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Stitch and Glue Kits from Chesapeake Light Craft


I was talking to John Harris at Chesapeake Light Craft last fall. As the conversation wandered around various boats and projects we were working on, it became apparent that we each had some issues that we might be able help each other with. I had some designs that I had not had the time to develop usable plans and instructions for, and he had a demand for some boats that he didn't have time to develop designs for. People had been hounding him for a Sit-on-Top (SOT) kayak kit, and people had been hounding me to release my stitch and glue SOT design. I also had a surf kayak design that I thought was pretty cool but had not had the time to prepare usable instructions for.

My brother-in-law Jim paddling the Sit-on-top.

We hung up the phone without fully resolving our mutual problems, but an idea was planted. We got talking again later and decided to solve both our problems. He would get a developed and tested design, and I would get my designs out there for people to build. John wanted the SOT to match the CLC look a little better by incorporating the arched deck typical of the CLC designs. We decided to go with the 3-panel configuration my brother Eric developed for the Shearwater. I also wanted to tweak the assembly a little bit to make it easier to build.

A rendering of the CLC version of the SOT deck. Instead of 4-panels across the deck, there are 3, with the center panel arched near the cockpit and flattening out as it approaches the ends.

The surf kayak was a little farther removed from the CLC base, but John thought it would make a good complement to their Paddleboard, and with my testing and development it was almost ready to be released.

Sea trials for the surf kayak at "Deep Hole" at Matunuck in Rhode Island. The air temperature was about freezing and the water was bitter. Carl Tjerandsen photo

The bottom line is Chesapeake Light Craft is currently building prototypes of the as yet un-named sit on top, and doing final development on the "Matunuck" surf kayak. They will be writing one of their comprehensive instruction manuals for the SOT and will be releasing the kit as soon as they are comfortable with the results. This will still take some time to get right, but it is going to happen. So if you have been pestering me for either the SOT or surf design, there is now light at the end of the tunnel.