All hail Big Daddy!

I finished version three of my paddle “Big Daddy”

Version one was wasn’t strong enough and version two was too heavy. Third time lucky?

The 28mm carbon shaft arrived and I integrated this deeper into the paddle blade.

Non-power side

Non-power side


I glued two half round timber profiles along the length the make the carbon cause a ridge to increase rigidity. I even put a small bolt through the top of the shaft to stop it rotating.

I layered two 200 grams carbon fabric sections over the whole area, plus an additional strip up the middle to cover the shaft. I put the whole lot under vacuum whilst it went off.

The finished blade

The finished blade


I took the peel ply off and added a final coat of resin.

I considered a number of options for the handle. A new one costs about $40 (too expensive). I then thought about making a mold from my Wenonah paddle and casting it in two halves from carbon (too complicated). Why not carve it from wood? (too difficult)…or is it?

I first thought of carving it from a block of wood, but that would take quite some time and need wood carving skills which I don’t have. So I cut cross sections of timber, drilled them to take a dowel through them all, and glued them together to get the basic shape. I then used some course files to smooth it.

Economy handle

Economy handle


The central section has a long “tail” which goes inside the shaft.
Paddle comparison

Paddle comparison


I taped a kayak grip locator on the shaft and secured the handle with a brass screw. I’m not quite sure how long the shaft should be so this gives me an option to shorten it.
The paddle weighs 100 grams more than the Wenonah, just less than 500 grams. The handle cost nothing and the carbon shaft cost £33. Carbon fibre cloth is £25 per square metre and I used less than one. A tin of resin costs £26 and hardener cost £23, both of which I used about a tenth. So my paddle cost about £63.

All set for testing then.

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