John's Cirrus LT with Strip Deck

Page 3:  The Completed Kayak

Somewhere between the previous page and here, the kayak was completed.  Its maiden voyage was a 15 mile tour of Grapevine Lake (near Dallas) on April 3, 2005.  Normally, I prefer a shorter shake-down cruise, but the weather was beautiful and a couple of friends were going out so I joined them.  Here are some photos from the first day out:

Completing this kayak makes me proud!

The finished kayak weighs 40 pounds, fully fitted.  

Wood chips, epoxy putty and fiberglass make this lightweight seat.

The seat bottom is a wood mosaic, encased in fiberglass.  It is 1/8" thick, with minicel foam underneath.  

I will add foam hip pads and replace the current backrest with a Maurer-style wooden backrest soon.  

The 'tail' in the deck design was my nephew's idea.

Stern view.  The deck rigging is similar to most of my other kayaks:  The foredeck has twin shock cord loops for holding maps, aft deck cords for holding a spare paddle. 

16 feet, 1/2 inch long

Side view.  I prefer a clean deck when paddling.  Under-deck shock cords hold a pump.  Shock cords on the side of the cockpit hold a sponge.  Space behind the seat holds a bag with a paddle float, gloves, sun screen, etc.  A spare two-piece paddle is in the rear hatch.    

Paddle parks are very practical.

This deck design is very simple.
Beautiful weather first day out.

The Cirrus LT tracks very well.  I had it out in winds 12 to 15 miles per hour and 1-2 foot waves, and it behaved as if the wind was hardly a factor.   

It rolls upright so easily!

The shallow 'V' shaped hull felt a little tippy at first.  After a few minutes on the water, I adjusted to it.  The secondary stability is great.
Bracking, low-brace turn.

The boat carves low-brace braking turns just fine. 

On the outward-edged sweep turns, it tracked too well.  I gave it a good sweep stroke to initiate a turn, edged, but the boat has a very strong tendency to hold course.  It does better with bow rudder strokes.

Edging to test performance.

This boat can be edged to the cockpit coaming without bracing.  The sides flare out towards the deck to give excellent secondary stability.
Love that stability!

The Cirrus LT certainly doesn't need a skeg.  A small rudder might be useful on occasion for turning, but I prefer the low-tech simplicity of using paddle strokes.
Coming up!

Of course this kayak is easy to roll.  

To make layback rolls easier, the rear coaming was lowered approximately one inch with a cockpit recess and extended towards the stern 1 inch.

Watch my Cirrus LT in this short rolling video:

Cirrus_LT_Roll.mpg (1.3MB)


My next kayak will probably be a longer, low-volume boat.  Or maybe I'll build a canoe.  I also need another paddle,.....                                                     

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Created April 4, 2005