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Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Sun May 15, 2016 12:01 pm
by nodiak
Hello all, I've been enjoying reading about the jem boats over the last year or so. Feeling ready to order some plans. I have been a carpenter and furniture maker for ~20 years of my adult life so hope to be able to complete a build. Also know a couple nearby surfboard glassers to help me with that stage. Ready to give it a shot!
I have access to a large bay (Humboldt Bay off Eureka, Ca.). There is about 2 hours before and after high tide for easy access from where I live. Gives plenty of time for a nice cruise or some fishing. (Anything longer just needs to end at another spot a couple miles away and load up into a truck).
I think I'm leaning toward the Okwata as it seems efficient and sleek. I don't plan on longer than a daytrip, no overnight ventures now.
My only question is its stability vs the wider Southwind 15. I don't want a longer boat than either of these.
I've read Micks excellent log of building and using his Okwata and got inspired!
Oh, my experience on this beautiful bay has been in canoes. A massive 18.5 foot old, Mad River expedition, my son and I have. And a 15' by 30" solo. I'm looking for more efficiency, better tracking. Don't need tight maneuverability.
Thanks for any input!
Don

Re: Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Sun May 15, 2016 8:11 pm
by Mick
G'day Don, and welcome aboard mate.

I have been otherwise busy these last couple of years so my posts here have been less than normal. I built the prototypes Okwata and Southwind 17. Both are superb paddling and fishing boats. I think Southwind 15 X 30 would suit your needs even better.

Okwata is a brilliant kayak, but like all kayaks, you are limited by space and access to your gear if you are fishing from it. Having said that, it is stable, fast and maneuverable and an excellent boat from which to fight and land serious fish.

SOUTHWIND 15 x 30 should offer all of the above with improved stability and being a decked canoe, will be more user friendly when it comes to placement of and accress to all the bits and pieces one needs when fishing. I really like the concept of the more open cockpit and increased load capacity of this boat.

Re: Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 12:02 am
by nodiak
Thanks for the reply Mick. I think what you point out about the Southwind 15' being more utilitarian makes sense. Always tough to decide these things at a distance.
Another big issue for me is to have good tracking characteristics. Especially my solo canoe needed a lot of corrective strokes. I'm mostly in open water trying to make somewhat efficient distance. Feeling a lower centered craft will help in the wind we get sometimes too.

Re: Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 2:59 am
by Mick
Yes, its always a trade off. Southwind 17 - 9 is more like a kayak in that regard. Long and lean with a low wind signature and tracked beautfully. I think the 15' version might be a bit higher but should still track very well. Much better than a traditional canoe.

I fish a open bay now when i am at home and wind is always a problem. Okwata handles it easily but so does my Southwind. A bit more food for thought, have a look at Matt's Cape Fear or the Lake Crruiser. I think both of these designs would work well and they are much simpler builds.

Re: Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Fri May 20, 2016 12:42 am
by nodiak
Over the last few days I found time to look over the designs you mentioned. Laker series does look simpler and quicker to build. Cape Fear seemed somewhat similar to Southwind 15 , with less panels so also a bit easier.
If I felt I had time to build 2 boats would possibly go for a simpler design. But right now think the Southwind 15 would be worth the extra effort. It's passed the Okwata up in my mind now because of its versatility. Thanks for pointing that out.
I'll be away for a week and hope to get things rolling when I get back. Also found I can get 4mm Okoume locally which is helpful.

Re: Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Sat May 21, 2016 4:01 pm
by nodiak
Ordered the South Wind 15 plans :)

Re: Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Tue May 24, 2016 10:33 pm
by Mick
Good job ! You are going to love that boat.

Re: Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Sun May 29, 2016 10:58 pm
by nodiak
I think so too! Looking forward to getting the plans and materials this coming week. Hope to make time to get to work asap!

Re: Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:52 am
by jem
nodiak wrote:I think so too! Looking forward to getting the plans and materials this coming week. Hope to make time to get to work asap!
I was slow getting them shipped but they are on the way.

Re: Okwata vs Southwind 15

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:57 pm
by nodiak
Thanks Matt!