ECOMARINE

ECOMARINE
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Sales and Rentals
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ecomarine.com
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INSIDE
Lear ning t o St it ch and Glue
The Va r nis he d Ka ya k
21
A Brief Hist or y of Wooden Kayaks
John C. Harris
24
Guides War m up to Wood
Building a Volkskomponent kayak 14
33
Why Would Anybody Want a Wooden Kayak? 7
Shawn W. Baker
Nick Schade
4 th Annual Newfound Rendezvous 26
Donna Wilford
Ulli Höger
Volume 10 No. 4
Michael Vermouth
COVER PHOTO c our t esy of Pygmy Boat s, w w w .pygmyboat s.c om
2 8
3 0
www.WaveLengthMagazine.com
SUBMISSIONS, ADS, DISTRIBUTION
wavenet@island.net
Phone/Fax 250-247-9789
Alternate Phone 247-8858
11
Don’t mi ss an i ssue!
SUBSCRIPTIONS (6 ISSUES)
$19/yr in Canada ($33/2 yrs) includes GST
$17 US/yr in the USA ($29 US/2 yrs)
$22 US/yr overseas ($40 US/2yrs)
GST# 887432276
16
GIFT GUIDE
Search Me—WEB PADDLING
4 0
The Cedar St rip Kayak 18
Editor
Alan Wilson
Promotions Manager
Diane Coussens
Associate Editor
Laurie MacBride
Associate
Howard Stiff
WWW
Ted Leather
Distribution: 604-682-5791
Marty Wanless, Herb Clark,
Rajé Harwood, Frank Murphy
Bookkeeper
Margaret Dyke
Advisor
Mercia Sixta
Vaclav Stejskal
Dave Grimmer
Moving t o Ecoforest r y
29
3 6
37
The Brought on Archipelago—PART 2 —MOTHERSHIP MEANDERINGS
Alan Wilson
42
Ted Leather
Tranquil Forest s?—FROM THE RAINFOREST
Dan Lewis
2 8
35
ECOBYTES
Blackfish Sound—FROM THE ARCHIPELAGO
Alexandra Morton
Hume Cookin’—PADDLE MEALS
Deb Leach with Sharon Hume
Coast al Trees—KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS
Bryan Nichols
Alan Wilson
WOODEN KAYAK DIRECTORY
10
38 UNCLASSIFIEDS
CALENDAR
4 4
W
ooden K
ayak s
P
h
o
t
o

b
y

L
a
u
r
i
e

M
a
c
B
r
i
d
e
P
h
o
t
o

c
o
u
r
t
e
s
y

o
f

T
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u
e

N
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r
t
h

W
o
o
d
e
n

B
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a
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C
o
.
6 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
For more on Ecoforestry, see page 29
Photos from: 1. Laughing Loon, 2. Chesapeake Light Craft, 3. Driftwood Kayaks
Wooden Kayaks—Par t 1
Edi t or i al
A
t long last, here is an issue devoted solely
to Wooden Kayaks! We hope you enjoy
reading it as much as we have enjoyed putting
it together. Thanks to the many boat builders
who contributed material.
In fact, we have been so overwhelmed
with stories and photos on this topic—which
is obviously near and dear to many of you—
that we have decided to extend the theme
to our next issue.
In this issue we focus on plywood stitch
& glue and cedar strip kayaks. In part 2
(Feb/Mar) we will look at arctic-style
wood-frame skin kayaks, woodworking
safety, and much more.
The reasons for building with wood are
many, as you will see in the succeeding pages.
Certainly for most of history—and prehis-
tory—wood has been the material of choice for kayaks and
canoes. Great cedar dugouts plied the Pacific Northwest
coast of North America for 10,000 years! Even with all the
great synthetic materials now on the market, wood still has
unique and wonderful properties for boat building.
I have a plastic boat myself, but I must admit there’s a
special joy in paddling the wooden kayaks my father has
made—one from a kit and one of his own design.
Of course, building boats of glass and poly means we
don’t cut so many trees. But on the other hand, the quan-
tity of material used in a wood kayak is tiny compared with,
for example, wood siding or shingles on even a single house
(I could have built a fleet of kayaks with the amount of cedar
siding used on my house). Kayaks can even be built from
‘waste’, offcuts or recycled wood.
Nevertheless, trees are involved, and the problem for
wooden kayak enthusiasts is how to have a continuing wood
41’ Wooden Schooner
For Sale
Classic eastcoast Pinky,
lovingly crafted by a
professional shipwright.
POTENTIAL MOTHERSHIP
PASSAGE YACHT SALES
in Nanaimo, BC
250-755-2001
250-741-1965
3
supply, yet conserve the forest for wildlife and
for the enjoyment of wilderness paddling
trips.
In fact, it is possible to have both wooden
kayaks and old growth forests. With the ad-
vent of “Ecocertified” wood products, we
can now purchase wood products from certi-
fied ‘ecoforestry’ operations.
Ecoforestry aims for the highest economic
value for the least amount of wood har-
vested, and requires strict environmental
standards.
This doesn’t mean we can stop demanding
that government regulate the forest industry’s
environmental practices, but it does give us an
additional tool to use.
While ecocertified wood products are not
yet common, more and more woodlot operators
and private land owners are applying for certification. The
biggest success on this front has been the commitment by
some big retail chains (including Home Depot) to begin
changing over to ecowood. Although it’s still early in the
transition, the supply will grow with the demand.
Ecotourism and ecoforestry are actually partners in a
changing economy. Ecotourists play their role by helping to
diversify the economy in isolated communities which are
otherwise resource-dependent (logging and fishing) and
Ecoforesters will ensure there continues to be wilderness to
draw adventurers, as well as an ongoing wood supply for
the future.
By building with ecowood we can influence decisions
made in forestry and paddle our kayaks in the wilderness,
guilt-free.
—Alan Wilson
1
2
7 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
Why Would Anybody Want a Wood Kayak?
BUSTI NG THE MYTHS
T
hey’re fragile, they’re expensive, they
require a great deal of maintenance,
and don’t have the high performance fea-
tures offered by their composite counter-
parts. Wrong!
Many people have the mistaken notion
that owning and paddling a wooden
kayak is a big compromise of features and
versatility in favor of having a beautiful
vessel. Yet every choice of kayak,
fiberglass or wooden, fabric or plastic, is
somewhat of a compromise, and while
there are tradeoffs, paddling a beautiful
wooden boat does not require sacrifices.
MYTH #1: WOOD KAYAKS ARE
FRAGI LE
Wood is not nearly as fragile as one
would suppose. Used correctly, wood is
one of the greatest building materials
known. Wood is, in itself, a composite of
tubular voids surrounded by harder lignin
cellulose. Harder, stronger summer wood
is bonded in layers to softer, less dense
spring wood. It is strong in tension (pull-
ing); strong in compression (pushing);
strong in torsion (twisting); strong in shear
away from the face composite, and is
much lighter for its given stiffness than a
hull constructed from solid fiberglass.
Some wooden kayak paddlers are
highly reluctant to drag their laden kayak
onto a rocky beach. The wood kayak de-
serves no less (and requires no more) care
than a similarly constructed composite
boat. A scratch in the varnish of a wooden
kayak is no more life-threatening than a
similar scratch in the gelcoat of a compos-
ite boat. Big holes are few and far be-
tween—generally avoided due to wood’s
toughness and springiness—and are eas-
ily repaired if they do occur. You learned
how to fix it in the process of building it—
the skills are the same.
Plastic kayaks are much more durable
than fiberglass, kevlar, carbon or wooden
hulls, but most plastic kayaks suffer from
designs that are optimized for
rotomolding rather than optimized for
paddling. Composite and wooden boats
are less subject to hull deforming than
rotomolded kayaks.
I often get the comment, “Gosh, I’d sure
hate to put that in the water!” from peo-
ple who think this beautiful wood boat is
Shawn W. Baker
(tearing) across the grain; and less affected
by severe fatigue cycles than more stiff and
brittle materials like carbon or fiberglass.
When the wood shell of a kayak is com-
pleted and sheathed with a protective
layer of stiffer, shiny fiberglass, a rigid
monococque structure is produced. The
wood and fiberglass composite offers a
unique ‘symbiotic’ relationship. The
fiberglass protects the wood from water
saturation and everyday scrapes and
dings. The wood (aside from being beau-
tiful) provides a very stiff core material
that is less likely than a foam core to shear
Shawn’s beautiful creation
8 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1

