Brooks Martyn

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Perhaps all kayak plans that are sold should bear the following label: "WARNING- The Surgeon General is not aware that building kayaks is addictive and may be harmful to your health."

Patuxent: 17.5: (17'-6"x22"), weight 36 pounds. This, my first sea kayak, was built from a Chesapeake Light Craft kit. It was fast, turned and tracked well, but had very low initial stability. CLC has discontinued this model. The kit was of superb quality and was easy to assemble. It took 3 months to complete at a total cost of $950.

Outer Island: (17'-10"x21"), weight 55.5 pounds. This is a superb, low-volume, strip-built boat designed by Jay Babina. Construction cost $1000, and took 7 months. Hull is of Western Red Cedar with white pine deck. Jay employs many of the simple techniques of the stitch-n-glue plywood boats. However, strip building requires more time, tools, and technique. My next 0I will have VCP hatches vs. the flush hatches that I installed. In my opinion, sea kayaks don't get any better than the 0I.

Panache: (18'-4"x22"), weight 55.5 pounds. Rob Macks of Laughing Loon Custom Canoes and Kayaks designed this strip-built, medium-volume touring kayak. It performed much like the Outer Island plus carried a lot of camping equipment. I found the Panache to be more challenging to build than the 0I; several jigs were required for assembly and the hatches and coaming were labor and technique intensive. It took 1 year to build and cost $1000 for materials.

Chesapeake 17: (17'x24"), weight 47 pounds. I lofted this boat from CLC plans. It was light, playful, stable, tracked and turned well, plus carried a mountain of camping gear. It took 3 months to build and cost under $500 for materials.

 North Bay XL: (18'-10"x22"). Weight 40 pounds. I modified the stock CLC plans by dropping the shear line of the side panels by 2" at the aft end of the cockpit. The new shear line was drawn using this point and the stock bow and stem heights. This makes for a low center of gravity, which facilitates rolling and bracing. The North Bay models have a reputation of weather cocking (pointing into the wind), so I planed a bit more rocker into the bow and added a small fixed skeg to the stem, plus I moved the seat aft by 1". These modifications seem to have worked, as the boat was neutral in the water in a stiff breeze. Another fix, recommended by CLC, is the installation of a retractable skeg during construction.

Chesapeake Light Craft 17LT (Light Touring). 17' X 24", weight 47 lbs.  This boat is a standard CLC 17 with 1" subtracted off the sheer line measurements when lofting it.  This makes for a sleeker profile and does nor detract from the fine handling of the original.  I arched the deck slightly to allow for the storage of a large dry bag.