Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

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

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri May 16, 2014 1:49 pm

Just read a great article in Ocean Paddler #41 about the story behind the Shrike.

Douglas :o)

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23 pounds (10.4 kg) rolling Shrike

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:26 pm

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We have just released the free plans and build manual for Rotator Shrike, our extreme Greenland competition and training rolling kayak. It has the regular Shrike hull, standard throughout the model range, with the topsides lowered by 60mm, with neither skeg nor hatches. She weighs 23 pounds. (10.4 kg), and is an absolute dream to roll. Free downloads are at http://www.cnckayaks.com, and latest details are at https://www.facebook.com/CNCKayaks
There have been 275 downloads worldwide in the first three months of the project, with construction under way from Dubai to Florida to Estonia to Canada. We are particularly delighted that a Scout troop in Virginia, USA is planning to build a batch of Shrike LVs.
Nick.

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

Post by Krizzy » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:01 pm

Hi,
I’ve just recently finish a build of the Shrike and wanted to share it here on this forum.
It took me just over seven weeks from start to launch and now I’m just trying finding time to explore the paddling potential of this stunning looking boat. You may have seen the picture of teh launch recently posted on the CNC Facebook page.
I wrote a short article about the build for my kayak club newsletter, if you’re interested – here’s a link to a PDF of the text:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m6lysjrl7d546 ... 0Black.pdf

And for plenty of pics (that I’ve yet to sort out into order):

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4vpsos4vbcsk ... Z705NSGbta

I’m an intermediate sea paddler, so my paddling opinion may only be valid to a certain degree but the Shrike has impressed me more and more each time I’ve been out in it. Last night the sea was reasonable lumpy but the Shrike hardly noticed, and I got the chance to surf some swell that was running – great fun. I was slightly cautious at first as I’m used to a surf ski with a chuffin’ great big rudder on it, but no problem as the Shrike responded very well to edging while on the face of the wave so soon I was chasing everything 
I want to take the chance to thank Chris and Nick (the CNC boys) for sharing this fantastic design with us all and starting off a whole new wave of home built Sea Kayaks. Ace.
If there’s any advice or help any of you need during your own build, please feel free to get in touch – I’m no expert boat builder but I’ll certainly help any way I can.
Cheers, happy building and even happier paddling to you all.

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

Post by Big Ade » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:23 pm

As a QLP (Quite large paddler) with limited WWE&S (wood working experience & space) are there any plans to make plans available electronically that I could get laser cut?

I would be quite interested in being able to get all the parts cut correctly so as to be able to build it fast because it would probably have to be built outside.

Current weight is 260 - 270 lbs in paddling gear plus stove and sandwiches....
Size 12 feet and knees that now need a bit of a bend in them when paddling.

Here's hoping rather than pestering. Because it's bound to be a wet Autumn now I mention boat building outside...

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:13 am

[quote="Big Ade"]are there any plans to make plans available electronically that I could get laser cut? quote]

The plans are available as a free download, to your chosen scale, via http://cnckayaks.com/downloads/
This download includes the build manual, the files to print out the plans at a print shop, and the specific files required to drive a CNC machine. They are all in the one download to your thumb drive or hard disc, and the download is free of charge. Anyone is free to use the plans, modify them, make kits and complete boats from them, and make money from so doing.
The CNC pre-cut option for a Shrike model has already been taken by builders in Canada and Estonia, for example.

Even if I didn't have a shed, I would still probably not choose the CNC option, but I sympathise with your position. My reasons are:
1. The company in Plymouth I contacted would charge £150 to cut my plywood. (Plus 20% VAT, of course.)
2. I reckon it would only save me about 1.5 days work, and the work is exciting and rewarding, as the shapes emerge. This is "workmanship of risk" as opposed to the "workmanship of certainty" of the CNC machine, as defined in David Pye's seminal work "The Nature and Art of Workmanship". (Cambridge University Press, 1968)
3. We haven't yet imposed any CNC "puzzle joints" on the plans for the long panels. The CNC builders in Canada and Estonia have modified the plans in Autocad to deal with this, and we will do so shortly. A slight knowledge of Autocad is required to do this, or the CNC company could do it. We'll put the joints on a separate set of CNC files later this year, but at present we're paddling in these lovely light evenings.
4. Using CNC pre-cut pieces for the long panels introduces potential for error in re-aligning the three sections of the topsides and the two sections of the bottom panels. The standard manual method we recommend is to make ten equal width strips from two full sheets of plywood, and glue the pieces in pairs and threes end to end. Then the plans are taped onto the plywood and the shapes are cut by jigsaw. This is a simple procedure, and there is no possibility of alignment error. It produces a very fair hull.