9 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
O’Hurleys’ Wooden Boats
Build Your Own Kayak
No experience necessary!
Ph: 250-245-5199 Cell: 250-246-8578
Fax: 250-245-5180
www.ohurleysboats.com
Email: ohurleys@sprint.ca
Ph: 250-245-5199 Cell: 250-246-8578
Fax: 250-245-5180
www.ohurleysboats.com
Email: ohurleys@sprint.ca
610 Oyster Bay Drive, Ladysmith, BC
CLASSES START: DEC. 2, JAN. 13, FEB. 24, APR. 7
18’ sea kayak, 44 lbs, strong, light, high performance
for day paddling or expeditions. Only 6 students.
50/50 male/female. $1695 +GST. Register Now!
18’ sea kayak, 44 lbs, strong, light, high performance
for day paddling or expeditions. Only 6 students.
50/50 male/female. $1695 +GST. Register Now!
mysteriously going to disintegrate when I put it in the water. I
just grin and launch anyway!
MYTH #2: WOOD KAYAKS ARE EXPENSI VE
Are wooden kayaks expensive? The answer is no. And yes. If
you take the time to build your own kayak, they are the most
inexpensive kayaks available. If you have a skilled artisan build
your boat, it could tend to the pricey side of things, but you’re
not buying a humdrum run-of-the-mill kayak either.
By sourcing your own materials, you can build a stitch and
glue kayak for as little as $300 US ($450 Cdn); woodstrip kayaks
can cost as little as $350 US ($525 Cdn). Kits run from $700-1000
US. A skin-on-frame kayak with a wooden frame could be yours
for little more than $100 in materials.
The trade-off here is time. A stitch and glue kayak can take 80-
120 hours to complete. A woodstrip kayak can take 200 hours for
a simple design to 3-400 hours for an intricately stripped deck
pattern with many contrasting species of wood. While time may
be money to some, when I’m not at work, the cost of my time is
$0. Kayak building is a collection of many small steps—strip-
building especially—so it’s not hard to find a half-hour here or a
half-hour there to work on the boat. For many, it’s also a relaxing
stress-reliever, and that kind of time is priceless!
Custom-built kayaks can cost $3,000 to $5,000, but as Nick
Schade of Guillemot Kayaks says, “It’s an art, not a craft”. Pro-
fessionally crafted kayaks draw the kinds of stares and ‘oohs’
and ‘aahs’ that completely escape commercial kayaks.
MYTH #3: WOOD KAYAKS REQUI RE A LOT OF
MAI NTENANCE
People familiar with larger wooden vessels probably perpetu-
ate this myth. While wooden sailboats, runabouts and tall ships
require a great deal of elbow grease, the wooden kayak’s
fiberglass sheathing protects the boat from weathering, and its
owner from all that work!
Most wooden kayaks are sheathed with fiberglass saturated
by epoxy resin. Epoxy is very tough, waterproof, and durable.
Its only drawback is low UV resistance. An annual or biannual
varnishing with a quality marine-grade spar varnish is all that is
needed to protect the boat from UV damage.
Most scratches and dings are in the varnish layer only, and
disappear during the varnishing ritual. Deeper scratches are gone,
too, when they are filled with epoxy, sanded smooth, and var-
nished over. Serious penetrations (if they actually occur) require
about as much fiberglass work as a similarly damaged compos-
ite boat. Gaping holes in plastic boats can’t be reliably fixed.
MYTH #4: WOOD KAYAKS CAN’T BE HI GH
PERFORMANCE
If you’ve only ever seen a cheap plywood boat designed on
the back of a napkin by a hobbyist who threw the whole thing
together one cloudy Sunday afternoon, you’ll be pleasantly sur-
prised. Many commercial kayaks are pulled from molds which
were originally formed around a woodstripped prototype. Lots
of commercial designers use woodstrip kayaks in the prototyping
process to avoid the hassles of building a plug and mold that
may never be used again. If the kayak prototype paddles well, it
gets faired out completely, smoothed, and becomes the mold plug
and the predecessor to hundreds of commercial composite boats.
The fact that design possibilities of woodstrip kayaks are flex-
ible enough for composite designers to use them as a plug should
A simple hatch cover becomes a thing of beauty.
Sea Wol f Wooden Kay ak Ki t s ar e f or t he
di scr i mi nat i ng paddl er who pr ef er s t he
beaut y, l i ght wei ght and ef f i ci ency of a
wooden k ayak .
• Ki t s i ncl ude onl y t he hi ghest
qual i t y mat er i al s.
• Easi l y bui l t by anyone wi t h
l i mi t ed woodwor k i ng
ex per i ence.
• These k ayak s wi l l
l ast a l i f et i me
and beyond.
“I built it
myse lf”
You can
proudly say
ROY FOLLAND WOODEN KAYAKS
1 3 0 Como Gar dens, Hudson,
Quebec, J0 P 1 H0
( 4 5 0 ) 4 5 8 - 0 1 5 2
Emai l : k ay ak @r oy f ol l and. com
w w w . r oy f ol l and. com
One kit, 60 hours,
a lifetime of
ADVENTURE
1 0 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
serve as evidence enough that a woodstrip
boat can be built to accommodate abso-
lutely any design feature desired.
Even stitch and glue kayaks can be built
to high performance hull shapes. Stitch
and glued hulls are the easiest way to
make a hardshell kayak with hard chines.
The Current Designs ‘Caribou’ was origi-
nally a stitch and glue design that per-
formed so well it was added to the com-
posite maker’s lineup.
Wood kayaks are as stiff as kevlar and
fiberglass boats, and much stiffer than
plastic. This stiffness means less paddling
energy is lost in flexing the hull—a stiffer
Wooden Kayak Direc tor y
Síccr:uaSrar
a ucw ba:aaría írc»
Laughing
Loon
Custom Canoes
& Kayaks
•Plans,
Kits &
Boats
•Outstanding
Performance
Wood Strip
Canoes & Kayaks
•Beautiful
Designs
833-L Colrain Rd.Greenfield, MA 01301
Catalog $5 US / $8 intl
413-773-5375 fax 772-3771
www. LaughingLoon. com laughing_loon@shaysnet. com
A GREAT LI TTLE KAYAK CO.
Ri c hmond, Br i t i sh Col umbi a
Manufacturers of Teeka Kayaks, we are a
small company which builds kayaks as a
labour of love. We start by building each
new design in cedar. If the cedar strip
kayak meets our criteria of performance
we then start to manufacture it in
fiberglass. We are always open to sugges-
tions on new designs and ideas. Expedi-
tion and sailing sea kayaks are our
specialty. Contact owner, Mike Walker.
Ph: 604-671-3295. Web: www.kayakme.com.
BEAR MOUNTAI N BOAT SHOP
Pet er bor ough, Ont ar i o
Renowned for pioneering the woodstrip
epoxy construction technique, Ted
Moores, author of Canoecraft and
KayakCraft, builds kayaks and canoes,
teaches classes, sells plans and offers ad-
vice to first time builders. Please visit our
web site and interactive bulletin board.
Ph: 705-740-0470. Email: info@bearmountain
boats. com. Web: www.bearmountain boats.com.
CHESAPEAKE LI GHT CRAFT
Annapol i s, Mar yl and
Chesapeake Light Craft has enjoyed a
long development and widespread popu-
larity, with 10,000 boats on the water
boat is a faster boat.
By and large, though, the best reason to
paddle a wood boat is that they’re just so
beautiful! While I have seen a couple of
wooden kayaks that were victim to less-
than-adequate handiwork, they still
looked better than an average economy-
model plastic boat. And a well-con-
structed wooden boat is a sight to behold.
A word to the wise, however—if you
want to be able to gas your car, launch
your kayak, or travel anywhere in popu-
lated areas undisturbed, don’t get a
wooden kayak. Wooden kayaks have the
knack of attracting slack-jawed stares and
the praise and compliments of complete
strangers. Sometimes it’s really nice to be
able to go unnoticed and enjoy your fine
handmade boat in solitude, but other
times it’s nice to know that the vessel you
doggedly worked on for all those hours
looks pretty good to others! t
Shawn Baker is a 25 year-old “old married
guy”, father of 2 Labradors, who’s been
paddling for 4 years, building wooden
kayaks for 2.5. His greatest thrill so far has
been paddling his newest strip-built boat in
Deception Pass, WA this past summer. ©
worldwide. Kits are precision cut on our
own machine from African Mahogany
marine plywood. Our touring and racing
sea kayaks are built and paddled by pro-
fessional kayakers and rank beginners,
young and old. These are highly sophisti-
cated, high-performance boats that can be
assembled by beginners in their own ga-
rages. Please check out our huge website:
www.clcboats.com or call 410-267-0137.
GUI LLEMOT KAYAKS
Gl ast onbur y, Connec t i c ut
Plans for building your own high per-
formance wooden sea kayak. Distinctive
designs to suit any paddling style. Rug-
ged, beautiful, strip-built construction for
complete design freedom. Accurate, com-
puter generated full size patterns. Com-
plete instruction book available separately.
Web: www.kayakplans.com/l. Email: info@
guillemot-kayaks.com.
J ASON DESI GNS
Br anf or d, Connec t i c ut
The Outer Island kayak is a low volume
kayak replicating the west Greenland lines
in a conventional round chine hull. It
meets the needs of advanced paddlers
who desire a low volume kayak with easy
rolling characteristics with it’s low back
deck, no weather cocking and a fast hull
with good stability. Four years of devel-
Continued on page 15
opment into this one hull. Get ready to
have people around your kayak when you
build this one. Free brochure and video.
Ph: 203-481-3221. Email: jbabina@snet.net.
LAUGHI NG LOON
Gr eenf i el d Massac huset t s
Rob Macks’ kayak designs include the
award winning Panache, the Georgian Bay
and the North Star which was inspired by
the baidarka kayaks of the Aleut Eskimos
of Alaska. Ph: 413-773-5375. Email:
laughing_loon@shaysnet.com. Website:
www.LaughingLoon.com.
NEWFOUND WOODWORKS
Br i st ol , New Hampshi r e
Newfound Woodworks has been supply-
ing cedar strip/epoxy canoe and kayak
kits to boat builders for 12 years. We sup-
ply everything from books and videos to
completed canoes and kayaks. We will
assist throughout your construction to
help you get it right. Ph: 603-744-6872. Email:
info@newfound.com. Web: www.newfound.com.
O’HURLEY’S WOODEN BOATS
Ladysmi t h, Br i t i sh Col umbi a
We teach people to build their own 18' sea
kayaks, Chestnut “prospector” canoes, 8’
dinghies, or 12' daysailers, and do custom
boat building and small boat repairs. Ph:
250-245-5199. Email: ohurleys@sprint.ca.
Web: www.ohurleysboats.com
PYGMY BOATS, I NC.
Por t Tow nsend, Washi ngt on
Pygmy is the largest and oldest manufac-
turer of precision precut plywood kayak
kits in North America. Started in 1986 by
boat designer and software engineer John
Lockwood, Pygmy produced North
America’s first computer-designed sea
kayaks. During the past 15 years they have
expanded their line to include 15 models
of sea kayaks, a rowing skiff and a wil-
derness tripping canoe. Call 360-385-6143
or visit www.pygmyboats.com.
1 1 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
O U T E R I S L A N D
GREAT
PERFORMING
LOW VOLUME
STRIP BUILT
KAYAK 18' X 21"
BUILDING PLANS / INSTRUCTIONS
Free brochure and video information e-mail: jbabina@snet.net
JASON DESIGNS • 7 JEFFREY LANE, BRANFORD, CT 06405 USA
203-481-3221
A Br ief Histor y of Wooden Kayaks
N
obody knows when the first kayak was built. Somewhere
in the arctic along a sinking land bridge, someone was in-
spired to create the predecessor of what we currently call a kayak.
However, we can be sure that craftsman used the best material
available—wood. That ancestor of the Aleut and Inuit “Eskimos”
began the evolution of the boat that supplied the livelihood of
the people of the Arctic and later developed into the glossy plas-
tic craft paddled by enthusiasts today.
TRADI TI ONAL KAYAKS
“One whole year and more is spent in build such a small boat, on
which account they prefer purchasing it at a dear rate. The bare collect-
ing together as much wood on the shore as is requisite for a [kayak], is
attended with infinite toil and trouble.”
—Gavriil A Sarycev, 1806, A Russian Explorer.
Kayaks were an integral part of the Aleut and Inuit lifestyle.
The Arctic is a harsh environment. The best source of food was
the ocean. What was needed was a means to access this plentiful
food source. The typical solution for most early peoples was to
cut down a tree and hollow it out. Unfortunately, large trees don’t
grow in the far north. The solution they developed was probably
even better than a dugout canoe. By collecting the small pieces of
driftwood that made it to their shore, the residents of the north
fashioned a lightweight wooden frame and covered it with seal-
skin. This is the basis of the original kayak. Even quite large ves-
sels such as Umiaks, which could carry several passengers plus
gear, were made using this basic technique.
As the early arctic boatbuilders ventured out on the treacher-
ous waters they eventually thought of the idea of covering over
the top of the boat and securing the bottom of their cloak around
the opening to keep waves and spray out. This seaworthy, decked
boat combined with a sprayskirt was the first boat that we would
recognize as a kayak.
Wood was the most important resource for making this boat
possible. It provided the semi-rigid framework around which
could be stretched the sealskin. Wood is lightweight and resil-
ient, can be worked with stone-age tools, and it can be sculpted
into a wide variety of shapes. Wood provided a material that could
absorb the stress and strain of riding over waves and the impacts
of hard landings.
EUROPEAN ADVENTURES
“Besides all this, the covered canoe is far stronger than an open boat,
and may be fearlessly dropped into a deep pool, a lock, or a millrace, and
when the breakers are high in the open sea or in river rapids, they can
only wash over the deck of a canoe, while it is always dry within.”
—A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe on Rivers and Lakes of Europe,
J. MacGregor, 1866
Around the turn of the 19th century European explores started
to find their way into the far north and send back reports of the
seaworthy, lightweight boats built by the locals. These reports
eventually prompted boat builders to adapt their techniques to
emulate the “canoes” of the north.
Nick Schade
The traditional kayak had a wood frame covered by seal skin.
John MacGregor popularized the covered canoe.
1 2 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
John MacGregor popularized the idea
of paddling a small, double paddled, cov-
ered boat with the publication of A Thou-
sand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe on Rivers
and Lakes of Europe, an account of his ad-
ventures in a small wooden kayak. [Avail-
able at http://www.eldritch press.org/jm/
tm.htm]
His “Rob Roy” was constructed of oak
and cedar using European building tech-
niques. The Rob Roy type became very
popular and widely emulated. J. H.
Rushton of Canton, New York was nota-
ble in North America for building small,
double paddled, decked “canoes” based
on the Rob Roy, and refined the construc-
tion to make his boats extremely light,
while sticking to European methods. In
1880 a Rushton “Rob Roy” canoe cost $80.
In 1930, the British were exploring an
Arctic air route. Gino Watkins led the ex-
pedition, became fascinated by the kay-
aks built by the Inuits of Greenland, and
helped reintroduce the amazing boats of
the arctic to Europe. Since 1907 Klepper
had been making folding kayaks and in
1933 Folbot entered into the market. Other
than the fact that they could be quickly
disassembled for transportation and stor-
age, these kayaks were constructed much
like the Inuit boats. They used a light-
weight, wooden frame, but substituted
canvas for the sealskin.
MODERN MATERI ALS
World War II spurred development of
new materials such as plywood, fiberglass
and resins such as polyester and epoxy.
The labor-saving techniques of building
with fiberglass soon took over the con-
struction of boats of all kinds. While fold-
ing kayaks continued to be manufactured
with wood, commercial kayaks soon were
only made with fiberglass or later,
rotomolded. Wooden boats became
marginalized with the perception of du-
rability, weight, strength and maintenance
problems. But ironically, the same technol-
ogy that pushed wood to the side also
gave new life to building wooden boats
of all kinds, including kayaks.
If wood absorbs water it is subject to rot.
Varnish or paint applied to keep the wood
dry eventually fails due to sun exposure
or the constant expansion and contraction
of the wood. A more impervious coating
is needed to preserve the wood. Fiberglass
and epoxy now provide this coating with-
out obscuring the beauty of the wood.
While wood is very strong, it is stronger
with the grain than across it. Traditional
boat building generally incorporated ribs
to provide support across the grain. Elimi-
nating the ribs could save a lot of weight
and make the interior cleaner and easier
to maintain. Plywood, with its layers of
veneer laid in different directions, made
ribs unnecessary in some boats. Other
boats used fiberglass reinforcement to
eliminate the ribs.
While commercial builders had mi-
grated to manufacturing kayaks with
fiberglass and plastic, homebuilders main-
tained an underground following for
wooden kayaks. Although building boats
with wood is generally too labor intensive
for commercial manufacturing, it re-
mained within the means of the basement
and garage handyperson with limited
tools. The new materials offered the means
for hobbyists to create boats as good or
better than commercially available.
THE MODERN WOODEN KAYAK
Back yard builders seeking to create
their own kayaks adapted the modern ma-
terials and building techniques to their
craft of choice. Some of these builders went
on to write articles on building kayaks in
magazines such as Popular Mechanics. These
1 3 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
articles often included full plans
and instructions for building your
own boat. And people around the
world have built from them. With
the growth of sea kayaking as a
sport has come a growth in the
popularity of building wooden
kayaks.
The main techniques for build-
ing wooden kayaks today are
stitch-and-glue, strip-building,
and skin-on-frame.
Stitch-and-glue uses precisely cut
panels of plywood stitched together with-
out ribs, then glued together with epoxy
and fiberglass. This technique was
adapted from techniques used for build-
ing large plywood boats. It produces a
lightweight boat quite quickly. The ply-
wood panels must be very precisely cal-
culated and cut in order for the boat to
come out the right shape. Modern com-
puter software has made this process
easier.
John Lockwood of Pygmy Boats was an
innovator in using software in the devel-
opment of plywood kayak designs. Chris
Kulczycki, formerly of Chesapeake Light
Craft, was instrumental in the populari-
zation of the technique through his maga-
zine articles and book, The Kayak Shop (see
Books, page 36).
Strip-building first made the transition
from large boats to small ones via canoes.
In this technique, narrow strips of wood
are wrapped around temporary forms and
then covered with fiberglass and epoxy to
make a rugged, lightweight boat. Com-
mercial builders often create a strip-built
prototype to test new design ideas because
this offers a lot of design freedom. The first
published mention of strip-built kayaks
seems to be from David Hazen in his book
The Strippers Guide to Canoe Building. Re-
cently a couple of books have come out
describing this method, one by myself, The
Strip-Built Sea Kayak, the other KayakCraft,
by Ted Moores who was instrumental in
popularizing the strip-built technique for
canoes with his original book, CanoeCraft.
Both stitch-and-glue and strip-built
kayaks have gained loyal followings. Peo-
ple like them for their light weight, dura-
bility and beauty. A typical stitch-and-glue
or strip-built kayak weights around 40 lbs.
While a scratch will be more noticeable on
a nicely varnished wooden kayak, these
boats don’t differ much from fiberglass
boats with regard to maintenance since
they are covered in fiberglass and epoxy.
A fresh coat of varnish every few years
will keep the wood bright and fill in any
scratches.
There is something about the visual
warmth and texture of wood that attracts
attention. Next to the modern plastic boat,
wooden kayaks always stand out.
The original Inuit and Aleut technique
of skin-on-frame is still around and evolv-
ing. The skin material is now canvas or
synthetic instead of animal skin, but the
basic technique is the same. George Dyson
popularized this technique to the for many
in his book Baidarka, about the history of
the Aleut kayaking culture. Wolfgang
Brinck’s book The Aleutian Kayak provides
a complete description of how to build a
skin-on-frame boat in the Aleutian style.
Skin-on-frame boats are still some of the
lightest kayaks available. Because water
gets into the boat, the wooden frames need
to be dried after use. But with proper care
these boats are still a good choice. Many
people build them to help preserve the
traditions of the early Aleut and Inuit
builders; others like the intimate feel of a
boat that flexes and responds to the water
like an extension of their body.
FUTURE OF WOODEN KAYAKS
The wooden kayaks you see today gen-
erally gave been built by the person pad-
dling them, or custom built for
them. There are a few manufactur-
ers trying to maintain the beauty
and strength of wood in their kay-
aks, but the additional labor cost re-
quired to use wood will probably
keep these efforts marginal. From
the beginning, one of the greatest
beauties of a wooden kayak has
been the ability to build it with sim-
ple tools. The original kayakers de-
pended on this ability. They were
able to construct a vessel capable of
crossing the open ocean using tools and
materials gathered from near their homes.
Today, wood is still the fastest, cheap-
est and easiest way to build yourself a
high quality kayak. It is nice that wooden
kayaks also happen to be lightweight,
strong and beautiful.
Wooden kayaks will never be mass-
market products. Instead, they are a way
for an individual paddler to create a one-
of-a-kind boat personally suited to his or
her own paddling needs. It is a gratifying
experience to paddle the vast ocean in a
beautiful wooden boat of your own con-
struction. t
Nick Schade is the author of The Strip-
Built Sea Kayak, published by Ragged
Mountain Press, and the owner of Guillemot
Kayaks, a source for plans for people to build
their own wooden kayak.
He can be reached at
Guillemot Kayaks, Glastonbury, CT
Ph: 860-659-8847
Schade@guillemot-kayaks.com
www.guillemot-kayaks.com ©
One of Nick’s designs built by Russ Cozens.
1 4 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
SEA KAYAKING
TOURS IN
Adventure
Travel
Since 1991
BELIZE, HONDURAS
HAWAII, BAJA
PO Box 332 Olga, WA 98279
Ph: 503-621-1167
www.laughingbirdadventures.com
lbadventures@hotmail.com
800-853 BAJA (2252)
Building a Volkskomponent kayak
...or why anybody would cut a per fec tly
good kayak int o t hree pieces!
P
lywood? A sea kayak made from 4
mm plywood? Is that a really good
idea? I stood in front of this little booth at
the 1999 spring fair in Halifax. My face must
have given my skeptical thoughts away.
‘Volkskayak’-Gerry Gladwin had a gleam-
ing smile on his face when he told me all
about his Greenland-inspired kayak design,
a stitch and glue boat building method, and
his workshop where you can build one.
That day I had no idea that ten months later
I would be building my own Volkskayak.
During that summer I did a lot of sea
kayaking with one of the local outfitters,
and got hooked. By the end of the sum-
mer I decided that I had to have my own
boat. Facing the problem of storing a sea
kayak in my apartment, I remembered
Gerry and his Volkskayaks. One particu-
lar design, the ‘Volkskomponentkayak’,
could be the solution for my storage prob-
lem. This design, which breaks down into
three pieces, would fit in an elevator and
in the tiny storage room of my apartment.
One important question remained.
Familair with rotomolded seakayaks, I
was curious how the hard-chined
Volkskayak would feel and handle. Would
I like it? Could I handle a kayak without a
rudder?
couple of hours the result already gave an
impression of the kayak. The following
weekend I removed the wires, taped the
seams with fiberglass tape, coated the
wood with epoxy resin, and reinforced the
two bottom panels on the outside with
fiberglass cloth. After the deck and hull
were joined, my Volkskayak was almost
ready to paddle. But my boat was desig-
nated to become a Volkskomponentkayak.
In preparation for this step we had done
a modification during the previous steps.
We used beefier 8 mm plywood for the
bulkheads, and doubled them. Apart from
glassing in the doubled, heavier bulk-
heads the kayak was then built like a nor-
mal stitch and glue kayak.
Gerry handled the saw as I was too
afraid to mess this part up. The saw blade
had to hit right between the doubled bulk-
heads to separate the bow, cockpit, and
stern sections. The operation was a full
success, and the Volkskayak was trans-
formed into a Volkskomponentkayak.
For paddling, the three compartments
are bolted together with six bolts each
through the bow and stern bulkheads. If I
didn’t like it for paddling, I would at least
have three pieces of unique furniture for
my apartment!
The next two weekends I glassed the
outside of the bulkheads and did a lot of
sanding and finishing. After Christmas I
I gave Gerry a call, arranged a test pad-
dle, and a week later I signed up for one
of his workshops. I started building my
kayak in November, restricted to week-
ends, and it took me two months to fin-
ish the project. The first weekend I
stitched the six plywood panels of the hull
and deck together with wire, then glued
them with thickened epoxy. After only a
Ulli Höger
Attachment system
Scene in Ulli’s garage
1 5 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
Villas de Loreto
Baja Mexico
A charming beach resort on the
Sea of Cortez in the old town of Loreto
Offering sea kayak rentals, diving, bicycles, pool,
air conditioning, complementary breakfast
www.villasdeloreto.com
Ph/Fax: 011-52-113-50586
Apdo. 132 Loreto B.C.S. Mexico 23880
KAYAK COSTA RICA
PADDLE IN PARADISE
—our 15 th season —
Ph/ Fa x: 2 5 0 / 5 3 9 -2 4 4 2
kayak@gulfislands. com
ht t p:/ / www. seakayak. bc. ca/ t our
• warm, calm seas and national parks
• 6 nights/7 days paddling or 10 days
paddling/mountain packages!
• comfortable lodging on the beach
• experience naturalist guides
• weekly December through April
• beginners & experienced paddlers
• wonderful local cuisine
Fall boat sale of glass & plastic expedition boats.
Special Explorat ory Tour
of PANAMA
Bocas de Toro ( Caribbean)
—NEW at Villas!—
Restaurant & PADI Dive Shop
Villas de Loreto
had my boat painted and was ready to go.
I launched it in the Northwest Arm of
Halifax harbour and since that day I have
covered a couple of hundred kilometres
in my Volkskayak, exploring the lakes,
coastline and islands of Nova Scotia,
‘Canada’s Ocean Playground’ on the east
coast. And if I have to move to a new pad-
dling place somewhere else in this world,
my Volkskomponentkayak will be with
me. The first one became airborne last
spring, when Gerry checked it in as his
luggage for a trip to Mexico. t
Dr. Ulli Höger, originally from Germany, is
currently working in Halifax, Nova Scotia
at the Department of Physiology and
Biophysics Dalhousie University. More
details about building a Volkskayak can be
found at www.dal.ca/~uhoeger or
www.volkskayak.com. ©
REDFI SH KAYAK & CANOE CO.
Boi se, I daho
Joe Greenley of Redfish builds wood kayaks
that are beautiful, fast and maneuverable.
Their lines and finish make them as pleasing
to the eye as they are to paddle. Ph: 208-344-
7116. Email: joe@redfishkayak.com. Web: www.red
fishkayak.com.
ROY FOLLAND WOODEN KAYAKS
Hudson, Quebec
Roy Folland Wooden Kayaks was estab-
lished four years ago. An experienced and
accomplished designer, Roy’s objective
was to bring the kayak kit business to a
higher level of precision and beauty than
was available at the time. With an inno-
vative approach and unique construction
methods, anyone can build these beauti-
ful wooden kayaks. Call for assistance or
advice. Info is available on several kits.
Ph: 450-458-0152. Email: kayak@royfolland.com
Web: www.royfolland.com.
TRUE NORTH WOODEN BOAT CO.
Summer l and, Br i t i sh Col umbi a
True North is dedicated to producing top
quality, high performance wood/epoxy
canoes and touring kayaks. As durable as
they are beautiful, these fine wooden boats
can be paddled with pride and confidence
and are destined to become a treasured
family possession. Ph: 250-494-4458. Email:
woodboat@vip.net. Web: www.truenorth
woodenboat.com.
Wooden Kayak Direc tor y
Continued from page 10
The assembled Volkskomponentkayak
WHI TE SALMON BOATS WORKS
Whi t e Sal mon, Washi ngt on
Ray Klebba’s White Salmon Boat Works’
primary purpose is to teach the first time
boat builder the art of building their own
‘dreamboat’—be it canoe, sea kayak,
rowboat or other small craft. We special-
ize in the woodstrip method of construc-
tion in a workshop format with tools and
materials provided. Students build the
boat of their choice using our plans or their
own. We also offer easy to assemble kits,
boat plans and boating accessories. Email:
dreamboats@gorge.net.
ZUZU PADDLES
Fl agst af f , Ar i zona
ZuZu paddles are a truly unique combi-
nation of fine woodworking craftsman-
ship, revolutionary design, and the latest
composite technology. Constructed of the
finest traditional marine grade woods, the
company’s entire line of canoe and kayak
paddles also features the innovative He-
lix Lamination spliceless shaft, a patented
technology combining the warmth and
feel of wood with the strength and light-
ness of today’s composite materials.
Ph: 520-774-6535. Email: info@zuzupaddles.
com. Web: www.zuzupaddles.com. t
Anyone we missed should contact us for
our next issue, deadline December 15th.
‘Wooden Kayaks—Pt. 2’
Feb/Mar 2001
Deadline: Dec. 15th
1 6 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
T
he morning I walked into my first
build-your-own-wooden-kayak class,
I nearly dropped from shock. On the
workbench lay four of the flimsiest pieces
of plywood I could ever recall having
seen. My heart sped as I picked up one of
the pieces gingerly and wiggled it up and
down. It agreeably waved back.
I was expected to build my kayak out
of those? How was it possible for such
thin, wobbly wood to keep me afloat? My
140 lbs would shatter the wood in a twin-
kling right at the shore line.
Or, maybe even worse. My kayak
would break apart far out to sea, and I’d
sink to the bottom.
Then another thought crept into my
mind. Maybe the instructors had run into
financial difficulty and cut corners on or-
dering their wood.
I needn't have worried.
By the end of the first weekend our team
of four classmates had sanded the flimsy
plywood pieces smooth on one side,
‘sewn’ the pieces together with 18-gauge
copper wire, twisted the wires to hold the
edges flush with each other, and gone on
to construct three other such hulls. We
checked each boat for being straight and
true, inserted bulkheads in the proper
places, carefully laid out two layers of fin-
icky fiberglass ribbon along all inside
seams and joints, and painted the whole
inside with epoxy.
The jigsaw pieces of 4 mm (3/16 in.)
Okume marine-grade plywood (from
okume trees in Africa, finished in Israel,
shipped to the USA, and registered by
Lloyd's of London as being high-quality,
marine-grade plywood) were beginning
to look like something. Maybe even some-
thing that would ultimately hold me afloat
in the great big sea. And maybe something
that would again bless me with that quiet
taste of freedom I'd experienced the first
time I slipped into a kayak five years ear-
lier, and gently pushed off into a rolling
swell of water.
There's a sudden separate universe that
exists when you push off onto water. It
doesn't matter that others may be with
you. You choose whether to paddle along-
side and join in conversation or not. Best
is just to paddle and listen to the sound of
the sea, your heart, your breath and pad-
dle strokes joining together in one long,
deep pulse. Best is just to imagine the
water under you running in one big ocean
river all around the world. Best is just to
stop sometimes and feel every little thing
suddenly brought to stillness.
But to get there in my own hand-made
wooden kayak required noise, dust, per-
severance, patience and just the maxi-
mum-I-could-stand of sacrificed week-
ends.
The second weekend involved more
basic construction and by the third week-
end, we all had our decks on, involving
more epoxy and nailing. The boats looked
stronger and stronger.
“And in between all this you sand, sand,
sand,” dictated Mother Therese, quality
control officer and co-instructor of our
classes, with husband John.
That repetitive sanding was one of the
Lear ning t o St it ch and Glue Donna Wilford
“Best is just to stop sometimes and feel every little thing suddenly brought to stillness.”
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1 7 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
Cour ses & t our s i n Cl ayoquot Sound w i t h Dan Lew i s & Bonny Gl ambeck
1- 8 7 7 - 4 2 2 - W I L D
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boring parts, which our class relieved with ribald tales of past
relationships, discussions abou today's teenagers (our children),
writing and performing a song for our instructors and reading
some rather questionable literary pieces having to do with sand-
ers during lunch breaks.
As we rounded the corner to the finish line, it was sand, sand,
sand, varnish, varnish, varnish, epoxy, epoxy, sand, sand, sand,
paint, paint. Then artist David Lloyd came to do custom artwork
on our kayaks. This was the most exciting part for me (after I
realized I was in good, experienced boat-building hands of my
instructors every step of the way, and that my kayak was not
going to break apart on me).
I had imagined the top of my kayak looking like a beach, and
the natural grain of the wood showed me where the rocks and
tidal pools would be. But I also wanted some kind of sea witch or
monster coming up from below. I turned the project over to David
and left.
When I next saw my kayak, a sea witch of weird fantasy swam
along my aft deck, seaweed hair trailing out behind, crab claws
slicing the water of my deck, fish tail undulating below the sur-
face, her face that of a First Nations mask. She was both beautiful
and terrible at the same time. My kayak named herself—CirSea.
I could hardly wait for the final steps to be finished—all the
bungy cords, seats, adjustable foot pegs, etc.—so I could launch.
Other classmates felt the same. We had created four wonderful
pieces of floating art, pieces of beauty and function.
Instructor John O'Hurley was impressed as usual, surprised
once again at the uniqueness of each boat and the imagination of
each design: “We assume everyone's going to go in there and
build a wonderful boat, and they do. I'm proud of every boat
that has come out of the classes.”
Ever since CirSea first slipped into the ocean, I've enjoyed each
minute of peace upon the waters. I'm what you'd call a complete
novice at the craft of kayaking, but I look forward to years of
paddling pleasure, the sea witch at my back, but never, never
catching me.
There are several build-your-own-wooden kayak classes of-
fered in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith-Duncan area. The class I took
through O'Hurleys' Wooden Boats in Ladysmith involved six
weekends in a row of half-days each Saturday and Sunday
(www.ohurleys boats.com). O'Hurleys' can be reached at 250-245-
5199 or 250-246-8578, or by email at: ohurleys@sprint.ca. t
Donna’s classmates with finished kayaks.
Donna’s kayak CirSea (right) and sister craft.
Donna Wilford was born and raised on the west coast
but didn’t get into kayaking until her 11-year-old son
Paul attended an outdoor wilderness camp at
Strathcona Park and then led the family
on a kayak trip. ©
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1 8 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
Also 2-9 day summer trips to:
• Johnstone Strait/Knight Inlet
• Queen Charlottes
• Clayoquot Sound
• Nootka Island
• Broken Group
• or Gulf Islands Weekends
PH: 250-247-8277 FAX: 250-247-9788
RR1 Site 1 C-23 Gabriola Island, BC CANADA V0R 1X0
pmarcus@island.net www.wi.bc.ca/ gabriola
A D V E N T U R E O U T F I T T E R S
BAJA MEXICO KAYAK TOURS
BAJA MEXICO KAYAK TOURS
LOW COST, SELF-CATERED, 14 YEARS IN BUSINESS
• 6 & 7 day kayak trips
from Loreto, Nov-Apr
(Cdn$615-655)
• NEW advanced paddle
Loreto-La Paz,
Mar 27-Apr 5 (Cdn$935)
• Mtn. Bike & Kayak Combo,
Mar 2-10 (Cdn$835)
• Mainland Mexico bike tours
The Cedar St rip Kayak
O
ne cannot help but touch the silky
smoothness of the cedar wood kayak
hull and imagine paddling in deep blue-
green water in search of solitude. It is the
spirit of discovery combined with the
builder’s artistic impulse, as well as the
pure functionality of the wood strip
kayak, that inspires passion and stirs thou-
sands of ‘do-it-yourselfers’ around the
globe to clean up their basements, garages,
and attics and plunge right into construc-
tion of their dream wooden kayak.
Some start with only a set of plans in
their hands, a few sheets of particleboard
and a couple of planks of cedar. The ben-
efit of starting this way is the very low con-
struction cost and perhaps just as impor-
tantly, the complete control one has over
the selection and quality of wood and
other materials. Milling your own strips
simply makes it possible to create infinite
variety of decorative inlays with greater
ease. The craft may take a couple of weeks
longer to finish but you will have unques-
tionably ‘built the kayak completely from
scratch!’
Other builders start with a kayak kit be-
cause they may not have access to all the
machinery needed, or would prefer to dis-
pense with the prep work and tedious
dustiness of strip milling. The kit provides
all the major ingredients—the full size
forms for building the kayak mold, cedar
strips, fiberglass, and epoxy. Some manu-
facturers offer add-ons ranging from
Minicel foam seats and foot braces to hard-
ware and varnish. The trade-off with kits is
that although they can shave weeks off the
project, there is a limit to the selection of strips
and epoxies and there is also a higher cost for
the prefabricated components.
So, how much does it cost to build a
stripper? It really depends, because eve-
ryone’s shop is equipped differently and
builders‚ standards of quality and mate-
rial selection vary widely. Let’s assume an
average 17.5 ft. kayak uses about three (3/
4 inch x 10 inch x 16 ft.) planks of cedar. If
you can mill the strips yourself it will
come to about $140 to $200 for the wood.
Add 2.5 gallons of epoxy, which may go
from $113 to $205 depending on the brand
of epoxy you choose. The last big item is
fiberglass cloth, which averages about
$100 at most. The rest of the materials such
as particleboard, plywood, varnish,
brushes etc. may add another $200 to $300
or so. The average total cost can range
from about $500 to $1000. Of course some
people will have a lot of tools and useful
material lying around their shop, which
will reduce the cost considerably, while
others may be building from ground zero.
Exotic wood, fibers and extras can add a
few hundred dollars on top but ultimately,
your wood strip kayak will be about half
the cost of a similar commercial fiberglass
kayak—and of course, the ‘labor of love’
is always free!
The question I am asked the most is:
‘How long will it take?’ An average per-
son can transform a few bundles of cedar
strips into a completely varnished single
kayak in as little as two months of crea-
tive and enjoyable time. Large expedition
kayaks and doubles average about three
to four months.
Wood strip kayaks are built year round
but the vast majority of builders choose
the long dark days of winter and early
spring to get into the project. So, if you
start in February, both you and your kayak
will be ready for your maiden voyage in
May or June.
Vaclav Stejskal
Laying down cedar strips.
1 9 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
The construction of a
wood strip kayak often starts
with a table of offsets‚ or ide-
ally with a very accurate set
of full size plans. The plan
templates are glued on
particleboard and the forms
are cut out with a fine-
toothed jigsaw. These forms
or stations precisely define
the shape of the kayak and
also serve as attachment
points for each strip. All
forms are arranged on a
strongback (spine), which
gives the whole structure the
kayak shape‚ and necessary
rigidity. Unlike a table of off-
sets, full size plans almost
completely eliminate measuring and the mold is aligned visually
using register marks printed on the templates.
Once you build the mold, which takes about 3 to 4 afternoons,
there is a feeling of confidence and being ‘over the hump’. All
energy can now focus on imprinting the kayak with your crea-
tive imagination. Laying down the thin splines of colorful and
fragrant cedar over the mold is not unlike applying paint on a
clean sheet of canvas, and like in a painting, the character of the
kayak develops by planning but also by spontaneous experimen-
tation. The occasional mistakes are not hard to undo since the
body of the kayak comes together one strip at a time, each can
always be removed and replaced later. The actual stripping in-
volves stapling the wood strips to the edges of the forms with
long staples. The strips are glued together side by side and their
specially shaped edges (bead & cove) interlock together, forming
a smooth continuous core. The fact that the strip core can assume
almost any smooth convex or concave shape allows the kayak to
be designed and shaped with great flexibility. Out of all the
homebuilt construction methods, wood strip kayaks can truly
boast material-unrestricted, hydrodynamically efficient hull
forms.
In order to achieve the desired shape, the wood for this con-
struction must fulfill a few requirements, that is, be light, rela-
tively strong, flexible, and workable. The best and time-tested
woods are the cedar species, namely Western red cedar, eastern
white cedar, redwood, and yellow Alaska cedar. Other commonly
used wood are pine, Spanish cedar, mahogany, basswood, and
spruce. Exotic wood is most often incorporated in smaller quan-
tities because of its density. One strip of red Paduk, for example,
can weigh as much as 5 to 8 strips of eastern white cedar.
Once the entire mold is stripped over, the staples can be pulled
out but the wood core holds its shape now, even without the sta-
ples. At this point the surface is very rough, caked up with glue
as well as staple holes, which need to be filled with wood putty
or other water-soluble filler. Some builders avoid this step by fas-
tening the strips to the forms without staples. The results are of-
ten beautiful but the construction is slowed down significantly
because each glued strip must firmly set before another strip is
added.
Regardless, the surface is still at the ugly duckling stage and
needs more work to remove all the smudges and irregularity. This
is done at first with a plane or belt sander but the second and
most important smoothing step is accomplished with the ‘fairing
board’. A fairing board is a flexible piece of plywood about 4 inches
x 16 inches with 60 grit sand paper attached to it. It is the only
practical tool builders have in their arsenal to bring the kayak
surface to a ripple free, vel-
vety smoothness. Once the
dust clears, the inlay patterns
crystallize and the wood be-
comes flawlessly smooth and
clean. The outcome is often
so spectacular that one is
completely awash with the
resolve to get the thing on the
water as soon as possible.
Having finished the
woodworking stage, the con-
struction enters a completely
different phase, that of high
tech composites and modern
chemistry. In order to in-
crease the strength of the
kayak and to protect the ce-
dar from water, the entire
craft is encased in a fiberglass/epoxy skin, which bonds every-
thing together. The term ‘epoxy’ sometimes elicits a nervous re-
action in new builders, for it may be associated with the fast set-
ting epoxy tubes in a hardware store. The epoxies used for clear
coating are very high quality, harden slowly enough to allow a
comfortable pace of work and are relatively foolproof. Many peo-
ple think of these kayaks as wooden—wood being associated with
waterlogged, weak and outdated technology. In fact the more
appropriate term should be ‘composite sandwich core kayaks’.
Most high performance competition yachts at the Americas Cup
have balsa wood as the core material but few would think of
these sailboats as wooden. It is the cedar core, sandwiched be-
tween thin skins of high tensile skins that makes wood strip kay-
aks some of the strongest craft in relation to their weight. For
Preparing for inlays. Clamping inlays in place.
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example, a 17 foot stripper can beat the weight of the same size
Kevlar kayak by 5 pounds—not to mention its heavier fiberglass
counterpart.
After filling and sanding, the hull as well as the deck are cov-
ered with lightweight fiberglass cloth and wetted out with epoxy.
The epoxy, which has the consistency of maple syrup, is care-
fully spread and smoothed out over the fiberglass, which turns
completely transparent on contact with the resin. A couple more
filler coats bury the fabric weave and a couple of days later the
entire coating turns into a hard plastic shell. All other functional
parts of the kayak such as the cockpit, hatches, hip plates and
foot braces can now be built. When the deck and hull shells are
bonded together, the last fiberglassing task is to ‘wet sand’ the
kayak with 180 grit wet/dry sandpaper in preparation for var-
nishing.
The kayak is basically done and the temptation to take it for a
spin is all but irresistible. But before you expose your woodcraft
to the full sun, the epoxy coat needs protection against the UV
light. Marine varnish provides the ultimate protection, highlights
your wood inlays, and gives the kayak smoothness and gloss.
At long last, the day to ‘hatch’ the kayak out of the warmth of
the shop is here. By the time you get to the water, people will be
giving you thumbs up, but that will do little to dissipate the but-
terflies in your stomach. Will it float? What if it scratches? Then,
before you know it, you are hundreds of meters away from the
shore testing the ‘performance envelope’.
So, if you like a little challenge, clean out your basement and
go for it. You needn’t be a carpenter to build a wood strip kayak,
because most builders aren’t. And it may just be one of the most
memorable projects you ever do. t
Vaclav Stejskal was born and raised in Prague, and competed for
14 years in rowing as a member of the Czech National Rowing Team.
He has worked as a boat builder in Germany building composite
rowing shells, and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering and
Material Science at Harvard University. Currently he’s involved in
kayak hull design, naval architecture and development of
OneOceanKayaks.com. ©
The project nears completion. One of Vaclav’s finished works.
2 1 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
North Island Kayak Rentals & Tours
For I nformation or Brochure:
Serving British Columbia’s
Northern Vancouver Island
and the Central Coast
Toll Free 877-949-7707
nikayak@island.net
www.island.net/ ~nikayak/
The Var nished Kayak
A
majority of kayak builders finish
their wooden kayaks ‘bright—with
a natural wood finish—because kayaks
with a varnished hull are much prettier
than plastic boats.
An all-varnish finish is a brave choice,
however. Varnish will show every wart
and mis-step in your carpentry work, so
you’ll have to be wary of blemishes from
the moment you start. Personally, I’ve al-
ways liked painted hulls with varnished
decks, a tasteful approach that shows off
both the wood texture and the hull shape.
This approach also has the advantage of
hiding my (frequent) mistakes.
Nevertheless, a clear-finished kayak is
a worthy goal of craftsmanship and the
‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from passersby are
worth the extra hours of sanding. And
sand you will.
You’ll spend more time sanding your
wood-epoxy kayak than anything else
during construction. Sanding can be seen
as drudgery, or it can be a sculpture exer-
cise, depending upon your outlook. After
60 or 70 kayaks, I know that the quality of
my finish work depends largely upon pa-
tience with the sander. Accept that sand-
ing is going to be the difference between
a good finish and a bad one, and equip
yourself accordingly: buy a good sander,
lots of sandpaper, a respirator, and ear
protection.
A 5 inch random orbital sander will be
all you need, the more powerful the bet-
ter. I endorse the Bosch, Makita, Porter-
Cable, and DeWalt brands. Bear in mind
that they last a long time and you can use
a sander for all sorts of projects, so a good
one is worth the money.
A common mistake among boatbuilders
is not changing the sandpaper frequently.
This is deadly when sanding epoxy. Epoxy
fills the sandpaper quickly, especially the
types of epoxy that ‘blush’. As the sand-
paper fills, it stops cutting as easily, so the
builder presses down harder on the
sander to keep cutting. This in turn builds
up heat between boat and sander, soften-
ing the epoxy so that it fills the paper more
quickly, and so on in infinite regression.
Change the paper often. Find a wholesale
source and lay in a supply of 80, 120, and
220 grit paper, and expect to use it all. The
discipline of keeping sharp sandpaper on
the sander is rare outside of professional
shops, but it’s an essential practice for
smooth hulls.
Epoxy sanding dust is a toxic sensitizer,
so you must wear a mask. The high-end
disposable dust masks (such as 3M #8511)
will do for a short project, but the car-
tridge-type respirators are far more com-
fortable to wear. The vibrating whine of
the sander can also be tiresome, so invest
in a set of ear protectors or plugs. Any-
thing that makes the job of sanding more
comfortable means you’ll stick with it
longer.
Always keep the sander pad flat against
the work. There’s an urge to lift the pad
and sand with the faster-spinning outer
John C. Harris
edge of the disk, but this will always re-
sult in a lumpy hull, often covered with
unsightly half-moon shaped cuts that will
glare at you through the varnish. Not cut-
ting fast enough with the pad held flat?
Switch to a coarser paper. On hard-chined
boats, avoid the chines once you’ve
glassed the boat as the sander will quickly
cut through the glass on these hard points.
Use a hand-sanding block instead.
I start with 80-grit paper on a glassed
and epoxied kayak hull, mostly concen-
trating on epoxy runs and sags and areas
where the fiberglass cloth must be feath-
ered. 120-grit is next, then I continue on
to 220-grit. 80- or 120-grit paper will leave
little swirl marks in the epoxy that will
almost always be visible through the var-
nish, ruining or at best dulling the gloss
of the varnish. You know you’ve sanded
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enough when the entire hull is a uniform
cloudy gray, without little dark indenta-
tions in the epoxy indicating a low spot.
Try not to sand into the glass; this may
expose a weave pattern that shows up in
the final finish.
Remember, any wooden surfaces that
are to be displayed under varnish must
be sanded up to 220 grit prior to applying
epoxy and fiberglass, to eliminate the
swirls caused by the sander.
“ PREPARE SURFACE”
That’s what it usually says on the var-
nish can, but these vague instructions hide
a lot of methodical work. These days you
have to think like a chemist to get your
polyurethane varnish to stick to your
epoxied hull.
Maybe, like me, you’ve had paint or
varnish shrink away from an epoxy coat-
ing like oil from water, making an al-
mighty mess of your kayak. This is actu-
ally a fairly apt description of what’s hap-
pening. As they cure, many epoxy brews
form a greasy film on the surface called
‘amine blush’. This film is mostly water,
one of the byproducts of the epoxy cure,
and it’s the very devil to get paint or var-
nish to stick to it. You can wash it off, but
the epoxy keeps curing, and ‘blushing’, for
a long time, so it may be advisable to let
the epoxied hull cure for weeks or months
before you apply the finish. A lot of peo-
ple just go paddling with bare epoxy on
the hull, but all epoxies lack UV protec-
tion and will break down in sunlight, turn-
ing yellow and brittle in time, so this is
not a good idea.
One alternative to the amine blush ag-
gravation is to use an amine-free brand
like MAS Epoxy. MAS resin, used with
their ‘slow’ hardener, will yield a hard,
clear, blush-free surface that you can sand
and varnish within 72 hours if you have a
warm shop.
With the epoxy cured and sanded, you
should clean off the hull with some sort
of solvent, an essential step to prevent the
dreaded ‘fisheyes’ in the finish. Most
brands of paint and varnish have a pro-
prietary ‘solvent wash’ which I seldom
use because it is expensive. I use generic
lacquer thinner and a clean rag to wipe
off the hull, being careful to ventilate the
shop and let the lacquer thinner evapo-
rate for at least 45 minutes before apply-
ing the finish. (Don’t use acetone or min-
eral spirits for the wipe-down—they are
filled with impurities.)
SOME VARNI SH AND A PLACE
TO APPLY I T
A bewildering array of varnishes are
available for coating your epoxied boat.
You should stick with a marine poly-
urethane varnish; ‘spar varnishes’ sold in
hardware stores aren’t likely to have much
durability or UV protection. Here at CLC
we’ve covered scores of kayaks with Z-
Spar’s Captain’s Varnish, which we like
because it’s well-priced, easy to apply, and
has a nice amber tint. I’ve also had good
success with Interlux and Epiphanes
products.
A clean workspace is essential at this
juncture to avoid the dreaded ‘nonskid
finish’. Every floating speck of dust in
your shop will fly into your wet varnish,
as if on cue, so you will have to go on the
offensive, purging dust from every sur-
face, including your own clothes. A pud-
dle of water on the floor around the boat
will prevent dust from being kicked up.
Banish kids and insects from the shop.
APPLYI NG VARNI SH
If you’re lucky enough to own an HVLP
sprayer, know how to use it, and have ac-
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Step 2: Horizontal strokes from dry to wet.
2 3 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
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ing here, because that’s the way to go.
Most of us will be brushing on the var-
nish by hand, however, so we should talk
about brush selection. Largely out of lazi-
ness, I’ve forsaken my badger-hair collec-
tion for foam brushes. Foam brushes are
cheap, disposable, and ideal for applying
thin coats. The good foam brushes have
wooden handles running all of the way
into the foam head, without a plastic in-
sert.
A glossy finish without brush strokes
is a matter of brush technique. The objec-
tive is to apply a thin, even film. I varnish
kayaks upside down, the left hull bottom
and right hull bottom first, and deck last.
I don’t think the order matters much.
Beginning at the bow, I apply the var-
nish with vertical strokes to an 18 inch
patch (less if it’s hot weather). Then, with-
out dipping the brush in the can again, I
follow this with lengthwise strokes
smoothing out the vertical strokes. In this
second step, it is crucial that the brush
strokes go from dry to wet (right to left in
the drawing). Never put the brush down
into wet varnish. The vertical strokes get
the varnish onto the boat, and the hori-
zontal strokes even out the varnish.
Without delay, repeat the process in the
next 18 inch patch, overlapping the fin-
ished patch slightly to maintain the ‘wet
edge’ so that you don’t have vertical lines
where you finished one patch and started
the next. Continue right around the stern,
finishing at the bow on the other side of
the hull. The varnish ‘seam’ between left
and right sides is on the keel and won’t
be ugly. I varnish the deck in one swipe,
from bow to stern.
I always wetsand with 400 grit between
coats. (Wetsanding, which requires special
paper sold at any paint or hardware store,
permits sanding with grits finer than 220.)
The kayak will require a minimum of
three coats for protection of the epoxy. It
will start to look really glossy at five coats.
More than 7 or 8 coats is probably over-
kill.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE A
FLOATI NG COFFEE TABLE...
Don’t be afraid to use it—I know of kayak
builders who put their boats on display in
their living rooms. The first few scratches
will be painful but after that, you’ll remem-
ber that you have a kayak that is light, stiff,
and fast on the water, not just gorgeous on
the top of your car. t
John C. Harris is the President and CEO of
Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD.
He can reached at 410-267-0137.
Check out the Chesapeake website at
www.clcboats.com ©
Good Good Bad Bad
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Out fit t er s and Guides War m up t o Wood
F
or years, professional kayak guides
and outfitters have relied on plastic
and fiberglass for their fleets of boats. Each
of them has their merits. One is lighter,
one less expensive. For some guides and
outfitters, though, a third option makes a
lot of sense—wood. In the last several
years, a growing number of companies
have taken a second look at this alterna-
tive. Seeing wood kayaks as a way of set-
ting themselves apart from other compa-
nies, they recognize that many potential
customers are drawn to their beauty. They
recognize that the performance of wood
designs meet or exceed other materials on
the market.
What you see is not always all you get.
A common first impression of a wood
kayak is ‘stunningly beautiful’. This first
impression in years past was often quickly
coupled with ‘Fragile?’ ‘Heavy?’ These lat-
ter two misconceptions have eroded in
recent years. Outfitters and guides are
beginning to take notice.
Beyond the beauty is technology. Mod-
