Nick's Blog

Racing Kayaks

There are a lot of different kinds of racing kayaks, but almost all have the characteristic of being fast. There are several things that contribute to speed. You will often here about "hull speed" in relation to boat speed. This term is a misnomer in that it implies that there is a speed a hull will go. What it really indicates is the speed at which the hull starts to become rapidly more inefficient.

Tandem Kayaks

Traditionally kayaks were solo boats, but a tandem or double kayak is a great way for two paddlers to get out on the water together. Working together in one boat two people can typically go faster than each would go alone. This especially useful if one paddler is less experienced or not as strong a paddler. Instead of being left behind by the stronger paddler, they both end up going faster.

Stitch and Glue Boat Building Classes

Taping up the Stern
Working on taping up the deck-hull joint on a stitch and glue Night Heron at the WoodenBoat School.

Turn plywood into a beautiful sea kayak in 6 days

Sea kayaking is the sport of taking a small boat out on to the big ocean. You could buy an ordinary plastic kayak, or you could build your own which will be lighter, faster and more fun than buy. It will also be more beautiful.

S&G Night Heron Kayak Building Class Schedule

This is a fast paced class which will get you through most of the most difficult steps involved in building a stitch and glue kayak. The first day will deal primarily with preparing the parts for the the busier days to follow. You will need determine your staining scheme. The second day will see the transformation of flat pieces of wood into a shapely kayak hull. You will stitch together the hull and apply fiberglass. On day three you will make the deck. Day four will have you putting together the deck and hull.On day five we will finish the fiberglassing.

Natural Ranges and Drift

You may have read books about how to navigate in a kayak. Chances are you were slightly overwhelmed by some of the techniques. They may give you the feeling that if you are not well versed in the finer points of parallel rules, magnetic declination and vector analysis you will end up drifting to the next continent instead of merely eating lunch on that pretty island you see less than a mile away. This article is not to tell you that you shouldn’t learn as much as possible about the technical navigation methods — such knowledge can indeed keep you out of deep trouble.

Tracking and Maneuverability

"Tracking" has become a somewhat nebulous term when used in reference to sea kayaks. For most people it has something to do with how easily the kayak turns. In this context a boat with "good" tracking is one that is hard to turn and one that doesn't track tends to be easy to turn. Unfortunately, this tends to make people think a boat that is hard to turn is "good" or at least somehow better than one that is easy to turn. However, unless they are doing Olympic style sprint racing, most people do occasionally want to turn, and they would really prefer if it weren't too hard to do.

How a Paddle Works

One of the most important aspects of kayaking comfortably and easily is your paddle. An efficient kayak is of no use if the paddle you use is inefficient, or if you use your otherwise efficient paddle in an inefficient manner. A good paddle can make the worst boat seem better and good technique will get the most advantage out of the worst paddle.

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