Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


DGW last won the day on July 20 2018

DGW had the most liked content!

Profile Information

  • Location
    Thirroul NSW Australia

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

DGW's Achievements


Explorer (4/14)

  • First Post
  • Collaborator
  • Conversation Starter
  • Week One Done
  • One Month Later

Recent Badges



  1. Hi Bob, Thanks Bob for your comments. As I understand it, a septuagenarian is someone between 70 and 80 years of age and so I am a member. I will track down the YouTube video and have a look at it. I have never been much good at self rescues over the rear deck but generally am able to execute a re-enter and roll. Although the renter is always successful, the roll up is no longer bomb proof. When the weather warms up I will see if I can roll the Shad and will see what happens with a re-enter and roll. I haven't fitted a thigh brace but have added some closed cell foam beneath the coaming - it may not be enough to lock me in - we will see. I wonder if any forum members would like to comment on how the Shad rolls? Cheers, Denis
  2. Hi gorn and labrat, It is nice to get a note from other SOFers in Australia - many thanks for the comments. gorn, I travel via Albury from time to time on my way down to Mt Beauty where my wife and I have friends. I haven't paddled Lake Hume but will do so one day. labrat, yes you can see two float bags. They are not Kudzu Craft bags, they are small and don't fit too well. When I place an order with Jeff for my Short Shot plans and more 8 oz polyester I will also order his made-to-measure floatation bags. I may then feel more confident in the Shad in rough conditions. On the other hand, my lack of confidence might be more correctly attributable to age. I am getting on and am aware that I am no longer as bold as I used to be. There was a time when 95% of my paddling was on the ocean and 5% was in rivers and lakes but the figures are now reversed. Cheers, Denis
  3. I have had my Shad on the water seven times now and thought some paddlers might like a review of my perceptions of the Shad's performance. I paddle with a Greenland paddle. I find the Shad is twitchy as I enter it (bum first) and as I get out of it. I live in fear of loosing my self esteem by doing an ungainly flop onto the water at the boat ramp where we usually launch on Thursday mornings. However, once I am on the way it all changes - the boat is stable and I feel quite secure. The Shad tracks beautifully - it runs as straight as a die. However, like most kayaks, it is easily moved by eddies at river bends and eddies caused by obstacles. I paddled against a strong current and between oyster covered pylons under a bridge this morning. The eddies caused by the pylons wanted to move me towards the oysters and I had to work quite hard to avoid shredding the skin on the sharp shells. The Shad turns easily and smoothly even without edging. It will turn a on a dime (I don't know why we say that here?) if you edge a little. The Shad is fast. I find it very easy to stay in touch with my paddling companions who all use Euro paddles in a mix of sea kayaks. This morning we had seventeen paddlers in the group but my Shad is the only SOF. I have paddled the Shad in one metre (about three feet) wind waves on Lake Illawarra without trouble. Turning in those conditions was ok and beam on waves did not cause undue problems. Going into the waves is straight forward. I did discover, however, that after about and hour I had water up to my ankles in the kayak. This was a little disconcerting and my imagination had me sinking because of a cut to my polyester skin. I pumped out and one of my paddling friends accompanied me back across the lake while the others pressed on. There were no cuts in the skin - the water was coming in where the front (mainly) and rear carry ropes pass through the skin and gunwales. On this paddle, the nose had spent a fair bit of time beneath the waves. I have since attended to this problem and I think I now have the entry points sealed with silica. The kayak is now pretty well water tight. I have used the Shad in small surf (about one metre) and feel comfortable although not entirely secure. I think the lack of security stems from knowing that the boat does not have bulkheads like my other sea going kayaks. The Shad catches waves easily and stays straight. Broaching with a brace into the wave feels good. Weight - what weight? It is so easy to carry to the car, to load onto the 4x4, to carry down to the water that I do it all just for fun, whether I am going for a paddle or not. It is a delight to transport. I am not sure how much it weighs but figure it might be around 12 kg maximum. In summary, I think this is a great kayak. I think it may be best suited for paddlers who already have some experience. I think brand new paddlers might think it is a bit too twitchy. It is excellent for lakes and rivers and I think that will be where I will be mostly using mine. Because it doesn't have bulkhead, I don't see myself using the Shad for trips up and down the coast. I am going to build another SOF from Kudzu Craft and am pretty sure it will be the Short Shot. What do others think? Am I on the right track? Cheers, Denis
  4. No crocs even-keeled - we are too far south. But we have plenty of wallabies and kangaroos and snakes - they all swim very well. Here is a YouTube clip of a swimming kanagaroo
  5. Many thanks John and Jeff. I was not overly concerned about the water but am now even less concerned. I will monitor it and only worry if water entry significantly worsens. I like Jeff's suggestion about using a light in a darkened room to look for pinholes and I will try this idea if I ever think it is necessary track a water entry point down. Cheers, Denis
  6. Hi all good Kudzu Craft folk, I have had my Shad out a few times and I am getting to know it better. I have just posted some launch shots. I figure that after two hours on the water (salt water) I have about one cup of water in the boat. A bit of this has come off my rubber shoes and some is from drips that come from the paddle and through the spray deck but I think half of it is coming in from somewhere else. The Shad skin is Jeff's 8 oz polyester with five coats of single-pot clear polyurethane rolled on. So, let us say that I have half a cup of water coming in over a two hour paddle. Is this normal? Is this within an acceptable range? Can I expect to achieve an absolutely waterproof skin? Should I consider applying another couple of coats of polyurethane? I would like to know the experience of experienced skin-on-frame paddlers. Cheers, Denis
