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Submitted: 08-25-2006 by Jim

I finished Eric Shade's Baidarka Oct 2005. Two days later I had it out for a week of BCU training off Tybee Island GA. What a week. I experienced more with this boat in a week than I would have in two years of regular paddling. We had a rough week with the weather. Tasks that I put this boat through included a surfing class, open rough water training, all day three star open water paddle, and the experience of a life time surfing 6 to 8 foot confused hurricane driven waves. I never went over once in the baidarka. Whenever the nose started to pearl on these very steep waves the baidarka's time tested design corrected itself and I screamed down the wave. It rolls and edges easily. A following sea is a blast with the transom giving the boat a nicely controlled push to help speed you along. This boat is exceptionally fast and carries more gear than you might ever have need for. I took it out for a five day expedition in the Okefenokee swamp and carried the water for three members of the trip as well as my own gear. I am going to build a 16 foot version with a touch of extra rocker as a day/play boat. The plywood design of this kit shows the genius of the designer. It goes together well and paddles comfortably. Very roomy cockpit. Absolutely no complaints after almost a year of heavy use.
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