It all started life as a CLC Sport Tandem sea kayak, long and thin, very unstable until moving but very fast indeed.
Transporting and Roof Racks
So first off how the hell do you transport 22 feet of kayak? Well it weights very little – 2 people easily pop it on the roof and I can just about do it myself but it is very unwieldy.
I took a section of my triple ladder, made 2 wooden brackets from spare 3/4 inch ply and bolted them to the ladder to support the hull. the ladder had 4 sections of angle aluminium rivetted on that slot over the roof bars to stop forward/backward movement and a 6mm galvanised bolt goes through the angle aluminium and roof bar to stopsideways movement. The roof bars are very close together so to prevent rocking we secure front and back with ratchet straps. Takes a couple of minutes to laod up and is rock solid. We’ve been up the motorway overtaking everyon in the outside lane and no problem at all.
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First Small Outrigger
I have to be careful not not totally knacker myself as have some major neck and back issues after a couple of bad motorbike accidents (not my fault! 1. I was doing 10mph and hit by a pissed up twat in a Bentley broekn neck and back 2. Stationary at lights hit up the arse by dozy women speeding while on her mobile phone). It became apparent very quckly that my wife and I are too light to get the boat to settle in the water enough for any real initial stability – we were blown over twice before even getting spray decks on…
So we very soon decided we wanted to put on a simple stabiliser. Initially a simple piece of spare ally box section and a rubbish float made from scraps of cheap ply were used. The shape was quite literally determined by what I could get out of one odd shaped piece of old tat.
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This shows from the front the simple set up with a bracing line to ensure it kept square as we flew along – the tendency was for the thin box section to bend and cause drag and that sorted it. Just one side gave enough stability to hugely reduce the possibility of tipping either way, especially with either my wife or my brother paddling as they are very smooth paddlers.
This gave us real confidence and we could really just power up and let it fly. We could get rooster tails lifting up about 18 inches behind the flaot – looked really cool and encouraged us to really thrash it. Great training and fitness was going through the roof.
You can also see the long ally tiller extension reaching to the rear cockpit on the starboard side. Again lashed up from twobits of old crap and rivetted together for testing.
There is also a tight bungee holding the tiller in place so it slides but the course can be set and forgot. However, the larger rudder meant lots of corrections were needed as it was too powerful when just paddling. We later upgraded to a smaller rudder with pedal control when paddling but keeping this rudder for when sailing.
You can see there is quite a sharp bow but it still has loads of storage up front and the rear storage is fantastic as well, with a larger hatch. Plenty of space to stow kit for camping adventure no problem and the volume in the bot means there is laods of reserve bouyancy especially with our low conbined weight.
The middle section of the hull flattens out so it can still turn surprsiingly well for a 22 ft beast.
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This picture from the rear at Christchurch Quay again shows the rudder flipped up – there is a line travelling forward to the rear cockpit and intially the rudder just dropped into place and this enabled me to remotely pull it coming into shallows or it could kick up. We then later added bungess and a few pulley wheels to hold it down while travelling along but would prevent any damage coming into contact with rocks etc and it works really well.
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Showing our amazing synchronicity…. One shot in a million.
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Here we a re getting ready to depart, the platofrm is really stable when getting in and out and inspires confidence.
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Lesley doing all the work as normal as I just twat about. You cna see here no tiller in evidence so very early testing days.
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Where’s my f8cking rudder? Some b4stard has had it away. Or I hadn’t made it and fitted it yet.
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Here I am testing with my bother Craig down for the weekend. He is almost two and half times the weight of Lesley – can you see the different ride height in the water?
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Here you can see the rudder held in the up position and the bungee connectedto the leading edge of the rudderwhich holds it down until it hits an obstruction. I am also putting on the outriggercrossbeam before we head over to Hurst Castle opposite the Isle of Wight.
This was great fun paddling around and we scooted all over the place.
We soon decided that sailing would be a good bet and we started with a small downwind only sail that folded up when not required. Quite fiddly to put away but showed how effective even a small area of sail can be on such light and slender hulls.
So we decided to go down the route of the CLC sailrig, but waited until the Mk3 came out as it was more sophisticated and larger for better low wind performance but fully reefable if it got messy.
I also looked at other sail options from old windsurfer rigs wanting to different options and placements to understand the way the boat, sail and foils all interacted.
First test – blowing a hooly.
Couldn’t risk my wife so I got Captain Crappy, faithful ally, aide-de-camp and guaranteed halfwit-in-chief for anything dangerous/dim/ridiculous and often all three.
We pootled down to Keyhaven 1 minutes drive away, took the boat off the roof