Redfish Kayaks?

     Hopefully i'm not banned for asking this question given clc doesn't sell redfish kayaks, but i'll ask the question anyway.  I'm looking to build a strip buit kayak from scratch buying the parts/wood as i go (forced to do it this way because of a lack of money).  I'm a big fan of the shearwater hybrids, but i don't see an entirely strip built version of this.  Building the hybrid almost requires me to purchase most of the materials in the beginning so that doesn't help me much financially.

     Soooo, i'm leaning towards the redfish line of kayaks such as the king, or silver.  I'm headed this direction because the hulls appear to be somewhat similar in form (more so than the guillemot line at least) and i love the elegant stripping designs.   I've actually ordered the petrel plans, but the dramatic flaring ends that i once liked, don't appeal to me as much anymore.  Can anyone provide some insight into these boats and how they may compare to the shearwater?  Or better yet, does an all strip-built version of the shearwater exist?   Thanks!

8 replies:

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RE: Redfish Kayaks?

I have a Redfish Spring Run.  These are georgeous boats, but also take quite a bit longer to build.  I don't know if there is such a thing as a complete strip built Shearwater.  I will say that the next boat I build will be a strip and glue Shearwater due to the ease of construction and less money up front.  Because of this, it may in fact get more use at my house since I am reluctant to let others use my Spring Run.


Hope this helps.

RE: Redfish Kayaks?


I don't think you'll get banned just because you like Joe Greenley's designs! The Spring Run is a beautiful boat, too. There is not a full strip Shearwater. Nick Schade designed the boat as a S&G and CLC offers the strip deck as an option.

As far as up front cost, with a hybrid you have to buy the hull materials to get started. That's the most expensive wood in the boat. You can make your own strips for the deck, either with a set of canoe bits for bead and cove, which adds cost as bits aren't that cheap, or make straight edge strips and bevel them to fit when installing them. With a full strip boat you'll need wood for the forms. You can use presswood if you intend on building only one boat and that'll save you some money. Plywood forms are more durable and will cost you a bit more. And you'll need the canoe bits, of course, if you plan on making your own B&C strips.

Bottom line, either boat is going to have an initial up front cost, although in the long run it's quite possible to build a full stripper much cheaper than a hybrid. All depends on how fast you want to get on the water. Hybrids save a lot of time. 

Whatever you decide, have fun doing it!

George K 

RE: Redfish Kayaks?

Nick's brother Eric designed the Shearwater

I built a Petrel and have paddeld both the Shearwater and Petrel

the two boats are so Different in the way they respond and handle

the petrel is so nimble on the water you some time feel like you should be doing white water

as far as Redfish I wanted to paddle the boat i wanted to build they don't travel like CLC I went to a Boat show and fell in love with My Petrel

RE: Redfish Kayaks?

Thanks George,

Haha, I assume there is some friendly competition between designers, being the reason for my statement.  Thanks for the insight, i wasn't sure if the strip or hybrid would be cheaper in the long run, so thats a good bit of information to know.  I'm looking to build for the joy of the craft (and test my patience) so i'm in no rush to get the boat on the water (and i have 2 others to play around with in the mean time).  With this said i'm definately going to build with strips.  Now if i could only choose one!

RE: Redfish Kayaks?

Absolutely go with a Redfish design.  They are top notch and absolutely beautiful.  BTW I have a Redfish Spring Run Kenai.  

RE: Redfish Kayaks?

Hey folks, Thought I’d revive this ancient thread. Ran across a thin kerf blade at 1/16”. For those of us who want to cut our own strips, a kerf this thin will save a lot of wood. It’s a total pain to see half of your stick of western red cedar end up in the dust collector!

But oh my, it’s spendy! Apparently gets good reviews by Fine WW. I don't have one yet but will post again if I can give a review.


RE: Redfish Kayaks?

Joe Greenley of Redfish is a class act.  I'd recommend him to anybody.

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