Opinions about this wooden kayak?

-- Last Updated: Aug-31-12 3:44 PM EST --

Greetings all,

In my passive search for touring/sea kayak on craigslist - I came across this wood kayak...


Though, probably not really suited for rougher/open water...theres just something about wooden kayaks...at least for me...

Any opinions about this kayak? Anything in particular I should ask? This looks like a plywood kayak vs wood strip kayak? Pro? Cons?

I weigh around 150 (in ideal months....not during the holidays ;-)) - from the picture of the bottom - any comment about the shape of the hull? Speed, turning, tracking etc?

$225 is a good price?

Thanks in advance,


Called the guy - didn't get any information out him except that its about 24-25" wide, Cockpit is approx 30" x 16", does not have bow & stern handles (so no bow/stern tie downs when on the roof rack?), has an interesting "foot peg system" - its a plank of wood with rope thats adjustable from the waist when inside the cockpit - conceptually the "foot peg" system sounds like a good idea? any cons?

Said the guy he bought it from originally lived on the ocean, and regularly took it out...how often and what conditions I am not sure however....

If someone offered me $225.00 plus free materials to build this kayak for them, I’d be laughing so hard I wouldn’t be able to talk. Would you build this for that amount ?

Now comes the question if it is any good ? Not saying it is or it isn’t but you could always put your dog in it and tow it. Still cheap at that price.

Thinking that price over - for $225 I don’t think that would cover the materials and wood working tools (outside of a drill and circular saw) …This guy sells used kayaks from time to time on craigslist…must have some notable flaw for this price? Without paddling it, could one just look down the hull to see if it straight? If its straight it should at least track ok?

Actually somewhat interesting
I’m not going to slam this quite like the first responder. From what I can see in the pictures the workmanship doesn’t look too bad. The design has a CLC feel with the “tortured” playwood deck but it doesn’t resemble anything in their current catalog. The hull curves look too smooth for standard stitch & glue work with 4mm plywood. I also wonder about the weight. it might be short on glass & epoxy. I’d say definitely in the “rec” boat category but lighter, more fragile, and probably a bit tender at first. All in all though you can’t tell much with out looking at it closely and getting it in the water.


Early CLC?

– Last Updated: Aug-31-12 10:57 AM EST –

Looks like one of Chris Kulczycki's early designs. I think I remember something like it in the first edition of "The Kayak Shop"

Looks like the second photo down here: http://smallcraftadvisor.com/our-blog/?p=1802

Maybe something like the Yare? http://forum.woodenboat.com/archive/index.php/t-129760.html?s=7c6a3872671b77db448b54366271fc1a


– Last Updated: Aug-31-12 12:34 AM EST –

I agree, and thought it was a Yare right away. The Yare plans were published in Wooden Boat at some point, and this may be a home-built hull from someone who had that issue.

Here's some pics of a couple of Yares, both much better constructed than the one that's for sale:

The coaming on the sale boat is quite badly done, but it might be a fun boat to mess around in for that price.

Re-read my response.
Get someone else to explain it to you. I’d buy it in an instant if it were local !

Hows the stability?
I heard the Yare was a pretty tippy boat. OK for a beginner?

My first build was a Cape Charles 17 and my brother still has it and occasionally I paddle it. No bad habits and performs fine for what it is.

Research more

There are many other wood kayaks that were designed with paddling in mind. The Yare wasn’t. It was designed for selling kits.


When ChrisK was writing the second version of the kayak book a CLC employee was taskd with building a Yare for the photos. It was such a frustrating experience bending ply to the breaking point that when the partially finished hull was done and no longer needed he drove over it with the forklift to much satisfaction.


– Last Updated: Aug-31-12 11:05 AM EST –

Just by eyeball, I'd go along with the comments in the thread Lee linked. Probably not very stable, not great in waves, but would feel quick on flat water. Might be a nice protected-water boat for a smaller paddler. Probably not a great beginner boat unless they were small and coordinated, but it might be just the thing for an adventurous kid.

Maybe not so bad?

– Last Updated: Aug-31-12 11:33 AM EST –

Reading through the thread, it looks like the guy who mentioned he didn't like it was mistaken about another boat:


Some seem to love it, some hate...not much in between.....Overall, seems like a tippy boat best for protected waters, but apparently slices through flat water and surfs well (don't think I will being doing much surfing though)

I guess I could maybe use this in the canals down here...but sometimes they can be quite choppy with boat traffic...

Might go check it out tonight...

…Upon more research…
…The Yare’s design is suppose to make it around 16’…this boat is 14’ - This could be the “little brother” of the yare - the Severn?

Find a Necky Manitou 13, the tortured two panel designs aren’t designed with the paddler in mind, they’re for the adventure of building.

Everyone was close with the Yare and while I can’t be 100% sure I am pretty sure that is a DK-13. Plans were printed in Wood Boat many years ago. That was my first kayak and it was rather small but I enjoyed it. Never paddled anything but flat water so I can’t say much about performance.