Sunday, October 28, 2012

Acadia Paddling Kayak, Adapted for Sailing


My West Wight Potter trailer sailer is laid up in my garage, and I have no intention of putting her in the water until spring next year. The air is cold, and the north wind scatters autumn leaves. I look at heavy clouds and dream of blue skies, gentle winds, golden beaches, estuaries, and tiny coves. My mind wanders, and I recollect pleasant outings with my Acadia kayak. Paddling and sailing her on local rivers brought great satisfaction. In a jiffy, I could put her on top of the car, and within minutes I could be paddling or sailing along the River Crouch.

There was one main drawback; I never really felt secure in her. If the water got rough I had to take care not to capsize. My sense of balance and reactions to movement were not as good as when I was a young man. Then I built and owned a plywood Ammassalik kayak, 21’ long and 19” wide. I had to balance her like a bicycle, but she was very fast. Again, I never felt completely relaxed while paddling her, because if she capsized I had to roll her upright by using the paddle. Once, when practising the Eskimo roll, I failed to get her up, and when I tried escaping from the small cockpit I became stuck. A friend who was practising nearby came to my aid.

If I ever try kayaking again, I shall need a fairly beamy kayak. She’ll have to be light so that I can lift her onto a roof rack without too much effort. Perhaps a Short Touring 11 by Clark Craft would be suitable:
Acadia Statistics

Length 374 cm, Width 72 cm, Weight 24kg - Maximum load 180kg


Canoe                                   £210 (Second-hand)

Paddle                                  £90

Rudder                                £110

Mast and Sail                     £10

Leeboard                             £1

Varnish and brush           £4


Total                                      £425



Acadia Perception Kayak

‘Acadia’ Photos


Sea Kayak Sailing

Struer ‘Limfjorden’ Racing Kayak

Canvas Kayaks



Paul Mullings said...

How about fitting an Ama like those used on Polynesiian canoes?

William Serjeant said...


That could be a solution, but it would add to the business of setting the boat up before getting on the water. There would be more items to carry on the car.

The attraction of Acadia was her simplicity and ease of transportation. She was ready for immediate use. If the weather was good, and I had an hour or so to spare, I could be on the water within minutes.