Tide Race Kayaks in North America

looks like a west coast thing
Alder Creek in Portland Oregon will be the reciever for the container arriving sometime this month. BBB will be taking some of them, I don’t know who else.

Travel plans for BBB is another issue- Leon just had (succesful) surgery on his neck, and will be recuperating for awhile.

I am looking forward to a test drive, too bad they are not here now…as soon as I shut down my 'puter, I am off to the Oregon coast for the weekend. 9ft swell, 13 seconds, should be fun!


The way he prototyped the Underground for Rockpool, was to build the boat in plywood, use that as a plug, then popped a prototype glass boat from the mold.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the strippers on the site are the plugs and not prototypes.

Next season…
Glad to hear Leon’s surgery went well. He talked about it a bit when we saw him at Downeast in September.

I am thinking next season as the soonest for possibly seeing Tide Race boats on the East Coast - especially in the Northeast.

Second that

– Last Updated: Nov-03-07 11:16 AM EST –

Very good to hear that Leon's surgery went well. Talked about it briefly with him at the DE Symposium.

It's exciting to hear that the first Tiderace container has a delivery date so close by.

From what has been heard, the plug for the Excite_S went to the factory within the last couple of weeks. So that is hardly likely to be in the first container, but it'd be great if one showed up in the nest round.

Where to start???
Stip built plugs are traditional, thats all. There’s nothing more “committed” about them. In fact, one could say they limit shapes. Imagine trying to build a strip plug of a modern WW playboat! So, it’s a traditional plug building technique that has been replaced by CNC cutting for the most part.

Greyak’s post is right on. Modern computer design and CNC cutting makes for incredibly accurate hulls. The manufacturers I know employ both CNC and expert hand shapers. And they go through many prototypes in the process of refining a hull, probably more than the old strip plug folk do. The modern design methods allow for this process.

To some the technology will be dissed, and nostalgia will prevail. I believe blending computer design with experienced hand shaping makes for the best results. And yes it is a very expensive process!

I think theses Tiderace boats look terrific, and I hope we see some soon!

Have you seen
this wood kayak? Interesting shapes for wood, eh? Thought you’d get a kick out of it. http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/building/albums/building/matb2005/IMG_1478a.jpg

How cool is that!

A wooden modern WW playboat!
Very neat!


– Last Updated: Nov-04-07 1:23 AM EST –

It seems as if Salty feels that Aled Williams' use of strippers is indicative of a retrograde nostalgia which he has often cited as an aspect of British sea kayak design and those who enjoy such boats.

It strikes me that it may simply indicate the lack of financial resources such as those available to designers for larger corporate entities such as Johnson Outdoor.

I don't imagine Salty is asserting that this makes the Eliza and Manitou inherently better designs than the Xcite and Xplore.

Oh my …

– Last Updated: Nov-04-07 11:59 AM EST –

First of all, you seem to think I have something against British kayaks. Nothing could be more wrong! I've owned and paddled many, and they are excellent. I recommend them often. The Tiderace boats look nice!

We are talking about methodology in plug construction and it was YOU who suggested that strip built plugs may indicate "greater commitment" in design. That is simply not accurate. Certainly many great sea kayaks came from lofted and strip built plugs! But that does not equate to better, just old fashioned.

BTW, both the Eliza and Manitou were hand shaped 100%, and revised several times. But this thread is not about JOI, or their boats!

Ya know, it's not the Brit coaches, or designers that I have issue with. Met, paddled with, and thoroughly enjoy the few I've been around (one of which is a friend).

I find it amusing when people apply all sorts of emotion to kayaks, or manufacturers. But I'm not wired that way. Just boats to me, regardless of the logo.

You have never heard me bash a Brit boat on this forum or any other. You have heard me clarify misconceptions about construction etc. BTW, the NDK boats I saw recently were superbly built!

Where to start???

– Last Updated: Nov-04-07 8:03 PM EST –

"To some the technology will be dissed, and nostalgia will prevail." - Salty

I tried to phrase my post as questioning/exploring as much as anything. I did not think I was saying you (Salty) were (was) 'bashing' any boat.

When Jay stated that using strippers is a rarity in sea kayak design it made me wonder what such a choice might indicate.

On reviewing the information you (Salty), Jay, and Greyak have provided, it seems to me that the most likely choice of using strippers in Aled's case indicates a greater commitment to good design than those who skip that stage - however realized (to whom Jay referred)of design evolution and likely the lack of major resources required to go the high tech route you (Salty) note your friends use. I do not know Aled personally, but from the exchanges I have had with him, I don't think it is the result of nostalgia prevailing.

In any case, Americans are often inordinately enamored of new technologies. Newest is not always best.

There are innumerable paths and many of them are fruitful.

PS. I apologize for the redundancy of 'retrograde nostalgia.' All nostalgia, by nature, is retrograde.

