Re: Reply to Laz & You To

Posted by Laszlo on Jan 27, 2005

Hey Kurt,

As far as I can tell, the problem is not with SOTs, it's with roto-molded SOTs. Roto-molded traditional kayaks have most of the same problems (weight, hull shape, etc.) My thought was that removing the roto-molding requirement would free the designer to design a boat that works well on the water, not just popping out of the mold.

With the proviso that I'm not a naval architect (nor do I play one on TV) and that I'm interested in a rather specialized application (snorkeling from a kayak), here's my thoughts (NOTE - these have nothing to do with CLC's design which I have not seen, these are just my thoughts):

1. Who needs a dry butt? I'm planning on going over the side anyway, so the worst thing that will happen is that it will get all wrinkly while I'm paddling in and out. If the water's too cold for that, I won't be snorkeling anyway. Relaxing the dry butt requirement allows the center of gravity to go low where it belongs.

2. Go ahead and make it beamy, but make it longer, too. The ones we rented were only 16 feet long. I still had to ride mine in sideways through the surf, so why not add another 2 or 3 feet in length (and possibly a skeg/rudder)? Should get rid of a lot of the barge feeling.

3. Extra beam is a brute force approach to stability that also fits in well with the manufacturers' needs for molding boats from plastic. Long narrow plastic boats flex too much and require either heavy internal framing or those bogus "tracking" channels which are actually stiffeners. For boats made from some other material, the hull and bottom shape can be adjusted to give a more reasonable stability curve. For example, the boats we rented had a tremendous initial stability, but once they started going over there was no way in hell to stop them. That can be replaced with a hull shape that starts out a bit tippy and gets more stable the more it leans, probably some kind of modified v-hull. This would allow the sharp, fast slicing hull we all love so much while paddling, and the wide barge we need for going over the side and getting back in.

So that's just a few possibilities off the top of my head. A real naval architect can probably do a lot better and even leave you a dry butt, but in any case it should be possible to have a SOT suitable for snorkeling and fishing that weighs less and performs better than the clorox bottle tupperware jobs. It won't race or roll as well as the Chessies, but a Jeep won't win at Indy, either, and nobody seems to mind that too much.


In Response to: Reply to Laz & You Too! by Kurt Maurer on Jan 26, 2005