ern ‘stitch and glue’ and ‘strip built’ kay-
aks are encapsulated in fiberglass and
epoxy resins. The part you see, the wood,
is actually functioning as a lightweight
compression core. We have nature to
thank for providing such a beautiful and
suitable material. We have science to
thank for the rest. Fiberglass cloth adds
important tensile strength and abrasion
resistance to the wood. Epoxy resins join
the fiberglass and the lightweight wood
core. This sandwiching of lightweight
wood with fiberglass and epoxy results in
a hull that is rugged, yet much lighter than
a hull made from fiberglass alone. In ad-
dition, with a little energy, adding wood
kayaks to a fleet can be considerably less
expensive than fiberglass boats.
These factors—weight, cost and
beauty—have not escaped the attention of
some outfitters. Andy Gale, owner of
PTOutdoors in Port Townsend, Washing-
ton, started his guide service in 1996 with
two stitch-and-glue triples. “The number
one reason,” Andy says, “was capital in-
vestment. With a little sweat equity I was
able to start my business for far less than
with fiberglass boats. At the time I didn’t
want to use plastic boats. I thought that
by choosing wood composite boats I
David Grimmer
Andy Gale of PTOutdoors started his guide service with these wooden kayaks.
would also be offering a superior prod-
uct to my customers.
“And then there is the weight. It is re-
ally nice to have twenty foot (wood com-
posite) triples weigh much less than our
eighteen-foot (plastic) doubles.” Today
Andy has five wood kayaks, four triples
and a single, among his fleet of twenty
boats. He has plans to add to the fleet this
winter.
Brandon Davies of Blue Otter Outfitters
in Friday Harbor, Washington has also
embraced wood. His company does cus-
tom sail/kayak tours from a 48-foot tri-
maran mother ship. Riding piggyback into
remote paddling destinations are three
doubles and a single, all wood composite
kayaks. The choice for him was easy. “We
wanted to hit the market differently,”
Brandon says. “We wanted to stand out,
and [wood kayaks] definitely make a dif-
ference. When we paddle up to a beach
and there are other kayak groups there,
there are always comments on the beauty
of our boats from the others. It gives my
clients the feeling they are traveling in
class. And they are.”
He goes on to say that paddlers in his
boats have a different attitude. “They re-
ally want to take care of the boats, getting
out of the boats before running ashore.”
As much as this is appreciated by
Brandon, he adds, “It is amazing the abuse
these boats can really take.” He knows that
his wood kayaks are making an impres-
sion. About half of the letters he gets from
past clients praise the wood kayaks.
Lon Smith of Kayak Port Townsend in
Port Townsend, Washington saw the
popularity of triple wood kayaks in his
neighbor’s outfitter service and decided
2 5 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
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to add a couple to their fleet this past sum-
mer. John Burke, a guide for the organi-
zation, says this of their choice to move to
wood after 12 year in the business: “We
were looking to add to the variety of our
fleet. We needed more boats. We could see
the popularity of the triples being rented
down the street. I guess a portion of it was
keeping up with the Jones’.”
After a busy summer season of heavy
use John truly believes adding wood kay-
aks was a good choice. “They are more
popular than our fiberglass kayaks. We
could probably charge more for them. The
wood kayaks really bring people in. If you
are a company that has built kayaks, cli-
ents are impressed. It gives clients more
confidence in the guides and the business.
They really came in handy. We often put
weaker paddlers in the triple because they
are faster than our fiberglass boats.”
Lon Smith adds, “The Pygmy triples are
great, light weight kayaks that are per-
forming as well or better than any in our
fleet.” Their wood triples are among the
fleet making an annual migration to Baja
for winter season tours.
It is unlikely that wood kayaks will ever
be the mainstay of the kayak tour indus-
try. Plastic and fiberglass kayaks are or-
dered from manufactures, they show up
and are ready to be launched. Wood kay-
aks require a time investment. Once a de-
sign has been settled on, wood kayaks
arrive as precision pre-cut wood panels,
epoxy, and fiberglass. A builder can expect
to spend around 70 hours building a sin-
gle boat or around 90 hours on a double
or triple kit. For some outfitters this is not
an issue. Building in the off-season can be
an enjoyable and rewarding change of
pace after a busy summer season of tours
and rentals.
The results for some are well worth the
effort. Andy Gale thinks differently of his
wood kayaks than his plastic ones. “My
plastic boats are commodities. I use them
for a summer and then sell them while
they are still in good condition. I think of
my wood kayaks as a capital asset to my
business. There is some maintenance
needed after a season, but the boats start
the following year fresh and as good as
new. I plan on having these boats for the
life of my business. After building the
boats, maintenance is straight-forward.”
This thought is echoed by Brandon
Davies as well, “After three years, the
boats are in great shape. I have added
graphite powder to the boats below the
water line. At the end of the season, a lit-
tle maintenance is easy. I built the boats
so I know what to do.”
As preventive maintenance, Kayak Port
Townsend has added Kevlar tape along the
keel of their triples. “That really reduces
the wear from beach landings. Our boats
didn’t wear much after their first season
of service. All the scratches are just aes-
thetic.” Their boats are also painted with
graphite powder below the water line.
As the number of outfitters and guides
using wood kayaks increases, the impres-
sion of the public changes. Most of today’s
paddlers have participated in a tour or
rented before eventually purchasing a
boat of their own. Individuals just getting
into kayaking today are more likely than
ever to encounter the full variety of op-
tions available to them. The public relies
heavily on the opinions of their guides. It
is nice to know that more of these guides
can speak objectively to their clients about
the pros and cons of all the choices avail-
able to them. Today you can find guides
and outfitters across North America from
Alaska to Florida, from Maine to Baja ply-
ing the waters in wood. t
David Grimmer has a background in
outdoor recreation. He has worked with
Pygmy Boats Inc. for the past five years.
During that time he has seen the popularity
of wood kayaks blossom with outfitter and
guide services. He can be reached at
Pygmy Boats Inc. 360-385-6143.
www.pygmyboats.com ©
Lon Smith’s Kayak Port Townsend fleet includes wooden kayaks.
2 6 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
The 4 t h Annual Newfound Rendezvous
I
t took a year’s planning and many
man/woman hours but we were finally
able to enjoy another great gathering of
wood strip/epoxy boat builders at Ge-
neva Point Conference Center on Lake
Winnipesaukee, Moultonboro, New
Hampshire in September.
Attendees came from surrounding states
and locally. This was a first for many, but
there is a large group that has attended all
three Rendezvous, a sort of cult following—
people who will spend all of their free time
between now and next year building the
‘perfect boat’ (surfers will relate with their
quest for the ‘perfect wave’).
Someone invited Hurricane Floyd to
last year’s Rendezvous so, as we got closer
to the date, I feared a repeat and couldn’t
even watch the weather predictions. As it
turned out, we got drenched with rain for
a few hours on Friday but late in the day
the sky cleared. If you don’t like the
weather in New England, just wait a
while—it will change. And it did.
We started the Rendezvous four years
ago when Nick Schade suggested we give
our customers and anyone who had built
a stripper a place (a reason?) to gather and
show each other what they had accom-
plished. At that time many people had
built beautiful boats on their own in base-
ments and garages, not really sure if there
might be others out there suffering from
this same addiction. I became addicted
when I picked up Canoecraft in 1987 and
saw the beautiful, functional cedar strip/
epoxy canoes.
It wasn’t just that these boats were made
from wood for I had been exposed to
wooden boats before when I rebuilt the
transom of a Chris Craft and re-varnished
the whole boat in my woodworking busi-
ness. After seeing the rot and deteriora-
tion from years of neglect I was deter-
mined that I wasn’t going to get involved
with wooden boats!
But this epoxy/fiberglass coating thing
was something else, sealing the wood and
giving it strength, and four coats of var-
nish giving the wood character and depth
you could only dream about. You also had
thin strips that could be arranged in de-
signs using different wood species! And
taking this one more step, these strips
were all put together in slick curves in a
boat that was functional. For someone
who was used to creating windows, doors,
and cabinets from wood, this was some-
thing that had to be explored.
OK, so back to this year’s Rendezvous.
The designers were there: Jay Babina
(Outer Island), Nick Schade (Guillemot Kay-
aks), Rob Macks (Laughing Loon), Jim
Luton (Islander Design), Peter Hunt (Little
Dubber), and Eric Schade (Shearwater
Boats). These are all people with a love of
boating and building, who go one step
further by creating their own designs that
will perform to high expectations. They
also provide their designs for others to
build, and offer assistance by phone and
e-mail to keep builders on the right track.
Demonstrations of canoe and kayaks
were conducted by Jim Luton (canoe sail-
ing), Jay Babina (Greenland paddling
techniques/rolling), Caleb Davis (tradi-
tional solo canoe paddling in a tandem
canoe), Harry Weidman (basic and inter-
mediate kayak instruction).
Many of the attendees discovered new
boat building techniques by watching
Mike Brooker stripping a Wee Lassie, Eric
Schade stripping a Hybrid kayak, Rob
Macks stripping a canoe by his staple-less
construction method, Nick Schade show-
ing creative stripping methods, Lenny
Lipton showing his method of making
secure kayak deck fasteners, and me dem-
onstrating fairing techniques. Other re-
lated woodworking topics were explained
by Bill Allen (split ash pack baskets) and
Ray Wisner (marquetry). Dr. Donald
Campbell gave a talk on muscle use in
canoe and kayaking, Peter Hunt explained
GPS use, and Mary Anne McFarland ex-
plored new methods of using epoxy.
This is the first year that we hosted a
“Designers’ Forum”. I wasn’t sure what
to expect, but it turned out to be an inter-
esting discussion among the designers.
When we came up with this idea I was
afraid I might have to step in to break up
serious disagreements, but not so. Of
Michael Vermouth
The lineup on the beach was impressive.
2 7 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
Always ask.
Netcage salmon farming pollutes
the environment and threatens
the survival of wild salmon.
Georgia Strait Alliance: 250-753-3459
www.GeorgiaStrait.org
Photo: Wild BC spring salmon by Alexandra Morton ©
Is it wild or farmed?
Is it wild or farmed?
Eat Wild
Eat Wild
course, each designer prefers his designs
because he feels they perform to his ex-
pectations, but this turned out to be a very
civilized discussion of design parameters
and wood/epoxy/fiberglass hull strength
issues.
Another couple of ‘firsts’ should be
mentioned here. Late Saturday afternoon
we held the first ‘Paddle-By’ where we
gave out numbers and people paddled
their boats by the crowd on the beach as
the announcer called out the name of the
paddler, the designer, the builder, etc. I
have to say that shivers went down my
spine as I looked up from assigning num-
bers to see more than thirty-five beautiful
boats all milling about at once. I know I
wasn’t the only one, because the crowd
on the beach became really quiet. I’ll bet
others were also thinking, “Wow, look
what we’ve done.”
The other item in the area of ‘firsts’ was
in the unique design and accomplishment
categories. Generally we don’t have any
kind of beauty contest here because that’s
not what it’s about. Some builders are con-
tent to get through the building process
to have something that is functional and
others are in the works-of-art category.
Two builders broke new ground this year:
Kent LeBoutillier built a kayak with his
son that was decorated in flames reminis-
cent of those 50’s hot rods. The flames
were made from real wood strips with fine
workmanship. Tony Hill’s kayak had a
high gloss black painted hull with alter-
nating mahogany and butternut strips on
the deck. This is unique because prior to
this many strip builders would have
chopped off their left hand before they
would think to paint a stripper. In this
case, Tony showed us all how judicious
use of paint actually enhances the appear-
ance of a stripper!
This year’s event was the best yet. Why?
Because it wasn’t just a gathering where
the beautiful boats are all lined up to be
admired—although there were over 125
boats on Saturday afternoon. These boats
were also used and paddle-tested. The de-
signers and Newfound Woodworks had a
huge variety of different canoes, kayaks
and rowing boats available for those who
wanted to test performance. This is the
only place on the East Coast where this
many wood strip designs are in attend-
ance at once. (On the west coast, Joe Greenley
of Redfish Kayaks hosts the West Coast Ren-
dezvous in late August. Contact: 208-344-
7116, www.redfishkayak.com.)
Not only were there demonstrations,
but also a free flow of information regard-
ing construction techniques. The flow
went both ways, from demonstrators to
attendees and back. I find that every time
I teach someone how to build, I come
away smarter because they seem to come
up with new angles for a lot of our ‘tried
and true’ methods.
There seem to be two major types of
people who get involved in wooden boats:
the boat ‘users’ and the ‘builders’. The ‘us-
ers’ are avid small boat enthusiasts who
get into building hoping to end up with a
more uniquely designed, quality boat. The
‘builders’ are people who have maybe
used a canoe or kayak before, but are smit-
ten with the beauty and functionality of
the wood strip/epoxy package. Some-
where in the process the users become
builders and the builders learn to use and
enjoy their works of art.
So be careful: there is a movement rum-
bling around out there. It isn’t ‘backyard’
boatbuilding anymore—it’s custom
boatbuilding. It involves wood, sawdust,
shavings, epoxy, fiberglass, and the intoxi-
cating smell of cedar, and is very addic-
tive. Small boat building is alive and well,
and it’s growing rapidly. It grows every
time we take our boats to the water and
the uninitiated see them for the first time.
Once they try one, they’re hooked. They
have to go home and clean out the garage
or basement to make room. Those may be
the last household chores that get done for
quite a while. Instead, the important thing
will be getting the hull stripped or apply-
ing the next coat of epoxy. Next Septem-
ber maybe you’ll show up at the Rendez-
vous with your functional work of art!
I would like to thank the employees of
the Newfound Woodworks, their spouses,
and the many, many volunteers who do-
nated their time and energy to assisting
with this event. It wouldn’t have hap-
pened without their assistance and en-
couragement. t
Michael Vermouth can be reached at
Newfound Woodworks, Inc. in Bristol
New Hampshire at 603-744-6872
or by email: info@newfound.com
www.newfound.com
Flames engulf bow of a wooden ‘hot rod’.
2 8 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
Fr om t he Rai nf or est
Dan Lewis
P
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Tranquil Forest s?
W
atching barges laden with
raw logs leaving Clayoquot
Sound for the first time in several
years has got me thinking again
about wood, and where it comes
from.
Clayoquot Sound, on the west
coast of Vancouver Island, gained
international media attention dur-
ing the summer of 1993. The ar-
rest of nearly 1,000 peaceful
protestors focussed attention on
the BC government’s unpopular
decision to allow clearcutting of
Clayoquot’s pristine valleys of
globally rare temperate rainforest.
One of the promises made in the
1993 logging announcement was “world class logging standards”.
Yet these were not defined. The government was persuaded to
establish a “blue ribbon” panel of distinguished scientific experts,
to determine the standards. Unfortunately, the Panel was never
asked whether logging the rare pristine valleys of Clayoquot was
scientifically defendable. When they raised this question them-
selves, the government clarified their mandate: to determine how,
not whether or not, the forests of Clayoquot Sound were to be cut.
The panel came up with some progressive forestry policies. In
1995 the government heralded “the end of clearcutting in
Clayoquot Sound”. Conservation groups argued that it would
be excellent to see these policies applied to the rest of Vancouver
Island’s forests, rather than experiment with this “kinder, gen-
tler clearcutting” in Clayoquot’s endangered rainforest valleys.
The on-the-ground standards basically called for what is known
as “variable retention” logging. This means leaving small patches
of trees standing in the clearcuts. It is the easiest thing to do with-
out actually changing anything in the way a logging company
operates. In 1997 I walked up the Tranquil Valley to check out
one of the new cutblocks. I was horrified to see that it was essen-
tially a smaller clearcut, adjacent to older large clearcuts which
run all the way to the estuary of a valley up which it had just
taken us several hours to hike!
The companies have met only a few of the 128 recommenda-
tions the Panel made for ecosystem based forestry, but are claim-
ing full compliance. Although they did meet a few of the opera-
tional standards, the long-term plans so essential to determining
whether the new standards could preserve endangered species
were taking a lot longer to develop. Finally the Panel died a quiet
death last year when the government pulled their funding for
implementation of the Panel’s recommendations. Without long
term plans we’re back to taking potshots in the dark, not really
understanding the ecosystem we’re busily destroying.
There was a lot of fanfare last year when several major envi-
ronmental groups (Greenpeace, Sierra Club of BC, Western
Canada Wilderness Committee, and Natural Resource Defense
Council) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Iisaak, a
joint venture between local First Nations and Macmillan Bloedel
(within days, MB sold its BC timber cutting rights to US logging
giant Weyerhaeuser). The agreement stated that Iisaak would not
log in the pristine valleys, and would move towards ecoforestry
in second-growth forests. In exchange, the enviros would help
market wood products produced by the new company. Friends
of Clayoquot Sound, the local
group, chose not to sign, and has
taken a watchdog role
Iisaak began their logging this
summer past, hailed as a “new era
of logging in Clayoquot Sound”.
Rightly so. Iisaak’s cutting looks
like nothing we’ve ever seen
here—very small openings, dis-
persed over a small area. How-
ever, the new company is still log-
ging in old-growth forests. Their
first cuts took place in a small
patch of old-growth at the mouth
of the Cypre River, a large valley
which was almost entirely de-
nuded during the last 30 years.
Without long-term planning and studies, who is to say that this
small fragment of remaining forest wasn’t critical habitat for the
wildlife left in the Cypre Valley?
The bottom line is, the pristine valleys are too rare to be logged,
no matter how it is done. And the previously logged valleys are
already too fragmented, the remnants too small to be logged any
further. Iisaak, while a huge step forward from the conventional
logging companies, needs to honor its commitment to phase out
cutting ancient forests, and shift to cutting second growth.
Interfor is the other company with logging rights in Clayoquot
Sound. Unlike Iisaak, Interfor is still trying to maintain the indus-
trial logging status quo here in the Sound. This year they put in a
contentious clearcut very close to the boundary of Pacific Rim
National Park, the third most ecologically threatened park in
Canada, home to the threatened Red-legged Frog. Three people
were arrested in June for peacefully protesting Interfor’s logging
near the Park, and sentenced to 21 days in jail this fall.
In May 2000, Canada’s Prime Minister was here in Tofino to
announce the new Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
This designation does not protect additional areas. It merely rec-
ognizes the globally unique ecology of the area, and the local at-
tempts to balance conservation with sustainable development.
For some, development is synonymous with logging. Anyone
who has paddled in Clayoquot Sound or visited Tofino knows
that there is already a lot of development here of another nature—
tourism. It seems ludicrous to endanger such a vibrant, thriving
local economy by destroying the very resource it is based on—
pristine wilderness.
Things are moving here in Clayoquot Sound. We are muddling
our way towards sustainability. The way forward is slow, the re-
sistance to change is huge, but the rate of cutting locally has
slowed tremendously, which buys time for the needed changes
to be implemented. And the longer it takes, the more obvious it
will become that it’s time to put an end to logging of ancient for-
ests anywhere on this beleagured planet. t
Dan Lewis lives in Clayoquot Sound, where
he operates Rainforest Kayak Adventures with
Bonny Glambeck. Visit their website:
www.rainforestkayak.com.
Toll Free: 1.877.422.WILD
mail@rainforestkayak.com ©
The Tranquil River valley.
Photo by Bonny Glambeck
2 9 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
Forest companies are at least now start-
ing to use the language of ecoforestry,
biodiversity, low impact logging. While in
some cases this is ‘greenwash’, it’s a start. t
Fo r fu r t h e r in fo r m a t io n , r e a d
Ec o fo re st ry: Th e A rt an d Sc ie n c e o f Su s-
t a i n a b l e Fo re s t U s e e d it e d b y Ala n
Gre ngso n and Duncan Taylo r (Ne w So ci-
e t y Publishe rs, 1997) and W ild w o o d by
Ruth Lo o mis (Re fle ctio ns, 1995).
To be include d in the Ec o fo re st ry Dire c -
to ry, contact Jay Rastogi of the Ecofore stry
Institute c/ o 13802 Hill Ro ad Ladysmith,
BC V9G 1G7<rastogi@ ecoforestry.ca> Ph:
2 5 0 -2 4 5 -5 5 4 0 . Bo t h b o o ks me nt io ne d
above can be o rde re d by co ntacting Jay.
The Eco fo re stry Institute is also wo rk-
ing in partne rship with The Land Co nse rv-
anc y to purchase ‘Wildwo o d’, the we ll-
known fo re stry o pe ratio n o n Vanco uve r
Island fo unde d by Me rve Wilkinso n in
1938. The pro pe rt y will be maintaine d as
a de mo nstratio n e co fo re stry site and will
be the site o f an e ducatio nal ce ntre . Do -
n a t io n s a r e b e in g a c c e p t e d b y t h e
Eco fo re stry Institute , Box 5070 Statio n B,
Victo ria, BC, V8R 6N3 and by The Land
Co n se r va n c y o f BC, 5 7 9 3 O ld We st
Saanich Rd, Victo ria, BC, V9E 2H2. Bo th
o rga n iz a t io n s a re re giste re d c ha rit ie s,
the re fo re do natio ns are tax de ductable .
Fo r to urs o f Wildwo o d fo re st co ntact
the Eco fo re stry Institute .
In t he USA, two majo r ce rtifie rs are
Smart Wo o d 802-434-5491 and Scie ntific
Ce rtificatio n Syste ms 510-832-1415.
Eco Timbe r o f Be rke ley, Califo rnia, is a
lumbe r co mpany which spe cialize s in ce r-
tifie d wo o d. Co ntact the m at 1020 He inz
Ave n u e , Be rke le y, Ca lifo rn ia 9 4 7 1 0 .
<e c o t imb e r@e c o t imb e r.c o m> Ph: 8 8 8 -
801-0855-1020. Fax: 510-549-3001.
Moving t o Ecoforest r y
“Certification shifts the motivation for respon-
sible action from government regulation to
market pressure, and rewards those producers
who demonstrate ecological, social, and eco-
nomic responsibility.”
Other ‘certification’ schemes exist, such
as ISO, but these forest industry initiatives
are little more than management stand-
ards set by corporations to improve their
internal practices, and are not independ-
ently verified.
There impediments to ecoforestry, how-
ever. In British Columbia, for example, the
big five forest companies in BC have the
province largely sewn up with forest ten-
ures. It’s only where private forest land
exists (or in crown woodlot licences) that
certification is likely. While there are more
and more private land owners pursuing
certification, there is no clear system for
connecting suppliers and buyers, no open
market for timber.
To rectify this, the Ecoforestry Institute
is developing an Ecoforestry Directory, and
is inviting ecoforesty practitioners and as-
sociated organizations to list. See sidebar
for contact information.
Part of the good news about ecoforestry
is prices! Generally speaking, wood from
ecologically managed woodlots sells at the
same price as lumber in the commercial
lumber stores.
Better yet, a number of big chains, like
Home Depot, have announced their inten-
tion to switch to certified lumber within
the next five years, subject to availability.
The million dollar question is whether
we can switch to ecowood before all our
forests are ripped down. But Clayoquot
Sound is a hopeful example. The model
‘Scientific Panel’, established by the BC
government to develop an ecosystem
management system, will likely spread.
Alan Wilson
Y
es, there is a way to ensure wilder
ness forests for the future and con-
tinue to build wooden kayaks. It’s called
Ecoforestry.
According to the Ecoforestry Institute
Society of Canada, ecoforestry is “predi-
cated on maintaining the ‘natural capital’ of
the forest ecosystem, while allowing a wide
range of values and benefits to be derived from
the ‘interest’ of the forest.”
Ecoforestry tries to maximize the value
of wood products from a given amount
of biomass extracted, seeking the highest
economic purposes for the least amount
of wood harvested.
Ecoforestry favours value-added manu-
facturing and local jobs by providing a
continuing, diverse and local supply of
forest products. Its practices favour native
tree and plant species which provide for
the needs of wildlife.
Ecocertification assures consumers that
the wood products they buy were grown
and harvested in a way that protects for-
ests for the long term. Certifiers assess the
on-the-ground forest practices of a given
operation against a stringent set of envi-
ronmental and social criteria. The certifier
also tracks the ‘chain of custody’ of the cer-
tified wood to ensure that it is kept sepa-
rate from non-certified material at each
stage of processing and distribution, from
forest to finished products.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is
a non-profit organization that accredits
certifiers whose programs conform to its
internationally recognized ‘principles and
criteria’, providing a consistent and cred-
ible framework for independent certifica-
tion efforts worldwide. The FSC enjoys the
support of most major environmental
groups.
As forester Herb Hammond puts it,
3 0 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
Discover t he beaut iful Gulf Islands
from our singles and doubles. . .
Ar lu k s , Te s la s , So ls t ice s , Kyo o k s , Ama r u k s , Lo o k s h a s
• Camping • Showers • Hot Tub • Sales • Instruction
PO Box 40, Mayne Island
BC, CANADA V0N 2J0
Tel/Fax: 250/539-2667
kayak@mayneisle.com
www.mayneisle.com/kayak
BEGINNERS WELCOME
BROUGHTON ARCHIPELAGO
FAST KAYAK GROUP TRANSPORT
Acce ss re mo te Gre y and O rca whale
are as, fro m Jo hnsto ne Strait to Village
Island, Cape Sco tt to Cape Cautio n. 12
passe nge rs plus kayaks and all ge ar. 36
fo o t a luminum, fully e q uip p e d t win
d ie s e l. 1 5 ye a r s g u id in g , 6 ye a r s
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Office ph/fax: 250/956-3431. Cell: 250/974-8088
Box 113 Port McNeill, BC VON2RO
www.capescott.net/~vikingwest
NEW ‘ORCA WATCH’ ACCOMMODATIONS
IN THE BLACKFISH SOUND AREA.
A
s the words “Blackfish Sound... Naiad
Explorer” crackled over the radio, I
left the steaming canner of tightly sealed
jars of pink salmon and hurried to answer.
The first name in a radio call is the ves-
sel being called, and mine is Blackfish
Sound. The second name is the vessel call-
ing. “You’d better get out here,” came Bud
Butler’s voice, first mate on the Naiad,
“you are not going to want to miss this”,
and he gave me his position out in Queen
Charlotte Strait. As I made sure the can-
ner wasn’t going to explode in my absence
I could hear him chastising me for taking
so long to answer the radio. “Everyone’s
been calling you.” The rhythmic pulse of
the steam escaping from the canner must
have masked the previous calls.
There is nothing quite so nice as letting
go the boat lines and heading out for a
whale sighting, especially in the condi-
tions of that afternoon—glassy calm with
wisps of cloud nestled into every cleft in
the hills. At the end of Fife Sound I spot-
ted the Naiad Explorer, the new whale
watching boat out of Port McNeill, owned
by Donna and Bill MacKay. She looks like
a fifty foot Zodiac—an unmistakable pro-
file on the coast. As I approached, I saw a
sea of Orca dorsal fins.
Orca research of this coast is one of the
greatest and most cooperative scientific
pursuits in Canada. Underway for three
decades and passed like a torch from one
researcher to the next, it has probed the
secrets of one of the most difficult mam-
mals to study. A few researchers have been
involved from the project’s inception—
Graeme Ellis, John Ford and Paul Spong—
but hundreds have participated.
It was Dr. Michael Bigg who discovered
that a good picture of an Orca’s dorsal fin
can be used to distinguish that whale from
all other Orca for its entire life. Some
whales are easy to identify, others nearly
impossible, but it can be done. While the
concept is elegantly simply, the pictures
are difficult to get because Orca think
nothing of traveling one hundred miles a
day. That is why the contributions of so
many people have been essential. Gradu-
ally the pictures are allowing us to piece
together the fascinatingly complex and
unusual social life of the Orca.
The most important thing to the Orca
(after food and air) is family. Among some
groups of Orca, no one leaves their
mother! This is similar to elephant socie-
ties, but among elephants the males do
leave their natal groups, unlike male Orca.
The first researchers to look at Orca “saw”
a harem society, but the photo-identifica-
tion work taught us these weren’t harems,
but rather matriarchal groups—mothers
and their children. As the photographs
kept coming we learned that whales grow
up slowly—about the same rate as us—
not reaching full maturity until their early
twenties. We learned that the whales of
this coast are reluctant to mix and have
developed distinct societies with their
own culture of unique behaviours, terri-
tory and sound.
As I approached the waves of fins fall-
ing and rising from the water’s surface I
struggled with an internal dilemma—to
record sounds, which is my work, or take
pictures and contribute to the collective
database on the social life of the eastern
Pacific Orca. This was an unusually large
gathering of whales.
Lowering my hydrophone I entered
another world. Queen Charlotte Strait is
a broad expanse of water, but the voices
of 100 Orca easily filled it. The unique calls
Fr om t he Ar c hi pel ago
Alexandra Morton
Orcas (once known as ‘blackfish’) are very social beings.
Blackfish Sound
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©
3 1 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
KLEPPER CANADA
4718 1st St . S.W. Cal gar y, AB
1-800-323-3525
KLEPPER
For those who can’t afford to
buy anything but the Best
Li ght and compact, the Kl epper
“Aerius” one or two seater stows in two
carry bags for travel freedom by plane
or car trunk to anywhere. Assembles
easi l y i n mi nutes i nto a uni que
performance boat for sea kayaking,
river/lake paddling, or island sailing.
Wor l d’s Fi nest Fol di ng
Kayak s Si nc e 1907
w w w .k l epper .c om
amsc gyc a@c advi si on.c om
of each lineage rippled out from their fam-
ily epicenters and surged into and around
the calls of other ancestry. This constella-
tion of sound washed up against the land
which contained it and poured back into
the Strait, weaving against the outgoing
threads of sound—it was a whale’s uni-
verse down there.
Lost in the three dimensions of this sym-
phony, the whales became distant and the
fog slumped down the hillsides and
pooled along the water’s surface. There
was no time to reflect. I left the marine
world and puttered after the Naiad and the
whales, not wanting to get lost in the fog.
I sidled up to one family after another
and snapped a visual record of who was
there. Many were the northern resident
whales from up around Prince Rupert.
There were A’s, C’s, G’s, H’s and I’s, al-
most all the pods in the northern resident
orca community.
While a group of whales this big is ex-
citing to us humans, it is clearly even more
exciting to the whales. They were mov-
ing fast, breaching, roaring around in tide
lines—presumably after salmon. Spec-
tacular all-male groups coalesced, explod-
ing to the surface to gulp air and vanish.
Whales blazed beneath the boat, chasing
one another, finding a new partner or re-
joining their families. They were spread
far and wide.
Where Queen Charlotte Strait narrows
into Blackfish Sound, the groups of whales
slid in one behind the other and became
waves of mammalian warmth and sound
in a salmon-filled sea. I stopped and let
these waves wash beneath and around
me. It is hard not to contrast my human-
ity against the backdrop of whales at mo-
ments like this, as they appear to have a
greater capacity to enjoy the company of
their own kind.
I left the gathering as it flooded into
Johnstone Strait and on down into Discov-
ery Passage. For days afterwards the
morning whale reports—usually re-
stricted to a local VHF radio channel—
became mainstream news as this enor-
mous congregation of whales pushed fur-
ther and further south, into the territory
of the southern resident whales. These
whales reminded the coastal communities
of Powell River, Campbell River and else-
where that they have whales for neigh-
bours.
Some Orca came back right away, but
the others remained in the south, in the
territory of the southern resident Orcas.
The southerns, however, were away at the
time on the west coast of Vancouver Is-
land and the northerns remained until the
day before the southern whales returned
to the Strait of Georgia.
Whale choreography on this coast is al-
ways a little mystifying. They come and
go in interesting ways. Althoughtthey en-
ter each other’s territory periodically, we
have never seen southerns and northerns
mix and we didn’t see it this year either.
Did the southerns get a taste of the
northerns on a current traveling west from
the Strait of Georgia and decide to come
home? Were they on their way home any-
way? Did they announce their return with
calls so loud it cleared the northerns ahead
of them, or did the northerns taste the
southerns on a northbound current and
skedaddle? Was the precise coming and
going a coincidence? I don’t think so.
•••
I spent most of the summer learning
about another sea creature which was ris-
ing with increasing regularity to the sur-
face—Atlantic salmon in the nets of com-
mercial fishermen. After I counted over
1,000 escaped farmed Atlantic salmon
caught in Johnstone Strait in 24 hours (see
my column in the last issue), I began ques-
tioning fishermen at every fishing open-
ing and going boat to boat to collect sam-
ples and take pictures. The fishermen were
wonderfully tolerant of my constant ques-
tioning at the busiest time of their year.
An opening near my home in Tribune
Channel produced over 3,000 Atlantic
salmon in one day. Many of these fish had
fresh pellets in them and so we knew these
3 2 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
fish had escaped within hours.
When the nearest fish farm at
Sargeaunt Pass was queried,
they initially denied losing any
fish. But later they had to an-
nounce they had found a hole
through which an unknown
number of salmon had been es-
caping for an unknown period
of time. If there hadn’t been a
commercial opening they likely
wouldn’t have become aware
of the hole until harvest time.
How many times a year does
this happen?
It was frightening to watch these big ten
pound fish hit the gillnets one after an-
other in broad daylight—there were so
many. Over 400 seals assembled in the
area and I began wondering if the vast
number of escaped farm fish were fueling
an explosion in the seal population.
Clearly commercial fisherman can catch
escaped farm fish and so Calvin Siider, a
Sointula gillnetter, hounded government
at all levels to reopen Tribune to try and
catch more of the estimated 30,000 escap-
ees in order to get them out of the water.
He was successful and this fishery pro-
vided a second look at the Atlantic salmon
which had now been free for at least six
days.
While none of the fish had food in their
are measures which would
make by-catch negligible.
The greater problem is that
no one knows who these Atlan-
tic salmon belong to. They are
not a wild Pacific fish, so per-
haps the Department of Fish-
eries and Oceans has no juris-
diction over them. The fish
farmers, on the other hand,
have refused for the past dec-
ade to tag their livestock so as
to avoid being held account-
able for escapes—so perhaps
they have forfeited their own-
ership of these fish as well. But the fish
shouldn’t be sold because they could have
recently eaten medicated pellets.
This is a new problem for this coast, re-
quiring new and creative solutions. But
while the politics are muddy, the biologi-
cal perspective is clear—get Atlantic
salmon out of the Pacific before this ex-
periment runs its destructive course.
Please contact the provincial Ministry of
Environment and bolster their courage to
tackle this.
•••
The tiny Echo Bay School opened its
doors again this fall and, like children
across the country, pupils piled maple
leaves high and jumped into them.
The tourists fled south, the sandhill
cranes close behind them. The dolphins
have been scarce because the ocean has
set its table far to the west, past Pine Is-
land. There the Naiad recently passed
through an aggregation of dolphins a mile
wide and four miles long.
The diminutive pink salmon came
home in such abundance this year that the
bears feasted heartily. The growth rings
of trees far up the slope will be marked
well this year with the special nitrogen
these fish impart to the earth.
The rainfall this fall is befitting of a
raincoast and even the beleaguered chum
salmon have made a brave showing.
Something is going right in the ocean and
wild salmon are benefiting.
The pulse of this coast may have
skipped a few beats, been squeezed and
trampled, but it is still thumping with
magnificent force.
Oh yes, reading WaveLength every cou-
ple of months has induced me to borrow
a kayak to ferry my daughter to school—
and to find the peace you know.
Good winter to you. t
Alexandra Morton is a marine
mammal researcher in BC’s
Broughton Archipelago. ©
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stomachs in the first Tribune opening, by
the second opening a small percentage
had eaten sticklebacks, which were abun-
dant in the area, along with herring and
small wild salmon. It appeared they were
quickly figuring out how to survive out-
side a pen—something government has
assured us they could not do. I also found
larger, much more mature Atlantic salmon
clustered around the outside of the pens.
These fish appeared to have been feeding
on pellets escaping through the nets. They
were maturing, an easy swim away from
the best rivers in the area. Indeed, observ-
ers spotted three Atlantics in a half hour
in the neighbouring Kaweikan River.
A few weeks later, a fishery a short dis-
tance away in Knight Inlet revealed an
even broader diet including shrimp and
crab. In all, I examined the stomachs of
almost 800 Atlantic salmon and found the
industry and government statement that
escaped Atlantics don’t feed on wild food
to be wrong. I also found a disturbing
number of different types of Atlantic
salmon. Some were covered in spots, some
had no spots. Some looked like coho, oth-
ers like sockeye. Some had no teeth, some
long jagged straight teeth, others fine in-
ward pointing teeth. Some had been
treated for sea lice, others were crawling
in lice. These fish were not from one or
two breakouts: the range of conditions and
types suggested these fish were from
many farms over the years. By the end of
August I had counted over 10,000 Atlan-
tic salmon caught from Campbell River to
Alaska although I had talked to less than
one third of the BC fishing fleet and only
one Alaskan boat.
What do Atlantic salmon in the Pacific
mean? Well, they eat and attack Pacific
salmon, as well as carry exotic diseases
and enhance local pathogens, parasites
and predators. I don’t think we need to
know any more before we take some ac-
tion. Calvin Siider is fighting hard to get
a winter fishery opened on Atlantic
salmon. In winter, very few Pacific salmon
are around that can be caught, and there
Alex’s family in a wooden boat built by husband, Eric
3 3 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
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2002—UN YEAR OF ECOTOURI SM
The United Nations General Assembly has
declared the year 2002 as the year of
Ecotourism and Responsible Tourism. The
most important event of the year (at the In-
ter-governmental Organizations level) is the
May 2002 World Ecotourism Summit in Que-
bec, Canada. www.unepie.or/tourism/home
OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SHOWS
A series of Adventure Sports & Travel
Shows kicks off in Vancouver, BC on Feb. 16-
18, then moves to Toronto Feb. 23-25 and
winds up in Calgary Mar. 30-Apr.1st. Includes
sea kayaking, canoeing and white water. Pre-
season deals on boats and gear. Watch the
experts & test products in the pool. Great
prizes! Speakers like David Suzuki.
WaveLength will be attending the Vancouver
show and we hope to see you there! Contact:
800-891-4859, info@momentumevents.com,
www.nationalevent.com
KAYAK EXPEDI TI ON SCHOOL
Wilderness Kayak Institute (WKI), a new
sea kayak education program geared to the
experienced kayaker, is being launched this
winter in Baja, Mexico. WKI is directed by
John Dowd, world-renowned sea kayaker
and author of Sea Kayaking.
WKI’s “Masters’ Program” is designed to
take the experienced paddler or the moti-
vated beginner to an expedition skill level.
The program will refine technical paddling
skills, emphasize wilderness survival strate-
gies and focus on a wide range of seaman-
ship, including navigation and weather and
sea state assessment, all while paddling along
a section of remote and challenging coastline.
These 12-day courses operate in Baja from
February through April, and in the Queen
Charlotte Islands and Central Coast of Brit-
ish Columbia from May through September.
WKI’s “Expeditions” are for those who
have completed the “Masters’ Program” or
have achieved a comparable skill level. Pad-
dle the Grenadines in the Caribbean or the
Straits of Magellan in Southern Chile. Con-
tact WKI toll free at 877-724-1808 or see
www.wildernesskayak.com
REACH! FOR UNBLEACHED
You can help BC’s leading non-profit
group focused on pulp and paper issues—
Reach for Unbleached!—to promote clean
air, clean water and clean paper. Join Reach’s
Bulk Office Paper Buying Club to lower the
price and increase demand for chlorine free,
recycled copy paper. The price is $53.50 per
case, plus tax and delivery. Order deadline
January 31st. Call 604-879-2992 or email:
info@rfu.org for more information.
DAVI D BROWER REMEMBERED
World renowned environmentalist, David
Brower, died this fall at his home in Berkeley,
California, at the age of 88.
Perhaps Brower’s best-known accom-
plishment was his success during the1960s
in leading a Sierra Club campaign to block
two hydroelectric dams proposed for the
Grand Canyon. Brower took out full-page
ads in the New York Times equating the pro-
posal to flooding the Sistine Chapel. He also
led Sierra Club efforts to pass the Wilderness
Act, halt dam construction in Dinosaur Na-
tional Monument, and create Kings Canyon,
North Cascades and Redwoods National
Parks and Point Reyes and Cape Cod Na-
tional Seashores.
An avid mountain climber and skier,
Brower pioneered 70 first-ascents in an out-
door adventure career that took him around
the globe. In addition to leading the Sierra
Club, Brower was nominated for the Nobel
Peace Prize three times, and he founded the
Sierra Club Foundation, League of Conser-
vation Voters, Friends of the Earth and the
Earth Island Institute. Through Sierra Club
Books, Brower also launched the genre of large-
format conservation photo books to heighten
public awareness of wildlands, bringing images
of America’s landscapes and a strong conserva-
tion ethic into people’s homes.
The Sierra Club is the USA’s oldest and
largest grassroots environmental organiza-
tion, with over 600,000 members nationwide.
NEW ECOTOURI SM FORUM
The Global Coalition for Advancement of
Ecotourism has launched a new, worldwide
interactive email forum on ecotourism—
GREENTOUR—with the intention of in-
creasing awareness of environmentally re-
sponsible travel. Information on new resorts
and seasonal destinations, value holiday
packages, announcement of contests and
news on upcoming events are welcomed, as
is research and debate on ecotourism issues.
GREENTOUR was launched in Nairobi,
Kenya on the occasion of the Conference of
Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity
held at UNEP Headquarters in May 2000.
To look at past messages and discussions,
you can browse the GREENTOUR archives
at: www.egroups.com/group/greentour. To
join the list, simply send a blank email to:
greentour-subscribe@egroups.com
ECOTOURI SM DATABASE
The World Wildlife Fund has started to
compile an ecotourism database on the
grounds that supporting community
ecotourism is one of the best ways to achieve
sustainable development. The database will
be a key tool for WWF to provide technical
support and information to conservation
practitioners and community-based tourism
developments.
Leeds Metropolitan University in England
will work alongside the WWF to establish
the database of worldwide experts who can
provide technical support (including plan-
ning advice and tools, training, information
sharing, monitoring and evaluation tools
and policy development) for the establish-
ment and development of ecotourism
projects in ecologically important areas.
The database will include all areas of com-
petence required to use ecotourism as a de-
velopment option, e.g. education and train-
ing, funding, marketing and organization,
specific ecological, cultural or regional ex-
pertise, etc. It will also include sources of in-
formation and companies as well as individu-
als. Contact Xavier Font: X.Font@lmu.ac.uk and
co-ordinated by Jan Taylor: J.T.Taylor@lmu. ac.uk.
BI ODI VERSI TY TO BE SLASHED
The Sierra Club of BC is warning that the
government’s Landscape Unit Planning
Guide severely restricts biodiversity protec-
tion promised under the Forest Practices
Code. Landscape Unit Planning is the main
tool to protect biodiversity at the watershed
level. At the heart of the problem are ‘Tim-
ber Impact Caps’ (TICs) that limit the im-
Ec obyt es
The Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC met in
October on Gabriola Island.
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3 4 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
Coast al Kayak Leadershi p Trai ni ng Course
May 11-20, May 25-June3
Additional courses may be offered subject to interest
Wilderness First Aid Class
for Kayak Leaders
April 30-May 5 Cost $1000
Malaspina University-College offers a comprehensive 10-day ocean kayak course designed
to provide participants with the knowledge and skill necessary to lead groups of kayakers in
coastal waters. The course takes place on the west coast of Vancouver Island. $1100
includes all kayaking equipment and transportation from Nanaimo. Instructors: John Dawson
and Dan Lewis. Di sc ount s f or Mal aspi na st udent s. For more information,
contact Don Cohen at <cohen@mala.bc.ca>.
Malaspi na
Uni versi t y-College
Ph: 250-753-3245 local 2480
Nanaimo Campus 900 Fifth St.
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5
pact of biodiversity measures to 4.1% of the
annual cut.
Adding insult to injury, the new Guide
also directs that all old growth reserves have
to be located in areas that are ‘non-contrib-
uting’ to the timber supply—that is, areas
that can’t be cut anyway.
On Vancouver Island, for example, the few
reserves that are allowed for marbled
murrelets aren’t located where the murrelets
are actually nesting.
Timber Impact Caps for Old Growth Man-
agement Areas are just 2.3% See the guide at
www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/planning/lup.
The BC Ministry of Forests is also now
putting finishing touches on the province’s
first ‘Higher Level Plan’. The proposed plan
creates ‘zones’ covering about 1/3 of Vancou-
ver Island to be managed differently than the
Forest Practices Code specifies. ‘Enhanced
Forestry Zones’ will cover 24% of the Island.
Enhanced Forestry Zones (EFZs) are a
misnomer (they were formerly called ‘High
Intensity Areas’), where some legal stand-
ards set by the Forest Practices Code are be-
ing overruled in order to maintain an un-
sustainable rate of cut. It also fails to ad-
equately address First Nations’ issues and
the needs of other economic sectors, such as
fishing, tourism and recreation. Nor does it
protect endangered species adequately.
You can view the draft plan at http://
www.luco.gov.bc.ca/slupinbc/vanisle.
For more info and action contact Jill
Thompson, Vancouver Island Forests Coordina-
tor, Sierra Club of BC, at: jill@sierra clubbc.org
or call 250-386-5255 (ext.214).
COMMERCI AL FI SHI NG WI NS
Peter Tyedmers, former representative on
the BC Government’s Salmon Aquaculture
Review Committee, has just published his
PhD thesis on the impacts of salmon farm-
ing. He analyzed the biophysical efficiency
of commercial fishing vs. netcage salmon
farming and compared their ecological foot-
prints and energy use. To analyze the eco-
logical footprints, he quantified the marine
and terrestrial ecosystem support areas
needed to grow salmon, sustain labour in-
puts, and assimilate CO
2
equivalent to the
greenhouse gases that result from industrial
energy and material inputs.
The results indicate that salmon farming is
the least biophysically efficient, and hence least
sustainable system for producing salmon cur-
rently operating in British Columbia. Com-
mercially caught sockeye, chum, and pink
salmon had the smallest total ecological foot-
prints. <tyedmers@interchange .ubc.ca>
ACCESS TO CROWN LAND
The Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC is
currently drafting proposals to BC Assets
and Lands (BCAL) to address land-use ten-
ures as they pertain to commercial sea kayak
tours under the Commercial Recreation
Land Use Policy. Legislation was passed in
May 1998 that requires all commercial rec-
reational tour operators who access crown
land to apply for some form of tenure.
Several sea kayak tour operators have ap-
plied for tenures since the fall of 1998, but to
date have not been granted any form of land
tenure, resulting in increased business un-
certainty. In the late spring of 2000 a meet-
ing between then Minister Corky Evans and
representatives of the SKGABC lead to an
understanding to work towards a resolve to
the issues by the end of 2000. For complete
information on the BC Commercial Recreation
Land Use Policy, visit the BCAL website at:
www.bcal.bc.ca/
USE ‘EM OR LOSE ‘EM
BC’s chief forester Larry Pedersen has or-
dered logging companies to log along sce-
nic routes such as the Inside Passage to
Alaska, or risk losing some of their harvest-
ing rights. Pedersen’s comments refer to ar-
eas of BC’s north coast which are as yet un-
touched because of environmental pressures.
This area is a potential ecotourism mecca—
already a major draw for cruise ships—and
has unresolved First Nations’ land claims.
Pedersen may be trying to force increases
in logging activity, but he claims he is test-
ing to see whether the annual allowable cut
is an accurate assumption of the amount of
timber the region can produce, and if not,
the lands “ought to be removed from con-
sideration.”
• Wilderness Sailing & Kayaking Trips
• Nimbus, Necky, Current Designs
• Meals, Rooms & Camping
• Expert Instruction
• Rental & Sales
• Desolation Sound
• Gorge Harbour Marina Resort
www.island.net/~taili
800-939-6644 • 250-935-6749
Cortes Island • British Columbia
OCEAN RI VER DONATES TO GSA
Admission to evening talks and slide shows
at Ocean River Sports in Victoria, BC in fall/win-
ter 2000 is by donation, with proceeds to the
Georgia Strait Alliance. Call 800-909-4233.
DOLPHI N SLAUGHTER
Fishermen in central Japan are set to be-
gin hunting dolphins, an annual autumn
event. The dolphin hunting season officially
got under way in this fall in the small port
town of Taiji—the traditional home of Japa-
nese whaling—some 450km southwest of
Tokyo. Poor weather prevented fishermen
from going out to sea at first, but they plan
to catch a total of nearly 2,400 dolphins and
smaller species of whales during the season,
which runs until the end of April.
Both whaling and dolphin hunting are tra-
ditions that date back hundreds of years in
Japan. But unlike Japan’s whaling pro-
gramme, which Tokyo says is for scientific re-
search purposes, dolphins are hunted purely
to provide meat for consumption. The hunt
is being carried out in accordance with Inter-
national Whaling Commission (IWC) rules,
according to a Japanese Fisheries Agency of-
ficial, with strict quotas set each year.
In addition to Taiji, dolphin hunting is al-
lowed at several other ports and a total of
nearly 17,000 dolphins are caught every sea-
son. For more info and action, contact: stopthe
slaughter@hotmail.com
NO OI L AND GAS
BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh recently an-
nounced that until science proves the oil in-
dustry will not threaten BC’s coastal envi-
ronment, the government moratorium on
offshore oil and gas drilling will be main-
tained. However, with a provincial election
looming on the horizon and Dosanjh’s party
low in the polls, it’s anybody’s guess how
long the 25-year old moratorium will remain.
For more information, contact the Living Oceans
Society at 250-973-6582.
U’MI STA CULTURAL TOURS
Book tours in Alert Bay, BC with Lillian
Hunt. Lillian also manages the ‘Gwakawe’
Campground. Contact: tourab@island.net t
3 5 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
Per c ept i on & For mul a Kayak s
TOURING: 1 7 ' Eclipse, 1 6 ’ Vizcaya, 1 6 ' Capt iva, 1 4 ' 6 " Cor ona
COMPACT KAYAKS: 9 ' 4 " Swifty, 1 1 ' Sierra, 1 3 ' 4 " America, Keowee II
Formula Kayaks available in fibreglass
• 1 4 ’ Mystic—4 0 lbs • 1 6 . 5 ’ Diamante—5 0 lbs
• 1 7 . 5 ’ Serenit y (3 hat ches)—5 6 lbs. All wit h skegs.
Brooks • Whit e’s • AquaBound • Har mony • Ext raspor t • Ser rat us
Middleton' s Canoes, Kayaks & Dinghies
—SALES, OUTFITTING & TRIP RENTALS—
2095 Flynn Place, N. Vancouver, B.C.
Ph. (604) 240-0503 Email: middletons@norf.net
Visit our site: www . nor f.net/ middletonsboats
Hume Cookin’
Cook and Cool:
a) Rice: To speed cooking time, leave rice
to soak in saucepan (or Nalgene bottle)
with water for several hours. To pre-
pare—cover and bring water and rice
to boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to
low; cook for 15 minutes. Remove from
heat; let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
b) Sauce: In a small saucepan combine vin-
egar, sugar, mirin and salt and heat to
boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves; let
cool. Spread rice in large shallow pan.
Sprinkle with half the vinegar mixture
and toss with fork until combined. Toss
with remaining vinegar mixture. Cover
with damp cloth; cool.
c) Mushrooms: Use small saucepan to soak
mushrooms in 1 cup warm water for 30
minutes. Add soy sauce and sugar; sim-
mer for 10 minutes or until no liquid
remains. Slice thinly.
Build:
Each diner spreads wasabi (or not) and
rice on their nori squares, adds toppings.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Roll into a
cigar shape. Eat with pickled ginger.
Warm sake (Japanese rice wine) is a nice
touch. t
Deb Leach with Sharon Hume
Paddl e Meal s
Deb Leach, her kayak
and computer live
in Victoria, BC ©
wooden spoon until cheese melts.
Add Kirsch and stir until blended.
Serve bubbling hot.
Spear bread cubes, dunk, swirl in fondue.
Options: Bring along veggies like bell peppers
(cut in chunks), cherry tomatoes, baby carrots
or cucumber to dunk.
SENSATI ONAL SUSHI SQUARES
Snack for 4 or meal for 2
Not everyone likes raw fish, so “roll your
own”.
2 cup Japanese sushi rice
2 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp mirin (rice wine)
2 tsp salt
4 sheets nori (pressed seaweed) cut in quarters
Toppings:
10 dried shitake mushrooms
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp wasabi powder—mix with water or
extra soy sauce to form a paste
200 g flaked crabmeat or imitation crab
(surimi) or 50 g smoked salmon, cut
in strips
1/4 English cucumber, cut in 1 cm thick
sticks
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 avocado cut in slices
4 tbsp pickled ginger
Other Topping Ideas:
Shitake mushroom cooked in soy sauce,
peanut sauce, tamari or rice vinegar.
Chicken with peanut sauce, cut in strips.
Canned tuna or salmon.
Carrots cut in thin strips.
Wasabi mixed with light mayonnaise and
milk.
Thin omelet cut in strips.

