Finally! A sit-on-top with style - Traditional sea kayaks are elegant and sleek but their cockpits exclude a lot of people who paddle where it’s hot, and almost anybody who has stiff knees or who doesn’t want to be confined in an enclosed cockpit.
Thus the ubiquitous colorful plastic recreational kayaks, which you sit on top of, rather than inside of. The plastic sit-on-top designs are an accepted part of the scenery, functional but about as aesthetically pleasing as a dog toy. If you wanted something light and beautiful that you could build yourself, you were out of luck...until now.
The Sea Island Sport is CLC’s response to hundreds of requests for an attractive stitch-and-glue sit-on-top. Credit for the design goes to Nick Schade, whose brother Eric designed CLC’s Shearwater line of kayaks. “Nick’s a sculptor,” says CLC president John C. Harris. “Not many people can combine the art and science of boat design as seamlessly as the Schade brothers. Like Eric, Nick is dedicated to performance, but he’s also an artist of the first order.”
The Sea Island Sport is 15'6" long and features a pleasing shape, attractive from every angle, with a unique contrasting deck made out of Sapele plywood. The reddish Sapele contrasts with the more honey-colored BS 1088 Okoume in the hull. Sharp-eyed observers will note the similarity to CLC’s popular Eric Schade-designed Shearwater line, which have a similar cambered Sapele deck and tumbled-home sides.
The Sea Island's roomy cockpit will fit almost anyone under 275 pounds. Any water that comes in will drain right back out through the bottom of the boat. Nothing confines the paddler. You don’t need to worry about your shoe size, and the “height at knees” measurement is infinite. The boat is easy to get into, and for fishermen, stability is sufficient to drop the paddle and reel in a big striper. In the hot months, you sit in the open air so your legs won’t broil. In cooler weather, the Sea Island’s dry ride will extend your season. The Sea Island is essentially identical in construction to many other CLC boats. Convenient features include “puzzle joints” for rapid assembly of computer-cut hull panels, and computer-drilled holes for most of the copper stitches used in assembly. Parts are located in the hull with pre-drilled holes, so in theory you could build the entire boat without picking up a tape measure. Total construction time is about 80 hours, much like our other kayak kits.
The Sea Island Sport kit is complete, without expensive and pesky add-ons. Large hatches for bow and stern are standard in the kit, and will absorb fishing gear and lunch for a day’s outing, or camping gear for a week. Adjustable footbraces are standard, as is a comfortable seat and a fully adjustable back band for high lumbar support.
Harris says that builders wrote in requesting a sit-on-top with above-average speed. “Combining high performance with a self-draining cockpit was the hardest thing we’ve ever designed,” Harris remarks. "Nick Schade outdid himself in drawing an attractive sponson hull. You’ve got your stable fishing platform, but we think it’s faster than most sit-on-tops out there.” The Sea Island Sport is 27 inches wide.
Thanks to the sponson keel, tracking is very strong and many paddlers will use the Sea Island Sport in the surf. The stability and self-draining cockpit makes beach launches and landings safer and easier than in a traditional kayak.
Build this boat if:
You would like to upgrade from the usual sit-on-top kayak
You would like the convenience and comfort of a sit-on-top but with better speed and handling
You can easily compare our boat kits for stability, rowing and sailing performance, payload, and ease of construction. Additional comparisons may include cockpit room or transport options if applicable.