This is another boat with a bit of family history.
The design is a Yare, one of Chesapeake Light Craft’s early boats. Dad bought the plans in the early nineties, along with The Kayak Shop, a book detailing its construction. He and my oldest brother built the boat together in stitch and glue, but after just one excursion, Dad, my brother or both decided it was much too tender. So Dad performed a pretty remarkable surgery, turning the round-bilged hull into a hard chine. You can’t tell it from the outside, but inside the work is apparent, and the old bulkheads still betray the former shape of the hull.
The result was great, but Paul decided it wasn’t for him and started building a Greenland style canvas on frame kayak instead. So I got the modified, much more stable Yare, in the fourth or fifth grade. Good deal for me.
I got a lot of life out of the kayak up through high school, and beat her up pretty well along the way. Dad and I did a lot of trips on the Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers, and we did one memorable crossing (and back) of Chincoteague Bay in 1997 or ‘98.
Not sure it ever got in the water from 2004-2007 when I was in college. K and I did take it out on Tuckahoe Creek once in 2011. That’s when I decided it would be a great idea to get it back in shape, which involved cutting hatches into the deck so we can haul gear and camping equipment.
That was also three years ago. Since moving to Madison I’ve done a lot of work on the crabbing skiff and built a skin on frame canoe, but the kayak got no attention. For a year or so it was wrapped in a tarp tucked under the sailboat trailer in the outdoor storage yard (ouch), and I moved it to the garage attic when mildew started forming, even before the sailboat moved into that space.
This should be a good fall/winter project. I’m looking forward to kayak-canoe camping trips on the Wisconsin and Kickapoo rivers in the spring.