I've previously got round the lack of a shed by building a temporary polythene shelter. Best wishes, from Nick.

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

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:43 am

Just in case anyone else is as slow as I am this morning and is confused by 'CNC' in the last post, I think CNC means both:

CNC Kayaks,who have generously made the design available (I assume CNC = "Christopher & Nick Crowhurst")
and
Computer Numerical Control, programming an automated cutting machine to work directly from electronic plans

It wouldn't surprise me if Nick, being the clever chap he is, chose the name deliberately!

Chris

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Thanks, Chris.

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:00 am

Chris, many thanks for that. Now I re-read my post I see how confusing that could be to anyone not familiar with the general CNC abbreviation. Hoist by our own petard! (And yes, it stands for our names, and yes, at the time we liked the double entendre of CNC!)
Nick.

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

Post by Mac50L » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:49 pm

The comment about the difficulty of fitting a curved deck - the very first kayak I built had a V deck on the plan and I fitted a curved one instead back in 1983. Since then all the kayaks I've built have had curved decks and my design, my plans and instructions, are just about the same as Nick's in this regard. I do recommend a screw through the deck on the centreline into a small block fitted to the bulkhead and through into each of my 4 deck beams. The fastening down the centreline is due to once having a deck hump up giving a tighter curve than the curve of the beams.

I've never heard of anyone having a problem. Fitting an oversize deck and cutting back flush with the hull is so simple and requires just about zero accuracy by the builder.

One thing (fairly minor) I suggested to Nick last week, and have recently done to my plans (within the last 2 years), is to curve the aft end of the cockpit rim so the sprayskirt should have a continual tension, rather than straight across inline with the bulkhead. Doing this will show a little bit of aft deck inside the rim but is of no consequence.

Alex

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

Post by Mac50L » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:08 pm

Cutting ply panels - I recommend a carpenter's saw ~2'6"? near 300 mm? long blade. Cut the panels by hand. A saw like this will go round the curves but importantly won't wiggle the way a jigsaw can so should give a more accurate cut. Time to cut shouldn't be but a minute or two longer than using a power jig saw. It will also justify knocking off after cutting for a cup of coffee....

I have used scarfed joins, butt joins with ply butt pieces and now just butt join with a layer of glass inside. If worried about strength, add a layer on the outside too, both about 50-70 mm wide pieces of glass.

Joint failures nil and those joins are on both 3 mm and 4 mm ply panelled kayaks.

In the "more ways to skin a cat" department, I put on my plans datum marks at the ends of the pieces and the joins, cut the panels out to shape and butt join, sighting down the datum marks for alignment and with port and starboard panels stacked (plastic sheet between where epoxied) so that both sides have the same "mistake" (if any).

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

Post by Krizzy » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:20 am

Just want to thank you guys at CNC again for this fantastic kayak. I've spent a fair bit of time paddling her now and it just keeps getting better and better. I was out yesterday in 30-40 mph winds and she behaved impeccably, so responsive to every command and correction. I've just got back in tonight from the best rolling session I've ever had - in just 3 sessions the Shrike has taken me from only just being able to force one roll at the end of the first night to doing nearly an hour of continuous rolls with NOT ONE wet exit! I'm absolutely buzzing. I love this boat, thank you.

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Shrike Too and Shrike-R

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:31 am

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Two ocean cockpit variants of Shrike are here pictured beside Spring Lake, Minnesota.

In the six months since the Shrike project was launched, 574 copies of the plans have been distributed to forty countries. To celebrate this we have added a “Builders’ Gallery” to our website at http://cnckayaks.com/build-gallery/ Each Shrike builder who so desires can have a web page devoted to their kayak, with a photo and some details of their design choices and modifications. The latest additions to the Gallery are two excellent craft, one from Bart Deseyn of Belgium, and one from Morris Ho of California, USA.
We are delighted that all the current builders have taken advantage of the wide variations in size, construction methods, bespoke cockpits and materials that the Shrike is designed to enable. All the existing Shrikes have been tailored to the unique size, weight and preferences of the owners, just as we had hoped. Examples of this are the skeg modifications from Paul in the U.K, and a different design of foredeck which will soon be completed in Sweden. Meanwhile, a batch of Shrikes is nearing completion in Estonia. By feeding back these variations into the Build Gallery and the Builders’ Tips sections of the website, we aim to promote the collaborative aspect of the project.
Nick.

