Duck Report Part Deux

Posted by Laszlo on Jul 18, 2007

Well, it's been quite a week boating-wise for me. Since last Friday I've seen the new Wood Duck 10, paddled alongside the John Smith 400 shallop in Annapolis Harbor (and seen our governor in his see-through tanktop) and tried out a Bolger Gloucester Dory. But this evening beat them all. Well, except for maybe the governor. I am just back from the CLC Demo night and I have to say that the Wood Duck 12 is one really nice boat. Here's the details:

It is very comfortable. That large internal volume gives you plenty of room for legs. When they get tired in one position, it's possible to move them around for a rest without adversely affecting the boat's performance.

It's very stable and very easy to get into and out of, including out on the water. I was able to get out over the side into the water for a swim and then get back in without any recovery aids or any perimeter lines or rigging. All I had was me and my PFD (I paddled back to shore with my hands). It was easier to re-enter than the Sea Island Sport SOT. It never felt in any danger of capsizing.

It tracked well, but was still maneuverable. At low speeds it was very nimble. The faster it went, the better it tracked. And speaking of speed, I had my GPS along and it showed a max sustained speed of 6.4 mph vs. the 5.3 mph that I got with the Sea Island Sport. According to John Harris who was watching from the pier, the wake was indicating that I was at or very close to hull speed. Normal "all day" speed was 4.5 mph, "effortless" speed was 3.6.

A great big motor boat obliged me with a wake. Going into the wake was a non-event. The V-hull sliced through the chop with a gurgle and a hiss, rather than a slap. I was able to catch up with the other side of the wake and do some surfing.

It felt very solid. I sat up on the coaming while out on the water with no sense of fragility. And while after a couple of hours of hard paddling it didn't feel as light as it had in the showroom, it was still reasonable to carry it 30 yards plus to the car.

This is not a racing boat. It feels like a hybrid between a canoe and a kayak, with the best features of each. It's stable, safe, very maneuverable at low speeds and very steady at high speeds. It's comfortable to sit in, comfortable to paddle. It's equally at home sneaking through the channels in a swamp and in crossing the wide, PWC-infested waters to get there.

I could see it also as a good fishing boat and possibly even a duck hunting platform. At least it's stable enough to fire a shotgun across the beam. It's also got plenty of room for bringing home the catch.

In short, it's a good all-around recreational boat, just what they were aiming for. Bravo CLC et all.


400 Year Old Wooden Boating on the Chesapeake