Saturday, April 29, 2006

Hi to all you kayak builders out there. First a little about myself. My name is Ben Roberts and I live in Wollongong Australia which is approximately 50 miles South of Sydney on the coast. I am a Broadcast Engineer and at the ripe old age of 43 I have a wife and two kids (both girls. I am SO outnumbered!) . I have chosen to build a Chesapeake 17 LT from plans. Most people build from kits which have pre-cut plywood but I thought that it would probably be cheaper to build from plans.

The other advantage I could see was being able to pick and choose the materials from local suppliers. To this end I have selected for my hull: Pacific maple for the bottom and side panels and cedar for the decks. The Cedar is much more dense than the Pacific Maple but it has a beautiful figure in it. Should look great varnished!

If you want to know why I chose the Chesapeake design over the many on the market here's why. I like the shape and the fact that those who have them say that they paddle very well. I really like the cambered decks, especially the foredeck. They can be constructed to weigh around 13 kilograms complete and are very strong.

I looked around at some fiberglass and moulded plastic boats but really.... you cant beat wood! I am not an experienced paddler. Most of my kayaking was done in the Scouts back in the 70's. We used to race for the two or three kayaks on the canoe trips. If you didn't get a 'yak, you'd have to paddle a dunger old canadian for the trip. Sloooow!


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