serene – 1, part 18, launch

he final boat weighs at 21 kg (7th image), a bit heavier than my expectation (I was adding more materials in the later phases of building when thought that it’s already light enough, and the two plastic Beckson hatches add an additional 1 kg 😢). But anyhow, that’s fine still, I can comfortably transport it on my shoulders for considerable distance at that mass. Looking top down, the boat is slim and slender exactly like a bamboo leaf! Last image: me porting the kayak to water… 😀

I took the boat to my routine 20 km paddling route today, having just one word to say: EXCELLENT! 😀 It rains heavily 2/3 of the route, quite strong wind at times, but small waves, relatively calm water. The first thing to recognize is the (predicted) low initial stability, took some times to get familiar with that. A novice paddler could be probably frightened in my boat though. The kayak does not track as straight as Hello World – 3, and I need to deploy the skeg 1/4 down for most of the time.

Velocity sees a very good improve, I finished the route in 2 hour 50 minutes, compared to the 3 hour 30 minutes best time of Hello World – 3 on that same route, with quite a weak tide today. However, this is only initial measures, I need to thoroughly trial the kayak in many other routes and conditions to have some precise comments, e.g: with this narrow beam of 45 cm, I would certainly need a shorter paddle. Would post some paddling pictures and videos once I’m done with the testings.

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

With this narrow boat, the steadiness of your own body in motion is important. Hence, it does require some practices to completely handle the boat. For the moment, it’s too early to say about the kayak stability, especially that I haven’t had the chances to test it in rougher conditions.

However, my observations during the strong wind & some waves, the boat handles nicely. I feel it’s more stable in waves than on flat water 😀. When rain’s flooded about 6, 7 cm, it becomes even more stable, cause the kayak is approaching its nominal (designed) capacity.

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