Soul Waterman 303 - Page 2 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 12-22-2017   #11
Wenatchee, Washington
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 12
@Electric - great post!

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Old 12-24-2017   #12
Bisters, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 421
That video makes moving to Montreal seem like a good life choice. Corren is most definitely a true waterman. I think that 303 looks badass!!
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Old 07-13-2018   #13
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2
Soul Waterman 303

It's interesting the take people have on some products. In that thread was a paddler who felt that the Terrible Two was the worst quality or cheapest boat he'd ever seen. Interestingly, another paddler (for those that know Will Mattos) who got a TT (and used to paddle professionally in the past for two competing companies at one point during his career) said the TT was the best thought out, and superbly executed boat he'd ever seen - from concept to finish and quality. He was heaping praises on the boat. Beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

I can actually address some of the "cheap" concerns that were brought up with some real numbers.

The CNC machined, anodized dress washers we use on the boat cost $1 each. A steel fender washer that almost all the companies use cost about $0.05 a boat. The philips pan head screws most companies use cost about $0.10 a boat. Our machine dress screws are about $0.50 a boat. On the Terrible Two, we have a total of 20 of these. Thats $30 of pure cost in JUST these aesthetic touches compared to what would cost $3 if we used the screws and washers everyone else uses.

The "cheap" cam buckles he referred to for the backband are top end stainless and cost $2.50 each. A snowboard ratchet buckle and strap costs about $1. The plastic jam cleats used by some companies cost about $0.5 each. Our "cheap" system is more than 2x the cost of the ones compared to. Would you tie your boat down with a snowboard ratchet strap and then do 70 mph on the highway and trust it? I sure trust the cam buckles I use to tie my boats down - it's a much stronger and more infinitely adjustable system.

The plastic that most of the US manufacturers use costs between $1.5/lbs to $1.90/lbs. Ours costs almost $3/lbs. It's almost two times the price! It's also stiffer and stronger than the other plastics on the market. You get what you pay for.

The dual density, heat formed foam seat also costs just under 2x the price of a formed plastic seat. We did this to have a warm, comfortable, shock absorbing seat that can adjust in seconds.

I KNOW exactly what these things cost - we costed all this out, and I made the decision that I wanted the BEST quality boats out on the market. It saddens me that some think all this "looks" cheap, but I can assure you it's not - it's the exact opposite. I could halve my production cost by switching to the materials and fittings everyone else uses. Literally half...

To address another point, the thickness of the Terrible Two - it IS as was pointed out, for taking 4yr olds down class 2 rivers. It's not for dropping 30' waterfalls into rocks, and if you're doing that with this boat you have some serious mental issues that need addressing.

The yellow TT is made as light as is physically possible so that a single mother can carry the boat to the river, with paddles, snacks, jackets and all while herding a 4yr old that's tantamount to herding a cat. For many people, this key light weight is the difference between going paddling at all with a small child. In fact the weight issue is such a big one that despite the low weight of the TT for a tandem, we still sell a fair number of carbon versions of this, as particularly women need something even lighter.

There is simply no point making the boat 7mm thick like a creek boat (that is something we do on our creek boat). The TT varies from 3-4mm thick depending on the area in question and this is ample for the task and needs of a boat that will be doing little more than scraping over rocks lazily on a class 1-2 outing. The Orange boat is slightly heavier and stronger for clubs or people who are just abusive of their equipment, but even it remains essentially a light boat - build the boat for the task.

Our other boats are outfitted using the same high end materials as the TT, but weights are specific to the boats needs. For example the 303 and Funky Monkey are similar is overall size, but they are not intended to be used in the same sorts of environments, and so the FM is heavier than the 303 - it needs to be able to take a pounding. The 303 does not. Similarly, the yellow ones we make lighter for people who will be using the boat on rivers that are more water than rock, and the orange ones for people who paddle rocky rivers - pick the correct boat for where and how you paddle. The Chaos Monkey is in turn even thicker (and thus heavier) than the Funky Monkey as its an all out creek boat. But even this we offer in two weights - one for the person who's pounding their way down everything they can find and the other, as one customer said to me "is something I can actually carry in my old age without putting out my back" - to this person a lighter boat for creeking is more important than an ultra strong one - once more get the right tool for the job you need.

I hope this sheds some light on how we build our boats, and the decisions we made for each kind of boat and their intended end use.

And now for some 303 eye candy:

Have a great season folks.

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Old 08-03-2018   #14
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 17
Corran, thanks for the long reply. I have now had my 303 for a couple weeks now and I think it is the best quality plastic of any kayak that I own. This is the only Soul boat that I own so I can't speak to previous models and I don't know if things have changed. All I know is that this plastic is great.
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Old 08-03-2018   #15
Wenatchee, Washington
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 12
I saw a terrible two in action, and it looked like an amazingly well designed boat. I was watching a dad surf a wave with his young kid, and he was easily able to correct the boat and say on the wave. From what I've seen of the Duo, once you're on edge there is no stopping the thing from turning downstream.

Is the mold to the TT still lost?
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Old 08-04-2018   #16
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,167
I saw some pictures of a fleet of 303's and Funky Monkey's getting ready to go down the Grand Canyon. Supposedly Corran is on the trip too. I believe its happening right now. Should be some pretty epic videos and pictures from that trip. Kinda jealous. Might have to see if he's coming through Colorado so I can try one.

He had a limited run of Blue 303's and I was sorely tempted to put my name on one.

Nate... I think the Mini-Me was the one that had the mold break. I know he was trying to get enough pre-orders together to make a new mold for it.

The Terrible Two is on their website, so I think there are some still available. Its a very different boat from the Duo, as the front cockpit is designed for a small child and the Duo is designed for two adults and the design needs to be different because of that. Not saying the Duo couldn't be designed better, but design restrictions are different for the two craft.
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