Our fleet has changed over the years. Here’s what we’ve floated in so far.
We purchased our first kayak, a Chesapeake Light Craft Triple, a huge three-person boat that Cory and I would paddle with two of our kids. Twenty-one feet long, 30 inches wide and 80 pounds, the mahogany-fiberglass-epoxy craft was built by a fellow in South Carolina. We put it use at various places between Massachusetts and Florida, and sold it few years ago when it became impractical to own. Ours was not equipped with a rudder.
Next, I built a companion boat, a CLC 17LT. Its construction was started by CLC, and I subsequently purchased it and completed it from plans. Its construction is similar to the Triple, and measures 16′-10″ by 23.75″. Many thanks to my friend, Larry, for his help. After adding aft deck reinforcements, it weighs 51 pounds. The boat has seen action from New York State to North Carolina. It’s my personal ride and has at least 700 miles under the keel, many with my friend, Chris, who also built a similar boat.
As a science project with my two older kids, we built a skin-on-frame, Tom Yost-designed Sea Flea, measuring about 11 feet by 19 inches and weighing 25 pounds. The boat is a little straight-tracking rocket, easily propelled by the slightest of paddlers, and quite seaworthy. With a capacity of only 100 pounds, only my third child still fits in this boat.
We also have access to a 9-foot recreational boat that belonged to my late father. It’s stable and turns quickly, but its hard work to cover ground. It’s the kids choice for tooling around a small lake, but the kids will always choose the Sea Flea if they want to go a distance. A 10 year-old in the Sea Flea can out-paddle an adult in the Blue Boat 2 to 1. Here’s a picture of the present fleet, taken a few years back.
So why a new boat? I’d like family members to be on the water with me, but they are too big for the Sea Flea. And I still want to sail . . .