Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

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hairymick
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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by hairymick » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:42 am

Thanks Al,

Mate if the very short walk I took her for a few weeks ago (just to confirm seat position) is anything to go by, I think she will make a very good touring kayak.

I rarely go offshore anymore but am pretty confident she will make a capable boat in just about all conditions. Most of my open water stuff is now only in a large bay but pretty exposed in any wind. Wind chop is allways a potential problem here. Southwind and my expedition sea kayk handle it, no problem. What I was after with this one, was a boat about as skinny water capable as my Laker but also capable as a sometimes open water boat for day trips. I just love to sprint across the bay to Fraser Island, have lunch on the beach, than a nice easy paddle back over the coral, into the setting sun. I think it is about 11 miles each way.

Oh yeah, I really like the immense volume in the front hatch of this boat. For a 15 foot rec,touring kayak, it is the best I have seen.

I sat in her on the ground today before loading her onto my car. (Did I mention I'm going paddling tomorrow? :P ) With the seat set up the way it is, the boat fits me like a glove. Side braces are a neat fit and my knees tuck in beautifully under the side decks.

This will make for really comfortable and controlled bracing in bad weather. With a skirt or spray deck, I think this boat will lend her self very well to rolling but I don't plan on ever being upside down again if I can help it. :lol:

Do I sound excited? LOL, bet your life I am. Tides are all wrong for a paddle tomorrow where I want to go, but I don't care. It has been a real test of will not to take this boat out before she was finished. :D
Regards,
Mick

JEMWATERCRAFT Swampgirl; Wadefish;Touring Pirogue;South Wind; P5 ;
Laker X 2, Sasquatch 16.5 T-V 15 Okwata 15:
Cobia 15 (under construction)

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Ossie Bruce
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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by Ossie Bruce » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:04 am

Mick,
She looks a beaut, have fun tomorrow, we will be wating for the feedback.



Bruce
Ossie Bruce OKWATA Wet at last
North Queensland
Australia

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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by jem » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:59 am

:D 8) :D 8) :D 8)
-Matt. Designer.

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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by Bruce36549 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:12 pm

Hi Mick,

This is one of the prettiest kayak's that Matt has designed, and you did a first rate job on it. Congratulations, Mate!

You had a picture in there of a backing plate for the foot braces, and I was wondering if you had any pics of the actual installation of the braces. I'm curious about the procedure: how do you decide where they go, and how do they install?

Thanks,
Bruce
I may look busy, but I'm only confused.

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hairymick
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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by hairymick » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:23 am

G'day Bruce, thanks mate.

Re the foot braces, I will see what I can find. I think I did a post about them on either my or Robins Laker build. Will take some measurements in the next day or so and give you specifics. My feet are about US size 13, I think but the placement is just right for me.

I just got back from taking her for a walk. Working on a review shortly with piccies but I have to tell you that this is a superb kayak by any standard. Laker is a great boat, but to compare the difference between the two would be like trying to compare a ferarri to a volkswagon beetle. I love my laker but this boat is in a different league alltogether.
Regards,
Mick

JEMWATERCRAFT Swampgirl; Wadefish;Touring Pirogue;South Wind; P5 ;
Laker X 2, Sasquatch 16.5 T-V 15 Okwata 15:
Cobia 15 (under construction)

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hairymick
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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by hairymick » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:53 am

OK here we go,

I put in at the mouth of our Burrum River early this morning. Conditions were glassy calm with no wind and a falling tide. Strong current here, because the river is in mild flood.

Sun just breaking the horizon.

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Load up was easy. The front hatch in this boat is enormous for a kayak 15 feet long.

I have paddled this boat once before, with no cockpit coaming, footbraces etc and a sit backer seat resting on the bottom of the boat. I liked they way she paddled even with that most basic of accommodations.

Straddled the boat and sat in the seat and oh so easily just lifted my legs and slid them into the cockpit and under the deck. I just love big cockpits. 8) a gentle rock from side to side, just to see what she would do. lovely.

Plan was to paddle upstream a few miles to some small islands and just sort of poke around them for a while and hopefully catch a fish or two and get a "feel" for this boat in the process. As I worked my way up stream and through the moored boats, I tried a few gentle bracing turns etc, High braces, low braces, bow and stern rudders etc and with each maneuvre, my confidence in this boat grew. She performed flawlessly throughout. Very stable and very predictable. before I knew it, I had worked up a sweat, I was having so much fun just playing.

