Petrel Play Complete

Last week I completed a Petrel Play from complete kit.  The build took me 59 work days/134.5 hours spread over a five month period.  The kit was absolutely exceptional with all the pieces fitting together nicely and most of the holes predrilled.  Even so, this was a more difficult build than my previous two kayaks (Chesapeake 16LT and 17LT).  The more complicated shapes around the hatch recesses make the stitching, glassing and sanding much more difficult than the Chesapeakes.  Working with stain was also new to me.  This boat is certainly not furniture grade but it passes the 10’ test.  Construction photos are available here:

I was looking for a smaller kayak for use in small streams/springs where my 17LT is a bit too big, and it looks like the Petrel Play was a good choice.  The boat tracks nicely but turns very easily with a little lean.  At an easy cruising pace (4-4.5mph), the PP is easily driven but above that you start hitting the wall.  At aerobic workout pace I find the boat to be about 0.3mph slower than my 17LT and 1+mph slower in a sprint.

I am very happy with both the kit and the completed kayak.  I would highly recommend this boat but not for a first time builder.  If you are building from plans and are not set on the rubber hatches, you might consider eliminating the hatch recesses and going with flush hatches.  This would eliminate a lot of complication and look better IMHO.

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RE: Petrel Play Complete

   Very nice looking craft & description.  You might share info on your staining, particularly the sharp edges (what looks like modified puzzle joints).

RE: Petrel Play Complete

Nick Schade incorporates "artistic" puzzle joints into many of his designs.  I followed directions in the manual which call for staining the panels and appying a coat of epoxy before glueing the puzzle joints together.  It is really pretty easy but you want to avoid messing up the stained panels during construction.


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