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 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:35 pm

Ian, that's great news, thank you. Please let us know of your progress, and we do love getting photos to show how you're getting on with the construction. We're about to celebrate the two thousandth download of the plans in the 20 months of the project. You're joining a group that extends over much of the globe. We're always available on email for advice on any part of the construction.
Best wishes, from Nick.

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

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:08 pm

Nick>
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.
Nick, I do hope that your problems while paddling are improving. I know how frustrating it can be if you cannot get your normal on the water time in.

Best wishes,
Douglas

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Sailing with the two skegs

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:09 pm

Image

Douglas, I'm grateful for your kind thought. Life is so full of opportunities, that as one door creaks shut, another flies open.
Today there was a brief lull in the seemingly endless procession of gales, and I was able to try the sailing rig with a decent 10 to 15 mph breeze. While trying to make allowances for the natural bias of the father, I can say that I'm pleased with the performance with the forward skeg. The Shrike is very light and easily manoeuvred, and the forefoot is cut away, unlike many modern designs, so with the sail so far forward, instant lee helm is liable to be the response to a gust from the for'd quarter. It was, but deployment of the forward skeg totally prevented this, as I had hoped. I was surprised how predictable was the lateral stability when responding to gusts. Steadying sails have been used by power-driven vessels for many years, so I should not have been surprised. With both skegs fully deployed, and the wind on the beam, the kayak tracked as if on rails, and we headed steadily for a point a mile away. Going to windward I used the forward skeg only, fully deployed. If I needed to bear away on a heading wind shift I added a little stern skeg to the mix. To bear away onto a reach I raised the forward skeg until the desired course was attained. I was steering without using the paddle, but there were only small wavelets.
I've only scratched the surface of learning to use the twin skeg rig. I've much to learn, and that's good.
I was in company with a pal in a modern sea kayak with a similar sailing rig, but with only a traditional stern skeg. The Shrike pointed considerably higher when going to windward, as one would expect.
Thanks, Douglas.
Nick.

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The Shrike newsletter, Christmas 2015

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:07 pm

We've just published the latest Shrike newsletter at http://eepurl.com/bIJ5Dr
One of the items is our gift of the downloadable open-source files to produce under-deck fittings via a 3D printer. These can be used to hold deck lines, bow and stern lines for toggles, and, in smaller scale, to act as anchor points for sail mast rigging. They are very light, and the ones we've printed in nylon are super-strong. Anyone is free to make and market these fittings.
We hope you find something of interest in the newsletter.
With best wishes, from Nick and Chris.
http://www.cnckayaks.com

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

Post by flat earth sails » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:09 pm

Thums up for the new deck fitings, thay keep the lines of the kayak smooth and unobtrusive. Wooden boats need to be a thing of grate buty and theas fitings do the job

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Thanks, Mick

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:15 pm

Thanks, Mick. We're pleased with them, and they are so easy to install. They appeal to my inner nerd! Back to the shed now.
Nick

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:20 pm

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Basar stands on the shores of the Bosporus (aka Bosphorus), with his 29 pound (13.1 kg) Shrike.
Nick.

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

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:24 pm

We really need a like button!

Douglas :o)

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Shrike in big wind

Post by nickcrowhurst » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:35 am

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

Post by SLegault » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:30 pm

Hello,

I am new to kayaking and want to biuld a Shrike. My question is about stability on the water of this design. I read a lot of comment about roll-rolling etc...It makes me concern a bit, do I have to plan on getting wet all the time?

I will be using it on small lakes and very low current rivers. I am 54 years old and very fit, 6 ft tall at 180 pounds.

Is this design stable enough for a beginer, is there a way to make it more stable?

