Nick Schade’s line of strip-planked Greenland-style sea kayaks are renowned for sophisticated performance on the water, beautiful lines, and sculptural hull details. But strip-planked boatbuilding is not for everyone. Novice woodworkers and weekend hobbyists with limited free time may be reluctant to take on the complex original Petrel kayak design. The solution is a plywood version of the Petrel, designed with great deliberation to retain the strip-planked original’s point-and-shoot handling.
The original Nick Schade Petrel design, a slippery 17-foot by 20-inch sea kayak equally at home as a fast cruiser or surfing in the break zone, is not a project for the timid boatbuilder. In that design, cedar strips enclose an undulating shape with functional “chines” that allow carved turns like a classic West Greenland kayak. “Great looks and handling, but requires an advanced builder,” Nick Schade says.
The new stitch-and-glue version of the Petrel, called the Petrel SG, eliminates the fussy strip-planking procedure, which involves cutting and fitting scores of individual cedar strips over a mold. Instead, computer-cut plywood panels for the hull and deck are stitched together with temporary wire, then reinforced with epoxy and fiberglass. The simplified plywood hull has its own sculptural qualities, and gives up none of the performance of the original.
The Petrel SG could be described as an “intermediate” boatbuilding project. It’s a computer-cut jigsaw puzzle, but an intricate one requiring a little patience. It’s still a lot easier than a strip-planked kayak!
CLC’s Petrel SG offers features not found in any other kayak kit. Airtight, recessed SeaLect hatches fore and aft AND a recessed SeaLect day hatch are standard. The cockpit is recessed to make rolling easier. A retractable skeg is standard in the kit.
For more information on the new stitch-and-glue rendition of the Petrel, go to http://www.clcboats.com/petrelsg, or call 410-267-0137.
Chesapeake Light Craft
1805 George Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21403