serene – 1, part 1

n the progress of learning to design my new kayak… you know its name already. I’m using Free!Ship, a CAD software running on Win XP virtual machine (with VirtualBox) on my Macbook. I haven’t used any CAD software before, haven’t designed anything 3D, not to say about a watercraft. So why designing a kayak!? Well, first, just for the fun of doing something yourself from A to Z. Second, though I’m no naval designer in any sense, I believe I have some guts on how a good kayak should be!

Many kayaks are designed for 70 ~ 90 kg paddlers on average, I’m not that bold, and I need something slimmer, lighter, with the drawback of sacrificing some load capacity of course. I’m re – modeling my kayak after Björn Thomasson’s Black Pearl, using just some publicly – available pictures of the boat. And it’s not a copy, there’re some modifications: slightly narrower beam, slightly less rocker, and slightly deeper V – bottom. And I would stick still to my familiar stitch & glue construction method.

Why stitch & glue!? Strip build generally offers best boat shapes, but look at the Inuit people’s SOF (skin on frame) kayaks, those “hard chines” suit naturally to S&G, the method is simpler and takes less time (which I don’t really have much for now). It gonna be not an easy process: just for the hull, adjust the 60 control points back and forth, recalculate the stability and performance parameters, repeat again and again until you’re satisfied with the results. I hope I can finish the design in about a month or so.

Serene – 1, part 1
Serene – 1, part 2
Serene – 1, part 3
Serene – 1, part 4

Recently, I’d noticed that Japanese kayakers usually use kinds of slim, long kayak similar to the Black Pearl, that’s quite understandable cause the body – building of Japanese is Vietnamese alike, we’re not too bold. Use a slimmer, lighter boat, and pack your gears cleverly for longer trip!

It’s interesting to know that, in the old day, in building kayaks, the Inuit people has “recipes” to measure the size of the boat: length should be 3 times the height of the paddler, width should be the hip plus somewhere from 4 to 8 “finger”. Well, like shoes, boat is tailored to match the user.

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