Designer Nick Schade is world-renowned for his high-performance sea kayak designs with stunning looks. The microBootlegger Sport fits into his strip-planked recreational kayak range but has features found on his most advanced sea kayaks, making a fast boat that will reward a skilled kayaker but is still suitable for novices.
Schade originally designed this kayak for an athletic customer with little kayaking experience. He wanted something he felt comfortable in, yet which would move along nicely. He really liked the classic lines of Schade's original microBootlegger.
The microBootlegger Sport has an almost full-length waterline, with the stem and stern only slightly raked, which gives it a good turn of speed. With a bit of flare and relatively high sides, the kayak has good stability while still being narrow enough at the waterline to minimise water disturbance as she cuts across the lake.
More than just travelling over the water, a well-designed kayak can let you interact, feel and respond. Although it is a very different kayak from the Petrel, the microBootlegger Sport hull has a similar bottom shape, with a transitioning chine that is rounded in front and hard behind. This allows for smooth progress into waves, while providing a positive control surface while working downwind for capable surfing. This kayak will be reassuring to novice kayakers, yet provide exciting performance to a skilled paddler.
The cockpit is recessed so that it stays out your way and it makes the boat look very sophisticated. The cockpit recess does add a bit of complication to the build, but the boat can also be built with a non-recessed cockpit for a very simple build. Most of the strips run pretty straight so it's a good design for experimenting with more difficult woods.
The microBootlegger Sport is built using the cedar-strip method: thin strips of wood are bent around a set of wooden forms side-by-side until the complete hull shape is built up. The designer, Nick Schade, built the prototype with mahogany strips.
Schade has also designed 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.
For a step-by-step guide to the strip-planking construction method, we recommend Nick Schade's book, Building Strip-Planked Boats.
We supply roughly two-thirds red cedar strips and one-third Paulownia strips as standard but if you have a particular pattern in mind, we can provide a different ratio if you contact us before ordering. We can also supply yellow cedar strips.
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, Building Strip-Planked Boats, 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, 345 m of bead-and-cove cedar strips will be needed for the microBootlegger Sport.