The Chesapeake kayaks are expedition touring boats that excel in rough water and steep seas. High-volume bows lift you over big waves, or powerboat wakes, while the skeg-like stern prevents weather-cocking in blustery winds.
More than 7000 Chesapeake series kits have been shipped over the last 10 years. An enduring favourite among paddlers, the Chesapeakes are the gold standard for build-it-yourself sea kayaks. They are easy to build but handsome and fast.
The plans are as good as anything I have seen since doing technical drawing at school and the really excellent manual seems to have been written by someone who knows what they are doing and enjoys doing it.
The radically cambered foredecks shed water quickly and provide plenty of foot room on those 35 mile days. The stern design assures train-like tracking and minimal weathercocking, even in fierce crosswinds. The hard-chine hull is strongly influenced by West Greenland designs. It is easy to lean and turn, handles following seas with ease and surfs beautifully. The long waterline and moderate rocker assure plenty of speed.
The hull is shrouded in fibreglass cloth set in epoxy for abrasion resistance. This coating is transparent and will allow the owner to leave the wood grain showing for a beautiful finish which is virtually maintenance free. Epoxy end pours at the bow and stern simplify construction and provide extra impact strength.
These high volume touring kayaks will carry expedition size loads. The Chesapeake 18, the largest in the series, is a substantial boat which will comfortably carry 6′ 5″, 19 stone paddlers with gear (max 159 kg) over long distances.
The popular Chesapeake 17LT (Light Touring) kayak is designed for day paddling and occasional weekend trips. It has the same proven hard chine hull design as the Chesapeake 17 but is lower and has flatter aft decks. This reduces volume and windage and makes the boat a little lighter. Shorter paddlers and Inuit-style paddlers prefer the lower deck since it allows a lower paddle position.
The Chesapeake 14 is a small but capable kayak with a comfortable cockpit ideal for smaller adults and children. The 14 features excellent tracking, sweet handling, good stability and easy construction.
It's everything I wanted it to be, and it's even better than I imagined... I am now the envy of everyone!
The kit includes:
This is intended for pre-build study or to help with the decision to purchase. This is the comprehensive manual that accompanies the kit; reading it will help you decide whether or not you can build the boat. It describes all of the techniques that will be used during the build and also a step by step guide to construction. It contains a photograph or diagram of every step.
If, later, you decide to purchase the kit the cost of this will be deducted from the kit price.
The manual does not contain the cutting instructions so it is not possible to build the boat from scratch using only this.
The construction manual for the boat is also available as a PDF download. After credit card authorisation a download link will be sent to the email address put on the order form.
These plans and manual contain sufficient information on the cutting of the panels to make it possible to build the boat from scratch rather than a kit. This is an easy boat to build from the plans.
These study plans are intended to give you an overview of the construction of the boat. They are in PDF format that can be viewed using Adobe Reader. There are two pages and they measure 279 × 216 mm (11″ × 8½″). They can be printed for carrying around.
After credit card authorisation the plans will be sent to the email address put on the order form.
When you have studied the plans, your next step might be to order the printed instruction manual, which will walk you through the project step-by-step.
This option contains only the pre-cut plywood and solid wood components, the building instruction manual and plans. It does not contain any of the epoxy to glue and coat the boat, the fabric or tape nor any of the hardware or rigging.
This option contains the non-wood items needed to build the boat. This option does not contain the plans or manual.