Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finishing the baidarka and first test trip!

After a few busy weeks in my workshop, I finally had the time to sew the baidarka and paint it. I chose a heavy organic cotton canvas for the cover. The hatches and cockpit were already made, so it took only one day of hard work to sew and paint. The paint I use is ordinary house paint, based on organic oil.

This is what it looked like today.....

I couldn't resist the temptation to take it to the water for a brief test paddle. It is not yet 100% waterproof, and the skin is really rugged - giving a lot of resistance in the water. I didn't expect any kind of speed, I was just curious about how it would feel like, and where the waterline would be.
It weighed 17,5 kg. with the sea sock and hatch covers on. It will probably gain another 1,5 kg. of weight with more paint, deck ropes, wear strips underneath and all. But 19 kg. for a big and tough expedition kayak is not bad either.

I felt I should really have had more time for this moment!..... It looked really perfect on the water.... The slightly built-up front, that I was uncertain about whether I liked or not in my workshop, now seemed just perfect. The stern just touched the water where it ended, and the bow touched the water about 25 cm. from the tip. That was without me in it!

What a feeling!!!!!! WOW!
It turned out to be anything I had dreamed about. This felt like the perfect kayak for the trip. It was not VERY stable, like boring stable, of course. It had no load either. But it had plenty of initial stability for me to feel perfectly comfortable. And it also had enough of secondary stability for me to lean well over to the sides without fear of getting wet (didn't wear paddle clothing, only jeans and sweater).

As I mentioned, the rugged surface of the hull really slows it down, but I did a small speed test with the GPS turned on anyway. Normal paddling with my new 220 cm. bent shaft Aleutian paddle went between 8-9 Km./h. - or 4,5 knots. Paddling as hard as I could, took me to 13 km./h. - or 7 knots. Really not bad for a coarse canvas covered hull!! I can't wait to get it sanded and painted to a perfect smooth surface! However, it takes a few weeks, so I just have to be patient, I guess.


  1. Great blog :-)
    Looking forward to follow the planning and the actual trip.

  2. With my baidarka I have done a stage of 30 km. The average was 8.5 kmh.
    Baidarkas are fast...

  3. Hello my friend!!
    What a great plan! I'm happy for you that you can realize that dream!!
    Your Baidarka looks beautiful too. What's her name?
    Will you please tell me when you approach Stavanger? I hope that I will be allowed to join you for a few days even though my SOF is a Greenlander and not a Baidarka?
    Good luck on your project! :)


  4. Hi Anders,
    I like the sweep of the sheerline. I'd be interested to know more about this;
    'my new 220 cm. bent shaft Aleutian paddle'.
    Good luck with the project.
    . . . Ben