Double Launch report!

Posted by Mike M. on Jun 7, 2004

2 first time events to report! First launch of our new Chesapeake double, and our first kayak/camping trip!

Ange and I took a vacation with started with the wedding of my cousin up in Rochester, NY(driving from long island). We loaded the double on the roof and loaded the truck with camping gear, and headed up. First pit stop, Corning, NY. Get lunch and check out the glass museum. Some really cool glass stuff there, but no kayak made of 'glass'. As we were walking back to the car, I saw a piece of paper stuck under the windshield wiper. Bah! parking ticket! Wait...no... See image below ;)

Needless to say, our day was going well so far :) This is one of the best parts of building your own boat!

So we went to the Wedding. Much fun was had. Then we headed just across the border to Niagara Falls, spent a day and a half checking out the falls and seeing all the sights etc. (and no, we didn't take the kayak over the falls, why does everyone keep asking me that? ;)

Then, finally, we headed east toward Lake George. Loaded up the kayak on land (mistake). Even with the wheels on relatively close to the middle of the boat, it was quite a heavy boat to move around. Fully loaded with Ange and I i bet we exceeded the 700lb estimated max gross weight. Hatches were crammed full of gear, and drybags were bungeed all over the deck and on top of the hatch covers. (more pics on the website, and I'll post a few more here). Anyway, we launched on the beach at a marina up there, and got out into the water.

When we launched it was quite breezy and there was a fair amount of chop on the lake. The boat tracked well (using a rudder, but it also tracks well without it. Crosswinds effect it a lot because of the size). The rudder on the double was especially nice because Ange and I could synchronize our paddle strokes and not be concerned with navigation.

The boat was also quite stable. When we arrived at our island, there were no sandy spots available for a landing since the water level is high, so we pulled up alongside the dock. Ange stepped right out. Ange held the boat from the dock and I got out too, with no trouble. I had never mounted or dismounted a kayak from a dock before, never even thought to since by me here on the island it's just sandy beaches everywhere. I wonder how difficult the same thing would be in narrower boats?

So we unloaded and set up camp, leaving the boat in the water to unload. No more moving heavy boats for me :)

The next day we got a chance to get out in the empty boat and get some speed up. I was quite surprised at how fast we were able to go with the 2 of us paddling! Not that i have any basis for comparison, but the double really moves! I did not fit out the cockpits extensively, but when you get to do more serious paddling, hib braces will definately help out. I didn't add them because I wanted to try the boat out first and then see what would make the cockpit better. So either later this summer or during the winter, I will be adding hip braces and carving some foam.

So overall, the trip was great! We SO MANY compliments on the boat just going around to different places, it really makes all that effort worthwhile.

Gotta say thanks to all on the forum for the great tips, and thanks to CLC for making a really nice design. This boat rocks! I can't wait to get back out in it again!

Cheers, Mike

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Mike's Kayak Page

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