From the beginning of my paddling career, I have had a very strong “Do It Yourself” approach. Partly because of limited funds and partly because I like to tinker and make stuff myself. Of late however I must admit I have begun to acquire equipment made by others or of industrially manufactured sources. I guess I’m getting old or lazy or both…
Most of the kayaks I own, I have built meself, most of those however are designed by professional kayak designers.
Apart from the very first paddle I bought, I have made all the rest. I prefer either Greenland or Aleutian styled ‘traditional paddles’. I have dabbled with certain hybrid designs, but more about those later.
Then there are odds and ends that I have either modified to fit my needs.
I prefer Stitch N Glue (SnG) kayaks over others as they are usually the fastest to build, yet usable for touring. Generally Strip built kayaks make it possible to make aestheticly more pleasing kayaks than SnG, but then they do involve alot more work. In addition I have dabbled in the Skin On Frame (SOF) designs. Thus far am not convinced that they are suited for the type of touring that I favour. I know there are living examples out there who will prove my notions wrong in regard of SOF expeditions, I tip my hat to them. I haven’t advanced that far yet! I seem to be gifted in finding sharp rocks where ever I roam and a soft skinned, fabric covered kujuk with a full load is just asking for trouble! Besides I’ve become pretty well acquainted with Mr. Murphy and his laws…
With time I will probably list some of the equipment I use on regular basis and perhaps my thoughts on them.
For now a plain list of kayaks I have built will have to suffice:
- Bill Thomas design, Willow
- Nick Schade design, Guillemot Expedition Single
- Nick Schade design, Night Heron SnG
- Skin On Frame kayak ‘Vivax’, closely related to the Night Heron
I admit owning a Plastic (bucket) kayak that is meant for “rough and tumble general purpose go everywhere”- kayak. A Tiderace Vortex, it is something I don’t have to worry about scratching/dinging too much.
(edit: 17th April 2016)
Must confess.. now I own two factory made kayaks, A Skim Kayaks Beaufort has been added to the fleet…