Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

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nickcrowhurst
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Simon, it's good to see you pushing the limits of the design in different directions. She should be fast. Great job.
Nick.
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A fine view of Rossi Sandro's Shrike

Post by nickcrowhurst »

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The white square on the stern is an abnormal overhanging load sign in, I guess, Italy.
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by CATMANDOO »

I have progressed to making the cock pit as a keyhole .
One thing I can't understand is why is there a need to plane the sides concave ?

The picture in the manual illustrating why; is not as far as I am concerned too clear . in my case the upstanding is about one inch but slightly higher at the bow and lower at the Stern . So what am I missing ?



Also For information I found it quite easy to bend the upstanding using the heat gun on the work the to the left but slowly and also avoided burning the wood .

Plan to do that also with the knee braces


the bow maroske fitting is slightly off centre . Panel slipped when gluing and I did not notice paying more attention to getting the joint a the cock pit as thin a gap as possible. Slso going to balance it visually with another slightly to port using two copper 90deg fitings push fit using small forward access man hole yet to be cut
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by CATMANDOO »

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Any chance of getting an number and label for this one ?
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by nickcrowhurst »

CATMANDOO wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 4:00 pm
I have progressed to making the cock pit as a keyhole .
One thing I can't understand is why is there a need to plane the sides concave ?
The picture in the manual illustrating why; is not as far as I am concerned too clear . in my case the upstanding is about one inch but slightly higher at the bow and lower at the Stern . So what am I missing ?
Page 29 of the Build Manual states "Without shaping, the top edge may be almost straight, an inelegant profile. The concavity need only be very slight, as shown here with a plastic batten to indicate the curve."
It's purely aesthetics. If you're happy without any extra concavity then that's great.
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by nickcrowhurst »

CATMANDOO wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 4:28 pm
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Any chance of getting an number and label for this one ?
The label is in the plans download under the name "shrikebadge". Yours is Shrike number 414.

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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by ChrisJK »

Hi Carmandoo
As Nick says it is about aesthetics but also remember to look at how your spraydeck is going to snugly grip the combing.
Further back up the thread on pages 32-36 is my account of trial and error in first making an ocean cockpit and then reconfiguring it to a small keyhole cockpit which avoided needing to make thigh braces as I padded the areas with salvaged cell foam.
I made my cockpits by making a template and internal form and found careful use of a heat gun preferable to disintegrating the sliced ply into sections. That’s the joy of this build which has a degree of open source learning and improvement.
It good to read the manual and the slowly lengthening thread as resources along with judicious pms to other builders.
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by CATMANDOO »

Still cant see the concave curve from the picture . I have looked at it many times . On the contrary it looks convex sticking up in the middle above the white batten :)

Also how wide should the lip be ? Surely it does not have to be as wide as shown on the plans..
On my Guillemot which I made from Nick Shade's book I made it 1/2 inch wide from laminated strips of ash bent round the upstand making it quit a stiff vertical pull to disengage . My Spray deck is strong elastic and even then I have to give the loop at the front a very sharp tug to escape when upside down. I use a Carabiner attached to the loop to act as a weight to dangle down and easily grab

A wide flange would make it less easy
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by ChrisJK »

Hi Catmandoo
I will agree that some of the pictures can sometimes be unclear as to details but slightly concave is the aim on this detail which also possibly helps tension the spray deck
I initially made my combing too wide and it had a concave edge which would have allowed water ingress so I reshaped it. Essentially you just customise yours to suit what you’ve got and will work for your own cumfort and safety.
I finished my Shrike a year ago and it’s covered quite a few miles since then and been in some moderate conditions including a 5 day extended trip.
Thanks again Nick and those who helped me on the build journey.
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by nickcrowhurst »

CATMANDOO wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 10:59 pm
Still cant see the concave curve from the picture . I have looked at it many times . On the contrary it looks convex sticking up in the middle above the white batten :)
It will be convex until you plane the brown plywood down to match the curve of the top edge of the temporary white batten, or any curve which pleases your eye. Page 29 of the Build Manual:
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by nickcrowhurst »

CATMANDOO wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2023 10:59 pm

Also how wide should the lip be ? Surely it does not have to be as wide as shown on the plans..
On my Guillemot which I made from Nick Shade's book I made it 1/2 inch wide from laminated strips of ash bent round the upstand making it quit a stiff vertical pull to disengage . My Spray deck is strong elastic and even then I have to give the loop at the front a very sharp tug to escape when upside down. I use a Carabiner attached to the loop to act as a weight to dangle down and easily grab
A wide flange would make it less easy

