What might be.....

It would be interesting, and perhaps instructive, to ponder the future of amateur home-built sea-kayak developments over the next several years, in terms of design: materials: and construction methods.

  On the design front, I guess that the basic parameters for sea-kayaks already exist, but could we see a move away from the more traditionally-based designs with upswept bows and/ or sterns to more ‘modern’ interpretations?   And will computer-assisted design programmes become more accessible to the amateur designer-builder?  In terms of materials, widespread use of exotics may still remain outside the realm of the amateur builder, but what else might be on the horizon replacing or augmenting ply and/ or timber stripping?  Current construction methods appear set in concrete, with a few minor variations on the themes of S&G and strip-plank, but is anything else likely to appear that might be adapted by the home builder?   I exclude skin-on-frame from this as it appears to be a minority interest, although still a valid approach.  I’d find it interesting to hear the views of others.   Always nice to think about ‘what might be’!   Get those creative thinking caps on, guys!    Wordsmith

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RE: What might be.....

I just had the opportunity to sped a week with a friend in Boston who is sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race. The sailboats are 70-ft in length and average 25 knots and due to their speed are always close hauled it seems. What I learned is that the placement of the chines was very important to the strategy - whether they anticipated more or less time in heavy vs light air. there was also the matter of materials - lots of money begets a lot of carbon fiber material. Still, at the end of the day it was all about weight and hull design. Imagine a mono-hull sailboat cruising at 25kn in 20 kn wind. Can we apply the same principals to kayak design. I don't know. After may years of sailing I am on my first kayak build. JD

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