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Your Winter project? -an invitation

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:41 am

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This week I'm running two evening sessions on "stitch and glue basic techniques" for several folks starting to build a Shrike. I'm also giving them the opportunity to first paddle one of the kayaks. I'm based in Calstock, on the Tamar north of Plymouth, U.K. If there are others within suitable travelling distance who would like to paddle a Shrike (Full-sized or LV), and/or receive a primer on stitch-and-glue techniques, please PM me or contact us via http://www.cnckayaks.com or https://www.facebook.com/CNCKayaks
As with the free plans download, the sessions and paddling opportunities are free and done for the love of our great sport. We are just a pair of enthusiasts who want to give others the opportunity to create a custom-built kayak that is half the weight of some commercially available designs. The heaviest Shrike weighs 32 pounds (14.5kg), fully fitted, and the rolling Shrike weighs 23 pounds (10.4 kg).
I'm in the country until November 19th, when we leave to join Christopher (on the left in the photo, I'm the ugly one on the right) in the USA for the Winter.
Since the launch of the project 7 months ago we have distributed 710 copies of the plans. Just yesterday we rolled up and mailed copies of the plans to Israel, Canada, and the USA.
Building a Shrike can be an exciting project for the long evenings ahead.
Nick.

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Paddle and build techniques sessions.

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:58 am

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Over the past two weeks we've had some fun sessions paddling the Shrike and then learning the simple techniques for stitch-and-glue construction. Now four local paddlers from Devon and Cornwall have ordered their three sheets of 3mm plywood, and are in the early stages of their Winter projects. All four have chosen to build keyhole cockpits, and their chosen clearance height at the front of the cockpit has varied between 11" (280mm) and 12.5" (325mm). One paddler is 6ft 4" with size 12 (uk) feet.
The Shrike-R in the above photo has just been completed in Minnesota, USA, by a petite lady paddling coach who specialises in teaching Greenland techniques. Hence she chose the ocean cockpit option.
As of this morning, 773 copies of the plans have been distributed.
Nick.

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Launched yesterday in Estonia

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:58 pm

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This is Sixten Serge balance bracing his brand new Shrike Too on the coast of Estonia, yesterday.
Nick

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

Post by Ceegee » Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:58 am

Hi Nick,

just requested a download. Fabulous site, thanks!!!

BTW,it is the Shrike rotator I'm interested in.Are all the plans together or do I have to request a specific set?

Thanks and best regards

Steve
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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Great!

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:26 pm

Steve, many thanks for your encouragement. I'm particularly pleased that you are planning to build. The plans include the Rotator templates, and show a series of various heights of the topsides at 10mm intervals, and the normal Rotator uses the dotted lines 60mm down from the full-size Shrike. We normally don't fit hatches or a skeg, as it's a specific rolling machine. The Rotator is ridiculously easy to roll. The first time I sat in it I hand-rolled it both sides without moving my hands. Just capsize and roll into a balance brace, and lift the knee to get on the stern deck. That was the first time I'd tried to hand-roll a sea kayak. The 23 pound weight is addictive, also. Excellent news!
Nick.

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

Post by Ceegee » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:41 pm

You are too kind Nick,

Yes, I am really looking forward to this project, but will probably only be able to start in January. I'm working in Southern Africa at the moment and might try making it as a 3-piece so that I can get it home at the end of my contract. That means bulkheads, so invariably hatches, but I will still aim for a low target weight.

Enjoy a crisp Minnesotan winter! We are heading into summer here ;-)

Steve
Cheers,
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Three-piece would be a fine addition to the range

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:42 pm

Steve, a great plan. I'll PM you tomorrow.
Nick.

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Minus 14 centigrade in the USA

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:09 pm

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Our son, Christopher, on his last paddle of the season in the Shrike-R, as the ice closes in. Water temperature is zero, air is -14, so the water is steaming. (Photo Jason Sexton)
Nick

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Update on the Shrike project

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:30 am

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The photo shows a new Shrike being paddled in the Baltic Sea by Martin, the builder of the kayak.
We recently distributed the one thousandth copy of the free plans for the Shrike, and the latest countries where Shrikes are under construction or have been completed include Israel, Italy and New Zealand.
Five Shrikes are currently under construction in Cornwall.
Chesapeake Light Craft is producing kits for the specialist rolling version, Shrike-R, for retailing via Clear Stream Custom Water Craft in the USA. This company has just completed an immaculate Shrike-R for a customer. Full details of this and other news is at https://www.facebook.com/CNCKayaks
Our latest newsletter is at http://eepurl.com/bciJ95
The free plans for the Shrike are distributed with our permission for anyone to make kits or completed kayaks. If you want to make money making kits and selling them, or constructing kayaks derived from our work you are free to do so. For the avoidance of doubt, we have no financial, commercial or business interest in the Shrike project. Indeed, last year our expenses totalled about 800 U.S dollars, which could well have been invested in good whiskey and dark chocolate coated almonds.
Nick.

