NED vs Peapod

I'm debating between building a NED or Peapod with my kids (oldest is 10).  I've previously built two strip kayaks and have a two car garage as a workspace.

I'd like something large enough to daysail with 3-4 kids, but able to be rowed by them independently in calm water.  Is S&G different enough from strip building that I should stick to the simpler NED?  Does the shorter length make the Peapod easier to handle?  Anything else I should consider?

10 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: NED vs Peapod

   I think you have to go with the Dory.  Kids get older and bigger in a hurry.  Even now, independent of total weight carrying capacity, I think adding you and 3 or 4 kids in a Peapod is just too much flailing flesh in too small a space.

RE: NED vs Peapod

Sounds like you might really need one of each, after which you can give us a comparison writeup here.  Besides, how else are you going to get decent photos of either one out on the water if you don't make a fleet action of it?  <;-)

Seriously, 3-4 kids might be a lot for either boat, but I'll agree with Bubblehead that they'd probably be better off spread out a bit in the longer NED.  If you mean to cartop the boat, the NED is likely the better choice.  The Peapod has a lot of interior structure, and is probably too heavy to cartop...until your children become strapping teenagers.  If they get along with each other and are a well disciplined crew, you'll never have to lift anything least until they grow up and leave the nest.


RE: NED vs Peapod

I have to respectfully disagree with Bubblehead. I've had the chance to try both the NED and Peapod and while the  NED's hull dimensions are technically larger than the Peapod's, the hull shape actually makes the Peapod roomier. From the inside, it feels like a much larger boat.

Here's 2 pictures from CLC, each showing 3 occupants of a rowed boat.

The Peapod occupants can spread out all the way to the ends of the boat with no knees banging  or dodging of oar handles.

Here, the NED's narrow pointy shape at the bow and stern push the crew closer together. If the one in the middle wasn't  so petite there'd be some serious knee-banging. As it is, she's got to be on the alert for an accidental poke with the oar handles.

Another reason I'd rather carry a bunch of kids in the Peapod than the NED is the difference in stability. While the NED's sloping sides give it wonderful ultimate stability, the initial stability is not as great as the Peapod's. A herd of kids bouncing around in there will be making it wobble left and right while a Peapod will stay pretty much rock-solid.

Finally, there's the difference in freeboard. The Peapod has more of it so there's less chance of someone dropping something overboard. It also makes the boat more tolerant of overloading. The higher freeboard, along with the better initial stability, give the boat a better feeling of safety for inexperienced passengers. It's less likely to make a youngster feel insecure.

The Peapod is also an absolute joy to row. It's the best rowboat I've ever tried and I've been rowing since the first days of the Johnson presidency (Lyndon, not Andrew). I'd have no qualms about sending kids out in it on their own.

Both the NED and the Peapod are S&G lapstitch, neither is strip-built. They use essentially identical build methods so that shouldn't be an issue. The longer NED will require a larger workspace. I'd rather trailer either of them though the NED could be cartopped in a pinch with the right car and some help.

As for the kids getter bigger, when that happens just build them Eastport Prams. Start them out at 2 to a pram and keep adding to the fleet as they keep getting bigger.

Have fun,



RE: NED vs Peapod

Ninja'd by Michael. Now I have to repectfully disagree with him, too. :-)


RE: NED vs Peapod

Well, you make a good point, Laszlo--the Peapod has more of a lifeboat sort of shape, and would no doubt be more stable and maybe a better bet for fidgety young'n's.

My main point, which maybe I didn't make very clear, is that either boat is going to get a bit crowded with that many children, and that will only get worse as they grow, which is, maybe we don't disagree as much as you thought, since we both seem to think he's gonna need more'n one boat.  My own experience taking children out in our old Sea Pearl 21 Magic Pearl was that I was grateful for all of the room she had and sometimes wished I had more room...that or fewer or maybe less fidgety children.

Well, in a pinch, the skipper can always keelhaul any miscreants; that'll take the starch outa 'em!  <;-)

RE: NED vs Peapod

Definitely agree that that's a lot of kids in any boat, not just the 2 he asked about :-) I just thought that of the 2 the Peapod had a better chance.

Did you ever see that video John did where they crammed over a dozen kids into a Pocketship? It's hilarious.



RE: NED vs Peapod

Right.  A boat large enough for all of them is too big to be built in a garage.  So my options are to:

  1. keep them away from water,
  2. slowly amass an armada, or
  3. sell the house to buy a yacht.

If I start with a smaller boat, maybe the wife will let me build one or two more after.  I just can't say that's the plan right now.  Plausible deniability, right?

RE: NED vs Peapod

I agree with everything that was said here but I must point out that Laszlo's pictures are somewhat misleading.  In the peapod pic, there is only oner person rowing and in the dory pic, there are two people rowing.  The middle person, should be facing rearward, then she would have plenty of leg room or she should be the single rower with the first and last thwart for the passengers.     

RE: NED vs Peapod

^ Full disclosure, I have not rowed or sailed in either boat, yet.   

RE: NED vs Peapod

I'm with C-Dog. Both are great boats with obvious similarities and differences. The Peapod seems to have a wider, flatter bottom panel (or set of bottom panels). That will add some stability. But the narrower profile of the dory makes it a great row boat and, as you add passengers, you get more stability. (I can sail my dory in fairly brisk winds while standing up, so it is actually quite stable.)

Here is a picture that is comparable to the one posted for the Peapod.  

(It's one of the pictures from the "Main Gallery" if the link dow not work.)

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.