With a bit of spare time on my hands and a couple of days without rain, I decided to crack on with re-designing the new C2. A couple of outings on the water demonstrated a significantly quicker boat, reasonably stable, but in need of more freeboard. It certainly maintains a direct line as it’s so straight and skinny.
The water was lapping towards the top of the gunwales and the bow was only just above the water, it was almost a stealth canoe!
There was also far too much open cockpit because it was based on the C1.
So, I cut off the top of the gunwale and secured some 100mm insulation foam to the top. I glued some 60mm foam on the deck areas and set about it with some course sand paper. The ICF rules state that the cockpit must be at least 2.8 metres long, I’ve made mine 3 metres long just to make sure. Even so, the length of the rear deck is quite long at 175cms and the front deck is 162cms.
This does mean that the rear paddler is not traditionally positioned right in the stern.
At this stage, I had a completely blank canvas and could have carved any sort of flamboyant and intricate design, but I wanted the boat to be a no-nonsense flat-water racing machine. I also wanted to make it easier, quicker and cheaper to make, so I avoided corners and acute angles.
Starting with the front deck, I made it as flat and created rounded sides. The flat deck makes it easier to mount a handle and lights, plus it is more comfortable to portage. OK, if the bow “disappears” on say the Henley Straight on a windy day the front paddler may get a bit wet, but they’ll have the spray deck, and I’m in the back anyway!
The front of the gunwale which supports the spray deck will be lower than the front deck. I’ve planned some side channels to drain any water, but it’s also more aerodynamic as the top of the front gunwale is not too high. OK it’s not a massive advantage, but “marginal gains” count, as “Sir Dave” would say.
The bow will be curved to ensure that it does not catch weeds or leaves. Hopefully I won’t need the ACME coat hanger weed deflector on this boat.
The philosophy behind rear deck design is similar to the front, flat deck and rounded sides.
I’ve also kept the iconic transom stern which is perhaps a trade mark of DarkSide Canoes. It’s massively cock-eyed at the moment, but I have faith in my boat builder to sort it out.
Using a broom handle wrapped in course sand paper, I formed the gunwale and spray deck recess. I filled the space between the insulation foam and the existing deck with expanding foam gap filler. It’s not perfect, but again when my boat builder has stopped laughing, they’ll sort it all out. I want the recess a bit deeper so that the side of the boat is wider than the gunwale, however it can’t be more than 5cms in towards the cockpit to ensure ICF compliance. The maximum boat width will be 55cms.
The plug is now with the boat builders and I hope to have a faired shape this week, and a mold not long after.
I’m looking forward to paddling this boat and I’m hoping the slimmer profile will appeal to racing kayakers.