Hull Weight is not the weight of
a stripped hull, but the weight you can
actually expect to have to lift onto
your car. This weight includes average
deck rigging, footbraces, seat, and
other typical fittings. Completed boats
can be lighter or heavier depending upon
the options, construction techniques,
wood density and other variables.
Cockpit Size refers to the
opening in the cockpit coaming that is
provided in the kit as standard
equipment. Custom cockpits are available
for most boats; call for details.
Recommended Paddler Weight
should be considered a rough guide. The
weight ranges shown will be comfortable,
although as you reach the high and low
limits other variables like height and
shoe size become important.
Maximum Shoe Size is expressed
in men's sizes and assumes that the
paddler is shod in a pair of neoprene
boots of average bulk. Larger sizes are
sometimes possible as the cost of
comfort. Custom cockpits are also
possible; call for details.
Payload is the maximum safe load of
the boat. Why is this number not the
same as the maximum paddler weight?
Because the paddler who weighs as much
as the maximum payload has a centre of
gravity that is too high for stability.
Properly stowed gear, however, does not
boats are renowned for great handling. A
good hard-chine hull tracks well yet is
very manoeuvrable. The underwater
profile of a hard-chine kayak changes
dramatically as the boat is leaned, so
it's easy to "carve" turns or
make subtle course corrections by
leaning the boat. This superior handling
allows hard-chine boats to cover miles
faster than other hull shapes in certain
conditions; less bracing and fewer
corrective strokes are required.
Hard-chine boats are, by far, the
easiest type to build; most of our
customers with no previous woodworking
experience choose our hard-chine craft.
Hard-chine kayaks often hold more gear
and feel roomier than multi-chine or
Some paddlers like the feel of MULTI-CHINE
kayaks. They are willing to trade some
nice handling characteristics for
slightly better efficiency. A loaded
multi-chine hull has about 3 percent
less wetted surface area than a
hard-chine hull with the same
dimensions; this decreases resistance by
about 1 to 2 percent. While multi-chine
kayaks don't surf as well as hard-chined
hulls, they can be easier to control
when surfing onto a beach sideways.
Initial stability is often a bit lower
than hard-chine hulls, and turns require
more lean. Multi-chine boats are more
difficult and time consuming to build --
after all, they have so many more parts.
Since they have many seams, considerable
fibreglass work is required, but
building one is still within the
capabilities of most folks.
I get a Kit or Plans?
questions we're often asked is: How much
would I save if I bought plans and built
my boat from scratch?
In most cases, buying a kit costs about
20% more than ordering plans and all the
materials to build the boat. So you
could save $100 to $150 building one of
our sea kayaks from scratch. You might
save a bit more if you could find all
the supplies locally and eliminate the
shipping costs, but unless you live in a
large city in the Northeast or Northwest
chances are you'll end up ordering at
least some of the materials. Most likely
you'd still end up ordering the Okume
plywood or paying much more for it at a
There are many advantages to building
from a kit. The parts are all pre-cut so
you'll save a lot of time building time.
You won't need to learn to scarf. The deck beams
are pre-laminated. One thing you might
not have considered is that a lot of
"confidence" comes with a kit.
You know the pieces are properly cut, so
you shouldn't have any of those nagging
doubts: "That part looks funny -- I
hope I cut it right." But time is
still the reason that most builders
choose kits and that most professional
boat builders, when building our boats
for clients, start with a kit.
It might sound as if everyone should
build from a kit. And if your goal is to
get your boat launched as quickly as
possible, or if you have limited free
time, or if this is your first major
woodworking project, then you really
should start from a kit. On the other
hand, if you want to learn as much as
possible about the process of boat
building, then starting from plans is
the way to do it. It's no secret that
many builders enjoy building these boats
just as much as paddling them.