. The hull was designed to enhance down-wind performance whilst minimising any tendency to broach.
The high front deck is designed to stay above the waves and to quickly shed any water that does make it over the bow. The large front compartment is accessed via a round hatch. Ahead of the cockpit is a small day hatch which allows storage for all of lifes little essentials. The rear compartment is fitted with a large oval hatch. There is a security locking point to the rear of the cockpit. Kajaksport hatches are fitted as standard and all deck fittings are standard Rockpool recessed fittings.
The cockpit is a roomy and comfortable 145 litres with a fixed performance seat this is factory fitted to match the customers requirements. The Taran is fitted with the Smart Track combined footpeg/rudder steering pedals.
The Taran was originally conceived to give Rockpool a cruising sea kayak unlike any other it was to be user friendly for open sea paddling, fast to compete in sea kayak races, and have good manoeuvrability for use as a day boat. With the Taran we had our eyes on setting a few records it is true, but we also wanted to produce a boat that paddlers across the spectrum would enjoy paddling day to day. We are pleased, but not surprised to see how successful it has become across the whole field of sea kayak paddling.
The recent success with the UK Circumnavigation is the icing on the cake and now proves that the Taran is also the boat to choose for the serious expedition paddler.
In testing the Taran prototype broke the Anglesey circumnavigation record three days after it first took to the water in Aug 2009. Later, production Tarans were paddled to set new records for the Irish Sea Crossing, North Channel Crossing, Isle of Anglesey circumnavigation, Isle of Man circumnavigation and Isle of Mull circumnavigation.