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gonna take the plunge

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:36 pm
by fransjoe
Hi all, well after doing some research and checking stuff out online, I decided to build my kayak instead of buying a plastic one. I was Wondering about one little thing, since I'm on a very tight budget I decided on the Free plans for the Laker 13. Now I Live in the San Francisco Bay area and was wondering if this Kayak would be able to handle the chop in the Bay. (it can get quite interesting) Or if not is there any way to tweak the hull so it can handle some good Windborne Chop and Salt Water?

Re: gonna take the plunge

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:33 am
by hairymick
G'day fransjoe and welcome aboard.

Mate, Laker is not a sea kayak. She is a superb design as a general purpose, recreational kayak. I have had mine is surf a couple of times and in mild white water. She is capable enough in those conditions but definately not designed nor intended for use in rough, open water.

I would respectfully sugest that you consider Okwater or Freedom 15. They have higher volume, are more stable and are more sea worthy than Laker.

Re: gonna take the plunge

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:52 am
by fransjoe
thanks Mick. I think I'll build it as a nice project to cut my teeth with in boat building, there are a couple of little canals and lagoons here in the next town over so I think I'll be using it there. Maybe take it out to the bay once in a while on calm days. The truth is that seen the bay whip up to maybe 4 to 5 foot chop about 1.5 to 1.8 mts. don't know if this is outside of the parameters for the laker? :?: :?

Re: gonna take the plunge

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:19 am
by OnkaBob
Hi Joe,

Mick's advice on this is very sound - he has experience with a range of Jem boats.

It sounds like you are going ahead with the Laker build anyway so I'll just put my 2 cents worth in as well.

I have the other version of the Laker 13 but I understand they are very similar. While out exploring creeks one day I had to cross an open stretch to return to my landing spot. The wind had come up and was sending swells and whitecaps well into the creek - the open stretch was a mass of whitecaps although the largest would have been only 2 feet. I took the shortest route straight across with the wind three quarters on at around 15 - 20 knots. The Laker handled it OK - tracking is good and secondary stability is too - but it was a struggle for me. If wave height had reached 4 feet then I would not have made it.

The point is that if you go on the bay you need to pick your days very carefully, have a backup plan (learn self rescue), wear a PFD (compulsory where I live anyway) and study tides etc. I live on the other side of the world but I have heard there are some very strong tidal currents in your bay.

If you start off on the canals and lagoons you mentioned and work up then you should be able to enjoy your Laker safely.

Re: gonna take the plunge

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:19 pm
by fransjoe
Thanks Bob. One of the things that I want to see is that, star with the lagoons and canals to see my handiwork first of all, and also if there's some way to tweak the boat to be able to go to the Bay. but mostly in the lagoons, (I'm not in the best condition, smoker and haven't gone to the gym in about 12 years).

By the way, I think I might have convinced the wife to go out in a Canoe there too. (wife can barely swim in a pool, and is deadly afraid of "wild" water.