Spray decks are fitted with a grab loop at the front, so the deck starts to remove from the front. The difficulty of removing the spray deck is a function of the strength of the elastic, the size of the overhang of the rim at the front of the cockpit and how closely the fabric of the deck matches the perimeter of the cockpit lip at the front of the cockpit. These variables are all inter-related. Once the front is loose, the width of the remainder of the rim overhang is irrelevant when upside down and hoping not to drown, so, when construction is complete except for the epoxy and varnish coats, I reduce the overhang of the lip at the front to match the size of the fabric and the strength of the elastic of my particular spray deck. If the deck is too easy to remove, being rolled in surf can cause the deck to implode, and you will be in a world of pain. More important is to be able to find the deck loop when wearing gloves, upside down and running out of air. I fit my grab-loops with a length of split garden hose, taped into position. I would not want a carabiner to be smashing into my face when being rolled multiple times in surf with my deck released.
Bear in mind that you can change all these details to suit your own preferences. If you don't want a wide lip, then don't have a wide lip. Page 5 of the Build Manual lists the intentions of the project to include a design that is "Able to be simply adapted to cope with some variations in the size, weight, strength, preferences, and disabilities of paddlers."
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by CATMANDOO »

That's fine ! I was just wanting to understand your line of thought before going any further and save my self further work if I proceeded in the wrong direction.

My current spray deck has strong elastic and it requires quite a strong tug to pull it forward and up but once on it holds and is likewise tight to yank off . Carabiner is light aluminium not 316 SS liable to chip my front teeth and it has never been a problem . It allows me to find the end of the loop easily and grip with both hands and pull as it dangles down . As for the width a wide flange puts a greater moment on the upstand but could be easier fit at the back and sides when pulling the elastic forward at the bow. In any case its at a location easy to add or remove when its suck and see

Ive now got it temporary tacked in place with super glue and I will try a spray deck fit first before taping and epoxying etc
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A Devon Vember Build #9: deck, cockpit and varnish

Post by Devon Dom »

Ah, she's nearly there! Unbelievably I started this project in October and progress has been glacial at times as I fit it in around other things, but there's been much pleasure along the way, mixed with bursts of frustration and puzzlement. I've followed the manual pretty much since my last post, so the following pictures give an overview. The main challenges (ie things I bothered Nick about!) were cutting out the cockpit, worrying that I'd set the cockpit aft bulkhead too far back, and varnishing tips. In general, I tended to find I'd worry about some technique (like glassing the cockpit rim), thinking it sounded highly unfeasible, and then when I'd get to actually do it, everything came together roughly OK.

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Next steps, deck lines, seat, carry handles and then to sea!!
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Dominic, good job. You're going to have so much fun, and you deserve it. It's the only build I've seen where the freezing cold rain water coming through the roof of your shed was hitting me on the top of my head while I checked the lines of the forms for fairness. Christopher is visiting from the USA and he's most impressed with your Shrike. Well done.
Nick.
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A Devon Vember Build - final touches

Post by Devon Dom »

Today I took my finished Vember (named Llithrig after a route that climbs a neighbouring cliff to Vember's - Llithrig means "slippery" in Celtic, apparently) to sea for the first time, to play in the waves at Exmouth beach. It was great fun, everything I had hoped for! Here are some pictures of her complete, with deck lines and hatches.
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And this is how I felt the whole time I was paddling her at Exmouth.

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Thanks Nick once again for all your support over the last 6 months!
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by powderpark »

Greetings,

I've been working on a project for quite a long time to build a 3-piece Shrike. I've been inspired by the previous builds. I've attempted to find a balance between the original Shrike's elegance + simplicity and the required complexity + additional steps to make a reliable 3-piece kayak. Nevertheless, I think a three-sectioned kayak might give opportunity to those who can't find a suitable place to store their kayak. If a practical and reliable way of dividing a kayak lengthwise, then this may bring new kayak builders to current ones. I don't know yet how well the result will be since I have not yet cut my kayak into pieces and tested her on the water. Being quite an impatient person, I wanted to share my progress here, and maybe receive some advice before it's too late since the photos can reveal some weaknesses or provide some alternative methods to those with enough time & energy to experiment. Please keep in mind that some aspects of my build are experimental and must be thoroughly tested for reliability. I will also share some building tips for those who take the risk of diverging from the build manual, at their own risk.


