The history of British sea kayaks

A few people on this site have suggested this as a good idea so I can’t claim the credit but in the New Year I’m looking at starting a project to Map the lineage and history of all British sea kayaks.

I think it will be good to get this done whilst all the major protagonists (Derek, Frank etc) are still available to talk to, leave it a few years and sadly that might not be the case.

Any thoughts much appreciated

It might make it on the Discovery Channel. :slight_smile:

Hi Peter- in which format are you

– Last Updated: Dec-18-06 9:43 AM EST –

planning to present the results of your efforts: book, DVD, other?

I would certainly purchase either a book or a video. A video might be enticing so as to hear directly from the developers of these boats.

I would rather pay for a comprehensive survey on this topic than read a quickly formulated timeline with summary at no charge.

In addition, a video might be a fine seller in the store and at dealerships who carry Brit kayaks. You might consider contacting Brian or Brent to assess the movement of videos and books on this site as market research for your endeavor.

great idea
I think this would make a great documentary and open some eyes toward the sport. I would love to see the story, evolution and some personal profiles. I would second the notion that something like this could make it to the airwaves.

Check existing resources
Duncan Winning has published several articles on the family of kayaks spawned by the SOF kayak made by Emanuel Kornielsen in Greenland and brought to the UK by Ken Taylor in the late 1950’s (that begat the Anas Acuta). It’s quite an extensive list. Drop me a line if you need Duncan’s contact information.

Greg Stamer

Duncan’s work
I am aware of some of the work Duncan has done and whilst of some use it does make a strong assumption that just because one kayak follows another time line wise within a company it’s design linage is linked to the previous kayak.

Although useful what is really needed is information from the designers so they can give information about the influence for each, what they were trying to achieve with the design etc.

Thanks Peter I’m sure there is a huge
interest and a book would do well. My interest is primarily in the history of canoes and canoe design and I’ve mentioned several times that I wish someone would put the development of the different processes of making canoes, the different designs and builders over the past century into a book. I’ve found that while some show great interest in a project like that many others don’t feel that it is worth the effort. And maybe it’s not, there is much more worldwide interest in kayaking. Particularly expedition sea kayaking.

Good luck in your efforts

Impact of purpose as well as design?
Not sure that this is the best way to say this, but it’d be great if your work tracked the influence of changing or new needs on the technical designs. For example, the Romany was developed first because ND needed a schooling boat that would have certain handling characteristics as well as full utilitirian aspects of a sea kayak. And I am sure that the original circumnavigation of Greenland left those participating with a lot of ideas about boat features that might have made things a little easier.

good coffee table book…
I think a nice large coffee table book with lots of big and colorful pictures of the various kayaks would be a nice thing to have a long.

Good luck on your project.

Great Idea
I’d buy a coffee table book. It’d be cool as a book that included a DVD with interviews from the designers. It would be great to include the lines of the kayaks with a way to overlay them on top of one another.

The history of this is absolutely fascinating.

It would also be nice to see a chapter on how these kayaks have influenced the industry as a whole on both sides of the pond.

rushton canoes
Canton,ny has some neat early canoes when they were used to explore adirondacks

Thank you Peter…
Whatever form your work takes will be appreciated.

When suggesting a mapping, I was thinking of something as simple as a chart with lines in influence/evolution, dates, designers, and models.

There seems to be a great amount of intrest in something more elaborate. Which is very good!

You’ve managed many projects, so you know it doesn’t have to be complex and deep at its initiation.

Thanks once agsain.

Christmas list?
What a great idea. A DVD with an aural history from the viewpoint of those that were there would be incredibly interesting. This book/DVD/whatever will most certainly make a future Christmas list! Total sales to date… 1!

be sure to make sure
they’re telling the truth

as a fledgling kayak collector I would be first in line to grab your finished product! God speed in the effort.

You mean there is more to the story
than Derek Hutchinson invented it?

kayakwiki info

– Last Updated: Dec-19-06 3:05 PM EST –

Here is the little bit now up on kayakwiki:

Of course, Derek Hutchinson invented the sea kayak and taught the Inuit how to paddle.

speaking to a publisher tomorrow
Started the ball rolling by contacting a publisher specialising in this type subject, Will be speaking with them further tomorrow but should soon be seeking photo’s and articles from anyone who has anything interesting