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:46 pm

Welcome to the wonderful world of kayaking! The stability characteristics of West Greenland designs are discussed on our website here: http://cnckayaks.com/origins/
Kayak stability is not a simple subject. One (aged 23) of my nine granddaughters built a Shrike LV, jumped in it, and with no paddling experience managed to leave me trailing on a half hour paddle. Not acceptable! On the other hand, my wife, with many years in round bilged (as opposed to chined - angular corners) kayaks, is not comfortable with the initial "wobble - until heeled a little" of the West Greenland inspired Shrike. I've designed a round bilge strip-built kayak for her, and I'll be releasing this design open-source once I've completed the Build Manual.
The ways to make any kayak more stable are to keep the seat as thin and as low as possible, and/or add some ballast in the centre of the kayak. Historically, West Greenland designs are high performance, rough water, seal hunter-killers. They reward those prepared to practice, and yes, they are easy to roll for fun, and then you will get rather wet.
For a relaxed paddle in the waters you describe there are plenty of (heavy) plastic kayaks with flat bottoms that would suit, but if you love the looks of the Shrike, and want to build a wood composite kayak that weighs 32 pounds, then do use the PM system on this forum to contact me, and we can discuss your choice in more detail. With best wishes, from Nick Crowhurst.

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Shrike build in Leicestershire

Post by JeremyM » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:54 am

Hello

I am about half way through my build. I am intending to do some longer trips (3/4 days) so have increased the freeboard by 2cm. I am 80kg and with all kayaking gear and safety kit about 90kg. Load camping gear, food etc and 5 litres of water and soon you are north of 100kg. By increasing the freeboard I have been able to lower the masik although the first one I made (12 inches) was still too high. When I was fitting the decks I couldn't get the front hatch far enough back. I removed the mask and made a new one and this time am at 11.5 inches which means the font hatch is in a better position. I have made a couple of mistakes along the way, including putting the rear cockpit bulkhead in the wrong place! Took it out and corrected it. The other thing which hasn't gone as well as I hoped is fitting the front deck. I had fitted it and thought it was a good fit but when all straps removed I still had some gaps between the hull and deck. Very rewarding project and looking forward to getting on the water and comparing with my Valley Etain.

On a separate matter I used to visit Minnesota regularly through work, lovely area. I travelled to many other parts of there US from Vegas to the wilds of North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Some of the properties I was involved in were right up on the US border. I worked in the quarrying industry and we had over 100 pits in North Dakota alone, None very big but scattered all over the place. I was also involved in a couple of quarry restoration projects where we were creating native prairie.

Jeremy

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Welcome to the forum!

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:32 pm

Jeremy, that's excellent news, thank you. We all make mistakes in the build. I recently installed and epoxied a stern deck beam in the wrong place and had to butcher it out. I forgot to read the Build Manual I had written! Thickened epoxy has rectified many of my errors, and that should sort out the gaps under the foredeck.
My son, Christopher, lives in Minnesota, and I'm in Cornwall, UK. We'd love to have photos of your construction, and, eventually of your completed Shrike for our Build Gallery: http://cnckayaks.com/build-gallery/
With best wishes from Nick (Once a crusher operator in limestone quarries, back in the 1960s)

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

Post by Mac50L » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:56 am

SLegault wrote:My question is about stability on the water of this design. I read a lot of comment about roll-rolling etc...It makes me concern a bit, do I have to plan on getting wet all the time?

I will be using it on small lakes and very low current rivers. I am 54 years old and very fit, 6 ft tall at 180 pounds.

Is this design stable enough for a beginner, is there a way to make it more stable?
More stable? Yes, ballast and a low seating position.

I'm two decades older, same height and a little lighter. No, I'm not paddling a Shrike (yet) but a kayak with a very similar hull dimensions and 510 mm beam. My previous kayak was round bilge, tortured ply and a lot less stable.

So?

The previous one I used to put ballast in it. We get wine in bladders in cardboard boxes and the bladders make good self rescue floats or ballast carriers. The major problem with them is you have to drink the wine first, preferably not just before going paddling. Using up to 2 = 6 kg and I was reasonably happy. Eventually I noticed I'd forget to load the ballast but now had no problems paddling. All this means that a slightly tippy kayak will up-skill you in a way that a beamy stable kayak never will.

I'm also paddling on the sea which gets choppy. The most uncomfortable is clapotis, small waves almost un-noticeable in their cross chop but very noticeable sitting in it. Big waves from a set direction are easy.

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Shrikes in Russia

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:50 pm

Image
Grigoriy with his Shrike-R, built by Alexander on Sakhalin Island, Eastern Russia. Another Russian Shrike is under construction by one Oleg. Google Translate has been dealing well with Cyrillic script. Details of Grigoriy's Shrike here:
http://cnckayaks.com/2016/04/12/alexander-from-russia/
Nick.

