Guillemot Design Family
The Guillemot family of kayak designs grew out my quest to create a kayak to bring my out to the exposed islands off the coast of Maine. I wanted a boat that would be efficient for making open water crossings yet responsive in close to shore. I drew from a wide range of inspirations to get my dream boat, the responsiveness comes from the whitewater kayak I was paddling at the time, the ability to cross open water was borrowed from Greenland Inuit kayaks. ; The design that resulted is characterized by sweeping end shapes and a rounded cross section. The ends are kept fairly low to decrease windage but curl up at the tips to provide lift over waves. The relatively flat bottom and moderately soft chine provide an easy to turn platform with the fine ends provide balanced tracking. The Guillemot designs tend to be a little skittish. Novice paddlers who are used to stiffer tracking boats may feel they don't go straight. If you give them free rein they may get away from you, but with practice you can virtually think your way through a turn. A slight lean away will initiate a turn and you can stop it with a little lean the other way. With experience you will grow to find that the boat just becomes an extension of your body.