Submitted: 05-07-2003 by mdspicer
After much consideration, I decided to build my first kayak instead of purchasing a plastic boat. I must say that their magazine ads ultimately had their effect! The entire experience was rewarding and, with patience, can be accomplished by anyone even mildly handy with tools. What I wasn't ready for was the attention!
I live relatively close to CLC and was able to test paddle the 17LT and was sold immediately. I am 5'-9" and roughly 160lbs and is a perfect match. My girlfriend selected and built a 16LT and is equally happy with her boat and efforts. Wooden boats have the distinct advantage of being highly customizable, durable, and, if built carefully, lightweight. Both our boats weigh 47 and 41lbs. respectively.
Handling and tracking is superb with corrections needing only a corrective stroke or two. The LT17 is quick in the water and accelerates nicely. The design edges nicely and carves nice tight turns.
I built my boat mainly for kayak camping (though I've raced it twice ) and it can easily carry gear for 3-5 days, more if you pack carefully. Last August (2002) we went camping off the coast of Portland, ME for four days and the boats performed flawlessly in varied conditions. I've been kayak camping two other times since.
CLC provides both timely and knowledgeable support either by phone or via the Internet. Trust me, nothing beats the allure of a wooden boat!