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

Post by SLegault » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:57 am

Mac50L

Thanks for your comment, I agree about the upskill side of it.

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Bruce in California enjoying his new Shrike-R

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue May 03, 2016 8:28 am

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We discussed earlier the use of two skegs when using a sailing rig. One of the classic yacht design manuals is "Skeene's Elements of Yacht Design", first published in 1927. From page 93 in my well-thumbed 8th edition:

"A clever way to balance a sailboat is by the use of two centerboards arranged one ahead of the other. By lowering one more than the other, the skipper of such a boat is able to move her Center of Lateral Pressure forward or aft to suit any combination of sails, wind, and sea. A small centerboard in way of the forefoot has also proved advantageous. With such a rig one could beat to windward well in a sloop having only her jib set."

I recommend this 89 year old book to anyone interested in hull design.
Nick.

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

Post by TechnoEngineer » Wed May 04, 2016 8:18 am

Two skegs? Yay, double the fun! ;)

At least you'd be able to reverse in wind easily :)
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed May 04, 2016 9:21 am

One hundred years ago, Uffa Fox, who knew a thing or two about hull design, built his first vessel, a 16 foot by 33 inch sailing canoe/kayak, .........and she had two skegs.
Quote: "The two centreboards being so apart made the boat extremely steady on any given course."

What a superb vessel for a young lad to design, build and cruise alone along the south coast!

Image

Details here: http://www.intcanoe.org/iclife/hist/fox ... owned.html

Nick.

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

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat May 07, 2016 5:38 pm

Thanks for this Nick, it's fascinating stuff and just shows how forward thinking Uffa Fox was. In the 60's and 70's I enjoyed sailing three Uffa Fox designs: a Firefly, an Albacore and a Flying Fifteen.

Douglas

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Shrike Gathering 29th May 2016, Saltash.

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sat May 14, 2016 8:47 am

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You are invited to join about twelve Shrikes and their builders at Saltash slipway on the Tamar River, the boundary between Devon and Cornwall, at 10 a.m. on Sunday 29th May. The slip has free parking, public toilets, and access at all states of tide to extensive, sheltered and interesting paddling waters. You are very welcome to paddle any kayak you bring, or, if you let me know, we'll provide one for you. We'll paddle about a mile north to a small beach near Neal Point, where we'll swap boats, swap yarns, and munch our lunch. The Shrikes will be of various sizes, and show a range of design options.
The latest completion, from Romania, can be seen, along with many others, at http://cnckayaks.com/build-gallery/
The slipway is by the T of "Tamar BR" on the above map. We'd be delighted to see you on the 29th May.
Nick.

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A happy day at the Gathering

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon May 30, 2016 7:19 pm

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Eleven members of the Shrike family and a Scorpio enjoyed a beautiful sunny day. The two orange Shrikes are two-part, each joined at the foot bulkhead, and the builders traveled from Sussex to Cornwall for the Gathering. (Photo Peter M.)
Nick.

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

Post by PlymouthDamo » Tue May 31, 2016 10:47 pm

It was a fun day out - the weather couldn't have been better, and there's nothing better than washing down all the food that was being shared around with a few mouth-fulls of brown planktony Tamar water. Despite the fact that we've all built the same boat, all the Shrike builders I've met seem to be the sort of bodgers and tinkerers that take delight in finding their own unique ways of doing stuff and having a laugh at themselves in the process. They're also a very diplomatic bunch: after I'd managed to snap my badly-whittled Greenland stick, mid-roll, everyone politely inquired about my exotic rolling technique rather than taking me to task for my insult to the Inuit's time-proven design...

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

Post by Mac50L » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:34 am

Epoxy and bad joins, gaps wrong place etc. Use a hotair gun to soften the epoxy. It doesn't destroy it but softens it for "corrections" to be done. I had sheerclamps coming off as I'd not left them long enough to dry before offering up the sides. A row of clamps and a hotair gum and you'd fail to see where the gaps had been.

Clamps are needed to hold things as they cool/dry after a few G-clamps to force things together while being heated. The hold clamps are made from plastic water/drain pipe, ~30 mm diameter, cut about 25 mm - 40 mm long rings and then cut so they are now a C. The open part of the C is closed and sprung open and fitted over the part to be clamped. This means you can have hundreds for a dollar or 10 "real" ones for $50 (if you can find them cheap).

