In the end I asked myself "What do I really know?" The answer is "Not much, really". There are a few things that I am pretty certain of though.
I'm not a knife collector ... not even a knife hoarder ... but like most guys, and it seems like most guys who enjoy the outdoors, I have accumulated a few knives over the years.
This system is easy to set up and use, but like anything, there are limits to its usefulness and practicality. I noticed right away that I have to be careful to not paddle under low hanging branches. Duh! I just forgot the umbrella was there.
On my initial trip using this new spray skirt I was pleased with the way it kept me dry.
I have read that during a Source to Sea Mississippi River trip a person will take nearly 2 million paddle strokes over the course of the entire trip.
The bottom line is, these were two of my favorite books to read and ones that I can recommend to anyone.
The brackets to attach the crossbars proved to be a bit more challenging. I really didn't know how the brackets would work or even have a plan to figure it out. I just dove in to the project and let the process guide me. It's not an efficient way of doing things, but the only way to get the project done was to start.