Shrike, a lightweight sea kayak for home construction.^

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:42 pm

I’ve long had a dream to produce an elegant lightweight sea kayak that combined a traditional hard-chined hull with modern developments of bulkheads, hatches, and a lifting skeg: a simple design that was suited for home construction; a design that could be easily adapted to the needs and physique of individual paddlers.
Here she is, the Shrike, with the keyhole cockpit option:

Image

My son, Christopher, has built this ocean cockpit version, Shrike Too:

Image

Dimensions:
Length 5.304m (17 feet 4.8 inches)
Beam 0.546m (21.5 inches)
Weight 14.5kg (32 pounds)
Access to the free plans and build manuals is at http://www.cnckayaks.com

Nick.

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

Post by Darwin » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:17 pm

These look great. Nice lines and I am sure would be very effective on the water. A project for next winter I think.

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:34 pm

Thanks Darwin. Everyone who has paddled it so far has loved the responsiveness and the lines, and the ability to carry its 32 pounds (14.5 kg) one-handed on land. The project has just launched today, and already we have plans going as far afield as Slovenia and North Carolina. We look forward to progress reports from you next winter.
Nick.

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

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:50 pm

Nick, what great looking boats, I wish you and Christopher much joy in them. I well remember the satisfaction of building a ply Cfly then a ply GP14 with my own father. We both cried our eyes out when we sold the GP14 for a GRP Hornet.

Douglas

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:08 pm

Douglas, thank you for your kind comments. I've enjoyed sailing a GP14 and I've crewed on a Hornet with a trapeze, which is a lot easier than hiking my National Twelve throughout long races. They're both great boats, although very different, of course. I sympathise with your emotions when selling a craft you had built. I just can't do it, and hence have twenty eight boats, some of which I built over 40 years ago, including a 6 ton ocean going sailing yacht built mainly from recycled timber in the early 1970's.
We love our little craft, and logic need play no part. Shrike came from my dreams. She was not designed on a computer.
Nick.

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

Post by Sprucey » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:16 pm

That looks really sweet!

I'm going to have a go. I think it would make a great boat boat for my vertically challenged partner - she's tiny and there are virtually no commercially available boats out there for a 5footer! Being light will also be a great help to her. She's the most stable paddler I know but at the moment, unless we weight her boat down which is crazy, she has to take her passport with her as she blows downwind in anything over a F4 and we don't know what country she may end up in!

I have also passed the details onto a friend who has built quite a few wooden kayaks and Canoes and still paddles a home built wooden kayak all the time.

Sprucey

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:27 pm

Sprucey, I'm about to design a smaller Shrike version for one of my granddaughters, who will be building the kayak herself. I will be reducing all the dimensions both above and below the waterline to deal with her lighter weight. I've just explained to her that excess windage is a major challenge to safety and directional stability, and she will be sending me her weight and pertinent dimensions. The boat will have the same visual appeal as her larger sister.(No, not HER larger sister!)
You may like to track progress on this version, for which the free plans will be available. II believe the standard Shrike will be too large for your partner. I see so many paddlers in boats with too much freeboard.
Best wishes, from Nick.

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

Post by stormkayaker » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:26 pm

Hey Nick (and Chris), Looking very beautiful and I'm not surprised that you have good demand for the plans!
Even better knowing you 'dreamed her up' yourself.
I suspect there will be a few Shrikes in Devon in the year to come...
Well done and thanks for making the plans available to everyone.
Paul.

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:15 pm

Paul, that's very kind. I'm rather stunned at the worldwide response. We opened the project this morning, and have already downloaded plans to intending builders in 16 countries:
USA, Canada, Romania, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Turkey, Slovenia, Serbia, Spain, Argentina, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and the U.K.
I return to Cornwall, UK, next week, and will be working on local paper plans distribution for the U.K. I'm currently negotiating with Staples, the office supplies company, to print and mail the paper plans for £25 including postage. We have some details to iron out. Meanwhile, local print shops, architects offices, etc. may be able to reproduce a PDF on a 25 ft roll of 2 ft wide paper. If not, order from our website cnckayaks.com, and the plans will be mailed from the USA at cost.
South Devon is near home in Calstock, where I have a spare set of plywood templates. Anyone local can buy a roll of plain lining wallpaper, trace round these, and you have free plans.
Nick.

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

Post by Jim » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:17 pm

Nick, try getting a quote from Servicepoint
http://www.servicepointuk.com/
Call them rather than relying on the services listed on the website, the Aberdeen and Glasgow branches print a lot of plans for the offshore and shipbuilding industries so should be used to unusual sides and printing from rolls but they might have that capability more locally for you (not that it matters if you get them to post them out).
it is quite common for one company to send them drawing files to print and deliver to other companies/shipyards etc. I wouldn't say we do it all the time, but when we need to do it this is who we use!

Another thought - some of their offices are 24 hour, might help if you need to talk to them before you head home.

