Kayak choice

Posted by Jeff on Mar 25, 2007

I have wanted to build another kayak for many years. The time has come and I am going to start very soon. I have a very adventurous niece that is about to turn 17. So, I am going to to build two boats and she is going to help on one of them. I know in a few SHORT years she will be in college, getting married and have a family so I want do this now. Hopefully we can take a camping trip this fall.

I am a avid woodworker. I build furniture and have done some boat work and built one S&G kayak. So I am comfortable with wood and have any tools I would need. The building the boats is not a issue, even a harder to build boat. The problem is picking which boat to build!

95% of the time these boats will be used on flat water. Mmostly on a larger river/lake but also in small rivers and creeks. The other 5% will see some VERY MILD white water. Mostly just shoals. There is one one creek I like to paddle that has two small rapids. No big deal. Biggest hazard is scrapped bottoms on the boat from the rocks.

I am 5' 8" and 200 lbs so not a light weight. Would like to be able to carry some camping gear but that will be only 2-3 times a year if I am lucky. 99% day use and calm waters.

Because of the small waters we often paddle I really would prefer a boat without strong tracking. Not white water boat, but something a little loose. I figure I can add a retractable skeg for improved tracking and for any new paddlers that might go with me.

That was sort of long but any suggestions?