I have a new sea kayak. Got it all outfitted and ready to go. I want to put something different on it. Does anyone know where to find a small decorative mermaid figurehead,plastic or whatever to attach to the front of my kayak? I looked around and all I could find was wall mounted replica’s of famous ships figureheads. It might be a bit odd, but I guess thats just me and I would like to find one to attach to the front of my boat.

Something like this?

I’d be tempted to look at vintage
hood ornaments. Something to really express my inner self, like:

Make your own original
A block of wood and a Dremel tool for shaping :

The original figureheads on sailing vessels were modeled on the captains wife. They reproduced her face and torso and were often topless. So get out your measuring tape and Dremel tool and have at it. :slight_smile:

Vintage car hood ornaments
I had a 1950’s vintage Cadillac hood ornament mounted on the bow decking of an Old Town Discovery I had many years ago.

Got a lot of positive comments about it; people liked it.


tktoo - why not this one?


– Last Updated: Feb-12-11 11:49 AM EST –

"The original figureheads on sailing vessels were modeled on the captains wife"

This sounds like an old wive's tale to me... any source for this?

PS I'm not saying the OP shouldn't model his wife for the stem - something like the cheesecake portraits of pilot's wives or girlfriends on WWII planes - a nice idea.

apply that idea with caution
…and if you do, make sure you trim out your kayak to be stern-heavy.

You do not want to give the wife or girlfriend a reason to ask, “does your kayak make me look fat?”

Mostly whaling ships

Cool reference, thanks for the link. The whaling captains were obviously not the creators of the original figureheads - their use precedes them by centuries, even millenia, as the beginning of the chapter points out. So the wife/girlfriend thing was not part of the original incarnation of the figurehead. It was more about appeasing the gods, guaranteeing luck, causing fear in the enemy, celebrating the vessel, etc., and had nothing to do with the image of a specific women, per se.

So wife is not a god
Appease the gods meant appease the wives…right ?


– Last Updated: Feb-12-11 1:34 PM EST –

I misspoke, they are definitely meant to appease SWMBO ...not to mention striking fear into the hearts of other women....

That goes on a tandem.

but of course!

more like this

Should have just bought a Derek Hutchinson ‘limited edition’. :wink:

That’s easy
Just sell your boat, and buy a Derek Hutchinson or Lee Moyers’ design:

I can envision several issues with a figurehead. I usually do something in the same vein on my sea kayaks with decals:

There are numerous sources on the web with mermaids, mythical creatures, etc.