Test paddling a Shearwater 14?

Hi all, I am pretty well settled on building a Shearwater 14. I want to paddle one before I commit. I'm in central Florida; is there anyone nearby (within a few hundred miles) with this boat who would be willing to let me paddle it?


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RE: Test paddling a Shearwater 14?

If you're planning a trip to the Seattle area, let me know....(just finished a Shearwater 14 this Spring)

Here's a link to a test-paddle comparison with an Arctic Tern 14 that I did with another builder on Lake Washington:


Don't know if that will help, but in case you don't find one to test paddle at least it's some observations.

Overall I really like the Shearwater 14.  It is great for a smaller paddler, lightweight so it's easy to get on the car and carry to the launch point.  It handles waves well and tracks well.  It is not the fastest boat (short boats aren't) and primary stability is lower than some boats (it feels tippy at first), but secondary stability is good meaning you can get it on edge for a leaned turn and it won't tip over easily even thought you think it will at first.  It is a beautiful design with the Sapele deck.  I have enjoyed paddling it.  I think it is great for a day boat or short weekend trip (pack light) for a smaller paddler or for just leisurely paddles.  If you're looking for a fast, week long expedition boat it's probably too short.  

Sorry we don't live closer!


RE: Test paddling a Shearwater 14?

Hey Eden, In case you're not going to be running over to Seattle any time soon I'll share this. My daughter built a Shearwater Hybrid 14.5 (CLC use to offer a nerrower version and her's is one of those) and she loves it. She built it to form fit her ( 5'5" 105 lbs.) without much room for adjustment but if you'd fit and can make it to Miami Beach you're welcome to paddle it. Her's has an integrated rudder with Smart Track foot pegs and toe controls and, as I say is, a little bit more tender that one with the new beam width. She came out of a 15' Necky Kyook that weighed about 65 lbs. She built light (her boat's only about 33 lbs.) and says the Shearwater paddles circles around the Kyook. From her reaction I'd say you can't build one fast enough. SEEYA Jack  

RE: Test paddling a Shearwater 14?

WOW you all are awesome. Kathy, I saw your boat-building posts!!! Step-by-step - it was GREAT.

Jack, THANK YOU - I just may take you up on that! I'll try to head your direction sometime in December if that works fo ryou. I'll be in touch!!

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