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Chattanooga Curlew Launch!--At Last

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This Friday, eleven years after purchasing my Curlew plans, I launched my kayak and enjoyed my first paddle on Lake Chickamauga.  Weight as pictured is 23 lbs.  She tracked straight with no weather-cocking in the strong winds.  While initial stability seems low, it improved at cruising speed and secondary stability seems better.  I'm working with Seals to get a skirt that fits the coaming and will feel more comfortable testing secondary stability and ease of rolling with a good spray skirt and dry top on.  Special thanks to my friend Steve Rouse for his help, shop space, and photographs.  


In sitting in the kayak on land before launching I broke the right side coaming support as shown in the last photo.  Checking other recent launch posts I noticed that this side support piece is missing so am wondering if I should just remove the supports instead of trying to replace them.  After cracking the support I realized that I needed to brace on the back deck instead of the coaming when entering and exiting the kayak!  


Since I want to roll the kayak when I get a backband, seat, skirt, and deck riggings installed, I'm wondering what others have done about making and attaching thigh supports/hooks and side hip padding?  


The kayak frames are okoume marine plywood left over from another boat-building project and the stringers are Western red cedar scarved together from the clearest boards I could find at a local lumberyard.  Fabric is dacron which is covered with 3 layers of Hunter green Rust-oleum paint.  Since Steve has already carved a beautiful Greenland paddle, I hope to start work on my own paddle in the near future.  



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Looks great!


Since you bought those plans I have made a couple of small changes.  One is the frame under the rear of the coaming now has a center brace cut in the frame.  I found after a couple of years of regular use the plywood started to weaken and eventually collapsed.


You can make a simple brace that will wedge between the keel and the deck. I just cut a couple of slots and made it snug fit. Works good and will save issues down the road. You can remove it if you need access to the rear space too.


As for the coaming support, since you did a laminated coaming you can probably get along fine without it.  I don't use them in mine but of course that will depend on how strong you coaming is.  How much spring back it has.

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