I
love to cook. Make it easy, tasty and light.
Why buy freeze-dried?” These are the
words of veteran camper, hiker and
paddler, Sharon Hume.
Sharon shops at health food stores for
organic instant cereals, Caper’s (complete)
pancake mix, quality products like real
maple syrup, and Cannor Brothers sar-
dines. And only the freshest vegetables
and fruit.
We had a wonderful time together
cruising the markets of Loreto (Baja) to
prepare for our kayak trip around islands
in the Sea of Cortez.
These days Sharon is a “masters” rower
with the Victoria City Rowing Club and,
as we go to press, her Women’s Eight is
off to compete at the Head of the Charles
race in Boston. Go Vic Go!
BLACK TUSK FONDUE
No, not a walrus tusk—the Black Tusk
peak north of Vancouver. When Sharon
and Richard (now her husband) were at
UBC, they and a group of friends enjoyed
this fondue on a hiking trip.
Pack along:
1-2 cloves garlic
500 ml dry white wine
15 ml lemon juice
50 ml Kirsch
2 crusty French sticks
In zipper lock bag—combine and shake:
500 g shredded Swiss cheese
45 ml flour
nutmeg, pepper or paprika
At camp:
Cube bread so everyone has a piece of
crust. Rub pot with garlic; pour in wine
and heat gently until it starts to bubble.
Add lemon juice.
Add cheese by handfuls, stirring with
3 6 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
Web Paddl i ng
Ted Leather is the WaveLength Webmaster and
operates Clayrose Internet Creations, an internet
services company specializing in web site design
and management. Email: webmaster
@WaveLengthMagazine.com
Ted Leather
575 Pembroke Street, Victoria, BC V8T 1H3
Ph: (250) 361-9365 Fax: (250) 361-9375
Email: kayakcentre@voyageurcanoe.bc.ca
www.voyageurcanoe.bc.ca
Located at the corner of Pembroke
and Government Streets in Victoria BC
CANOE & KAYAK SALES,
RENTALS AND INSTRUCTION
Specializing in kayak & canoe repairs
Ask about our Voyageur Canoe trips
FORMULA KAYAKS
Serenity, Diamante, Montauk, Mystic
was from, give a brief summary of the page, and best of all, give
you direct access to that article via a link.
So next time you’re looking for something specific on our site,
give our Wavelength Search a try. If you can’t find what you’re
looking for on our site, our Search page also accesses two exter-
nal search engines, About.com and Outdoorable.com, which spe-
cialize in␣paddling information.
Now if I could just find that missing sock... t
Search Me
Book s
The Strip-Built Sea Kayak by Nick Schade, Ragged
Mountain, 1998. ISBN 0-07-057989-x,
soft-cover, 191 pp, B&W, $19.95 US
Nick Shade pre se nts full plans and instructio ns fo r
building thre e be autiful, se a-wo rthy strip kayaks. He
include s de taile d info rmatio n o n ho w hull de sign af-
fe cts pe rfo rmance , to o ls & mate rials, building te ch-
nique s, finishing, re pairs & mainte nance , safe ty and
risk manage me nt. This bo o k co ntains all the info rmatio n yo u’ll ne e d to build
a strip se a kayak, fro m se tting up the sho p to making the paddle .
KayakCraft by Ted Moores, WoodenBoat
Publications, 1999. ISBN 0-937822-56-6,
softcover, 171 pp, B&W, $19.95 US
Te d Mo o re s (autho r o f Can o e Craft ) be lie ve s that
pro fe ssio nal re sults can be e xpe cte d if go o d pat-
te rns are use d and simple ste ps pe rfo rme d with
care . In this bo o k he de scribe s the pro ce ss o f
building the En d e avo u r 1 7 , a po pular Ste ve Killing
de sign. He pro vide s all the ne cce ssary info rmatio n
abo ut de sign, mate rials, to o ls & te chnique s to e n-
sure that a first-time builde r can cre ate a wo o dstrip
kayak with truly pro fe ssio nal re sults. Cle ar de taile d instructio ns and e xce l-
le nt pho to s & diagrams.
The Kayak Shop by Chris Kulczycki
Ragged Mountain Press, 1993. ISBN 0-07-035519-3,
softcover, 154 pp, B&W, $19.95 US
Th e Kayak Sh o p include s the co mple te plans and build-
ing instructio ns fo r thre e e le gant wo o de n kayaks that
anyo ne can build. Chris Kulczyki assume s the re ade r
has o nly e le me ntary wo o dwo rking kno wle dge . The
bo ats include d are a ro und-bo tto me d, 28 po und, high
pe rfo rmance 16 fo o t single kayak; a hard-chine , 38
po und, 18 fo o t single kayak; and a co mpo unde d-plywo o d, 52 po und, 20
fo o t do uble kayak. The autho r also include s info rmatio n o n de signing yo ur
o wn kayak, and plans fo r building wo o d & e po xy paddle s. Easy to unde r-
stand de taile d instructio ns & e xce lle nt pho to s.
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ave you ever spent hours looking for something you knew
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EcoForestry, The Art and Science of Sustainable
Forest Use Edited by Alan Drengson and Duncan
Taylor, New Society Books, 1997. ISBN 0-86571-
365-0, softcover, 320 pp, photos, US$24.95 /
CAN$29.95
This impo rtant bo o k fo cuse s o n the ne w paradigm
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Subscribe to WaveLength—or renew your sub—and you
could win a trip on the 80-ft kayak mothership, Rolano!
One year subscription: 1 entry. Two year subscription: 2 entries.
If you give a Gift Subscription, your name will also be entered*.
Final deadline for contest is January 5, 2001
* The 1st ten who give GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS will receive
a pair of special paddlers’ socks from Tilley Endurables.
888-649-6669
explorecharters.com
3-day trip valued at $1000.
Holiday Gift Guide
EXPEDI TI ON DECK BAG
This medium profile, Expedition deck bag
from Northwater has plenty
of storage. Shock-cord
on top, webbing
and side-release
buckles on ei-
ther side, and a
zippered mesh
exterior pocket
on the front round out the easy to attach bag.
www.northwater.com
ZUZU PADDLE
ZuZu’s most popular paddle, the hand-
crafted Islander features the company’s pat-
ented Helix Lamination shaft technology.
Light, warm, and beautifully constructed,
the Islander is among the finest touring pad-
dles available today. www.ZuZu.paddles.com.
ZuZu Paddle Co. Flagstaff, AZ. Ph: 520-774-
6535
DEREK HUTCHI NSON CD
This innovative CD
contains over 60
minutes of MPEG1
video of Derek dem-
onstrating different
paddle strokes and
sea kayaking tech-
niques. There are
historical segments
where he discusses
the evolution of the
Toksook paddle, and
a factory tour of Current Designs where his
kayaks are manufactured in North America.
Available at www.Epub-Adventures.com for
$14.95 US plus shipping and handling. M/C,
VISA accepted.
FUJ I WATERPROOF CAMERA
The Fujicolor QuickSnap Waterproof one-time-
use camera is great to take kayaking. It’s com-
pletely waterproof and can take pictures under-
water. It features a big lever-type shutter release
and large top-mounted film advance knob that
are easy to use even with gloves. The transpar-
ent blue plastic case protects it from water, hu-
midity, dirt and sand. It contains 27 exposures,
retails for about $18 Cdn, and can be recycled.
www.Fujifilm.ca
SYMPATEX NAVI GATOR ANORAK
Designed as a versatile,
all-around jacket, the
Navigator is ideal for
paddling. It’s free-
moving, active
design ensures
pe r f or ma nc e
while paddling,
and comfort while
lounging in your
beach camp.
Navarro Weather Gear: Ph: 604-251-1756 ext. 232
or 800-663-7740 ext. 232. Fax: 604-251-9862.
Email: scott@navarrogear.com. Website: navarro
gear.com
WAVELENGTH GI FT SUBSCI PTI ON
Consider giving a WaveLength Gift
Subsciption to your favorite paddler. All
those who give Gift Subs are entered in our
subscription contest (2 entries for 2 yr subs)
for a chance to win a mothership cruise with
Explore! Charters. The first ten who give gift
subscriptions will receive a pair of paddlers’
quick-dry socks by Tilley Endurables. See
below. Contact: wavenet@island.net or 250-247-
9789.
PROTECT OUR COASTAL WATERS
The Georgia Strait Alliance
has various gift items
for sale: their 10th year
anniversary poster and
t-shirt, videos, and pub-
lications. See www.Georgia
Strait.org and click on ‘Resources’.
SCOTTY PUMP
All three sizes of Scotty
pumps come with a
lifetime warranty,
stainless steel piston
rod, float, and strainer
bottom. This is essen-
tial equipment for
your favorite paddler. For information on these
and all the other great marine gear from Scotty,
check out www.scotty.com or call 800-214-0141.
• K AYAK RENTALS • • K AYAK RENTALS • • K AYAK RENTALS • • K AYAK RENTALS • • K AYAK RENTALS •
GALIANO ISLAND KAYAKING
BED & BREAKFAST ON THE BEACH
Gabriola’s south coast paradise.
Beachfront. Wildlife. Hot tub.
Gabriola Island, BC
Ph/Fax: 250/247-9824
www.island.net/~casablan
Ph/Fax: 250/539-2442
kayak@gulfislands.com
www.seakayak.bc.ca/tour
Oc ean Sound Kayaki ng Co.
Gwaii Haanas National Park in the Queen
Charlotte Islands. Every reason to sea
kayak is found here. With 10 years
guiding these waters, let us show you!
2977 W. 5th Ave. Vancouver B.C. V6K 1T8
Ph/Fx:604-736-0377 Toll Free:888-736-0377
http://www2.outer.net/oceansound
seaot t er@he.net
w w w .he.net / ~seaot t er/
Villas de Loreto
Charming little beach resort on the
Sea of Cortez offering sea kayak
rentals, complementary breakfast,
bicycles, pool & air conditioning. NEW at Villas—a restaurant
and PADI dive shop. Check: www.villasdeloreto.com
Ph/ Fax: 0 1 1 -5 2 -1 1 3 -5 0 5 8 6
Apdo. 1 3 2 Lor et o B. C. S. Mexico 2 3 8 8 0
Kayakers & Divers
General Transport
VIC NADURAK MARINE SERVICES Landing Craft Charters
333 Chemainus Rd., Ladysmith, BC V0R 2E0
Vic_Nadurak@bc.sympatico.ca
Ph: 250-245-3532 Baj a Sea Kayak Advent ur es
with Nahanni Wilderness Adventures
Call Toll Free: (ph/fax) 1-888-897-5223
Email: adventures@nahanniwild.com
Website: www.nahanniwild.com
Explore Baja’s beautiful desert
islands in the Sea of Cortez.
Local guides/interpreters.
Based at Villas de Loreto.
Rentals • Lessons • Tours • Necky Sales
TREE ISLAND KAYAKING 3025 Comox Rd.
Courtenay, BC
V9N 3P7
May to October
250-339-0580
tree@island.net
www.island.net/~tree
coastmtn@island.net
www.coastmountainexpeditions.com
COAST MOUNTAIN EXPEDITIONS
Sea Kayak Tours
Discovery Islands & Fjordlands
(250) 287-0635
Remote Homestead Lodge
We live where we paddle
Acce ssible wilde rne ss only
2 hours from Vancouve r.
Escape by the hour, day or week.
O ce an kayak & canoe re ntals, sale s, le ssons
& trip planning. BO O K AHEAD 604/ 885-6440
pedals_paddles@sunshine.net
www.sunshine.net/ paddle
SECHELT INLET
Paddler s’ Paradise
Sea Kayak Association of BC
Meets once a month. Also trips &
training. Box 751, Stn. A
Vancouver, BC V6C 2N6
Or call 604-738-8406
http://skabc.tripod.com
Lice nce d Tonga se a kaya k ope r a to r s in ce 19 91
6 & 8 day t r ips
No e xpe r ie nce re quire d.
Sea Kayak Tonga with
Friendly Islands Kayak Co.
P h / Fa x: + 6 7 6 -7 0 17 3
Em a i l: k a ya k t o n g a @k a l i a n e t . t o
We b : w w w. f i kc o . c o m / k a ya k t o n g a
Ca n a d a , Be l i z e , Vi e t n a m,
An d a ma n I s l a n d s , Cu b a
SEA KAYAKING &
INLAND TOURS
_dgZYd*Y\n]flmj]k _dgZYd*Y\n]flmj]k _dgZYd*Y\n]flmj]k _dgZYd*Y\n]flmj]k _dgZYd*Y\n]flmj]k
global@portal.ca www.globaladventures.bc.ca
1 -8 0 0 -7 8 1 -2 2 6 9
VARGAS ISLAND INN
Affordable Wilderness Resor t accommodations
in Clayoquot Sound on Vargas Island beachfront.
• 5k N.W. Tofino • Ideal for kayakers • Inn &
cabins • All self-catering • Passenger & kayak
transpor t from Tofino available • Lots to do!
CALL 250-725-3309
RENTALS, TOURS, LESSONS
rbruce@gulfislands.com
121 Boot Cove Rd.
Saturna Island, BC V0N 2Y0
Ph/Fax: 250-539-5553
2 B&BS ON BLACKFISH SOUND (VANCOUVER IS.)
KAYAKERS TRANSPORT (17 yrs)
ORCA WHALE WATCHING (15 yrs)
CHARTER & SCHEDULED
SEATS TO REMOTE LOCATIONS
OR DAY PADDLE FROM THE
SWANSON ISLAND B&BS
vikingwest@capescott.net
250-956-3431 (Pt. McNeill)
VHF 73, 79
Cost a Rica Sea Kayaking
since 1 9 8 7
If you’re planning a paddling trip
near Northern Vancouver Island or
the Central Coast, RENT from us.
ODYSSEY KAYAKING
Ph: 250-902-0565
odyssey@capescott.net
www.island.net/~odysseyk/
www.capescott.net/~odyssey/
Ph/Fax: (250) 752-8693
Toll Free: 1-877-752-8693
current@island.net
www.extremeinterface.com/intothecurrent
KAYAK KAYAK KAYAK KAYAK KAYAK
ADVENTURES ADVENTURES ADVENTURES ADVENTURES ADVENTURES
1-800-632-0722
Offering custom, cost-effective guided tours
on the BC Coast since 1993.
TOURS • LESSONS • RENTALS • SALES
w w w .egmont -mar i na.c om
Mothership
Paddling &
Guided Tours
Qualicum Beach, BC
Odyssey Kayaking is now accept ing r esumes for guides
and helper s for t he 2 0 0 1 kayaking season. Guides
r equir e a ver ifiable indust r y st andar d cer t ificat ion and
exper ience. Fir st aid and CPR must be cur r ent for
2 0 0 1 season and a minimum of “Essent ial Wilder ness
Fir st Aid” for leader s. Replies held in st r ict est confi-
dence. Please submit r eplies t o: Odyssey Kayaking,
Box 1 3 4 9 , Por t Ha r dy, BC, V0 N 2 P0 or Ema il:
odyssey@island. net Ph: 2 5 0 -9 0 2 -0 5 6 5
Kayak with gray whales in Magdalena Bay. Island
hop and snorkel in turquoise waters in the Sea of
Cortez.Small groups, expert guides, delicious
meals, all equipment & hotel included for just $940!
No experience necessary! Free brochure:
Call 1-800-616-1943, skadvent @iea.com
www.seakayakadvent ures.com
SEA KAYAK ADVENTURES, Inc
Whale Wat ch & Island Hop in Baja!
KAYAK NOOTKA ISLAND
Breathtaking scenery and wildlife in an
historic setting, with all the comforts of
home. Guided tours available. Lessons for
beginners. Inquire about special packages.
Discover this Newly Remodeled Hotel located
in Downtown Loreto. Reasonalbe Rates, 10 Rms, A/C,
TV & Hot Water. Kayak & Whale Watching arrangements.
Bicycle Rentals & Beach Club. www.terrafin.com/posada
Juarez Esq Davis #4, Loreto B.C.S. Mexico 23880

