Submitted: 11-29-2005 by Tony Vladu
This is my first strip kayak. The project took longer than I thought but I incorporated Kayak Sport Rubber Hatches, Bulkheads, and pedal controlled rudder. These mods added another 50+ hours to the project. The entire project took 5 months of evenings and weekends. It is a beautiful boat made of symmetrical yellow, white, and red cedar. Mahogany and some walnut were added in small quantities due their higher weight. I built this boat to stand up to some abuse with 5.7oz carbon fiber on the outside and 6oz cloth on the outside. While the advertised weight is 26lbs without rudder, hatches, and bulkheads, the overall project ended being more like 39lbs. Not bad for kayak of this size
The boat loves deep water. GPS verified, the boat maintains 7+ MPH in deep water but you can loose 2MPH in the shallows with the same effort. Into the wind performance, the moderate volume is great for going over the waves rather than through them. However it does not have excessive volume which can cause some "slap" on some surfskis I have paddled
Downwind performance is also better than average with the aid of a deep rudder. It surfs rather easily and its fun downwind machine
Stability is not bad for its 17 1/2 inches at the waterline. However, coming from a much wider boat may be challenging. I have paddled surfski and k1 so for me the mystery feels very stable.
I can't find anything wrong with the design of this boat. It does have a rather wide turn radius making a buoy turn impossible, but leading the boat does help some. Again, the boat was designed for the open ocean so the turning radius was sacrificed for speed.
With hatches and bulkheads, I can pack two weeks of gear and go for a long haul. I have paddled the boat around Goodwin Island in the Chesapeake Bay and averaged 6.2mph for a little over an hour. This included some shallows, tides, and currents. My Mark 1 surski may be only two or three minutes faster but I have more time on the ski.