Here's Why

Posted by Kurt Maurer on Jul 3, 2004

"Epoxy economy is the main key to keeping weight down."

Stephen is wide awake, yup, yup, yup... Fiberglass cloth weighs practically nil, all things being relative.

And now here's a little more food for thought, borne from true, actual, real live newbie goofball experience

My first boats were Mill Creek 13s. (Everthing I build, I build twice since Leslie wants one too.) They were used often and hard for a year, and traveled all over the western USA last summer. They were tossed upon the deep blue sea, and bashed in the white water. Us and them came through it all with flying colors, leaving me pretty a darn confident amateur kayak maker.

Earlier this year I built us a pair of Squeedunk Cormorant 16 hybrids. These boats are a whole new ballgame, and so I undertook a whole new program of self-education so we could enjoy them to their full potential -- and be safe! I learned (and am in the process of learning more all the time) how to rescue and self-rescue in several different forms, including several different rolls.

Now, get this: I have discovered that this sort of usage has a HUGE impact on the boat. In short, dude, if you're gonna really get into the sea-kayak thing, you really might wanta beef your deck up, and take the watertight hatch thing seriously while you're at it. But if you're planning to stay dry and paddle mostly protected waters, why then, almost anything goes, topsides that is... watch yer hull, I'm only addressing things above the sheer line here.

As mentioned, CLC used to *not* provide deck glass, but started getting cracks (and presumably worse) coming back to haunt them -- from folks who were really wringing out their boats. Since they never know how their designs will get (ab)used by any one customer, they just made deck glass and other reinforcement standard issue.

Rescue work can be rough. You can come back from a practice session sporting *bruises*, believe me. Lissen to the talk here. I thought it was a little stretched at first, but now I know better.

But having said all this, please allow me to gush on how much FUN it is to WRING OUT A SEA KAYAK!! I have made endless repairs to my poor boat in the few months I have gotten serious about being "one with the sea". Well, maybe not quite that bad, but I have had to re-install a cheek plate, rework the hatches, etc., etc... But oh BOY, is it ever FUN!!!

Cheers, Kurt

Cormorant 16 Hybrid Project

In Response to: Re: Why glass the deck? by Stephen P on Jul 3, 2004


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