Call or Fax: 011-52-113-5-07-92
Villas de Loreto
Nootka Island Lodge. Ph: 250-752-0455
www.nootkaisland.com
info@nootkaisland.com
TROPI CAL PADDLI NG I N FI J I
White sand beach camps, blue lagoons,
spectacular snorkelling
and Fijian hospitality.
PTARMI GAN TOURS PTARMI GAN TOURS PTARMI GAN TOURS PTARMI GAN TOURS PTARMI GAN TOURS
Box 11 Kimberley BC
V1A 2Y5 250/422-3270
E-mail: ptarmigan@cyberlink.bc.ca
http://www.cyberlink.bc.ca/~ptarmigan/
BC, BAJA, TUSCANY & BEYOND...
2923 Fulford-Ganges Rd., Saltspring Island, BC V8K 1X6
Sal t spri ng Kayaki ng
Dail y Tours, Rent als & Sales
Ph/ Fax: 2 5 0 / 6 5 3 -4 2 2 2
SEA KAYAK TOURS—2000
Cowichan Bay — VANCOUVER ISLAND
1-8 8 8 -ECO-WEST
t ours@ecowest .com
Check out our on-line cat alogue at
www.ecowest .com
sskayak@salt spring. com
www. s alt spring. com/ sskayak
Exp lo r e ! De s o la t io n So u n d a n d Gu lf
Islands. Also custom cr uises: 3 , 4 and 7
d a y e xp e d i t i o n s . Ad ve n t u r e wi t h
Co mfo r t a n d Sa fe t y. No e xp e r ie n ce
necess ar y. Ever yt hing provided.
www. e xplore cha r t e rs. com
explore@explorechar t er s. com
Toll Free: 8 8 8 -6 4 9 -6 6 6 9
Ph:2 5 0 -6 4 2 -6 6 6 9 Ce ll:2 5 0 -3 6 0 -6 7 6 3
8 0 ft Ka ya k Mot or s a ile r Mot he r s hip TROPICAL & POLAR PADDLES
ANTARCTICA FIJI, AUSTRALIA, ANTARCTICA
AND THE HIGH ARCTIC
7 -1 5 day advent ures. Lovely beaches.
Gr e a t s n o r ke lli n g . Wi ld e r n e s s &
Cult ural t rips. Ice and wildlife.
Toll Fre e : 1 -8 8 8 -2 8 3 -0 9 5 4
Fa x: 5 1 0 -8 4 8 -2 5 6 5
Ema il: cve nt ure @pa cbe ll. ne t
www. sout he rnse a ve nt ure s. com
Wilderness Experience in Comfort
Whale watching, forest tours, native ar t & dance.
Kaya k Mot he r s hipping a va ila ble . 4 t o 6 day
cr uises. Comfor t able and friendly wit h wonder -
ful food. G. Cook’s Tours, Box 2 2 , Aler t Bay,
BC, Ca na da V0 N1 A0 . Toll fre e 1 -8 7 7 -9 7 4 -
5 0 0 2 . Email: waletail@island.net
Web: www.alertbay.com/cooktour
ZEBALLOS EXPEDITIONS & KAYAKS
Paddle the Breathtaking West Coast of Vancouver Island
RENTALS TOURS TRANSPORTATION
TRIP PLANNING
Nootka, Kyuquot, Bunsbys, Brooks
PO Box 111, Zeballos, BC V0P 2A0
Phone (250) 761-4137
kayak@netcom.ca www.zeballoskayaks.com
MAJESTIC OCEAN KAYAKING
Ucluelet, BC. Guided day trips, half day
trips and multi day trips.
Quality equipment, gourmet
food, knowledgeable guides.
1-800-889-7644
majestic@island.net
www.majestic.bc.ca
EXPERIENCE BOUNDLESS LAKES & WATERWAYS IN THE KOOTENAYS
OF BC’S INTERIOR • VIEWING OSPREY, EAGLES AND ALL WILDLIFE
LAND AND WATER BASED
• 14 week semester programme
• Outdoor Education Practicum
Phone (250) 286-3122
www.colt.bc.ca
I
n
a
c
t
io
n
f
o
r
2
4
y
e
a
r
s
!
SPECIALIZING IN MARINE AREAS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
1 5 MAPS AVAILABLE
Bella Bella, Hakai Passage, Johnst one St r ait , Br ought on Ar -
chipelago, Kyuquot , Desolat ion, Noot ka, Barkley and Clayoquot
Sounds, Gulf Islands, Georgia St rait , Sunshine Coast , Esperanza
Inlet , Quat simo-Golet as Channel. Coast al Wat er s Recr eat ion
Suit e 5 4 7 , 1 8 5 -9 1 1 Ya t e s St . , Vict or ia , BC V8 V 4 Y9 .
www.coastalwatersrec.com/ maps/ info@coastalwatersrec.com
Kayak Lessons, Rentals & Tours
Custom Classes & Tours
Bud and Sheryll Bell
Ladysmith, BC
250-245-4096
or 1-877-KAYAK BC (529-2522)
www.Sealegs-Kayaks.bc.ca
KAYAK SALT SPRING ISLAND
Luxurious oceanfront accommodation for the
discriminating guest. Adult oriented, ensuite baths,
jacuzzis, hot tubs. Fireplaces. Perfect for relaxing.
KAYAK RENTALS
Reservations: 1-888-633-9555
nancy@saltspring.com
www.saltspringisl.com
Arbutus Point Oceanfront B&B
See our ship
on page 3 7
Half & Full Day Kayak Tours
Voyageur Canoe Tours
—Liz Issac—
Ph: (250) 728-3535 Fax: (250) 728-3534
Toll Free: 1-877-728-3535
Email: deer_paddles@hotmail.com
Epub Adventures
Int erac t ive CDs on Sea Kayaking
Now available “ Ma st e r Se a
Ka ya ke r: De re k Hut chinson”:
over 6 0 minutes of MPEG1 video, dozens of
hist orical photos. Micr osoft operat ing system
compat ible. Master Card/ Vis a accept ed.
Available at : www. Epub-Adve nt ure s. com
1 888 KAYAK-67 1 888 KAYAK-67 1 888 KAYAK-67 1 888 KAYAK-67 1 888 KAYAK-67
escapades@saltspring.com www.islandescapades.com
COSTA RICA—JANUARY 2001! COSTA RICA—JANUARY 2001! COSTA RICA—JANUARY 2001! COSTA RICA—JANUARY 2001! COSTA RICA—JANUARY 2001!
Exciting, Eclectic, Small Group Adventures.
Kayak in tropical aquamarine waters.
Exotic interpretive rainforest hikes.
Sailing, Snorkelling, Riding, Cycling, Surfing.
Spectacular scenery, amazing birds & wildlife. Spectacular scenery, amazing birds & wildlife. Spectacular scenery, amazing birds & wildlife. Spectacular scenery, amazing birds & wildlife. Spectacular scenery, amazing birds & wildlife.
NEW ZEALAND
Bowen Island Sea Kayaking
OPEN ALL WINTER
Tours • Rentals • Lessons
Call to reserve
604-947-9266
www.BowenIslandKayaking.com
LEAD AND ASSISTANT GUIDES WANTED
New company requires full time guides for 2001 season.
Lead guide applicant s must be fully qualified
and have 5 + year s sea kayak exper ience.
Par t ner ship possible for r ight candidat e.
Resume t o Fax: 4 0 3 -5 4 7 -2 5 2 9
Email: peyt osl@t elusplanet . net
BANCAN ADVENTURE TOURS INC.
SEA KAYAK ITALY
Italian guide, turquoise water, caves,
cliffs, sand beaches, espresso,
unforgettable seafood, and hey, it’s Italy!
Elba Island for a day or a week. Sardinia,
11 days in spring or fall. (650) 728-8720
bkossy@igc.org www.seakayakitaly.com
Seakayak & Cycle Tours & Rentals
Natural High, Adrenalin Dealers
WWW.SeakayakNewZealand.com
WWW.CycleNewZealand.com
adventure@natural-high.co.nz
64-3-5466936
64-3-5466954 fax
2.9¢ per min local and long distance!
Set-up fee waived for Kayakers only!
Must mention this AD (US only).
Visit
WaveLengthMagazine.com
—your Gateway to the
World of Paddling
FOR SALE 1994 Feathercraft K-1
Expedition, teal deck, hull in great
shape, brand new spray skirt and sea
sock, asking $2,000 US. Will ship
anywhere. Call 406-582-0315.
Email: tim@crossinglatitudes.com
4 0 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
Know Your Nei ghbour s
Coast al Trees Bryan Nichols
the past century. If our predecessors had
had the forethought to leave more stands
intact, all of us (locals, tourists and critters)
would look upon the forest industry a bit
more kindly—a lesson modern foresters
are reluctantly learning.
But enough about the forest—how
about the trees? Stretching your minds
way back to high school botany, you might
well remember there are two main types—
coniferous and deciduous. You might also
have noticed that coniferous (cone bear-
ing) evergreen trees dominate our forests,
and forests dominate the coastal land-
scape. The cool, wet climate is ideal for
growing gigantic coniferous forests, al-
though our fall colors fall short of the more
deciduous East.
What sorts of trees do kayakers regu-
larly see? Surprisingly, there aren’t that
many species—our forests are renowned
for their size, not their diversity. This
month’s lifelist covers the most common
and notable trees you’ll see as you paddle
along Northwest shorelines. t
T
rees. Ancient giants, green gold,
shade, protection, lumber, food. Trees
are big woody plants—though I think that
we shall never see, plants as impressive
as our trees (apologies to Joyce Kilmer).
The Northwest is famous for its trees,
and notorious for our rapid removal of
them. Our temperate rainforests are fas-
cinating ecosystems as well as a key part
of our economy.
Trees are essential to paddlers as well.
They shelter our campsites, fuel our beach
fires and frame our coastal scenery. We use
logging roads to access many fine pad-
dling areas where the vistas are marred
by industrial clearcutting. Isn’t it ironic?
Of course all those missing trees are an
integral part of our lives as well—who
hasn’t lived in a wood-framed house or
read a book?
It’s hard to talk about coastal trees in
the Northwest without getting a little de-
pressed—so many of the oldest and most
impressive examples of them were logged
in the orgy of clearcutting that has marked
Biologist Bryan Nichols has
worked as both a timber
cruiser and a Lorax loving
environmental educator.
He’s not sure which side of
his brain is to blame for
either job, but he tries to see
the forest and the trees.
brynance@pacific coast.net
T
here are a number of good books on
BC trees but for paddlers you cannot
beat Plants of Coastal BC. This is the sort of
book that makes the world a better place—
it is thorough, easy to use, field sized and
full of beautiful color photos. It’s also
packed with info, including line drawings
of foliage and range maps. There are scads
of details on ethnobotany—if you’re in-
terested in how First Nations used local
plants, you’ll love it. Every kayaker
should have this book—it is one of the
three essential guides you should have on
each trip. It’s also worth mentioning Hik-
ing the Ancient Forests of BC & Washington
by Randy Stoltmann, which will guide
you to the best examples surviving of the
trees on this checklist. —Bryan Nichols
WaveLength WaveLength WaveLength WaveLength WaveLength (print version)
has 50,000 readers per has 50,000 readers per has 50,000 readers per has 50,000 readers per has 50,000 readers per
issue, six times a year issue, six times a year issue, six times a year issue, six times a year issue, six times a year
WaveLengthMagazine.com WaveLengthMagazine.com WaveLengthMagazine.com WaveLengthMagazine.com WaveLengthMagazine.com
gets 150,000 hits gets 150,000 hits gets 150,000 hits gets 150,000 hits gets 150,000 hits
per month per month per month per month per month
PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT PRINT & && && WWW WWW WWW WWW WWW ADS ADS ADS ADS ADS AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE
AT AT AT AT AT VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY REASONABLE REASONABLE REASONABLE REASONABLE REASONABLE RATES RATES RATES RATES RATES
(1/3 (1/3 (1/3 (1/3 (1/3 OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF FOR FOR FOR FOR FOR US US US US US EXCHANGE EXCHANGE EXCHANGE EXCHANGE EXCHANGE) )) ))
Plants of Coastal
British Columbia
(including Washington,
Oregon & Alaska),
by Pojar & MacKinnon,
Lone Pine Publishing
1994. ISBN 1-55105-
042-0. 527 pp, full color
throughout $24.95 Cdn
4 1 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
Chec k l i st # 16—Coast al Tr ees
© Bryan Nichols 2000. No reproduction without permission of the author.
WESTERN RED CEDAR Thuja plicata
BC’s provincial tree has been a boon to human
life on the coast for thousands of years. The bark,
the roots and of course the reddish, fragrant
wood were all used for the essentials—food, shel-
ter, clothing, medicine, fuel and transportation.
Even now, cedar is a prized timber tree because
its weather and rot-resistant wood is great for homes and
rooves. Most of the biggest, oldest cedars close to sea level
have been logged but there are notable exceptions you might
come across in some remote cove, red giants over a thousand
years old, up to four meters across and seventy tall. In many
places the stumps are still impressive and show evidence of
old logging techniques.
YELLOW CEDAR Chamaecyparis nootkatensis
Found only at higher elevations in southern BC, this
tree gets lower and lower as the growing sights get
lousier—colder, swampier and more extreme. Yel-
low cedar or “cypress” is usually shaggy looking,
with peeling gray bark, scaly needles and a smell
that gets described as anything from “lovely” to “like cougar
piss”. The distinctive yellow wood is often used for carving.
WESTERN HEMLOCK Tsuga heterophylla
What they lack in beauty, hemlocks make up for
in numbers—these shade tolerant trees are the
most common along the coast. Droopy tops and
scaly bark help identify them. Second growth
stands can be so dense that it is dim or dark un-
derneath the thick canopy, even at noon.
DOUGLAS FI R Pseudotsuga menziesii
A favorite of the forest industry, much of the
second growth we paddle past is replanted
doug-fir. Preferring drier sites, doug-firs
have thick, fire resistant bark. Weathered vet-
erans that are old but small and oddly shaped are common
sights from a kayak. If you’re lucky, you’ve wandered through
some of the few remaining patches of low lying doug-fir old
growth—some of the most amazing stands of wood on the
planet.
TRUE FI RS Abies amabilis & Abies grandis
Incorrectly called “balsam” by many locals and
the forest industry, our true firs have thin,
smooth bark with pitchy blisters. You’ll find
Grand fir at sea level on the south coast—
Amabilis fir towards the North. Amabilis (which means “lovely”)
is a beautiful tree. The pitch (or balsam) from both was used for
everything from chewing gum to shellac for paddles.
SI TKA SPRUCE Picea sitchensis
Ah, spruce—tall, straight, majestic, and increas-
ingly rare. My favorite tree of BC, an old growth
sitka spruce grove is something to wax poetic
about, if you’re so inclined. Even if not, seek them
out because forest scenery doesn’t get much more
impressive. Alas, because they are valuable tim-
ber and grow best in low valleys near the ocean, they’ve been
sorely depleted. Young spruce plantations can be downright
nasty to walk through—the needles are sharp.
SHORE (LODGEPOLE) PI NE Pinus contorta
‘Contorta’ is an excellent species name for coastal
lodgepole because it grows in some of the most ex-
treme spots trees can grow—rocky, storm battered
shorelines. Hurricane force winds contort these trees
into bizarre and artistic shapes familiar to outer coast
paddlers. Their short needles come in bunches of two.
PACI FI C YEW Taxus brevifolia
Yews are short, shrubby trees with flat needles
that come to a point. They have small red berries
and reddish, peeling bark and are found near the
ocean right up to Alaska. The hard wood was
used for bows and a wide range of tools, includ-
ing sea urchin rakes and it is still used for carv-
ing. Taxol, an effective anti-cancer drug, was de-
rived from the bark. Thankfully for the slow growing yew, it
is now made synthetically.
ROCKY MOUNTAI N J UNI PER Juniperus scopulorum
This shrubby tree with gray, stringy bark is
relatively rare in BC but grows right in our
front yards—dry, rocky sites along the Strait
of Georgia. Gulf Island paddlers see (and of-
ten camp under) juniper trees all the time.
The harsh growing conditions they endure shape them into liv-
ing art. Squeeze one of the bluish berries and you’ll be reminded
of gin; juniper berries have provided that distinctive flavor for
many generations of English drunks.
RED ALDER Alnus rubra
Alder is the pale-barked, toothy-leafed tree that
usually grows first in disturbed sites like old roads,
creeks, settlements and landings. You might have
noticed such sights are very common along the
coast, so you see lots of alder. Alders live short (60
yrs) lives but enrich the soil they grow in. You can
often spot creeks and old roads along hillsides by
the bright green trails of alder leaves amid the conifers.
BI GLEAF MAPLE Acer macrophyllum
Canadians ought to recognize the leaf shape,
and bigleaf maples really do have big leaves.
The trees themselves can be huge as well, and
so covered in mosses and lichens they are remi-
niscent of southern bayou scenery. Maple wood
was used to make paddles by numerous First
Nations. You might have found the “helicopter” seeds to be a
fascinating diversion in your younger years.
ARBUTUS (Madrone) Arbutus manziesii
Arbutus is an odd tree in many respects, not least
for its smooth, peeling red bark that hides a green
photosynthetic layer underneath. The thick, waxy
leaves are adapted to dry sites and are not decidu-
ous. Arbutus is a good indicator species when
you’re scouting your retirement home—it marks
the drier, rain shadowed portions of our coast. Older ones may
not be huge but they are impressive nonetheless, strange sen-
tinels on the rocky edges of the Strait of Georgia. t
4 2 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
Mot her shi p Meander i ngs
Alan Wilson
F
or three summers we have travelled
north to the Broughton Archipelago to
enjoy this extraordinary maze of island-
strewn waters.
The Archipelago is a resource-rich area
which has supported First Nations’ peo-
ple for 10,000 years. Remarkable cultures
arose and spread throughout the land-
scape when the glaciers retreated, sup-
ported by abundant fish stocks and great
forests.
In the 19th century, diseases arriving
with immigrants sparked epidemics
among First Nations’ people, destroying
communities and an ancient way of life.
The population of the area peaked again
in the early 20th century on the strength
of many small logging and fishing com-
munities, populated mostly by non-na-
tives, but most of these towns have now
vanished too.
These days the individualist ‘gypo’ log-
gers are long gone, and logging and fish-
ing are done mainly by multinational cor-
porations based outside the region. Resi-
dents are few and far between: a few First
Nations’ communities remain, and here
and there are congregations of float-
homes, seasonal marine resorts, fish farms
and temporary logging camps. Mostly it’s
just seals and ducks, some whales, and
jumping fish in season.
This is just what we’re looking for as
each August we try to escape the compu-
ter, email, and pressing details of business.
Just islands and us, for days on end.
We head north in our boat, up Johnstone
Strait. Like many small boaters, we tend
to prefer the backwater routes wherever
possible to avoid the shipping traffic and
weather in Johnstone Strait. Timing the
many tidal passes of these routes is a chal-
lenge but the scenery is breathtaking and
the waters are calmer than the Strait. There
is, however, an 11-mile stretch of the Strait
which is unavoidable, north of Kelsey Bay.
Last summer we had quite a blow in this
stretch and made slow time after leaving
Forward Harbour. The first day we
ducked into Blenkinsop Bay, expecting the
wind to die down after a few hours, but it
howled all day and night and our boat
ranged around, straining at the anchor.
The next day looked like an improvement
The Brought on Archipelago—Par t 2
Minstrel Island
Port Neville
Potts
Lagoon
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Forward
Harbour
Kelsey Bay
LAURIE’S HOUSE LAURIE’S HOUSE LAURIE’S HOUSE LAURIE’S HOUSE LAURIE’S HOUSE: : : : : Cosy 1000 sq. ft. log
home: 2 bedrooms, lifetime metal roof,
covered porch, separate 100 sq. ft.
workshop/shed (with power/light) on level, half acre treed
lot, near shopping (café, deli, groceries, liquor store) and
backed by 100 acre forest with trails. Cathedral ceiling,
wood windows-beams-staircase, loft office area, propane
fireplace and electrical heat, cistern and well, fridge, stove,
washer & dryer, new wall-
to-wall carpet, circular
driveway, young fruit trees,
berries, herb garden,
raised beds, ornamental
shrubs. You can wheel your
kayak to the nearby beach!
Asking $115,000 Asking $115,000 Asking $115,000 Asking $115,000 Asking $115,000 Cdn
(approx. $77K US)
250-247-8670 250-247-8670 250-247-8670 250-247-8670 250-247-8670
ALAN’S HOUSE ALAN’S HOUSE ALAN’S HOUSE ALAN’S HOUSE ALAN’S HOUSE: : : : : 1500 sq. ft. bright and spacious home,
owner-designed and built, on treed half acre lot. Efficient
heating by south-facing passive solar design, plus wood and
electrical. 3 bedrooms plus home office, large livingroom and
kitchen, wood floors, one and a half bathrooms, fridge and
stove, patio, fertile garden
area, and 8,000 gallon
concrete cistern—excellent
water supply. Private, treed
setting. Great neighbours.
Handy to ferry, shopping
centre, school, doctor, etc.
Minutes from kayak launch.
Freshly painted throughout,
new tile, new windows, etc.
Asking $125,000 Asking $125,000 Asking $125,000 Asking $125,000 Asking $125,000 Cdn
(approx. $83K US)
250-247-8858 250-247-8858 250-247-8858 250-247-8858 250-247-8858
Sylvia Douglas of Minstrel Island Resort
is raising an abandoned seal pup.
WaveLengt h is Moving. . .
We’re consolidating offices at a new location on Gabriola Island. As a result, Alan and Laurie’s
houses are both for sale, both ideal for anyone interested in experiencing the great paddling in the Gulf Islands.
More photos at WaveLengthMagazine.com. We also recommend you visit GabriolaIsland.org
Distinctive arbutus fringe
the coast of Gabriola
4 3 DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1 WaveLengt h
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TOURI NG
GEAR FOR
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& CANOES
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but after only two miles we had to duck into Port Neville and sit
out another day as the winds came in long, keening gusts.
The first opportunity to leave the Strait is at Havannah Chan-
nel, some eight miles north of Port Neville. Hang a right at the
Broken Islands (not the famous Broken Group Islands of Barkley
Sound) and scoot inside to get out of the weather.
Here you have your first taste of the area’s protected waters,
and pass the first of many abandoned First Nations’ sites (Matilpi),
as you make for Chatham Channel. Named after one of Captain
Vancouver’s ships Chatham, this channel can run with a strong
current so check your tide and current tables. Vessels must keep
close watch on the range markers to stay in the narrow channel.
As the Channel widens, you’ll see Minstrel Island Marine Re-
sort, the first refueling spot after Johnstone Strait. Minstrel Is-
land has been here in one form and another for many years, a
real fixture on the coast, with a fuel float, store, pub, restaurant,
bunkhouses and cabins. (Phone: 250-949-0215)
We make it a habit to stop at Minstrel, have a meal and a shower,
pick up on local gossip, savor some of the historic atmosphere,
and fuel up before heading on.
This year we met a special new Minstrel resident, a young seal
pup which owners Grant and Sylvia Douglas rescued and were
raising by hand. We watched as they filled a clean grease gun
with a fishy mixture and pumped it into her tummy.
After leaving Minstrel, pass through the ‘Blow Hole’ into Clio
Channel. Bigger vessels should watch the depth, but paddlers
will have no trouble.
Clio Channel, aside from some active logging, is gorgeous. Ma-
rine mammal researcher, Alexandra Morton, named her daugh-
ter Clio after this beautiful body of water which lies between
Turnour and Cracroft Islands and leads into Blackfish Sound (the
name of Alex’s boat).
Our favorite spot in this area is Potts Lagoon on Cracroft Is-
land, one of the most protected anchorages in the Broughton,
with room for several boats in two separate coves. From the in-
ner cove you can kayak through a tidal channel into a lagoon
and river marsh which meanders deep into the island. The outer
channel can run at several knots so check your tide tables. But
it’s a good place to practice moving water skills.
Creative campers have lots of camping choices in the Potts La-
goon area, although you could get stranded at the head of the
lagoon at low water. We saw a black bear on the beach this sum-
mer, so be sure and practice bear-proof camping (hang your food,
cook separately from your tent area, etc).
Islets are a good place to camp to avoid bears and there is one
inside Potts where we’ve seen paddlers. Outside Potts, there are
View from the dock at Minstrel Island, and our boat. Paddling in the island-filled back waters near Potts Lagoon.
4 4 WaveLengt h DECEMBER• JANUARY 2 0 0 1
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Feb 23-25, International Adventure Travel Show, Toronto, Ontario. Info: 800-891-4891 or
ronc@nationalevent.com, www.nationalevent.com.
Feb 23-25, Florida Gulf Coast Sea Kayak Symposium, www.WaterTribe.com.
Mar 2-3, TrailsFest at the Seattle Center Flag Pavilion, sponsored by Washington Trails
Association and REI. Call 206-635-1367. See www.wta.org.
Mar 13-18, World Surf Kayaking Championships, Santa Cruz, California. Contact Dennis
Judson 831-458-3648. See www.asudoit.com.
Mar 23-25, Paddlesport 2001, Garden State Exposition Center, Somerset, New Jersey. Contact
Jersey Paddler: 888-225-2925. See www.jerseypaddler.com.
Mar 30-Apr 1, International Adventure Travel Show, Calgary, Alberta. Contact 800-891-4891 or
maureenhenderson@sprint.ca, www.nationalevent.com.
May 18-21, Coast Kayak Symposium, Thetis Island, BC. Contact Mercia Sixta at 604-597-1122
or mercias@excite.com.
Jun 16-17, Okanagan PaddleFest, Peachland, BC. Contact Wendell Phillips at
wphillips@mail.silk.net or 250-767-2225.
Jun 23-24, Vancouver Island PaddleFest, at Transfer Beach, Ladysmith, BC. Contact 250-245-
4939 or the Island Outdoor Centre at 250-245-7887.
Cal endar
many other islets, and gorgeous paddling
through rich kelp beds and shallows, with
gleaming white shell middens peaking
out from the forest here and there.
From Clio Channel you can travel up into
the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park
through island-studded Beware Passage
and past the First Nations village of
Karklukwees, which was abandoned along
with nearby Mamalilaculla in the 1960s.
Boaters should indeed “beware” this
complicated body of rock and water al-
though paddlers have nothing to fear from
it. When we transit Beware Passage
aboard our boat, we follow the route sug-
gested in Waggoners to pick our way be-
tween surface and subsurface rocks. When
paddling, however, we’re drawn to those
rocks and reefs, to enjoy the marine life
that flourishes around them.
Once through Beware Passage, you en-
ter the cosy waters of Village Channel—
the area we described in the last issue—
with First Nations sites of Mamalilaculla
and New Vancouver. Next issue we’ll look
at some of the resorts and marinas in the
Broughton where you can get services. t
Photos by Laurie MacBride
and Alan Wilson
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Herb Clark. Baker WOODEN KAYAK DIRECTORY A Brief History of Wooden Kayaks Nick Schade yaks Wooden Ka Building a Volkskomponentkayak Ulli Höger Learning to Stitch and Glue Donna Wilford The Cedar Strip Kayak Vaclav Stejskal The Varnished Kayak Guides Warm up to Wood Dave Grimmer Photo by Laurie MacBride Photo courtesy of True North Wooden Boat Co. published bimonthly and available at paddling shops.com 7 10 1 1 14 16 18 21 24 26 28 29 30 33 35 36 37 38 40 42 44 Why Would Anybody Want a Wooden Kayak? Shawn W. fitness clubs. Frank Murphy Bookkeeper Margaret Dyke Advisor Mercia Sixta MAIL TO: RR-1 Site-17 C-49 Gabriola Island. sporting events. Thank you. © The Broughton Archipelago—PART 2—MOTHERSHIP MEANDERINGS Alan Wilson CALENDAR .Editor Alan Wilson Promotions Manager Diane Coussens Associate Editor Laurie MacBride Associate Howard Stiff WWW Ted Leather Distribution: 604-682-5791 Marty Wanless. etc. on the condition that WaveLength is cited. tips. www. outdoor stores. news. marinas. Rajé Harwood. BC CANADA V0R 1X0 (Courier: 974 Duthie Avenue. 0688657 John C. Don’t miss an issue! SUBSCRIPTIONS (6 ISSUES) $19/yr in Canada ($33/2 yrs) includes GST $17 US/yr in the USA ($29 US/2 yrs) $22 US/yr overseas ($40 US/2yrs) GST# 887432276 ADVERTISING RATES AND WRITERS GUIDELINES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST Tranquil Forests?—FROM THE RAINFOREST Dan Lewis Moving to Ecoforestry Alan Wilson Blackfish Sound—FROM THE ARCHIPELAGO Alexandra Morton ECOBYTES Hume Cookin’—PADDLE MEALS Deb Leach with Sharon Hume DEADLINE Dec 15/00 Feb 19/01 Apr 19/01 Jun 19/01 Aug 19/01 Oct 19/01 IN-PRINT Feb 1 Apr 1 Jun 1 Aug 1 Oct 1 Dec 1 Search Me—WEB PADDLING 28 Leather Ted GIFT GUIDE UNCLASSIFIEDS Coastal Trees—KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS Bryan Nichols Published by Wave-Length Communications Inc. etc. calendar items. photos. website. Harris 4th Annual Newfound Rendezvous Michael Vermouth WaveLength is an independent magazine. DISTRIBUTION INSIDE Volume 10 No. Copyleft 2000 Permission is hereby given for one-time reproduction of an article or item of information from this issue of WaveLength (unless copyright © is specifically indicated in the author bionote) for nonprofit use in your newsletter. 4 COVER PHOTO courtesy of Pygmy Boats.pygmyboats.WaveLengthMagazine. ADS.com ISSN 1188-5432 PRINTED IN CANADA Canadian Publications Mail Agreement No. letters. We invite articles. or other electronic distribution facility. Gabriola) SUBMISSIONS.net Phone/Fax 250-247-9789 Alternate Phone 247-8858 www. and contact information given. wavenet@island.

