Sea kayak - Swedeform- Fishform-Turning

Several respected kayak designers have stressed the importance of a hull design that pins the bow, but has a stern that is a bit loose. My understanding is that a hull that does this won’t leecock in tough conditions and also allows one to manuver the boat quickly by pinning the bow and having the stern skid/spin around it. Just curious if a Swedeform or Fishform design plays into this or is it simply how the ends of the boat are designed that is the big deciding factor. Can you achieve this with either design or is one a better way then the other to get there?

You can do it either way.
That’s pretty clear from the incredible variation in boats on the market.

either way. It’s like belts and suspenders… they both hold up your pants but do it in different ways.

pinning the bow and loosening up the stern makes for a very unbalanced hull and performs poorly in reverse. If pinned too deeply it can also make it weathercock (alot!) and surf or current maneuvers become…ah…less than stellar.

and then there’s the boats that pin the stern and loosen the bow…8-p


Looks like a boat that would really pin the bow, but be very loose in the stern. Is it balanced out by use of skeg or is it just more balanced in design then appears?

My CLC North Bay XL
Definitely pins the bow. The problem is that waves off the rear quarter make it really difficult to keep going in a straight line. It really needs a skeg. As a matter of fact, the kits are now supplied with a skeg for this reason. Head into waves and there’s no problem at all. I beieve that LeeG said that the best approach to solving this in the North Bay, is to do some cutting and glueing and make the bow less deep.

Vela too
Definately a boat where the bow pins, which means that in rear quartering wind and similar effect conditions the skeg pretty much has to come down. My Explorer LV, while a fairly loose bow, is allover more even front to back so I can skip the skeg more.

more than appears
both ends are pretty thin but balanced to each other. the thin ends with some rocker work a bit differently in seas than the thicker, fuller ends of other models. personally I’m not a huge fan of boats with thin ends. I like surfing too much. :wink:


bow pinning…
… depends on speed too. A pressure differential sets up where bow is in a higher pressure zone than stern.

Most people don’t seem to paddle at decent speeds for any decent distance in any much wind or wave - so mostly these design variables - as important as they can be - are not really even accessed in average group/casual paddling (and are all confused with each other). If you do, and know how and where you want to paddle - choices become clearer and narrow accordingly.

Personally, so far I prefer swede for most uses.