Cape Ann Double

built by Joel Magnan

Double technical specs.
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Thank you for capturing my imagination while browsing your website a couple of years ago. Now I have also launched a Cape Ann Double on Canada Day 2006. The maiden voyage was around the Mink & McCoy islands in the 30’000 islands region of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. I have included some photos to share with others, of the boat in the water and on the pink granite islands that are typical of this region. The boat looks amazing and turned a lot of heads on the highway- maybe because it was on such a small car! It does behave well on the highway- I used an upright on the hitch to provide sufficient support length. The boat tracked perfectly and glided easily through flat water, and sliced through large waves. The stability was comfortable, even in confused seas with 15 knots of wind. There was plenty of room for gear, although a slightly larger hatch lid in the center could have helped with packing gear. No special inlays or exotic woods were used since I am only a novice woodworker (dark bands are heartwood of western red cedar), but this particular boat is distinct because I chose to use 5 oz carbon fibre twill for the entire inside surface of the kayak, including 5 oz carbon tape on the inside seams, and all carbon gasket channels, instead of fiberglass. All that black cloth along with black fittings, seats, ropes and paddles, really gives it a sleek and high tech look, which was my goal. Of course, it is incredibly stiff and strong, which I know has its pros and cons. I am very happy with the “look” of this Cape Ann Double. The final weight was a respectable 72 lbs including all fittings and the seats and rudder system. I don’t think using the carbon cloth saved any weight since it absorbed just as much epoxy. During construction, I was worried about the 2 halves not fitting together perfectly after applying the very stiff carbon fiber to both top and bottom inside surfaces. To address this worry, I applied the carbon/epoxy to the bottom half (inside)and let the epoxy fully set for a week, making use of the span sticks and supports. After that, I applied the carbon/epoxy to the top half (inside) and before the epoxy was fully gelled, I trimmed the excess cloth, applied masking tape to the shear line joint, and strapped the two halves together in position while the epoxy set. A week later I separated the two halves and followed the regular instructions for the rest. This was a foolproof method to ensure the two halves fit together perfectly during final assembly. Generally speaking, the carbon cloth was more time consuming to work with due to the longer wetting time. I learned a lot from your instruction manual and website links and found them to be a key factor to a successful conclusion to this project. I never ran into any “disasters”, simply by closely following your instructions and not skipping any steps or taking shortcuts. I learned so so much about sanding and sandpaper during this project. I stayed away from power tools and used a conservative approach for fear of a devastating blunder. The fairing board you recommended definitely is the optimal tool for making a perfectly fair surface. I strongly recommend others not to take any shortcuts to ensure a top notch surface upon completion. I used a 2 part polyurethane for the final coating. This is highly toxic stuff so anyone using this should make sure to wear a proper respirator. It saved me tons of time due to the fast recoating ability of this product. The result is a very shiny boat. The rudder system is the Smart Track by Seal Line. It works well and I have no problem turning the boat around and maneuvering in waves. This project took me a couple of years since my workshop was over 2 hours away from home, which posed logistical problems. However, with some perseverance and dedicated weekends and late nights, it all came together. After I put some miles on this kayak, I hope to also build a single. Maybe I’ll try the stitch and glue Cirrus for a change of pace, and build it in my own home! Thanks Again! Joel Magnan (Toronto, ON)

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Last page update: 9 May 2024