shearwater sport

Hello to everyone , Ive been looking at building my own kayak for about a year now and after endless internet surfing I finally bit the bullett and ordered the plans for the shearwater sport which should be arriving at my door any day now. I currently paddle a wilderness zepher 160 rotomould but I would like to build the shearwater sport fist and if succesfull build the shearwater 17 as well, I absolutly love eric schades designs even though Ive never paddled one. this brings me to the reason for my post. I know Ive put the cart before the horse by ordering plans before trying, but I would still like to hear any feedback I can on the shearwater sport, Ive searched all over the web but cant find much at all,

Kind Regards and thanks in advance

Locky from WestAus down under..........

10 replies:

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RE: shearwater sport

I'm in the same boat (well not yet).  Very interested in the Sh Sport, but haven't found much in the the way of reviews from owner/builders.  Considering a strip deck version.

Hickory, from Seattle

RE: shearwater sport

I am just finishing up a SW Sport Hybrid, all that is left is the varnishing and fitting out the deck rigging. I paddled one at the Woodenboat Show, and again at a demo in Florida.  Tracks nice, but is also maneurverable.  It feels lighter than my Manitou 13 plastic boat.  It also didn't seem to have a lot of windage. I know I will be happy with it, will be used mostly in lakes. In florida, I demo-ed the Petrel.  Huge difference, but a different boat.  It is fast and exciting. That will be my next build.  It just felt good, and is a beautiful design.

RE: shearwater sport

In my opinion, Eric designs excellent boats. I built a Shearwater 17 from a CLC kit, but it was too tight for me. Eric is exactly my size and recommended his Merganser 17W. I built a hybrid version from plans and love it. The Merganser is basically the same hull design as the Shearwater but an inch wider and a bit roomier. It is fast, agile, stable, and responsive; tracks well and steers almost intuitively. Photos and builiding notes at -Wes

RE: shearwater sport

I built a Shearwater 17H two years ago and paddle it at every opportunity.  Last summer I gotchance to try the sport at the Newport Beach Demo.  Keeping mind that this was  very quick flat water demo paddle, my reaction was not all that positive.  The boat just did not seem to have the agillity of the 17.  it just felt a little clunky.  Maybe this boat is designed for playing in rough water and will shine in that environment.  Just one guy's reaction.  Can you possibly demo one before you build?


RE: shearwater sport

Thank you everyone for your replies, great feedback , and wes ! that boat you built is just too damm nice, if mine turns out half as good Ill be happy. My plans arrived today , very exiting. I think I will be happy because the sport will be a versatile play yak , and I will built the 17 next for some sleek touring. No more tupperware , all wood from now on..........

cheers and thanx....


RE: shearwater sport

Thanks, Locky, for your kind comments. I like to say my boat looks good from ten feet away. The joints between strips are messy in places, the deck is not uniform, I didn't match the strip colors too well, the rear hatch curve does not match the deck, and there's a bit of a kink in the keel line. Nevertheless, I love the way this boat performs, and none of the cosmetic flaws affect its performance in any way. So don't be upset by minor flaws or waste a lot of time trying to make your boat perfect. Chances are it will get admiring comments wherever you take it. -Wes

RE: shearwater sport

Hi Locky,

This reply may be a little out of date but I am also from West Oz and recently met a fellow paddler who had just completed a Shearwater Hybrid. He was paddling 8.00am Sunday morning at Riverton Bridge. He was v ery happy to talk about the boat and offered me a paddle.

RE: shearwater sport

Heh thanks for posting. thats really interesting its nice to here of some fello likeminded locals building their own boats, I live down south now so Icant call myself local but I did grow up around that area so I know the old rivo bridge well, did you get to have a paddle,

Cheers Locky




RE: shearwater sport

No, I'm a little out of form at the moment and can only just get in and out of my Exodus, but I was sooo tempted, it looks really nice.


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