Material
Since it is not possible to purchase any more 3 mm, marine grade, Okoume plywood locally, I had to buy 4 mm instead. After modifying the original DXF files to use in the CNC router, I succeeded to place two kayaks into 5 sheets with careful planning and minimizing waste. To compensate for the %33 additional weight of 4 mm Okoume, I used lightweight Ayous wood (380 kg/m^3) for sheer clamps and cut them 15 mm x 15 mm, triangular cross-section. This provided another surprising benefit, they nicely bent along the sheer line, minimizing the necessity of variably shaping to fit the deck panels. I had to barely use the block plane to flatten at the bow & stern sections only. I'm not sure if this would still be possible if I had used 3 mm plywood or a harder kind of wood instead. The length of the timber in which I cut the sheer clamps was roughly 3 meters so rather than scarf joining them to make a 530+ cm long single piece, I glued them by touching to the masik, this also simplified the fitting process. No need to perform some carpentry, trying to cut a notch on this triangular cross-sectioned area. Again maybe with a 3 mm plywood, one may need to use a 15 x 25 mm sectioned solid timber as advised by the build manual. The suggested cross-sections in the build manual may have further advantages, compared to some marginal weight saving.

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This photograph shows how sheer clamps touch to the edges of the masik and also their triangular cross_section

Additional parts & reinforcements
Since I have almost zero experience in composite manufacturing, vacuum bagging, etc. I followed Simon's advice and make the necessary connector parts using an alternative method. The kayak uses a total of 10 bolts for assembly /disassembly. These bolts pass through the double bulkheads and transfer the acting forces to the bulkheads by small (40 by 40 mm) composite wedges which are manufactured by a very simple mold. The mold is made of a strip of plywood and filled with a ridiculous number of layers of 200 gr/m^2 glass fabric cut to form a long wedge, angled 15 degrees to position the bolts and nuts at this very precise angle. After slicing the part taken from the mold, I obtained twenty small wedges and epoxied those to the bulkheads. Now it is time to drill a hole passing through these wedges and double bulkheads with a long 8 mm drill bit. In order to keep the angle of the drill bit at a 15-degree angle (perpendicular to the wedge surface) I asked the help of a friend to 3d print two types of jigs and guaranteed that the bolts and nuts are well aligned. For the holes that are on the keel line, the bottom face of this box-shaped jig has a V-shaped bottom. You insert the drill bit into the hole on this jig and automatically it passes through wedges & bulkheads with this 15-degree angle. The M8 bolts and nuts are required to be resistant to seawater so they are from 316 quality stainless steel. Since It was not possible to find long nuts manufactured from 316 quality (A4) I got them manufactured (40 GBP for 30 of them, which was the minimum order quantity) I asked the manufacturer to leave the one ends of the nuts closed, freeing me to insulate to prevent water leakage. Also, the shuttle-shaped openings for the bolt intrusions must be covered with a conical part and cut with an angle. I have manufactured these parts (10 of them needed) with Simon's instructions. He patiently explained to me his method of fabricating these and I copied his method. Ideally, a mold and vacuum are needed to fabricate these but an alternative method also worked reasonably well. I have rounded the top of the rectangular sectioned, 1-meter-long batten and covered this with packing tape in order to prevent the epoxy from sticking to this batten. Two meters of U-shaped parts can be cut into identical shapes. I have CA glued these cone-shaped parts to cover the bolt holes and reinforced the single-layer parts with additional 5-6 layers of glass cloth.

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I have cut the wedges into small pieces and the bolt covers prior to the next steps. A total of 20 of these wedges are needed, each having a dimension roughly by 40 by 40 mm

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The composite wedges add some durability to relatively soft plywood surfaces and transfer the loads to a larger area

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The conical composite parts required to cover the bolt openings are manufactured with this simple batten mold, 10 of them are needed but I have made more than necessary upon Simon's advice. With 200 gr/m^2 cloth they are quite flexible but after 5-6 additional layers, become quite strong, probably better than plywood.

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These 25 mm / M8 nuts are produced by a local shop from 316-quality steel. Note that one ends are closed to simplify the epoxy work

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Bolt openings have been closed and all sharp corners are smoothed with epoxy fillets for further stages and better load transfers. Multiple layers are cloth applied to increase the strength & durability of bolt covers. A couple of hours of sanding is required before glassing these areas

