Yukon Construction Complete

Today I completed the build phase of my Yukon (18’x 20.5”) designed by Nick Schade.  This is not a boat listed in the CLC catalog but they have the CNC files so you can custom order both the forms and strips. 

I have about 210 manhours into the boat with probably another 20 remaining for rigging and varnish.  The boat was built with 3/16” strips on the hull and ¼” on the deck (WRC with Alaskan Yellow accents).  The interior was glassed with 4oz S-glass (C0427S) and exterior is 3oz tight weave E-glass (C0338) both from US Composits.  The bulkheads, cockpit recess and coaming assembly were all built with 3mm Sapelle plywood. 

Bare hull weight is 31.2# which includes the three rails required to mount the Stellar foot brace and mounting for the under-hull rudder.  I anticipate that the foot brace, over-the-stern rudder, seat and deck rigging will add another 5-6#. 

I am looking forward to launching it before the end of the month.

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RE: Yukon Construction Complete

Hi Mark, 

let me say congatulations on the build. 

i had seen you mention the project earlier and had been looking at the Guillemot site about the design and also waiting for you to post how it was coming along.  you seem to work so fast.

i have been going back and forth between a strip petrel play and giving a real racing boat a try.   i live close to the washington DC canoe club https://www.washingtoncanoeclub.org/ which hosts most of the local racers in the area and i have always wondered what a special purpose K1 -ish kind of boat would be like.    its wonderful to see them knifing up the potomac at early in the morning which is when i often ride by the club.

i was also a little curious on your build where you said you did 3/16 on on on the hull and 1/4 on the deck.   in most of the planning i have done when i am building light, the deck gets a lighter layup then the hull....so was wondering if that was a typo or if there is a construction element that comes into play here that drove the decision.

also wanted to ask if you could talk a bit about the yukon vs your mystery and what made you want to add the yukon to the portfolio and how they compare or when you use one vs the other.   if this social distancing stays in place much longer, will definitely be starting a project soon.  again, nice work and thanks for sharing.


RE: Yukon Construction Complete

Thanks Howard!

Nice catch on the deck thickness, typo on my part.  The deck was made with 1/8" strips.

I would hate to talk you out of building a strip Petrel Play.  I absolutely love my S&G version; it is an absolute beast in waves.  If you don't already have a good wave boat, then you certainly NEED a PP!

If you do not have a fast race type boat, I'd submit that you also need one of those in your quiver.  When it comes to ICF K-1 boats, I only know of one design available for the home builder, the Jehu by Bjorn Thomassen.  At 20.1” wide, it is what they would call a trainer and would not be even close to competitive, but it could be a fun fitness boat.  If you are interested in competing in K-1, I’d suggest getting involved with the club and they would steer you into the right commercial boat. 

If you are looking for a fast homebuilt boat that you can also race, I’d submit that you would be better looking at the Fast Sea Kayak genre of boats.  Designs available include: Mystery, Yukon, Wahoo, Pax 18/20, Razor Billed Auk, Panthera, Sea Racer, etc.  All these designs will be at least as fast as the Jehu (most likely faster), while being more comfortable and much more capable of handling waves.

If you decide to go down this path and are even considering racing, look closely at whatever boat classification system(s) is used by the club and/or any other races that might do.  There are at least four different systems in use plus some races have their own homegrown systems.  When I built my first race boat, the Wahoo, I decided to lengthen it to 18’6” to give it a bit more displacement.  An unintended consequence was that I moved the boat into the next higher (faster) classification under several of these systems.  As a result, I spent a couple of years racing my 18.5’ Wahoo against 20’+ sufskis.  I don’t mind getting beaten but racing against boats that are 30+ seconds faster per mile gets old quickly.    

The race classification issue is exactly why I added the Yukon to the fleet.  At 18’x20.5”, it rates as a Sea Kayak under both the USCA system and the Sound Rowers system.  The Wahoo is 6” too long to race in either of these classifications.  At 20’x20”, The Mystery rates Touring Class under the USCA system and as a Kayak for the many races (like Chattajack) which define anything with less than a 20” beam as a Surfski.  I have two commercial surfskis which both rate unlimited.  One is 16” wide that I use on flat water and the 18” wide boat is used in rougher water.  This August, I hope to compete at the USCA Nationals in Michigan.  I will paddle the Yukon is SK, Mystery in Touring and my Stellar SEA in Unlimited Class.

Most of the discussion above has been focused on racing, but the FSK type of boat is also great for fast recreational paddling.  Due to its 50# weight and unfavorable classification, I don’t race my lengthened Wahoo much anymore, but it is my primary boat for scouting racecourses and solo recreational paddling.  I can average 5.5 mph in good conditions, carry enough gear for a multi-day camping trip and have survived 4.5’ breaking waves.      

I hope that this helps!

Picture of the Wahoo just prior to start of the 2018 26 mile Suwannee River Challenge.


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