Developing a sit&switch racing C1

Over the last three or four years I have been trying out lots of canoe concepts in an attempt to identify the optimum sit&switch racing C1 design.

When I first crossed over to the dark side, I bought an eleven foot C1 from Ebay (where else!!). This was my first experience of a C1 and I soon adapted it for sit&switch rather than kneeling. I did try kneeling but I lost the ability to walk fairly quickly.

The boat had too much rocker, was too short and weighed 22 kgs so I sold it on Ebay, although I did enjoy shooting Symons Yat in it.

First C1

First C1

It then occurred to me that the best starting point was a K1 which I could then adapt. So I duly acquired an old touring K1 and cut the deck off and built a C1. This was quite successful but made of fibre glass, it still weighed 20 kgs

Converted general purpose K1

Converted general purpose K1

The next idea was to use a white water racer. I got this from Ebay and set about converting it. Unfortunately it was miles too unstable and I ended up the water on the Basingstoke canal canoe club challenge.

White Water kayak conversion C1

White Water kayak conversion C1

So I got a Marcos kevlar K1 hull and increased the freeboard height with some plastic planks and won the 2010 Waterside series for C1. It was the year where we had to run the first 8 miles of “C” due to ice.

Macros C1

Macros C1

In order to get rid of the planks, reduce the weight and improve the deck, I cut the deck off the white water racer C1 and secured it to the Marcos hull.

WW_C1

This worked rather well and I built the rear deck from carbon fibre. I also built carbon fibre extensions to the hull on the bow and stern to improve straight line performance.

Stern section hull

Stern section hull

Bow section hull

Bow section hull

As I now had some experience with carbon fibre, I built a C1 from scratch using an Espada K1 with lots of foam changes to the shape to wrap the carbon fibre around.

Espada C1

Espada C1

This was a bit of a disaster as the flat hull ended up so unstable but I still paddled it in 2011 Waterside D and won the series.

I build another boat using the Macros hull and a made up deck for the next carbon fibre version. This is the boat I paddled DW 2012.

DW C1

DW C1

I had reached the limit to what I could do with the tools and facilities at home so I was faced with a decision, do I quit now or go the whole hog and get it done by professionals. Well I certainly couldn’t go to my grave without giving it a shot, so “The Darkness” is now a full production canoe to the highest professional standards, but more about that later.

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