Great cedar dugouts plied the Pacific Northwest coast of North America for 10. In this issue we focus on plywood stitch & glue and cedar strip kayaks. In fact. Of course. Kayaks can even be built from ‘waste’. In part 2 (Feb/Mar) we will look at arctic-style wood-frame skin kayaks. it is possible to have both wooden kayaks and old growth forests. —Alan Wilson For more on Ecoforestry. Laughing Loon. Ecoforestry aims for the highest economic value for the least amount of wood harvested.000 years! Even with all the great synthetic materials now on the market. Ecotourists play their role by helping to diversify the economy in isolated communities which are otherwise resource-dependent (logging and fishing) and Ecoforesters will ensure there continues to be wilderness to draw adventurers. but it does give us an additional tool to use. BC 250-755-2001 250-741-1965 6 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 . we can now purchase wood products from certified ‘ecoforestry’ operations. the supply will grow with the demand. 3. The reasons for building with wood are many. But on the other hand. but I must admit there’s a special joy in paddling the wooden kayaks my father has made—one from a kit and one of his own design. and much more. While ecocertified wood products are not yet common. I have a plastic boat myself. more and more woodlot operators and private land owners are applying for certification. Although it’s still early in the transition. and the problem for wooden kayak enthusiasts is how to have a continuing wood A 41’ Wooden Schooner For Sale Classic eastcoast Pinky. wood siding or shingles on even a single house (I could have built a fleet of kayaks with the amount of cedar siding used on my house). The biggest success on this front has been the commitment by some big retail chains (including Home Depot) to begin changing over to ecowood. 3 Certainly for most of history—and prehistory—wood has been the material of choice for kayaks and canoes. for example. This doesn’t mean we can stop demanding that government regulate the forest industry’s environmental practices. In fact. Ecotourism and ecoforestry are actually partners in a changing economy. see page 29 Photos from: 1. as well as an ongoing wood supply for the future. yet conserve the forest for wildlife and for the enjoyment of wilderness paddling trips. guilt-free. building boats of glass and poly means we don’t cut so many trees. Chesapeake Light Craft.Editorial Wooden Kayaks—Part 1 supply. and requires strict environmental standards. By building with ecowood we can influence decisions made in forestry and paddle our kayaks in the wilderness. as you will see in the succeeding pages. here is an issue devoted solely 1 to Wooden Kayaks! We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. we have been so overwhelmed with stories and photos on this topic—which 2 is obviously near and dear to many of you— that we have decided to extend the theme to our next issue. With the advent of “Ecocertified” wood products. offcuts or recycled wood. woodworking safety. POTENTIAL MOTHERSHIP PASSAGE YACHT SALES in Nanaimo. Thanks to the many boat builders who contributed material. Nevertheless. 2. trees are involved. Driftwood Kayaks t long last. wood still has unique and wonderful properties for boat building. lovingly crafted by a professional shipwright. the quantity of material used in a wood kayak is tiny compared with.

