My new custom Petrel Play

My new custom Petrel Play built by Jim Tomes of Danvers, MA, USA. She’s a cedar and mahogany strip built kayak with a sharper bow and stern, 2 bulkheads, and Jim’s own skeg design. Weighs 32 pounds and is a fast and lively boat in the ocean and inland. So happy with this kayak–Jim is an amazing guy who has designed a number of racing kayaks.


Congrats on that sweet boat!!! I would love to try one on the waves myself. :slight_smile:

To clarify, the Petrel Play kayak is a design of Nick Schade who spent a couple years of designing and fine-tuning the hull shape of the Petrel Play. Petrel Play. He offers it in S&G and well as cedar strip kits.

Joey Schott of TurningPoint Boatworks has some sort of agreement to build composite – fiberglass or kevlar – version of the Petrel Play.

With your Petrel Play, Jim Tomes likely built the boat from a kit for you and incorporated a skeg of his design. Jim also designs and builds racing kayaks.


Nice enjoy. Beautiful work.

Yes, Jim Tomes modified the form and strong back kit, designing the mahogany and cedar pattern, narrowing and sharpening the bow and stern to improve tracking, adding his own skeg design, and his own bulkhead designs, remaking the cockpit to a custom keyhole ( I have a total knee replacement and the design aids me maneuvering my leg in and out), incorporating a molded foam seat from Redfish Custom Kayaks and Canoes, and finishing the kayak with gelcoat. He’s fashioning a Greenland paddle for me out of the strongback.
Jim has built some very fast racing kayaks of his own design, and is currently working on a canoe and some custom repairs for clients. I feel very lucky to have this boat from him.
I got to see the fiberglas Petrel Play at the Wooden Boat School in Brighton, ME when Nick Schade was leading a class there in 2021. It might have been the original fiberglas experiment.

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That is interesting – sort of a regression to “design median” for a day touring boat. The fuller bow and more rockered hull design of the original Petrel Play, like that of the PH Dephin, Dagger Stratos, CD Karla, Sterling kayaks, et al., were intended to allow more manueverability and control in rough water and surf. The fuller volume bow is intended to minimize pearling into the wave trough that leads to broaching and side surfing.

I’d be curious to get your impression of your modified Petrel Play after some time in textured water and surf!