Cape Ann Double

built by Peter Doherty (Australia)

Cape Ann Double technical specs.
See the Builders' Gallery for other kayak examples.

We have now paddled at Port Macquarie in some docile canals (where we launched) and got the basics. It wasn't long before we could actually go in a straight line. Last Xmas (our summer holidays) we had a week at Forster on the NSW lower north coast. Improved our skills no end as we had some good long paddles in Wallis Lake (about 15 Km long) and after a few days Phoebe and I and to a less extent my middle daughter Renee and wife Toni, were really getting hooked on the pleasure of the kayak and the freedom to paddle to places not accessible by other means. We actually paddled out the river into the ocean when the tide was right, and that was an experience that really blew us away. Last week we had a few days in a little town called Tea Gardens (north of Newcastle) where there is the Mayall River, the Mayall Lakes, Port Stephens, all emptying into the Pacific. After a few longer paddles from the river to settlements on the Northern side of Port Stephens (where we were staying) Phoebe and I took a deep breath and paddled from the northern shores of the bay to the southern side (Nelson Bay) into a stiff south westerly wind, and a sharp chop running the length of the bay. No trouble at all. I am amazed at how well the kayak handles the conditions. We did not have spray skirts, but hardly got any water in the boat, and crossed in no time at all. The last few hundred metres was a little tiring because as well as the wind we were against a strong run out tide. But it was never in doubt. I'm 53 and while i am reasonably fit i have no experience paddling, and Phoebe is 14. She is fit enough but not especially strong for her age. Says a lot about the capabilities of the boat. Now i want to move to the coast and build a single. I use a golf buggy as a trolley to wheel Phoebe Anne to the water, and carry her on roof racks on our car. The building job was adequate, but far from expert, and would do better next time. Nonetheless she always gets oohs and aahs from onlookers. You have ruined my life. - Regards from Peter and Phoebe Doherty

Incidentally i used International varnish for the final coats and was not happy-the varnish did not level, and in fact is a poor result. I will be redoing it with Norglass Marine Varnish as i have had good results with that in the past, and in fact the first few coats that i applied were with that product and looked good. Only screwed up with the last coats, but no lasting harm done as i will sand it off and go again after our next paddling venture in the coming week.




Not usual for us to have a third passenger, but I was just ferrying the family across the channel from this sand island in Wallis Lake. We would paddle out the gutter in the mangroves and into the lake, and sometimes go into the town area, and sometimes go up-lake about 10 kms to some lovely beaches and uninhabited islands. Now I would like to be a little more independent, and go out in the ocean sometime (calm conditions, close to shore, no sharks, followed by QE 11 etc), and so need to make an expedition sport. Good news for you. will do a better job this time with more experience- even you will be proud of the result.





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Last page update: 9 May 2024