The boat looks great, but I need to build a canoe before I build a kayak :)

I thought you didn't do 'gear' posts? This has got to rate as one of the best ever!

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:33 pm

Jim, thanks for that suggestion. I'll call them next week when I'm back in the U.K time zone and phone system.
I did think about which forum would be suitable. I considered the Scottish Politics Forum, but eventually decided on this one :)
I could devise a Shrike for you, to include bespoke deck cargo containers that you could just see over. Hope this is of interest..........
Nick.

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

Post by Graham T » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:30 am

Hi Nick does your build follow the stitch and glue method ? Do you have photos of your kayaks during construction ?

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:03 pm

Graham, yes, stitch and glue. The first post, above, gives the link to our website, which includes free pdf downloads of the plans, access to paper plans, build manuals, and far too many photos: http://www.cnckayaks.com

Nick.

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

Post by Graham T » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:25 pm

Thanks Nick

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Re: Modifying the design for different loads

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:37 pm

As of February 2014, Shrike has only been paddled with total loads of 180 to 200 pounds (81.6 to 90.7 kg), so we have no information on how it performs with either lesser or greater loads. However, we do know that excessive freeboard for lighter paddlers is undesirable, causing directional instability in strong winds.
Taking a boat design and scaling it up or down does not automatically produce a successful new craft. However, we aim to experiment later this year by producing a lower volume Shrike, reducing all the linear measurements in the plans by the same factor. (Some commercial “LV” designs only reduce the freeboard, preserving the original hull shape.)
The below graph shows how we plan to change the plotter percentage scaling to adapt to varying loads. (Paddler weight plus equipment, in pounds):

Image

Because of the length limitations in the pdf specification, the pdf is downloaded at 50% scale, so percentages taken from the above graph must be doubled. For example, a load of 137 pounds (62.1 kg) suggests a 90% plot, doubled to 180% if the pdf is downloaded at 50%.
The resulting “LV” version for a 137 pound (62.1 kg) total load would have a beam of 19.3″ (491 mm), and a length of 15ft 8 inches (4773 mm). Feel free to experiment with your planned design.

Nick.

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

Post by Graham T » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:17 am

Now then Nick if you could come up with a design which seasonally expands and contracts for load by say 20 lbs I might be interested

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Working on it...........

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:07 pm

Graham, seasonal reduction during the summer would be straightforward - water bladder in the day hatch connected to an electric bilge pump controlled by a digital clock, itself controlled by a suitable algorithm via a microprocessor. The increase in winter is more challenging if it is to be automatic and self-contained, so your request has been passed to our R & D department :)
Nick.

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

Post by Graham T » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:52 pm

Clever idea Nick however while the plan to add ballast in summer, for the same freeboard and handling as in the winter months is good in theory, I suspect that in my slightly weakened slim condition I would be dreaming of paddling a kayak that was not carrying ballast but fitted perfectly as is. Would a "sectional" version be possible with say a 2 inch removable insert ?

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Another source for plans in the UK and other EU areas

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:55 pm

Following Jim's suggestion, I've arranged another method of obtaining the plans, with a short delivery time, in the UK and Europe, if you don't have a suitable local printer. Here's the procedure:

1. Phone Servicepoint (http://www.servicepointuk.com/) on 020 7387 6071, quote "kayak printing", and pay £28.50 with a card. This price includes the full-sized paper plans (£15), cardboard tube, postage, packing and VAT at 20%.

2. Download the free zip file from near the bottom of the page at http://cnckayaks.com/downloads/

3. Unzip the file, select the 50% pdf file, and save it.

4. Email williamrd@servicepointuk.com with the 50% pdf attached. Head the email: "kayak printing", followed by your name. Request that the file be printed at 200%, on their more accurate plotter, as arranged with Ian McHale, and state the date you paid.

PM me if you experience any difficulties.

Another possibility is available if you are reasonably close to a Staples store: http://www.staples.co.uk/StoreLocator.aspx
I have arranged that one can go into any Staples store with a thumb drive or other media containing the 50% pdf, pay £25, and the paper plans will be mailed to you in the U.K after they have been produced at Staples UK headquarters, which has the requisite plotter. State that you require the plot at 200%. I have arranged this with Matt Plumridge, National Copy Centre Manager, Staples UK Ltd. I have not yet checked the scaling accuracy of a Staples print.

Nick.

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

Post by Ceegee » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:50 pm

Fabulous build Nic & Chris, if I dare add to my/our "collection" - 2 Alaw Bachs, 2 Yostwerks folders, a Waterfield Qaanaaq and 2 three-piece Greenlanders - (one conversion underway) then this is the next project!

Thanks for Sharing
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:54 pm

Ceegee, thanks for the kind comment. One of our granddaughters starts a 90% Shrike LV next weekend. No suggestion from me. She just told me via email. Attagirl!
Nick.

