The microBootlegger is a spacious and efficient tandem strip-built kayak designed by Nick Schade for cruising lakes and exploring bays.
In 1924, George Crouch designed a ground-breaking speedboat named ‘Baby Bootlegger’. Baby Bootlegger was an innovation in its time, introducing the ‘rolled sheer’ where the deck blends smoothly into the side. With the long streamlined stern, it was the prototype of the mahogany runabouts that became popular in the 1920's. While this may be an unexpected starting point for a kayak, the graceful, efficient shape struck Nick Schade's fancy.
In the 1880's J. Henry Rushton was at the forefront of an explosion in the popularity of canoeing. His double-paddle canoes were generally what most people might now think of as a kayak; often his boats had long decks with a cockpit where the paddler sat and used a paddle with blades at both ends.
The microBootlegger combines the idea of a Rushton-style double-paddle canoe with the great looking shape of the the Baby Bootlegger. While more sedate than her namesake, she moves easily through the water and, should a gale blow in, will handle rough water with aplomb.
Drawn up with a long cockpit big enough for two, it may also be paddled solo. For the more adventurous, it could also be rigged up with a rudder, lee boards, and a small sail much like the Rushton canoes were.
Nick Schade has also designed a solo microBootlegger and a pair of racing sea kayaks based on the bootlegger designs. The Mystery Bootlegger is a fast solo touring sea kayak optimised for maximum efficiency at race pace and the Yukon Racing Kayak is an endurance racing sea kayak designed for paddling long distances with minimum effort.
The plans contain sufficient information to make it possible to build the boat from scratch rather than a kit. They include full size drawings for all the forms. We recommend Nick Schade's book, The Strip-Built Sea Kayak, which covers the techniques that are used to build strip-planked kayaks.
For those wanting to obtain the other materials needed to build the boat from other sources, this option contains the pre-cut forms and strongback and the necessary plans to build the boat. The cedar strips are not included (see below).
As well as the plans, forms and strongback, 385 m of bead-and-cove cedar strips will be needed for the microBootlegger.