The popular “Black Pearl” designed by Björn Thomasson is finally available in stitch & glue construction for home builders. Of the six standard sizes, this is the Medium sized for adult paddlers weighing 140 – 200 lb (65 – 90 kg). It is offered as a pre-cut plywood kit for home builders. It can also be custom built by CSCWC.
In coordination with Björn Thomasson and Petruskajak of Sweden, we have taken the strip built Black Pearl design and using our advanced naval architecture and CAD programs have adapted it to true stitch & glue construction using 3mm and 4mm okoume marine plywood.
The kit includes hull and deck panels that are professionally cut and shipped by Chesapeake Light Craft from 3mm BS 1088 okoume marine plywood, and the forms from particleboard or MDF.
The kit includes only the plywood components; solid wood (for the sheer clamp), epoxy, fiberglass, hardware, foot braces, and so on are not included. It is packed in CLC’s standard kayak shipping carton.
From Björn’s website:
Like the original, the kayak is built to fit the owner. When you order the plans I will ask for your length, weight, arm span, hip width and shoe size to produce a custom set of plans perfectly suited to you. That is why Black Pearl is a little more expensive than my other designs.
Black Pearl is designed on the Hunter hull – but smaller. Where Hunter is a compromise – some touring, some play – Black Pearl is a 100% play and roll kayak.
Black Pearl Sizes
Six standard sizes of the stitch & glue version are available. There are models to fit virtually all paddlers from children (BP-JR) to larger adults (BP-XL).
||30 – 50 kg
||40 – 60 kg
||50 – 75 kg
||65 – 90 kg
||80 – 105
||95 – 130 kg
|65 – 110 lb
||110 – 165 lb
||140 – 200 lb
||175 – 230 lb
||210 – 285 lb
What if you are at the edges of the weight range? You are correct. Based on just weight you could use either one and be quite comfortable.
It comes down to comfort, style of paddling and your build. If you want a lower volume kayak for short day trips, simply like a tighter cockpit or are fairly short for your weight, build the smaller of the two. It will sit low in the water near the design.
Conversely, I would build the larger one if you are taller, need more volume (say for your feet or thighs) or simply want more cargo capacity since you want to tour in it. For light touring you’ll sit slightly higher in the water (mm higher). The waterline is longer so there may be some speed potential. The larger size would also give some cushion for weight fluctuations.
The “Areia” I built in 2003 was basically a Medium. I’m 6.0′ (1.82 m) tall and weigh 160 lb (73 kg). Based on weight I could have built the S but my feet barely fit the M.
If the standard sizes do not work for you a custom sized strip-built Black Pearl can also be ordered.
Stitch & Glue Kit: Plywood Components
This is a basic CNC-cut kit. The hull panels, deck panels and coaming parts are professionally cut by Chesapeake Light Craft from 3mm BS 1088 okoume marine plywood. The forms are cut from particleboard or MDF. This kit includes only the plywood components. Any solid wood for the sheer clamp, epoxy, fiberglass, hardware, foot braces, and so on are not included. We encourage you to purchase those from local sources.
The kit has been optimized for the home builder and saves much of the labor and stress involved in cutting out the panels. The design has been modified slightly: The deck is still adjustable for different heights but has been modified so it is easier to assemble. Precision puzzle joints aid scarfing the longer panels. The coaming is now built using stacked plywood rings for strength and a quick build.
The kit is packed in CLC’s standard kayak shipping carton. It’s pretty light so shipping is inexpensive. We’ll contact you with a shipping quote once you’ve placed your order, and you’ll approve the shipping before you’re charged for the kit.
The build manual will be sent to you electronically. They can be ordered for delivery at additional cost (the only cost is the cost of paper and shipping).