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Hand rolling a Shrike-R

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:15 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo8vKSyTS78
Fruit-of-the-loins doing his stuff.
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Re: Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

Post by PlymouthDamo » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:35 pm

That is plain ridiculous, and makes a complete mockery of my frantic attempts at hand-rolling. I've got to learn how to do it - definitely one to 'practice' when you've got a harbour wall full of spectators.

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Peter from Sweden in his new Shrike

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:09 pm

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Today, Seaton, Cornwall.

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon May 04, 2015 8:57 pm

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Alistair piloting his Shrike through the beach break at Seaton, Cornwall, today.
Nick.

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New Shrike launching today

Post by nickcrowhurst » Thu May 14, 2015 11:39 am

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This full-size Shrike, with hatches, deck rigging, foot braces, skeg system, seat, back rest, and a knee tube for a pump, weighs 32 pounds (14.5 kg). She'll be launched this evening. More details at:
http://cnckayaks.com/2015/05/13/nick-cr ... -shrike-2/
Nick.

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You wait all day for a skeg, and then......

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:14 pm

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If these gales ever stop I'll try sailing to windward with the forward skeg deployed. A recipe for an early bath?
Nick.

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

Post by flat earth sails » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:00 pm

That looks grate! I think you may find that your dager is to fare forword, it mat work beter around 400mm back, only trying it out will tell.
That looks like a coppy of a very old design of mine, or a copy of a bidarkanort sail designed by a mate of mine in Sydney in 2002
The origanal bidarkanort sail is still avalabel in Sydney, my old design was replased by curent designs a fear time ago.

Look forword to hearing how your Sailing Shrike goes !

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

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:55 pm

Hi Nick that looks really great.... :o)

Here is a forward fin in an Aries 155:
Image

In case you missed it on another thread, this photo from 1927 shows just how traditional you are:
Image

Douglas

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:34 am

Douglas and Mick, thanks for your kind remarks. I was indeed inspired by the Inuit sail photo in the earlier post. It's a very rare piece of historical evidence. I first fitted a sail to my self-built skin-on-frame in 1959, and was exhilarated by creaming past Portmeirion at speed. (Totally alone, no emergency equipment, schoolboy khaki shorts and shirt, and 12 years old. Times have changed!) I first came across rigs where the mast is lowered by a single line when seeing a Norfolk Wherry. They would approach a low bridge under sail, drop the mast and sail, on the run, just in time, use the momentum of the heavy commercial craft to shoot under the bridge, and immediately raise the mast and sail. Very impressive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norfolk_wherry
I was pushed this year into fitting a sail by an inability to paddle, coupled with a determination to stay afloat. After 15 minutes paddling I was suffering a total collapse of the quadriceps and disabling pain, and have had to be towed to safety. I have an MRI appointment in two weeks, checking for spinal stenosis.
Image
On the topic of placement of the forward skeg: If the forward skeg, as positioned, causes excess weather helm, I'm anticipating that the remedy is to slightly raise the front skeg, or slightly lower the stern skeg, or both actions, until directional balance is obtained. If, on the other hand, I were to find that I had installed the forward skeg too far aft, and lee helm occurred even with the forward skeg fully deployed, and the aft skeg fully retracted, then I'm stuffed. That's why I positioned the front skeg so far forward. (It's a complex subject, as you experienced sailors well know, concerning the relationship of the Centre of Lateral Resistance of the hull with the Centre of Effort of the rig, and how this relationship alters as the vessel changes speed, direction, or angle of heel.)
I don't expect good performance to windward, as we can't get much power into the rig by just leaning out to the side, but I hope it'll be fun, and be a way of getting me back to shore if I'm in trouble.
Nick.

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

Post by ian the badger » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:09 pm

Hey Nick you may be interested to know a Shrike is being built in land locked Staffordshite. Very exciting and stimulating it is to, many thanks for making the plans available.

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