wood is one of the greatest building materials known. Wrong! Many people have the mistaken notion that owning and paddling a wooden kayak is a big compromise of features and versatility in favor of having a beautiful vessel. It is strong in tension (pulling). they’re expensive. Plastic kayaks are much more durable than fiberglass. Shawn W. The fiberglass protects the wood from water saturation and everyday scrapes and dings. Composite and wooden boats are less subject to hull deforming than rotomolded kayaks. they require a great deal of maintenance. is somewhat of a compromise. stronger summer wood is bonded in layers to softer. kevlar. in itself. Wood is. Used correctly. shiny fiberglass. fabric or plastic. Yet every choice of kayak. less dense spring wood. and don’t have the high performance features offered by their composite counterparts.Why Would Anybody Want a Wood Kayak? BUSTING THE MYTHS hey’re fragile. The wood and fiberglass composite offers a unique ‘symbiotic’ relationship. and while there are tradeoffs. A scratch in the varnish of a wooden kayak is no more life-threatening than a similar scratch in the gelcoat of a composite boat. The wood kayak deserves no less (and requires no more) care than a similarly constructed composite boat. Harder. paddling a beautiful wooden boat does not require sacrifices. When the wood shell of a kayak is completed and sheathed with a protective layer of stiffer. The wood (aside from being beautiful) provides a very stiff core material that is less likely than a foam core to shear MYTH #1: WOOD KAYAKS ARE FRAGILE Wood is not nearly as fragile as one would suppose. strong in torsion (twisting). carbon or wooden hulls. and is much lighter for its given stiffness than a hull constructed from solid fiberglass. and less affected by severe fatigue cycles than more stiff and brittle materials like carbon or fiberglass. Big holes are few and far between—generally avoided due to wood’s toughness and springiness—and are easily repaired if they do occur. You learned how to fix it in the process of building it— the skills are the same. I often get the comment. a rigid monococque structure is produced. I’d sure hate to put that in the water!” from people who think this beautiful wood boat is DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 7 . strong in shear away from the face composite. Baker T Shawn’s beautiful creation (tearing) across the grain. fiberglass or wooden. Some wooden kayak paddlers are highly reluctant to drag their laden kayak onto a rocky beach. strong in compression (pushing). but most plastic kayaks suffer from designs that are optimized for rotomolding rather than optimized for paddling. “Gosh. a composite of tubular voids surrounded by harder lignin cellulose.

