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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cheasapeake Light Craft St Pete 2015 Report



CLC Boats came to the Gandy Bridge, St Petersburg side this weekend bringing with them a large selection of kayaks, canoes, and rowing craft.  While there were no sailboats, several of the boats can be sailed and there was a private owner with a beautiful rendition of a Northeaster Dory on display.




During a previous visit I had the opportunity of sailing this work of art.  Although it’s fast and remarkably stable, the narrow stern will not support a human therefore it requires a tiller several feet long that operates on the arm you see to starboard.  I found the  push-pull steering tiresome.  The boat rows and sails well- It’s just not for me. 

Beauty VS Art

Another old salt admiring the workmanship and design of the boat told me that he has built thirty boats in his time, some as pretty as this and others not so much.   He said the pretty boats, usually bright finished, were seldom used for fear of disfigurement while the less so saw great use. 

He brought one with him, a sort of shallow draft trawler about 20 feet loa, recently painted using home center deck paint using a cheap foam roller.  It looks sharp at 30 feet, he bragged, but he has no fear of the usual dings and marks associated with normal use.  It brought to mind HideAways encounter with large commercial fishing boat whose wake threw us into a fuel dock at John’s Pass.  A repair that required a new rub rail  --- Here's the link- Rub Rail Installation SV HideAway


We have been looking for an extreme shallow draft kayak for exploration and photography of our area’s back waters and rivers.  The Mill Creek 16.5 double kayak looked interesting, but the online photos didn’t show a good, dry place for camera equipment.  A quick paddle out proved this to be true.  We tried some of the row boats and found them either too large or cumbersome for our purpose.

Then we discovered the Wood Duck 10 and 12.


Both are available in different woods.  The strip planked Wood Duck 12 Hybrid shown feels heavier than the website weight comparison for both hybrid models of 4 lbs. However our WD10 featured the sable wood option that felt much lighter than the WD 12 Hybrid. At 40 lbs. maximum either one is easy to transport.    Both have a large cockpit that is easy to get into, with plenty of space for gear and are very responsive.  The wide beam keeps them comfortably stable.  While the 12 takes more effort to paddle either one will move with little effort.  Both track well. Basic handling between the two boats is what you’d expect for the water line difference.   

And now a word, ok, image from our sponsor  


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We will need two- but which?

 
In any event, if Chesapeake Lightcraft comes to your area be sure to make the trip - It's a lot of fun


And who knows- you may end up with an addition to your fleet!