Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double #2: Why the WDD Will Make a Good Lake Superior Kayak

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 05-30-2020 07:19 PM 767 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Overview Part 2 of Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double series Part 3: Why the WDD Will Make a Good Fishing Kayak »

Our Camping Style
We have a truck and a smaller-sized travel trailer that we use as a base camp for our outdoor activities, which include sea kayaking, fishing, and mountain biking.

Keeping the kayaks to 14’ or less makes for an easier lift to the roof of the truck and allows the topper door to open without interference. At 60 pounds, the Wood Duck Double is actually pretty light for it’s generous 30” beam. At 14’, it’s only 6” longer than the blue kayak on the roof in this photo…a good fit.

Sea Kayaking Lake Superior

We own a super sea-worthy, 22 1/2’ triple kayak for multi-day expeditions on Lake Superior.

However, we also camp near the lake often with our travel trailer and take frequent day trips in our single kayaks. This photo is near some sea caves. Mary’s boat is only 24” wide, but has proved very stable for a multi-use kayak.

A nice feature of the Wood Duck Double (above) is that we could use it as a single or a double kayak when we paddle on Lake Superior. Obviously, it wouldn’t be safe to paddle it open, but I can certainly sew some custom spray skirts to keep the big lake at bay.

Copper has great small boat manners and he’s been out in four foot seas with us on our expeditions in his “dog cockpit!”

Outfitting Considerations
Spray skirts are needed for the short, steep chop common in the areas of Lake Superior we paddle. I plan to sew multiple spray skirts for our various uses. Skirt one=me paddling solo. Skirt two=tandem paddling. I’ll probably have to devise a thigh strap like what is used on sit-on-top kayaks for the stern paddler since their legs are above the coaming ring and they’ll need a means of “becoming one with the boat.” Skirt three=me paddling with the dog behind me.

Venturing out on the big lake and hoping to add a sail rig in the future, pushed me to include a rudder in the original build. I’ll rig it to operate from the front position so that it works for solo or tandem operations. That puts Mary in the stern when we paddle tandem, opposite of the way we paddle in the triple, but that should be fine for day trips.

I built a Wood Duck 10’ for my daughter, but I ended up with it when she moved and had nowhere to store it safely. The hard-chined hull made that “recreational” kayak a high performer in stability, tracking, and speed. I’m anticipating even better performance from the Wood Duck Double. The 30” beam threads the needle with the friction between speed lost and stability gained by going wider. Our triple kayak is 30” wide and is amazingly stable in the worst of conditions. I’m fully expecting great seaworthiness from this boat with its 400-pound payload capacity for our day trips on Lake Superior.

Why the Wood Duck Double will make a good fishing kayak.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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