Low Displacement Performance Sea Kayak
The Wahoo is for going fast with a light load. Designed by the renowned naval architect John Winters, this kayak is made for racing, fitness paddling, and touring.
Unlike other 18’ racing sea kayaks, the Wahoo is not a “one size fits all” hull with (or without) a “low volume” deck. She is designed from the keel up for smaller paddlers who are not hauling much gear. This makes her predictable and friendly in rough water, despite her narrow beam. Low rocker gives her a straight-tracking personality.
It is offered either as plans or can be custom built by CSCWC.
The Wahoo sea kayak was designed by John Winters at the request of Jim Budi, who has worked with John on several previous boats, and Lisa Huntington. They were looking for a fast, low-displacement 18′ sea kayak for racing, fitness paddling, and point-to-point touring. John Winters, who is now retired, designated the commissioned design as LComp. The owners have christened it Wahoo, after the very fast far-roving fish.
At a design displacement of 200 lb. (which includes the weight of the boat itself), the Wahoo is ideally suited for paddler + gear weight of 120 to 180 lb. If you are a paddler in the lower end of that range, you may find this to be the first full length sea kayak that “sits on her lines” and doesn’t bob about like a cork in high seas.
A plumb bow and stern, low rocker, and a relatively high Prismatic Coefficient, give her speed and a streamlined look. The narrow foredeck with a knuckle running parallel to the shear line allows close paddle entry for an efficient stroke. Primary stability feels remarkably solid given the design’s narrow beam. Because the design is “right sized”, secondary stability feels better for lighter loads than it does in some wider mainstream racing kayaks.
The Wahoo is a straight tracking boat. On edge, she will turn well around a buoy. A rudder is recommended for racing to preserve stroke efficiency.
For racing events using the Sound Rowers Classification, the length to width ratio of the 4″ waterline is about 11.25. The design fits the Sound Rowers Fast Sea Kayak (FSK) Classification as adapted by the Cape Ann Rowing Club and others who use an upper ratio of 11.5. Other races may use a more stringent ratio, so see your local rules. For USCA races with the latest rules, this boat’s 4” waterline width qualifies for “Sea Kayak” class. Some events (using older USCA rules) also specify that the overall width must be 10% of the overall length, so check your local venues. USCA rules also specify the weight of the build.
Plans are available for internal and external strong backs. They are printed full-size on high quality bond paper. We do not sell electronic versions of our plans. They include full-size sheets with full templates for all molds (not nested!), end stems, bulkheads and cockpit. Full hydrostatics and resistance calculations available.
Purchasing these plans entitles you to build one boat only for your own personal use. If you are interested in building more than one boat from the same plans a modest fee is required for each new boat. Please inquire concerning any commercial interests.
Distribution of these plans in any form is expressly prohibited.
Strip Kit – Forms Only
Forms are available for internal and external strong backs (depending on the design). They are precision cut on either particle board or MDF. We do not sell electronic versions of our plans. They are full templates for all molds, end stems, bulkheads and cockpit. You will need to supply the strong back and strips.
Purchasing these forms entitles you to build one boat only for your own personal use. If you are interested in building more than one boat from the same plans a modest fee is required for each new boat. Please inquire concerning any commercial interests.
Distribution of these plans/forms in any form is expressly prohibited.
Ordering A Custom Kayak
Custom kayaks can either be painted or clear coated. See the Clear Coated – Strip and Painted – Strip pages for more information and full pricing. The listed price is for a basic sea kayak. Many options can be built into your kayak making a unique kayak.
Building only custom boats allows us to build YOUR boat for the way YOU paddle. Every boat is fully outfitted to the customer’s tastes and preferences. We take pride in the fact we offer a large variety of options. Our list of options, including custom wood and shell inlays, is unparalleled. See our Options page for a small sampling. If you can dream it we can probably make it real.
It generally takes 8-12 weeks to built a wood strip kayak.
You can place your deposit here if you wish.