I am a grandmother paddling alone over 2,500 miles from Maine to Guatemala. Along the way I will be:
- telling the story of the children who live in the Guatemala City garbage dump community
- honoring their entrepreneurial mothers
- talking about the success of the Safe Passage model school and
- raising funds for additional grades for the school.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Joey at CLC is turning my wooden kayak bionic with carbon fiber innards

Lovely carbon trusses and bulkhead!
Here's the latest on the redesign work that Joey Schott is doing at Chesapeake  Light Craft.
It's amazing to watch the transformation of my Chesapeake 18 into the perfect expedition boat.

Here's an example of my poor workmanship in the kayak I sent Joey.  Functional, but not pretty.  Check out those bumpy fillets!
Evidence of Deb's poor filleting skill being removed.
Here's Joey's version with wide, but very thin fillets, and a layer of glass for reinforcement:
What a difference!
Makes me want to touch it.
Next comes the design work.  I wanted the forward bulkhead moved forward to give more room for gear, and less volume for water to fill my cockpit when I capsize.  One thing I like about the Chesapeake design is the very full bow so it rides up over waves.  But that means the cockpit is wide and it's hard for my short feet to reach the foot braces when I use a racing stroke.  Joey came up with an idea to elegantly deal with both issues, and here's his cardboard mockup to test the concept.
Looks good.
Next Joey did the "sit test, since I live too far away to be the model.
Should fit me as I wear those same socks as Joey.
To keep the weight down, Joey fabricated the final design in carbon fiber.  He offered to put foam between the trusses and the hull, but I want them open, as it will be a great place to stow my tall neoprene boots when I'm paddling through hotter climes.
Trusses cut away to give the most space for moving my legs around. and reducing weight
Finally we see how the foot braces will be attached.  Joey is replacing the mounting hardware on the foot braces so that I'll only have to carry an allen key, instead of a small screw driver, to service the foot braces.  He thinks of everything!
The next step  in the bionic transformation.
Thank you Joey and Chesapeake Light Craft for being such amazing sponsors of the Kayak Safe Passage Expedition!!


  1. This is such a neat blog. Wow, you are lucky to have a custom fit kayak. Yeah, I'm jealous! I'm glad you are packing your "Big Girl Boots." aka TBW? Oh, I need Anne to help me with that one. Best of Luck, Deb. This is so exciting.

  2. A recall a great photo of the "tall booted women", four sea kayakers sitting on a driftwood log on a rocky beach in Maine, all wearing the same brand black, knee high, neoprene boots!