About an hour later, I approached the first of several small mangrove islands, was sweating profusely and the day was promising to be a scorcher. Time for a swim and cool off and a lill refreshment. :lol: Onto a sandbar that was just uncovering - out of the boat real easy 8) and into the water, aaaaaah! 8) just lovin this.

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I set a line out while I had my swim and before I knew it First Blood! :D

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These little fellers are only small but very sweet and they breed prolificly here. got a few more and off again. Now she is a boat.

It was about 09.30 by now, very hot and promising to get even hotter, so went looking for shade.

Nah, not here,

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This'll do, Steep to bank and difficult exit in most kayaks,

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No problem in this one. 8)

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Time for a cuppa coffee.

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just sitting in the shade by my favourite river gazing at my new favourite boat. 8)

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In my excitement, this morning, I left my cup in the car, mutter mutter, mumble.

more shortly.
Regards,
Mick

JEMWATERCRAFT Swampgirl; Wadefish;Touring Pirogue;South Wind; P5 ;
Laker X 2, Sasquatch 16.5 T-V 15 Okwata 15:
Cobia 15 (under construction)

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hairymick
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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by hairymick » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:27 am

The fishing was poor because of all the muddy fresh water coming down so I waited here in the shad for our very reliable sea breeze to come of cool things down a little.

When it did come, I headed straight for the river mouth, about 4 miles distant,
to play in the wind chops and to try to find some fault with this lovely boat.

The four miles travelled surprising fast, (river mouth in the distance.)

Image

even with punching into the small chop and breeze that was develloping. No spray came over the bow and the boat is silent, piercing the chops like a spear. This is what I think any good kayak should do.

Lunch and another cuppa on the beach at the river mouth and all too soon, it was time to head back across the river to my put in.

I wasn't real sure what to expect as I paddled back across these chops. I knew she would handle them well but just how well surprised even me. This boat is rock solid stable, yet at the same time manages to convey a sense or responsiveness that is difficult to describe.

Another bane of many kayaks with open cockpits when travelling across chops is that every now and then, one will run along down the side of the boat and into it. This didn't happen even once here.

Weathercocking was minimal and what of it that there was, I think was caused my by three fishing rods standing up in my rear flush mounts. Generally she tracked straight and true and only required a very occasional corrective stroke.

As i approached the southern shore, I turned my stern to the wind and ran directly down wind. The breeze was only blowing around 15 kts with wind against the tide.

This is where the fun really begins! :D just about every bigger chop I encountered, this boat caught, effortlessly, ran down the small face with no pearling or broaching at all and required practically no bracing. i just sat back and enjoyed the little runs, and there were lots of them. 8)

Not very impressive chops in this pic but I was on a little run when I took it. This is how well she handles!

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Matt, yet again, you have surpassed yourself. This design is a beauty! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this boat is a winner. I have a shed full of superb kayaks and canoes and this one is my new favourite boat.

I will word up a proper review in the next day or so but I love this boat so much, i haven't even taken her off the car. i will be going out in her tomorrow, and the day after and the day after that!

She is a joy to paddle in all the conditions I encountered today and I can think of no thing in her design that I would change. She is an ideal rec/fishing/touring kayak for me and the conditions where I live.

Thanks mate, LOVE ya work! :D 8)

Image
Regards,
Mick

JEMWATERCRAFT Swampgirl; Wadefish;Touring Pirogue;South Wind; P5 ;
Laker X 2, Sasquatch 16.5 T-V 15 Okwata 15:
Cobia 15 (under construction)

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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by OnkaBob » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:48 am

Great report Mick, fantastic pics too (love that one of the boat in front of the dead tree). Sounds like it does just what it was designed for and looks magnifico.

Heard a report of croc sightings in your area recently, is there any truth in this or is the media being the media again? Anyhow be careful.

.....Oh, and you need to stop accusing OTHER people of raising the bar! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Cheers, Bob

Laker 13 - christened and slimed (just).
Laker accessories underway.

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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by craiggamesh » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:53 pm

Great report and as always, beautiful boat. I loved the pictures as well. You make it hard for a person to stop building boats. Every time I see another build on this forum, I want to build one like it.
Regards,

Craig
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Re: Hairie's Okwata 15 X 26 LC

Post by olsnappa » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:01 am

Another classic Mick. Congratulations!! She's a stunner!!! :D :D :D
Mat......Lovely design :D Nice work :D
John.
1 Cape Fear Sit In....a couple more planned
2 Laker 14's
1 Paddle board

"People who don't make mistakes don't make anything"

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