T H E   G R E E N L A K E   P A D D L E R
LITTLE BASTARD, A GREAT SMALL KAYAK




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SURPRISE, NEVER A DULL MOMENT !





The work on the boat is pretty much finished and I did some " sitting in " trails
to work out the exact location for the lower back support strap. Then I tried
to close the spraydeck ... and I tried it again ... and again. All it did
was popping off, it almost drove me bananas. The hard glossy
 finished coaming was way too slippery, what to do next ?





After using a lot of bad language I came up with an idea ... SURFBOARD WAX.
What if I put this on the coaming and the spraydeck ... if this stuff can hold a
wet surfer to a wet board, then I guess it will keep my spraydeck in place.
And it does ... the brand that says '' works on pads " is so tacky, I
can
lift the weight of the entire kayak just by pulling the spraydeck up.



HENCE THE NAME





The skin was ( was ) as tight as a drum, really. I've stretched it over and sewed it
on while wet, and look what happened after two hours paddling and one night
out in the cold ( just freezing ). It took on a different look and turned into
 some sort of animal. Little Bastard is playing tricks on me already !





A sof kayak, seems to be a thing that's alive somehow. No matter how hard you try
to skin the boat without wrinkles, nylon reacts to moist by expanding. A day in the
sunshine will tighten the boat up again ... that's what they say ... future will tell.
Looking at it now after the first shock,  I'm telling myself,  it actually looks
quite natural. The bottom of the boat remained in good tight shape.





More wrinkles, a few days of extremely moist weather did the trick for the bottom.
Now there you have it, so far for the good looks.


AND INDEED


" They "  were right, now the kayak is back in the house the wrinkles went away
over a period of a few days. So a sof really is a living thing, I've read about
this phenomena here and there but didn't expect it to happen to my own
particular boat of course. So two appearances it has this Little Bastard.





Covering a kayak with Polyester or Dacron fabric seems to be a better option
in terms of dimensional stability but Nylon ( Heavy Duty Ballistic Nylon )
wins in the ripping and tearing department. Next time I go for Dacron.
Photo: Scissor cut in Ballistic Nylon, impossible to tear any further.





First try out of Little Bastard skinned with nylon.
Maybe I will add a little
skeg later on, but have to see about that. In a light wind she pretty
much goes where I want her to, and responds nicely to canting.



TRACKING





There you have it, skeg is on. As you can see the bottom shows a lot of Vee
and the sides flare out quite a bit. As the boat is narrow for its
length, it
makes you ride relatively deep in the water and returns a solid
enough stable feel. Tracking feels the same as a longer
sea kayak. The strong Vee makes it go smooth.





I hoped I could do without, but It became obvious a fin was needed to keep me on
track in more powerful winds. Still experimental ... I glued
a length of aluminum
rail directly to the skin, and clamped a '' cutting board " fin into that. Two tiny
screws keep the fin from sliding out. Tracking became much stronger, and

if so needed, changes can be made without leaving holes here or there.





Just to give you an idea of skeg size. Later I moved the skeg to the very end of the keel.
So theoretically thinking, the blade area can be reduced a little.
The alu rail mounting method works like a charm.



TRADE OFF



In case you are interested in making a little sof like this, remember what you have
seen on page two. A short length '' fish '' shaped hull with low volume in the aft
likes to dive in the entering process. If your weight is higher than mine, 
you
better consider to add a little more volume in the rear, and tune her hull
into a swede form. If you are lighter, no problems, go and copy away !





" Little Bastard " as floating in the water loaded with a 87 kg person resulting

in 104 liters of water displacement. My wheight and that of the boat
combined results in a relative deep draft . Good for stability.






And when the same person is trying to enter ... no waves please.
The shortness
of the hull and relatively little volume in the rear makes it react '' interesting ''.
But don't be scared away to fast, as this is actually a fun boat to paddle.








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LB rev 2021








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