Chesapeake Light Craft » Chesapeake 16: A High-volume Wooden Sea Kayak That You Can Build!
Large storage compartments will absorb enough gear and water for long, unsupported expeditions. Chesapeakes are built to endure a lifetime of strenuous touring with 4mm-okoume plywood hulls and decks, both sheathed with fiberglass.
Individual kayak fit is very important, so there are six singles, two doubles, and a triple to choose from. Designed as a responsive, light-weight boat suitable for day trips in rough water it is equally at home poking into sheltered estuaries or exploring the shore of isolated coves.
This boat is derived from my Night Heron designs, but it is shorter, has more rocker and more reserve buoyancy in the ends.
The "transitioning" chine varies from a quite rounded, soft chine forward to a hard chine aft of the cockpit.
The deck shape takes its queue from Greenlandic Inuit skin-on-frame designs with a sharp chine-like feature line on either side. This design was developed to carry a 200 lbs, 6+ foot paddler on day trips, but it is small scale enough that it would also work well for substantially smaller paddlers.It is meant as a day tripping boat for larger paddlers, and would not have the capacity for extended trips, but if you are a smaller paddler there is enough interior volume to carry a fair amount of gear. Old wooden pulley part of a block and tackle used in a chesapeake bay boat builder and restoration shop.


An enduring favorite among paddlers, the award-winning Chesapeakes are the gold standard for build-it-yourself sea kayaks.
Watertight bulkheads are standard, as are hatches, deck rigging, adjustable footbraces, and a comfortable seat.
The 16LT and 17LT are standard Chesapeake 16 & 17 hulls with lower decks and sides, reducing total volume by 20% for a sleeker, more compact kayak.
Named after Saint Peter, petrels are small birds that feed at sea by fluttering just above the swell with their feet tip-toeing across the water. This design will carry a large paddler through rough conditions yet it is small enough to be easily handled by petite kayakers. The moderately hard chine of the strip Night Heron has been softened forward of the cockpit and transitions into a hard chine behind the cockpit. The forward section provides smooth performance pushing out into waves and reduces the tendency to broach while surfing.
The big, comfortable cockpit is an ideal spot to spend a lazy afternoon if multi-week expeditions aren't your speed. One reason so many builders prefer the Chesapeakes is their flexible architecture, unique among kit boats. Like its bird namesake the Petrel kayak is at home at sea where it can dance among the waves.


With a form inspired by the Inuit inventors of kayaking, the Petrel will appeal to devoted Greenland-style paddlers without being intimidating to novice sea kayakers. The result is a lively boat that accelerates quickly to catch waves, carves down wave faces and maneuvers easily.
The side of the deck slopes in quickly so it is out of the way for close-to-the-hull strokes. High-volume bows lift you over rough seas - or powerboat wakes - while the skeg-like stern prevents weather-cocking in blustery winds. Experienced builders may customize every part of the boat above the waterline, whether building from a kit or plans.
CLC's signature cambered decks shed spray, increase the storage space inside the hull, add strength without weight, and look great. Chesapeake kayak builders explore quiet local rivers and paddle the length of the Sea of Cortez. Chesapeakes are built in garages, apartments, living rooms, television studios, and in at least 50 countries from Iceland to Australia.



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