Re: Ches 17 vs Arctic Haw

Posted by Howard on Apr 14, 2005

I can speak to construction...performance will have to wait a couple months.

From a basic construction perspective the boats are very similar....the big difference, other than outward shape, is that the techniques and substeps in the arctic hawk are more refined and nuanced and require more time and attention in order to build the boat according to plan.

For starters, the manual for the arctic hawk is a very detailed 400 page + tome that lays out Mark Rodger's (the designer's) explicit technique and construction detail...leaving very little to chance. Some of the more significant construction differences (compared to the chesapeake) you will see are:

- butt joints on all the major panels, no scarfs - wireless and nail-less assembly, duct tape is used extensively to join the hull parts together until the epoxy sets to take the load. - a complex layup schedule involving 4oz and 2oz cloth in single, doubled, or quadrupled layers in various areas to ensure strength where it is needed and lightness where strength is not so big an issue...the entire inside of the boat, for example is glassed including the underside of the decks. - no deck beams, temporary forms are used and then removed. - temporary forms to hold the hull in the exact shape specified...that are then removed once the hull is glued up. - flush hatches - epoxy rub strips built into the bow and stern keel edges to protect the boat from abrasions.

As I said, at the end, the construction is pretty similar. The Hawk just has a lot of refinements.

These refinements also lengthen the building process...easily doubling the work effort compared to a CH17LT.

The best thing, in my view, is that every technique you see in the Hawk can be applied, at your desire, to a standard chesapeake or any other kayak you might want to build. So you not only get a great boat, you get a great learning experience.


In Response to: Ches 17 vs Arctic Hawk by brian on Apr 14, 2005