Here goes -- wooden boat suggestions, please

Howdy - looking for suggestions on a new boat kit.

I have two Arctic Terns, a 14 and 17. I live in the PNW, and Pygmy is in my proximity. The 14 is great for surf, rolling, etc.. The 17 is fast, and predictable in wind and waves. It's my exercise boat (I paddle 2-4 days / week) and I've had it out solo for ~14 days (with only a couple items left at the put-in due to space constrictions ;) ). It's a great boat, but it's big and designed to track.

I would something that slots between the ATs, primarily in volume, and less tracky. Even at 14', the AT14 has the same low-rocker hull and can be tough to spin in big conditions. So, ideal length is ~16 feet, enough rocker to be nimble, less volume than the AT17, but capable of managing high wind / seas.

I've paddled Pygmy's Murrelet 2PD / V2 hull, and liked it. Pygmy only allows you to demo boats in a little slipway behind their shop, so I have no idea how it handles in wind / swell. Of course, Pygmy's marketing manager told me she was in 25mph winds with following seas and had no issues. 

I was fortunate to paddle CLCs Petrel at the boat show in PT Townsend last September. What a boat! I paddled the strip-built version -- spins on a dime, literally, and with the skeg at ~50%, it seemed to track well (albeit in very mellow conditions). It rolled so easily. I had very limited time and would have loved to spend more time in it. Two negatives I got: it didn't feel fast (my benchmark is the AT17, which is zippy) and my feet were a bit cramped.

I've tried 2X now to get in a Redfish, but haven't been able to connect with Joe. Too bad - his boats are beauties. If I went with one of his designs, it would probably be the Silver (16'9" / 22.25" beam).

Between an S&G and strip-built boat -- I'll build whatever, but the best fit right now probably is an S&G kit, as my time is limited. The main thing, though, is a nimble, light boat that can handle the wind we get in the PNW. Oh...I'm 5'11, 190lbs, size ~12 feet, and 

So...with that preamble out of the way, any other suggestions and / or personal experience with the boats I mentioned?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts / comments!

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RE: Here goes -- wooden boat suggestions, please

i am 5'10 and 190 lbs and really like an exercise paddle....and loved the petrel...but it was a bit tight.    

i built this strip nightheron high deck where i modified the deck inspired by the lines of the petrel (i needed the room of the high deck...but didn't like the nightheron high deck deck lines but loved the petrel lines)  my feet are a bit smaller than yours - 10.5.....but the nice thing about the strip built is very easy to create a bit more room by modifying the deck part of the forms.  

so i kind of think of this a my 'upsized' petrel.  she has a skeg and tracks like a train with it down....but spins like a top with it up.  she is very fast and came in at 39 lbs with all the riggining.  a bit of work to build but no regrets.  perhaps a night heron high deck hybrid....the hull would be fast to build (not sure if it would be as manuevarable)....but you could then tweak the deck to accomodate your feet and get the styling you want.

i have really only experienced that combo of maneuvarability and tracking in the petrel and nighheron.  

i would try the CLC builders club and see if you can find somebody in the neighborhood to let you try one out.



RE: Here goes -- wooden boat suggestions, please

You might want to look at the One Ocean Cirrus LT.  It is avaliable as a S&G or a Hybrid.


RE: Here goes -- wooden boat suggestions, please

I'm sure you thought of this - but can you get to an on-water show? I've only been to one, but in addition to getting to paddle a lot of boats, the conversations with the CLC staff and your fellow paddlers/builders is invaluable.

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