  7. My Shad was launched on Lake Illawarra about six weeks ago. Lake Illawarra is a large lake that can become quite bumpy but I managed to launch on a day when the water was like glass. It was tippy when I first got in (bum first entry) but I find it quite stable when I am under way. I have had the Shad out a few times now and have tried it in small surf near where the lake enters the ocean - it tracks well and catches and rides waves very nicely. I think my next build will be the Short Shot - any thoughts? Cheers, Denis
  8. Many thanks for your advice Rich and Jeff. I now feel much more confident about getting on with the painting (although some paid work has just arrived that will keep me from doing any more for a few more days). What happens when some of the warp and weft threads are cut - for example when I make 6 mm (about 1/4 inch) holes for the lift and carry toggles at each end of the kayak? I imagine the tensioned threads springing apart - perhaps because the threads are all glued together this doesn't happen? Cheers, Denis
  9. After some delay I am on the move again with my Shad. It is skinned with the 8 oz polyester from Jeff and is ready to be painted. I want to insert screws for deck lines and to fix keel rubbing strips. I am anxious about the screws pulling threads as they go in. Do I just go straight ahead and drill pilot holes through the skin and into the gunwales and keel? Do I do this before or after painting? Do I first melt a little hole in the skin? I have tried easing the tight weave aside with a small screwdriver but this doesn't work well. Your advice is needed - can you help? Cheers from Oz, Denis
  10. A lovely looking boat Dan. You have done a great job of the coaming and it provides further inspiration for me to make a laminated coaming for my next SOF. I am about a quarter way through skinning my very first SOF, a Shad, but there will be more SOFs to come I am sure. I have been wondering what the next boat should be. I like the Greenland style boats, and paddle with Greenland paddles; hence my choice of the Shad for my first SOF build. I like the look of the Short Shot and the multiple chined hull is interesting. I would be interested to have you and other Short Shot paddlers report on their experience with their Short Shots. Here are some details that might be pertinent: I am 72 years old, weigh about 170 lb, height about 5' 8", I am an experienced paddler who paddles on the ocean, lakes and rivers. Is the Short Shot the boat for me? Cheers, Denis
  11. Thanks for the comments Ben and Hirilonde. I will press on with the plywood coaming for this boat but will probably have a shot at the laminated version for the next boat. Hirilonde, your comment about building five coamings using the same molds suggests that many of the Kudzu craft kayaks have coamings of the same size and shape - is that correct? Cheers, Denis
  12. Thanks Jeff. Yes, that is pretty well the shape mine has although mine is possibly less pronounced than it appears in your photograph. Mate, if my Shad looks half as good as your green and black boat when it is finished then I will be delighted. I have decided to finish mine with a clear urethane so that the frame shows through. If I want a change I will add an opaque colour later. To my mind, the unskinned frame is the most interesting and most aesthetic part of the boat. I am part of a group of about twenty paddlers who paddle regularly every Thursday morning of the year and then sometimes again at the weekend. My Shad will be the only SOF of the group but I expect that some of the others will be encouraged to build one too - I will certainly point them in your direction Jeff. Cheers, Denis
  13. My Shad frame is finished and, given this is my first (but not last SOF) I am very pleased with it. However, I notice that the gunwales do not continue to sweep up smoothly all the way to the bow. The gunwales take a slight downward deviation at about the 13' 7" frame - the curve is not smooth. Is this normal? Jeff, I think I recall reading your account of the development of the Shad design and I think you mentioned this issue. I think that you subsequently made a change somewhere. I notice that one of my plan sheets is dated 2012 and the other is dated 2014 - so then I wondered if I had accidentally received plans that do not reflect the change/s you made. I would like your advice before staring to skin the boat. Cheers, Denis
  14. Many thanks for your advice guys. I have temporarily lashed the lower coaming section to the frame and I have added some new clearance holes and pilot holes in positions that are going to be more favourable (although still tricky) to inserting screws from below. If necessary, I can roll the polyester down and under the lower coaming ring and insert monel staples. I will almost certainly build another SOF and with the experience I now have I will make a laminated coaming next time. Cheers, Denis
  15. I am about to start skinning my Shad and have thought ahead to the coaming part of the job. I will be using the plywood coaming where the skin is captured between the upper and lower plywood parts. It seems to me that it will be quite difficult, if not impossible, to insert screws from the bottom at the forward and aft ends of the coaming because the screws holes are on top of the deck stringers or very close to the frames at these points. I plan on using a ratchet brace and socket to hold the Phillips head driver - a technique suggested by Jeff - but will I be able to get this under the coaming at the front and back? I think I will need about 2" of space. Will the polyester let me lift it that far? Or do I need to be satisfied with screws from the top in the areas at the front and rear of the coaming? If I have temporarily lashed the coaming in place it would seem the lashing precludes screwing from underneath. Your advice is eagerly sought. How about I abandon the lower coaming ring and sew the polyester to the upper plywood coaming in the manner suggested for laminated coamings? Are there any shortcomings to sewing onto plywood coamings? Again, your advice would be dearly appreciated. In the meantime, here is my Shad frame on grass photo. For the frames I used a plywood sold here as a marine ply called 'e lite'. I sunk a test piece in a bucket of fresh water for a week and there was no sign of the glue line failing. I was attracted to it because it is very light weight and has very few, very small voids. It is seven ply with very good maple (or meranti?) face veneers. The external and internal edges have a small radius routed on the corners. In the photo, the frames look as though they are painted white but I think that must be a trick of the sun. The stringers are all cedar. The plywood frames received two coats of urethane before I built the frame and the completed frame was finished with two coats of urethane. Cheers, Denis
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.