Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double #39: Launched the Kayak!

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 07-28-2020 03:46 AM 887 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 38: Installed Seats Part 39 of Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double series Part 40: Rigged for Fishing »

Launch Day!
With the seats installed and the rudder operational, it was time to take the kayak for an initial paddle.

You can see that I’m slightly bow heavy, but most of the time I’ll have some extra weight behind me that should trim me out. I was able to paddle without the rudder and had no directional control problems from this position. Check out this video of me paddling solo.

Stability was amazing. I was able to stand up and paddle with no difficulty. Check out this video showing me trying this the first time. I don’t anticipate any problems taking the dog out for deep water retrieves while duck hunting.

The boat finished out at 56 pounds with both seats, the rudder, and the anchor trolley. I’m pleased with its light weight. Stability was better than I could have ever hoped for. This boat is fast. We paddled in a river with a slow current, but our average moving speed was 3.7 mph round trip; that’s with some drift time and Mary not paddling on the way back. Tandem performance is poor with me in the bow seat. I weigh 30 pounds more than Mary and steering was severely impaired with me in the bow. We switched positions and the kayak tracked well without a rudder. Fore and aft trim of a kayak is easy to judge by its steering/tracking performance. I ordered an extra set of rudder pedals and cables for the stern position. The rudder’s design makes for an easy swap between cables that attach to the rudder head assembly. That’s another $190 with tax and shipping but, “in for a penny, in for a dime.”

Outfit for fishing.

-- Mark, Minnesota

4 comments so far

View LeeRoyMan's profile


1845 posts in 847 days

#1 posted 07-28-2020 04:05 AM

Pretty cool Mark
I’ve been quietly following along and am impressed. Great work and blog.
Kuddo’s to you sir!

View metolius's profile


430 posts in 1850 days

#2 posted 07-28-2020 04:11 AM

!! wooo hooo !!

thank you for the stories

-- derek / oregon

View DustyMark's profile


518 posts in 3190 days

#3 posted 07-28-2020 04:54 AM

Thanks! It’s nice to finally get a boat on the water and see how it performs. I’m really happy with this boat. The only surprise was how poorly it did with me in the bow during tandem paddling. However, it did great with me in the stern. We’ll just have to ease Mary into learning to steer with the rudder when we encounter conditions that require it.

-- Mark, Minnesota

View Redoak49's profile


5274 posts in 3109 days

#4 posted 07-28-2020 10:54 AM

Congratulations on a well done project!

I have followed along and appreciate the well done photos and description.

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