The purpose of our Try Before You Buy sessions is to give you the chance to test the boat out on the River Crouch with guidance from our resident expert, Charlie Pitcher.
The day starts by meeting in the car park or bar of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham on Crouch (the club serves great coffee and bacon sandwiches if you need them on arrival!).
We then unload the boats from the rack together which gives you a feel for the weight and maneuverability of the boat.
Once the boats are on the ramp, Charlie will show you how to adjust the seating positions to your height, impart his expert tips for getting the most out of the boat and will also give you a briefing on the weather and tidal conditions. Some people require more time for this briefing than others - we are totally flexible and will ensure you are confident before setting you loose on the water.
Depending on the conditions and how far you wish to row, Charlie may then come out in the RIB and check on your progress and offer any advice and tips if you want further help
You can take the boat out for around an hour which gives you enough time to really get to grips with the Explorer and decide whether it's the one for you. We will never pressure you to make any buying decisions on the spot - these sessions really are about giving you the chance to test the waters for yourself in an informal, relaxed environment.
After your row, we are happy to have a drink with you in the bar and Charlie is on hand to answer any questions you may have. Depending on how many other people may wish to try the boat, we may ask you to help with reloading the boats back onto the trailer.
The Rannoch Explorer is a great boat, lightweight, but incredibly sturdy. It's a tremendous tool to help me train for TWAC 2020.Putting an ocean boat in the water and getting far enough from shore to experience the high winds and waves can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. The Rannoch Explorer allows me to easily get on the water in any wind conditions and experience how the wind and waves affect the boat. I plan on the Rannoch Explorer being a cornerstone of my training.
Thanks, Rob. Glad you enjoyed it!
Really enjoyed taking the explorer out, though the conditions were not ideal for the first time. However the boat did move well when Frank and I got into sync and I am keen to take it out again in both single and as a double. I love the concept of the overall use of the Explorer - rowing the Thames, lakes and coastlines etc. I did find it heavy though and this may impact on being able to row by myself, i.e. head off somewhere for the weekend rowing but with no one around it would be impossible to get the boat off the roof.
Thanks, Kev. In response to your comment about the weight, the Explorer weighs 60 kgs and is too heavy to be able to lift down from a roof rack by one person. Two strong people could lift it off but ideally three. All Explorers come with wheels so once on the ground, can be moved around easily. If on your own, it would be ideal to have a road trailer and then you can slide the boat off and onto the wheels on your own.
We found the Explorer to be an excellent boat. As complete beginners to rowing we found the explorer to be very fast, extremely stable and very easy to get in and out of. For a single person expedition or as a doubles training boat we think it would be an excellent boat.
Dorian Vassalo & Albert Gambina
A shame re weather but still very much enjoyed going out in the Explorer. I think if I'd gone out alone I'd still be out there!
Yes, you were very unlucky with the windy conditions, Matt!