Submitted: 09-04-2001 by Eric K.
I built the Cheasapeake 18 after building the 16' model for my wife, so obviously I like the boat. This boat is great for 'expedition' trips or if you are simply a heavy packer like me. I have yet to see another kayak (store bought or built) with more cargo capacity.
For its size though, it handles well. The tracking is great and it turns easily especially when on edge. I did find it requires a skeg or rudder as it has a tendency to weather cock in a good wind. Also due to the higher deck/combing, it is harder to roll, although not impossible.
CLC is a good company to work with, although the manuals are difficult (you get 2 booklets plus a set of plans - information is scattered between them) there is a great boat building forum on CLC's site and their customer service is fantastic. Also, I've heard the instructions are or will be improved.
As far as building goes - the kits are very forgiving of mistakes, but they do consume alot of time. If you enjoy working with your hands and would like a kayak equivalent in weight and performance to a $2500 boat for ~$800, consider one of these.