27 April, 2010

Watertribe Kayak Project

Watching the WATERTRIBE Everglades Challenge last month has inspired me to do the North Carolina Challenge in September. The race is just the right distance and close enough to my home ground to be attainable.

I do not have a Kevlar Racer or a long distance cruiser. But my trusty Plastic 14.5’ Wilderness Systems $300 tub can cruise at 3.5 knots for long distances. It is stable and has the load carrying capability. With a nice sail I think that I can FINISH in Class 3.

My other recent interest is welding Plastic. Unlike Epoxy you can see the results instantaneously. I threw out the large heavy seat and replaced it with watertight compartments and foam built in seat. Everything has to have a purpose. The mast and sail are from a Windsurfer purchased on e-bay for lass than $100.

I have been reading all the Watertribe rules. The thing that attracts me to the Watertribe concept is the different ideas that people come up with. If I had the time I would love to build a Matt Layden style boat. The full enclosure has a lot of merit to a long distance passage.

Some things that I have to work out are the rudder, centerboard, and outrigger. To keep up with the plastic idea I am using all the old scrap HDPE plastic that I can find. So far I have used a old recycle bin and part of a old dog house that I had sitting in the back yard. At the same time I am trying to gather up all the other gear that an expedition like this requires. Then there is time on the water to train and work out the bugs.

I will try to post as I go. For a while my sailboat is taking the back seat. I have some unfinished projects before I can take her out. So many projects...