Beautiful boats

Despite being around them for almost a year now, I'm still REALLY new to this whole kayak thing.

As I've been working on my forward stroke, I've realized what a subtle change is needed to stop me from bashing my hands into the side of the kayak, and with this realization, the "need" for the narrowest boat on the planet has diminished. This has created quite the dilemma for me.

You see, online, I fell in love with the Chesapeake 16. And I got a chance to paddle one, and was amazed at how fast and agile such a for-real touring boat could be. Besides the practical bits, it is to my eye, one of the most beautiful kayaks out there.
Then I paddled the (s&g) Night Heron, which I thought would be way too tippy to ever use (for an amateur like me) but was so amazingly well behaved, I fell in love again. That it was so narrow I could actually, even as clumsy as I was, paddle without mashing my fingers was, as stupid as I feel admitting it, a big point in it's favor. Ok, the going really fast thing was nice too.

And they're such different boats, well, I understand why people have to build 3 or 4. Come to think of it, the Wood duck is gorgeous, ad I do a fair amount of photography....

And… and… and…

And I realized what a wonderful, wonderful curse it is to be exposed to the work all the people at CLC are doing, to have so many beautiful boats accessible, with such a support structure and a real shot at actually getting them finished and in the water.

I wish I had more dilemmas like this, now for my w2 to get in so I can get my return back and finish this savings process for boat #1.
-- James

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RE: Beautiful boats





Firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your articulate post, and couldn't agree more with your assessment of your dilemma.

 Don't worry about your paddling technique - it will improve. Try rotating your torso more with each stroke. This will swing your pulling hand wide of the cockpit rim, deck, rigging etc. It will also really increase your power.

There is a very useful chart within this site which may help you narrow down the choices based on your body size, weight, shoe size, intended kayak use etc. 

And yes, you will most likely end up with more that one craft over time. I'm presently contemplating #5.

I look forward to seeing more of your submissions, and wish you the very best. 





RE: Beautiful boats

Please note that this is in no way limited to kayaks - I am attracted to teh sail craft. I myself bought the plans for the Passagemaker, exchanged them for the Skerry plans, and am kicking myself for not going with the NE Dory - all the while aspiring to the PocketShip.

Talks around the campfire at last year's Okoumefest show that rowers are not immune either.

RE: Beautiful boats

The pocket-ship is an amazing project, and one that scares the piss out of me. (then again, I've not built anything yet. Perhaps after my first kayak it'll be less of a dilemma.

Oddly enough, sail is where my heart really lies, but specifically ocean sailing. I was owned by a 20' keelboat for a while, but I just haven't' shaped my life in a manner to be able to maintain such a thing. So in the meantime, it's build a kayak and have some adventures with that. The passagemaker is definitely on my list, for when I do get a boat again, I'd like a really nice, wooden, rowing tender, rather than a rib with an outboard. It's not "practical" in that it takes some effort, and looks beautiful, but I think it's just the bee's knees. In the same way, I'm not opposed to having some teak on the deck, instead of just sailing a bathtub. There's extra work involved, but that's part of what makes it such a romantic thing.

While I've been saving for my kayak, I've been playing with rope, trying to create the perfect rope handle, similar to clc's fancy grab handle ( )  but just made with a little bit of marlinspike seamanship.

I think if one has a truly limited budget (and I've been saving for a kayak kit for a while now, so I think I count) and wants a truly beautiful boat, capable of going out safely when other boats need to stay in the harbor, it's tough to go wrong with a proper ocean kayak. Once I've got that handled, I can start getting bigger again.

-- James

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