These sleek and lightweight Greenland style sea kayaks provide telepathic handling to the skilled paddler, while initial and secondary stability are ample for the newly initiated.
The Shearwater is an eye-catching, light and fast cruiser that does many things well. It is a strong contender for the budget-minded paddler looking to answer the ‘if I could only have one kayak’ question.
Sea Kayaker, Oct 2006
On the water, the Shearwater demonstrates excellent poise and responsiveness in a broad range of conditions, edging turns easily when leaned but tracking straight when pushed hard in surf. A cutaway bow and skeg-like stern ensures tracking even in extremely rough water. The relatively low profile means you'll spend less time on corrective strokes and more time covering ground.
A complex specification was drawn up for a line of boats that combined speed and handling with roomy cockpits and easy construction. For this very challenging design brief, Harris selected veteran paddler and kayak designer Eric Schade. “I had paddled Eric's Merganser design about five years ago and it had many of the qualities we wanted: a good-looking West Greenland-style hull with great tracking and steering.” Harris wanted a distinctive and attractive deck design, however, and over the winter several prototypes were built testing different approaches. The final deck scheme is functional, elegant, easy to assemble and unique.
Striking and innovative, the Shearwater's deck retains the gentle camber but the sheer panel of the hull is raked inward to reduce windage and increase paddle clearance. The sweeping sheerline complements the nicely balanced ends; there isn't an awkward hump or a bump anywhere.
The Shearwater design abounds in interesting and innovative features. To emphasise the clean lines, the decks are computer cut from sapele plywood, a beautiful mahogany with a reddish-brown swirling grain, to contrast with the honey-coloured okoume sides and bottoms. Flush hatches are standard. Veteran stitch-and-glue builders will find notable tweaks in the Shearwater kits, including CNC-cut ‘puzzle joints’ instead of the more typical scarf joints. The finger joints eliminate the alignment step required of scarf joints, so parts are quicker to assemble and impossible to misalign. Another luxury in the Shearwater kits is that 99% of the holes for the wire stitches have been drilled for you. This means faster assembly and no measuring for bulkhead locations, as those holes are drilled, too.
A cedar strip decked Shearwater kayak is also available, combining the simple hull construction of stitch-and-glue with the beauty of cedar-strip. There is also a tandem Shearwater, the Shearwater Double, and a high-performance short kayak for surfing, the Shearwater Sport.
This is for the smaller and lighter paddler.
The 17 foot version is by far the most popular and the one that best suits the average adult.
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.
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. The plans include full size drawings.
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 the solid wood and plywood components pre-cut to the correct size with pre-cut joints, plus the construction manual. It does not contain the plans (these are not required because the wood is pre-cut), any of the epoxy to glue and coat the boat, the fabric or tape nor any of the hardware or rigging.