Hull openings & double bulkheads
There are a total of 10 openings (slots) on the kayak hull, which need to be cut as small as possible, just big enough to insert a 30 mm long M8 bolt across the double bulkheads with an angle of approximately 15 degrees. I have used a small router and to end up with identical cuts, I made some templates from 4 mm thick acrylic. In Simon's build, the openings were bullet-shaped, the nose of the bullet pointing away from the bulkhead. I first experimented with a crude model and cut the bullet-shaped openings to see how clean they would be. Then noticed that making them shuttle-shaped would be better since the area of the cut would be smaller and I would remove less material. For the actual cuts on the kayak, I made two router templates, one for flat surfaces and the other one for the keel line. The method ended with success and I opened 10 slots in less than 30 minutes.
The foot bulkhead and the bulkhead separating the day hatch section from the rear compartment are double bulkheads. In order to uniformly obtain the separation distance between two bulkheads, I used tongue suppressors and hot silicone glue, so that it would be possible to insert a Japanese saw's blade between these double bulkheads with ~1 mm of gap in-between. After I epoxy and cover the deck panels, I would have no visual clue where the exact centerline between these double bulkheads is to make the actual cut. So, I drilled 1 mm diameter holes along the centerline of the bulkheads and drew a line with a pencil, connecting these holes.

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In order to cut identical openings, I have laser cut 4 mm thick acrylic router templates. The bullet-shaped one was the first iteration. Later I change the openings to shuttle-shaped.

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Three of the shuttle-shaped openings are located at the bottom of the kayak, one along the keel line. They permit the insertion of the bolts with 15° angle

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A close-up photograph of the bolt recess. I will try to minimize the volume in these pockets after the later stages. I don't have any idea about the effect of these for the drag they might cause underwater. Probably nothing to worry about but it would be nice to see it numerically as well.

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To precisely drill a hole at a 15° angle, I have asked the help of my friend to print two simple jigs to hold the 250 mm long M8 drill bit at this angle. For the keel line, the bottom of the jig is V-shaped to sit on the hull. The other jig's bottom is flat.

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The other jig also guarantees the position of the bolt head and nut over the composite wedges.

Speeding up the build process
Here are some suggestions to shorten the build time of a Shrike, which I've discovered throughout this project:
-Simultaneously build masik, cockpit riser, skeg blade & box before the others so that when you complete the hull, you may instantly epoxy those into their places and go on without anything to cure or make.

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This strange-looking thing is my steam box. I have used a kettle to generate steam and a 2-meter-long, Ø 70 mm drain pipe to put the cockpit riser strip into it. Probably 35 minutes was more than enough to make the 4 mm plywood soft enough to conform to the mold. Old clothing is for thermal isolation.

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The mold I've used to form the cockpit riser after I take it from my steam pipe above. I left the part in the mold for 2 days, probably not needed again. It immediately accepted the new shape after cool down.

-Some housekeeping in the CAD files will save you additional time: Shorten the line which is the side panels' length by 14 mm to perfectly match the bottom panels' adjacent edge. If you lower the freeboard, do the similar in the bulkheads by lowering their top edges.
-If you use 4 mm plywood as I do, you _probably_ may not need the three temporary bulkheads.
-Cutting the panels with a CNC router gives you the opportunity to use puzzle joints instead of butt joints for the panels. Bottom panels require one, side panels require two puzzle joints where you can simply use CA glue to join these parts and start working without delay as opposed to waiting for the curing of the epoxy in butt joints.
-I have used a block plane to shape the edges of the panels where they touch each other and this is also time-consuming. If you don't do this, you will end up with a thick borderline as opposed to a thin line, which looks much nicer. Maybe
-Don't use copper wires to temporarily attach the panels but instead duct tape and CA glue. Copper wires & holes may be needed only on high-stress sections of the panels, at the bow & stern.
-If I build another 3-piece Shrike using the same method in the future, I will CNC cut the bolt openings, thus avoiding the router + templates and time-consuming manual labor. Once their locations are decided, simple shapes can be cut perfectly prior to any assembly.
-Fastest epoxy mixing method other than epoxy pumps might be using a sub 1 gram accurate digital scale and two squeezable plastic salad dressing bottles, one for resin, one for the hardener. Also, a plastic container with 90-degree edges (box-shaped) proved to be better for working with thickened epoxy and filleting sticks since the edges help clean the stick much better than a round paper cup or any cylindrical walled container.
-Maybe it is impossible to finish a 100-hour project like Shrike in a weekend or two, but it is still appealing to me to reduce the build time by one-third or any realistic amount.

There are other photographs to make the project clearer but probably these also give an idea.

I want to thank Nick for this wonderful project and his time, dedication, and generosity.

Also Simon, Damian, and Stuart for sharing their knowledge & experiences.

Basar
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Nick has been in the wars...