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

Post by PlymouthDamo » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:31 pm

Last week, a couple of us did the trip to Lundy, to see how we'd get on with an open sea crossing. We went from Lee Bay which is approximately 20 miles from Lundy. The distance wasn't a concern - but the possibility of back-pain mid-crossing was. However, all my hamstring-stretching paid off, and, in contrast to previous longish trips, I didn't suffer at all. (Search on YouTube for 'hamstring stretch doorway' - very effective.) Nick Crowhurst offered me the use of one of his expedition boats, such as a Nordkapp, but I eventually made the decision to go with the Shrike as it's what I know so won't throw up any surprises.

We did it on Thursday/Friday last week, which meant we were catching the ebb tide out at 10am and catching the flood tide home at 5pm the following day.

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The trip out was uneventful to the point of being dull! The haze kept visibility down somewhere between 3 to 6 miles, so for most of the trip we had nothing to look at other than our compass and GPS. We didn't see any wildlife either. The heat was a problem for me - on the way back, I wore almost nothing apart from a thin semi-dry cag.

We got there in just over 4 hours, with a brief rest on the beach before the long slog up the steep slope to the campsite.

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We signed the 'sea kayaking book' in the pub - this has been going since 1984, and our entries will be among the last as it's now filled up to the inside-back-cover.

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Lundy's a great spot to kill a day - lots of spectacular cliffs and wildlife spotting opportunities. Puffins seemed to be a bit of a magnet, but as the Island is surrounded by steep, high cliffs, even with binoculars it's almost impossible to be sure if the whizzing black specs way down below are puffins or something else. After a night under canvas and a day exploring the island, we got ready for the trip back.

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The sea conditions were oily-flat, with a long gentle swell heading our way. Visibility was even worse with haze and rain-clouds, so we had no land to look at as we crossed. We did get visited by a couple of puffins who landed near by, and then allowed us to paddle right up to them and bob about with them for a few minutes. We also saw a few dolphins/porpoises, but they were too busy hunting to pay us any attention. The sea was packed with jellyfish too. When we reached the coast, we encountered some bumpy stuff created by the tide, but the Shrike behaved herself and we zipped through it.

The trip back took 4.5 hours, but we'd messed up our navigation and had to work our way all the way back round the Morte Point headland to get back to Lee Bay. By the time we reached the beach, it was raining extremely hard, and just starting to get dark, so we had to get loaded and changed in a hurry.

The Shrike proved to be a great tool for the job. The huge front compartment (with hatch located inside the cockpit on the bulkhead your feet rest against) proved to be bone-dry and huge - ideal for storing lots of high-volume, low-weight stuff such as clothes. The handling was perfect, as always, and it kept pace with Alistair's Tiderace Xcape. I'd definitely use the Shrike on any future trips, although I'm currently building a beefed-up version which Nick has designed, which would be more resilient in case you hit the rocks fully-loaded . I'm sure Nick will share that one once it's been put through its paces...

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Now I've seen it all.^

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:47 pm

It's two years into the project, 3,000 copies of the plans have been downloaded, 5,000 emails have been received, 120 builders have been kind enough to send us details, and 70 have been generous enough to send us photos of their completed kayaks for the Gallery at http://www.cnckayaks.com.
After all that, I thought I couldn't be stunned by photos of Shrikes under construction. Try this:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/41557239@N03/

Nick.

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

Post by Jon352 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:40 pm

Nick, I see you've found my toys. You can tell I'm more of a modeller than a sea kayaker. Regards, Jon

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:51 pm

Jon, I still find it difficult to grasp what you've done, and how you did it. I can only say to others viewing the photos that all is not what it seems.....no, really, not what it seems on second guess, either.
Jon, that is superb!
Nick.

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

Post by Jon352 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:58 pm

Nick, It's quite simple. I took a set of your plans and draughted them out at 16.67% full size, then cut out some bits of 1/16th inch ply, stitched and glued a hull, tacked on a 1/64th inch ply deck, slapped on some paint and varnish, and Bob's your uncle. Easier said than done, but not too hard really, just very time consuming.

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

Post by nickcrowhurst » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:21 pm

Jon, but how about the workshop? Is that "Photo shopping", or is it a trick of perspective?
Nick.

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