I built my Outer
Island during the summer of 2005. Photos of my boat appear below, along with
my impressions of it's performance.
Click any photo below to see
a larger image.
The Finished Kayak
All the wood on this boat is western red cedar, except for the thin light
accent lines from basswood, and the cockpit coaming and external stems
Fully rigged, the boat weighs 38 pounds.
The lay-up consists of 0.22 inch thick wood encapsulated on the interior
with 4 ounce S-fiberglass, and on the exterior with 6 ounce E-glass with an
additional layer of 4 ounce E-glass on the hull.
deck rigging was simplified by having the shock cord go directly through
tight holes in foredeck and at the far stern. Behind the cockpit, soft padeyes
allowed multiple passes of the shock cord.
I chose a standard keyhole cockpit,
sized similar to my other boats so my sprayskirts will fit. However, I
positioned the rear of the cockpit opening aft approximately 3 inches from
the designed location, to have more room behind the backrest for layback
rolls. The seat and backrest remain in the originally-planned
Stern view: The upswept bow
and stern of this kayak make it especially attractive.
This was a comparatively easy boat to strip.
Only a few deck strips required some strong-arm tactics to conform to the twist
on the sides and aft of the cockpit.
The styling of the Outer Island kayak
profile borrows heavily
from traditional Greenland kayaks.
The hull shape is a rounded, or shallow arch, that transforms into a
'V' aft of the cockpit.
Despite careful alignment of the forms, checking
and rechecking, I had a flat area on the hull near form 12, so I let the strips
'float' a little over that area to keep a fair curve. Having built 6 strip
kayaks before this one, this baffled me!
The bulkheads are wood strip.
Under-deck shock cords are designed to hold a hand pump.
This Outer Island is 18 feet and 1
inch long and 21 inches wide.
From my perspective as a 155 pound paddler typically traveling with 10-20 pounds of
gear, I am quite pleased with the overall performance of my Outer Island kayak.
During timed race trials, I recorded by best times in the Outer Island so I
chose to race the Outer Island instead of my Night Heron.
The bow entry is very clean with a relatively small bow wave.
strong tracking of the Outer Island is great for day tripping with very little
yaw on each stroke. The downside of the great tracking is that it is
harder to turn around river bends and play in tight spots, even when
edged. A version of the Outer Island with a little more rocker might
be a good experiment. The Outer Island performs well for me in wind and
waves, and in a crosswind has less downwind drift that some of my more
Features include a paddle park,
front and rear shock cords for deck gear, and inside shock cord
attachments for a hand pump and sponge.
While this boat's styling borrows
from West Greenland kayaks, below the waterline
this boat has a shallow arch bottom that becomes more of a 'V' shape behind the
cockpit. There are no hard chines on this boat.
Two Outer Islands. My friend
Kurt carries a little barbell weight because, I think, rolling the boat is too easy
without it. It's a little
unstable as a sit-on-top, but otherwise a fine boat.
course the Outer Island is relatively easy to roll, though rolling ability has
more to do with the paddler than the boat.
The wood for my boat was cut from decking lumber bought
Depot. Most of the boards were 2" x 8" by 12 feet long. I
cut strips from six boards, but the boat only used four of the best ones.
The plans I received were
very complete and easy to understand. It included full-size
station templates on separate pages. Having built
several strip kayaks before this one, I ignored some of the designer's techniques
in favor of my own.
My thanks to the designer, Jay Babina, for the
fine design, and everyone who posted building tips on the Kayak
Building Bulletin Board.
Hope to see you on the water!
Sincerely, John Caldeira firstname.lastname@example.org
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Created October 22, 2005