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Shrike LV with helium in the buoyancy bags.....

Post by nickcrowhurst » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:04 am

Image

She should be afloat in about a week. My granddaughter showed great skill in applying the epoxy fillets, and her boyfriend did well on the jigsaw. This was the first woodworking project for her, and also for her boyfriend. More pictures and news at http://www.facebook.com/CNCKayaks
This LV is produced from the plans printed out at 90% of full size, with the keyhole cockpit option.
Nick.

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Another bad photo....

Post by nickcrowhurst » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:30 pm

Image

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

Post by Xema » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:49 pm

Nice work Nick. But in my humble experience, a rounded deck is a bit dificult to work for newest builders.

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Not so difficult.....

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:00 pm

Xema, thank you. The procedure for fitting the foredeck is described at page 21 in the free downloadable Build Manual at http://www.cnckayaks.com
Briefly:
1. Cut out a triangle of 3mm plywood a bit bigger all round (about 10mm is good) than the foredeck.
2. Cover the gunwales (sheer clamps), deck beam (masik) and top of the foot bulkhead with thickened epoxy. (Peanut butter consistency)
3. Place the triangle of plywood on top of the deck beam, foot bulkhead and bow. Put a clamp on the centre of the deck beam.
3. Gradually tighten several tie-down tapes over the foredeck until the whole perimeter of the deck touches the gunwales. Put weights on the front part, and more clamps on the deck beam.
4. Scrape off the excess epoxy.
5. Wait 24 hours and cut off the excess plywood flush with the gunwales.

The youngsters had zero previous wood-working experience, and found that fitting the foredeck required about the same level of care as the remainder of the build. They were excited to do such a dramatic part of the build in such a short time.
The parts of the construction they found really, really, difficult were putting grandpa's tools back in their correct places, and cleaning the outside of the epoxy containers from the ghastly sticky dribbles down the outside :)
Best wishes, from Nick.

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cake walk

Post by ccrowhurst » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:40 pm

I had never having built a single stitch and glue vessel prior to building the Shrike Too. I too can confirm that the rounded deck is simple to complete - that is a large part of the charm of this build approach. I literally hacked out a rough triangle shaped piece of plywood, then strapped it down with cargo straps and a few clamps. once the epoxy is set I ran a plane around the gunwales, it was that easy.
It is a low effort, high reward build method. I suspect it took considerably less time and effort than a multi-part foredeck would have taken.
Most importantly I find the curves it create to be very pleasing to my eyes.

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Elvie has left the building..............

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed May 14, 2014 7:48 pm

The Shrike LV (90%) had her first wet bottom today:
Image
Length 15ft 8" (4770 mm), Beam 20" (508 mm), weight 28 pounds (12.7kg), including three hatches, seat, backrest, skeg, foot bulkhead foam and deck lines.
Here's an excerpt from my review of today's test paddle:
"The LV is a blast to paddle. Her ultra-light weight and rockered keel make her ultra-responsive to every movement of paddle and paddler. Both these features could lead to excessive weather-cocking, the bane of many kayak designs. However, throughout the Shrike model range, the high aspect ratio skeg is more than adequate to deal with any weather-cocking we have experienced. The highest wind speed during testing has been 20 mph on the beam. About one third skeg kept the kayak on the desired course. Occasionally, when a stronger gust came from slightly forward, the tops of the waves were blown across the foredeck, and it was uncanny to watch the behaviour of the kayak. The bow would blow downwind for a few inches, and then come back onto course. Very reassuring.
The natural edging angle for sharp turns is when the water level is just at the top of the gunwale, and then you can truly make the LV perform. Build the LV to enjoy the paddling, not as a fishing platform!"
Details, loads more bad photos and free plans are at http://www.cnckayaks.com and https://www.facebook.com/CNCKayaks

Nick.

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

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed May 14, 2014 9:27 pm

Fantastic!

Douglas :o)

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

Post by Jim » Wed May 14, 2014 9:52 pm

I have to admit that other priorities have taken over and I haven't even made a start on the EHV I was going to build!

There were a lot of plans downloaded, so how many of us have one on the go?

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed May 14, 2014 10:51 pm

Thank you DW, as supportive as ever. Jim, two hundred and seven plans and downloads to thirty four different countries so far. One gent in Dubai is having problems getting three sheets of 3mm ply through Customs, a completed Shrike in Florida has a reed pattern covering the deck, group builds are at the planning stage in Estonia and Northern Ireland, and Christopher, in Minnesota, has started building an extreme low freeboard Rotator Shrike. This will be a pure rolling competition machine, testing the lower limits of the design, with only 15mm of designed freeboard.
Three companies (In Canada, the USA and England) are offering to build complete Shrikes. Here's one from the USA, showing the Shrike in the product range: http://watercraft.clearstreamwood.com/products/designs/
It's all very encouraging, and a tribute to the Inuit heritage.
Nick.

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