Post by PlymouthDamo »

For those of you who've posted on this topic over the past couple of weeks, the reason that Nick Crowhurst hasn't responded is that he's had surgery and is still on the mend. Overall, it's very good news for Nick because, having spent the past 8 years with the medical profession unable to provide a diagnosis for a mystery condition which had sapped all the strength from his legs, the hot-shot neurosurgeon he recently tracked down appears to have finally diagnosed and treated the problem. However, the surgery was quite major and the last estimate was that it would take Nick a month just to recover from that. During this time, he might not feel well enough for staring at a computer screen, but I'm sure we'll all chip in with answering questions etc. as necessary.
powderpark wrote:
Tue May 09, 2023 2:17 am
...I wanted to share my progress here...
Basar - I spoke with Nick today and he specifically wanted me to pass on his thanks for your comprehensive explanation of how you went about your 3-piece project. It looks like a beautiful engineering job at the moment, and it will be great to see what it looks like once the boat is cut into 3 and all the cosmetic finishing is done. (By comparison with my 3-piece attempt, yours is an absolute work of art, and I reckon the fixing mechanism will be pretty much invisible - as well as watertight and strong.) Building 3-piece Shrikes is a bit of a 'niche' activity, but Nick does get queries from time to time, so it's great that we can point them towards your post for more detailed build information, and hopefully you'll be able to answer any further questions that come up.
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by DavidDeWitt »

Wishing a speedy recovery for Nick!
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Jacqueline in the USA enjoying her Vember

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Devon Dom on his dream trip

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Dominic contacted me last year. He said his dream was to paddle the Western Isles of Scotland, in a wooden sea kayak that he'd built. Here he is, last week, off the East coast of Jura, in his Vember, at the start of a 12 day journey.

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A new Shrike in the USA

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Tim, in the USA, with his new Shrike. She has a strip-planked deck, which we've only see once before on a Shrike
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Is this the Seal of Approval?

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Damian is in his Shrike-R with his latest design of deck hatches, politely avoiding eye-contact with our Seal of Approval. The Build Manual uses circular plastic deck hatches which are watertight with care, while keeping the threads clean and using the recommended tool to tighten and loosen them, but they do cost money. Regular rubber hatches as often used on commercial kayaks are excellent for water-tightness, but they are far too heavy for our wave dancers, and very expensive. The Holy Grail is a low-cost waterproof hatch, and Damian has produced one that he showed me a couple of days ago that has been proven in heavy surfing. He'll soon post details when he's finished tearing his house apart.

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Phil from MInnesota displaying his Shrike

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Phil displays his skills at Kayak Camp near Minneapolis last weekend . There were six Shrikes and Vembers among the gathering at the training event.
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Shrike in The Netherlands

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Bart in The Netherlands is progressing nicely:
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Another Shrike at the Kayak Camp in Minnesota
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Yap and his 3-piece Shrike

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Yap Wei from Singapore displays his elegant 3-piece Shrike, with another variation of hatches:
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The 54th country

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Rubyn from Paraguay contacted us yesterday to tell of his Shrike construction. Welcome to the forum, Rubyn! Paraguay is the now the 54th country where , up until today, 472 builders of Shrikes and Vembers have been kind enough to send us photos and descriptions of their kayaks. I have a 2 metre long wall map of the world with white circular labels marking the 54 countries, and I confess it has markedly increased my knowledge of geography. For those, like me, who love maps, but have limited memory, here is Paraguay, coloured purple, just south of Brazil:
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Huseyin from Turkey

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Huseyin from Turkey has named his Shrike "Ferrari". That's a remarkably shiny finish:

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Three Vembers at Saltash

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Last evening, three varieties of Vember were paddling at Saltash, Cornwall. On the left is Simon's Vembex-R, his Vember Expedition with a 90% beam and reduced topsides. Centre stage is Dominic's standard Vember, with a beautiful deep red-stained deck, fresh from two weeks paddling from the Island of Jura, off the West coast of Scotland. On the right is Damian's Vembex, the Vember expedition. He's fitted a large commercial forehatch as an experiment, but he finds it too heavy, and complex to build. He has now developed a flush hatch system, as described earlier in this thread. A highlight of the evening was Damian paddling into the sunset whil completely upside down for a worryingly long time.

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Sixth Shrike in Hungary

Post by nickcrowhurst »

Attilla has built his third Shrike. Number 6 in Hungary. It's his ultimate rolling machine. His other Shrikes are less extreme:

Shrike - too 🤗😊
My New kayak
Start May 9, end June 30.
Macassar ebony veneer on top, carbon- red polyester hybrid material on the bottom



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