Clear Stream Custom Watercraft
I want to make it clear that Dan C. of Clear Stream Custom Watercraft did the majority of the work building Abbie B. Click Link to learn more about Clear Stream Custom Watercraft
I spent hours studying how Greenland Style Kayaks are made, learning a slew of terms, measuring and layout systems and mathematical equations utilizing a lot of coefficients that I don’t care to figure out. I never liked math! I did my best to sketch something that showed the lines I was looking for in a sea kayak. The results were pathetic because I can’t draw worth beans, even with graph paper!
I finally met with Dan at his home where I had a ball working out the initial design. In spite of my awful sketches, Dan recognized a similarity to Kenneth Taylor’s Illorsuit (1959) and the Nordkapp Anas Acuta. We ended up going with the Illorsuit.
I’ve never experienced CAAD technology before and boy could Dan make changes quickly. He has a quick mind and knows his stuff. We had a rough idea of the direction to head in after that first session. Dan did the rest of the renderings with comparisons to several other kayaks including easy to read spec charts. a sent them to me via e-mail. We went through three stages of renders to come up with the Matinicus Rock 175 design. I’ll add here that Dan grew tired of calling it Judy Kayak. I beat my brains out to find a name. I’m terrible at decorating and naming something is a lot like decorating.
A friend loaned me Bill Caldwell’s, Islands of Maine which is an excellent read. The final decision for the design as Matinicus Rock 175 is because I liked the story of Abbie Burgess which is why my kayak is named Abbie B. Click to see more information
There were discussions and suggestions as to the actual construction of Abbie B. My original plan was to build a Skin On Frame kayak because the cost would be low. I ended up going all out with a hybrid and even adding Kevlar to the hull. Dan’s questions encouraged me to think about future uses of my kayak. A Skin On Frame certainly wouldn’t go the distance. This is why I ended up with a hybrid, wood hull with skin on frame deck. It offered some challenges for hatch placement and rigging but these were easily dealt with. I had to do a lot of extra work and sell some things to pay the extra costs but it was well worth the sacrifice.
The building of the Kayak commenced in April with a reprieve until August. Dan did the majority of the work. I helped some but was more like a first time apprentice doing a lot of watching. When I did help, Dan often said things like, “Stop! Stop!” “Don’t do that!” “Faster! Faster!” I would have been able to do more if I lived closer. We were in a time crunch and I don’t own a car. Transportation was a 36 mile round trip via bicycle. Abbie B was finished one week before vacation.
Designing and Building Abbie B is in now in my most remarkable experiences history “book”. She is the catalyst for finishing the fulfillment of my dream to build a boat in the future. The plan is to build a Skin On Frame kayak on my own or with a friend without power tools. I’m not certain as to when this will take place but it will be within a few years.