You have almost zero knowledge

– Last Updated: Nov-05-07 12:52 AM EST –

What does a wood strip plug do for enhancing comittment? What "stage" are you talking about? How is this technique "better" than a hand shaped foam plug?

I'm sure Aled is a terrific fellow and the kayaks look cool. He may like working with wood strip plugs and that's just fine and dandy. But to conclude that that process yields a better plug than shaped-by-hand foam, or CNC cutting is just plain silly. It may be as good for the result needed, but there's no inherent greater "comittment" to design.

The cool thing here is that the boats look awesome and probably are!

Salty, read what I actually wrote…

– Last Updated: Nov-05-07 10:05 AM EST –

The only greater commitment I stated was in terms of producing a prototype "greater commitment to good design than those who skip that stage - however realized (to whom Jay referred) of design evolution"

(Jay "...most manufacturers have no prototypes or trial boats before the final mold is made.")

I thought in noting Jay's comment it would be clear that 'prototype' was the stage to which I was referring. My stating 'however realized' was meant to convey exactly what it says and thereby would include prototyping using whatever chosen technology.

I feel it is better for the design process to include a prototype than not. I am in the company of many experienced designers in believing prototypes are an important stage in the design process.

Look, I respect your knowledge and experience. I have learned much from you. When I question or disagree with you it is not meant to be disrespectful. Sometimes people can simply disagree. Sometimes people have different experiences or knowledge which lead to different conclusions. Often these differences result in greater information being brought to bear which can result in deeper understanding.

We can have differences without having to denigrate each other.

Many of the earlier accepted great kayaks never had any test prototype boats that anyone paddled. The boat was lofted by marine architects working with a kayak manufacturers desires and then cross sections are lofted. Then a plug is made using these stations just like a stripper. But a large cigar is made not a paddleable hollow strip boat. Has anyone reading this forum ever seen a prototype boat for any of your favorite kayaks? Of course not - because they don’t exist. Molds are made using bondo. Symmetry is achieved by using cutouts that are matched on the other side of the hull.

If a boat really has some bad habits, they (might) go back and refine the mold. But no test boats are out there that are being paddled for months before a model is introduced - which you would think is the case. My point about this web site is it looks like they will have the opportunity to do that which is good and a first from my knowledge.

Mold costs

– Last Updated: Nov-05-07 9:04 AM EST –

Actually it's not as expensive as you might think.

About 10 yrs ago I was interested in producing my own kayak. Working from a stripper, I had a one person master mold maker who would produce my boat in molds for around $15,000. She was the one in Florida who was doing Nigel Foster's boats at the time and the molds were flawless. She and a small crew made the boats and did great glass layup work. A bit heavy but beautiul gel coats.

The greatest challenge of kayak manufacturing is not in making a kayak but transportation, dealerships, advertising costs, manufacturing space and cost of handling those things. For $30,000 you could be in business in your garage making kayaks (one model) as good as any manufacturer. But then what do you do?

Who doesn’t prototype???
Clearly you know more than I it seems, but I know no kayak manufacturers who do not prototype…usually several variations are thoroughly tested.

Epic’s V-10 is an example of a computer design that went through tons of testing by paddlers and revision. V-10 stands for version 10.

I don’t know Jay so perhaps he knows of companies that just cut plugs and go to market. I can assure you that that does not happen in any manufacturer I know!

You’d be suprised if you actually saw what went on with the so called big guys! Highly experienced hand shapers slowly perfecting designs with foam, bondo, epoxy, laminate, etc. Computers and CNC supply the initial plug at times, but that is highly hand tweaked / revised etc.

If ever in the PNW, I will introduce you to some of these shapers and you will become “informed” about the process from start to end. Takes a good year or more to bring a design to market. I’m certain Flatpick would agree with this as a designer for a big company.

we work with sooooo many prototypes first. all computer designed, CNC formed and then hand tweaked and tested.

talk about ALOT of $$$$$ work!!!

sometimes we get it right sooner than others!

steve (who just spent a week testing 2 such boats)

Not more than you…
I do not know more than you, simply more than you give me credit for knowing/understanding :wink: I am learning from every post of yours I read.

I don’t know who doesn’t prototype. I was working from Jay’s statement. And Jay certainly knows WAY more than me about kayak design and production.

I think your enthusiastic and

– Last Updated: Nov-05-07 10:40 AM EST –

you can jump to conclusions. Please find for us a kayak manufacturer who does no testing or prototyping! Maybe Jay knows of some, but I do not. Even brands that I may not prefer are still tested and perfected to that manufacturers desires.

Email me directly if you wish more information on this process...I do not wish to further dilute this thread which is about some really cool new boats! Looking forward to them.

To change the flame war topic
Anyone care to hazard an opinion based upon the info about these boats what characteristics they have compared to the current standard “Brit” boats from P&H, Valley and NDK? Do they seem to be basically in the same vein with refinements or are they innovative designs. And to really get the juices flowing, why haven’t we seen the types of dramatic design changes in the sea kayak world that have appeared in the WW world?