A North Sea kayak - Derek Hutchinson
Friday, 15 February 2013 | Admin
In a very nice kind of way it would seem that Hi Spec Plastics ( founder of East Coast Fibreglass Supplies) has a lot to answer for.
I got the idea of designing my own sea kayak about 40 years ago. At that time there were no glassfibre sea kayak designs of any worth. I had built a couple of lathe and canvas canoes but they were not what I was looking for. I did some research and read a book called The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America. It inspired me, and I set to work in my home garage to design and build a plug from plywood and plaster. When the whole contraption was finished, I then went round to my friends at Hi - Spec Plastics and managed to scrounge a couple of tins of resin.
You can even see the hardened spills of faded resin on my garage floor to this day.
The trouble was, i had no idea how to join the deck to the hull so I finished up and gave the deck a kind of overlapping joint rather like a tin lid. To join the two halves together I left a hole at each end just big enough to look through and thread a long piece of wire through. I then hung small strips of wetted out glass on this wire and with the help of a friend we fed this glass hanging on the wire into position a then stippled it down. When the whole thing was joined together, I stuck a tennis ball filled with the last of the glass and resin over the holes front and rear. So you see, I finished up with a sea kayak with knobs on!
It was this boat which I called the North Sea Kayak that became, years later, the basis for my Baidarka sea kayak. This was the first glassfibre sea kayak in the world to have watertight compartments and bulkheads. It was to set the pattern for the sea kayaks of the futures.
I hope you like this little story. It’s all such a long time ago, but that kayak I built with your resin is out there somewhere with its painted deck and white painted hull.
Hell, I'd pay to get it back just for old times sake!