Female paddlers often have difficulty finding a kayak that is easy to handle off the water. Lightweight recreational paddlers often find that in trying to find a kayak light enough to handle, they have to settle for something that is so short that it is very slow with poor tracking. This kayak is specifically designed to suit such a paddler with good tracking, stability and speed.
It is close to the ideal length for a recreational kayak. It is long enough to perform well, but not long enough to make it unnecessarily heavy and awkward to handle.
While it is a similar shape to serious sea kayaks, its lower volume and lack of perimeter safety line mean that it is intended to be used as a recreational kayak rather than an expedition craft.
Most of the kayak is Paulownia, an ideal timber for strip built kayaks since it is 10% to 20% lighter than WRC. The strips are 4mm thick and are covered inside and out with one layer of 85gsm glass cloth with BoteCote epoxy resin. That construction creates a kayak that is remarkably light, yet is stiffer than a fibreglass, kevlar or carbon fibre kayak. At around 10kg, it is only about two thirds the weight of a similar size thermoformed plastic or fibreglass kayak and about half the weight of a rotomoulded plastic kayak.
The timber strips are glued together around forms using ordinary PVA woodworking glue with the edges bevelled to get a tight fit rather than using bead and cove edges. Since the timber is encapsulated in fibreglass and epoxy, there is no necessity to use any special glue between the strips.
Like many British sea kayaks, it is designed to perform well without a rudder. The design was created using Kayak Foundry, a free program available from blueheronkayaks.com. The timber came from one of the many Paulownia plantations around Australia. This particular plantation is near Bellingen in NSW. It was bought as 25mm thick rough sawn planks which were dressed on the faces before strips were ripped from the edge. The glass cloth, BoteCote epoxy and Aquacote water based polyurethane were all sourced from Boatcraft Pacific.