Bobby Curtis

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After paddling for a number of years in kayaks that I couldn’t easily lay my back onto the rear deck, I decided to take the plunge and designed a kayak that I could comfortably lay my back onto the rear deck.

Basing the design on a traditional Greenland skin kayak seemed like a good idea, but I didn’t like the idea of the toes of my feet sticking up into the canvas deck. I wanted more room for my feet. The depth of a Greenland kayak made for rolling I learned was the width of one’s fist and a kayak made for racing was the width of one’s fist with an extended thumb. This meant for me the depth would be 3-1/2 in. for rolling and 5-1/4 in. for racing. I wasn’t going to do any racing, but wanted to be able to roll a lot better than I could. (It took me a few years to learn how to roll, and my roll wasn’t all that reliable)

I couldn’t bring myself to build a kayak with a 3-1/2 in depth, but 5-1/4 in was in the realm of possibility. I figured that a plywood hull with anything less then 5 inches would break apart during the building process. In addition, I knew I needed at least an inch for the coaming height off the deck. That would bring the rear deck to 5 inches. So I opted for  5-1/4 in knowing that with the coaming the depth from keel to coaming would be around 6 1/4 in.  Making compromises between appearances and comfort for my feet, I settled on 10-5/8 in. at the coaming front.


Sea Spirit 1


Sea Spirit 2 Under Construction