Serene – 3

t’s time to move on to a new kayak design 🙂 . Lessons learnt from my last failed trip signifies the necessity for a boat design that is geared toward a wide range of self – rescue actions such as: balanced brace, roll and wet – entry. Thanks to the very dynamic world – wide sea – kayak community, which constantly invents and improves various techniques, I’ve updated myself to some newer self – rescue techniques which I consider to be critically important for long cruising trips.

My previous boat, Serene – 2 has some obvious shortcomings though: initial stability is still slightly problematic, especially for reentry; the electricity system, though working very well, is hard to repair or upgrade, this is due to my inexperience with electrical wiring. I would incorporate into this kayak design various small improves here and there: the storage compartments and hatches would be rearranged to better utilize the boat’s volume, a new rudder system with better responsiveness, etc…

For the last 2 months, most of my free times is directed toward working with FreeShip, the very helpful boat – designing software. Some design parameters: LOA: 5.2m (17′), Beam: 46 cm, Displacement: 120 kg, Cp (prismatic coefficient): 5.3, S (wetted surface): 1.95, Cb (block coefficient): 0.39, Cw (waterplane coefficient): 0.7… The most important change compared to Serene – 2 is a significant increase in rocker, the boat is now much curvy, having the mid section deeper seated in water.



lso, the deck height right after the cockpit is reduced, so that climbing in the kayak would be easier. The hull’s upper bilges now have much more flare, especially at the 2 ends, to help improving secondary stability, that also has Cp (prismatic coefficient) increased to about 0.52 ~ 0.53, a value usually seen on a fast cruising kayak, unlike the quite – low value of 0.5 on my previous Serene – 2. Transverse metacentric height – Kmt increased to 26 ~ 27 cm, which indicates satisfactory initial stability.

Thus, Serene – 3 is designed with a shift to (primary and secondary) stability concerns. Directional stability (reflected by the Cb – block coefficient value of 0.39) is ensured with an improved rudder system. The beam is slightly widen to 46 cm, and LOA stays at 17 feet. The 5.2m length is an important factor, cause it could entirely fit into a 4 meter truck, which could be easily hired to transport the boat if needed, otherwise at 18 feet, I would need a larger truck, which could be hard to find.

The hull features a deeper V – bottom, something similar to that of the Illorsuit. In all three Serene – 1, 2, 3 designs, I’ve always tried to combine deep V – hull with a narrow beam, something until now I’ve only partially succeeded. Various other improves would be incorporated into this boat. I would build different hatches with big silicon gaskets, to completely solve the water leaking problem (hopefully). Also, there would be 3 hatches along the kayak, to better utilized the storage volume inside.



here’re so many minor improves here and there, and lots of design considerations too, to maximize the usability of the kayak under various real – world conditions. The aft deck is lowered a bit, to facilitate climbing in the cockpit once thrown own by a complete capsize. There’re two deep – water reentry techniques that I was considering possible with this boat design. Wet – reentry has been a shortcoming of previous designs, being too slim and unstable to make an easy access.

This is not a kayak specially tailored for rolling, but Serene – 3 is designed with concerns of balance – brace and rollings in mind. At the moment, I’m not too sure about its capability to roll under full load and heavy sea conditions, but I’m quite confident for its easy recovering in brace actions. Also, the hatches’ design has been reviewed and modified, to improve their water – tight capability, I’m putting great hope in the new gaskets which would be made by silicon molding to accommodate the hatches.

Also, there would be 3 hatches, all big (no small day hatch) to better utilize the internal containing volume. The rudder design is also reviewed and altered, I need lighter pedaling, and quicker overall responsiveness for the rudder actions, a new type of rudder post, new layout for control cabling too. The electronic system would received a bunch of improves in building techniques, decoupling the whole system into several separable components, to make maintenance and repair easier later on.



inally, I managed to have some time slots to start the kayak building. Works would be carried out mostly at weekends, and hopefully, the boat could be finished within this year. After much hesitations, procrastinations, and considerations into the very details, I’ve incorporated quite some “innovations” into the final design, as well as some “simplifications” to ease the building process. I “hope” this is also my “last” stitch – and – glue boat, the 6th of “the fleet”, seems to be a lot already! 🙂

The past 2, 3 weeks were spent mostly on reviewing, fine – tuning the design, “rehearse” the overall building techniques and process. This is a design that consumes my brainstorm the most! Many building steps could be done very quick now, as they have been done 5, 6 times already. So I would skip documenting in various parts, as they are all similar as in my previous boats, only to highlight things that are different. First is setting up the molding stations, cut from MDF as usual.

There would be 9 molding stations (female type) for the hull, and only 4 stations for the deck, each positioned 0.6m apart. One of my last changes to the deck was modifying its sides’ “slope” to 45 degrees, the deck would have lots of “flare” in the inverted position, that’s to make rolling easier. Once the boat is up – side – down and the deck becomes the bottom, so a “stable” full – shape deck wouldn’t be good for practicing kayak rolling. And I guess it could give some help to the boat’s windage too.






For more details, see the photo albums below:

Serene – 3, part 1