We started off paddling in a super cheap blow up double canoe on the local canal and really enjoyed the exercise, then progressed to a far better double canoe which we paddled around all over the place near the New Forest and the canals around Aldershot. We also bought two far better inflatable single kayaks that we have in San Felipe, Baja, Mexico that can be used in the surf and are great fun for getting up close to the wildlife on the sea shore in the Sea of Cortez.
Once it became apparent this was something we really liked, I started looking at better kayak options, wanting something with less windagte and that would track better and that we could paddle together. I found many websites covering wooden homebuild kayaks but the range and quality of the craft at www.clcboats.com website really grabbed my attention. The UK providers of the plans and kits are www.fyneboatkits.co.uk
She is called Puff as she only needs a puff of wind to get flying along.
Generally, my wife Lesley hangs off the side of the trampoline to keep us flat and controlling the furling RS200 jib when the wind is up. I sit in the rear cockpit to steer using the long tiller extension and paddle where required for delicate manoeuvring/getting us out of the shit. The feeling of speed is tremendous when sat in the cockpit as you are sat beelow the waterline – like being in a go-kart. The long tiller can be locked in place as it runs through a tightened piece of bungy so once set can be left alone quite happily to concentrate on the sails.
She’s really easy to paddle even as a trimaran and moves along at a good speed. The tiller is needed when sailing as the foot pedals do not generate enough power to turn the larger rudder used when sailing. When used just for paddling we swap the rudder for a much smaller one which has less drag and works fine and connect the pedals for steering so I don’t have to lose a stroke.
There is plenty of storage for and aft in the watertight compartments and in 2017 hoping to have some longer trips over to the Isle of Wight and so on to really make the most of the versatility it gives us.
It is light enough to easily put the main hull on the roof between us – I can put it on myself if I am careful, but at 22ft, it is more the fact it is very unwieldy that means 2 is easier.