8 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 .

A skin-on-frame kayak with a wooden frame could be yours for little more than $100 in materials. and durable. Many commercial kayaks are pulled from molds which were originally formed around a woodstripped prototype. Epoxy is very tough.ca You can proudly say “I built it myself” ROY FOLLAND WOODEN KAYAKS 130 Como Gardens.ohurleysboats.royfolland. but you’re not buying a humdrum run-of-the-mill kayak either. 24. Lots of commercial designers use woodstrip kayaks in the prototyping process to avoid the hassles of building a plug and mold that may never be used again. and its owner from all that work! Most wooden kayaks are sheathed with fiberglass saturated by epoxy resin. it’s also a relaxing stress-reliever. Professionally crafted kayaks draw the kinds of stares and ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ that completely escape commercial kayaks. By sourcing your own materials. 44 lbs. For many. smoothed. Register Now! Ph: 250-245-5199 Cell: 250-246-8578 Fax: 250-245-5180 www. and becomes the mold plug and the predecessor to hundreds of commercial composite boats. $1695 +GST. Its only drawback is low UV resistance. And yes. it could tend to the pricey side of things.com www. you’ll be pleasantly surprised. but as Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks says. the wooden kayak’s fiberglass sheathing protects the boat from weathering. MYTH #3: WOOD KAYAKS REQUIRE A LOT OF MAINTENANCE People familiar with larger wooden vessels probably perpetuate this myth. light weight and efficiency of a wooden kayak. Kayak building is a collection of many small steps—stripbuilding especially—so it’s not hard to find a half-hour here or a half-hour there to work on the boat. when I’m not at work. mysteriously going to disintegrate when I put it in the water. not a craft”. Register Now! 50/50 male/female. • Kits include only the highest quality materials. ADVENTURE O’Hurleys’ Wooden Boats Build Your Own Kayak No experience necessary! 610 Oyster Bay Drive. BC 18’ sea kayak. 2. high performance 18’ sea kayak.A simple hatch cover becomes a thing of beauty.000 to $5. A woodstrip kayak can take 200 hours for a simple design to 3-400 hours for an intricately stripped deck pattern with many contrasting species of wood. they are the most inexpensive kayaks available. you can build a stitch and glue kayak for as little as $300 US ($450 Cdn). An annual or biannual varnishing with a quality marine-grade spar varnish is all that is needed to protect the boat from UV damage. and that kind of time is priceless! Custom-built kayaks can cost $3. The fact that design possibilities of woodstrip kayaks are flexible enough for composite designers to use them as a plug should One kit. Only 6 students. $1695 +GST. Ladysmith. and disappear during the varnishing ritual. 44 lbs. and varnished over. I just grin and launch anyway! MYTH #2: WOOD KAYAKS ARE EXPENSIVE Are wooden kayaks expensive? The answer is no. 60 hours. Kits run from $700-1000 US. The trade-off here is time. Hudson. Gaping holes in plastic boats can’t be reliably fixed. runabouts and tall ships require a great deal of elbow grease. • These kayaks will last a lifetime and beyond. waterproof. high performance for day paddling or expeditions. light. J0P 1H0 (450) 458-0152 Email: kayak@royfolland. 50/50 male/female.com CLASSES START: DEC. • Easily built by anyone with limited woodworking experience. sanded smooth. 7 DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 9 . it gets faired out completely. strong. woodstrip kayaks can cost as little as $350 US ($525 Cdn). light. Only 6 students. APR.000. Serious penetrations (if they actually occur) require about as much fiberglass work as a similarly damaged composite boat. when they are filled with epoxy. FEB. A stitch and glue kayak can take 80120 hours to complete. MYTH #4: WOOD KAYAKS CAN’T BE HIGH PERFORMANCE If you’ve only ever seen a cheap plywood boat designed on the back of a napkin by a hobbyist who threw the whole thing together one cloudy Sunday afternoon. 13. too. JAN. While wooden sailboats. If you take the time to build your own kayak. for day paddling or expeditions.com Email: ohurleys@sprint. If the kayak prototype paddles well. Deeper scratches are gone. a lifetime of Sea Wolf Wooden Kayak Kits are for the discriminating paddler who prefers the beauty. If you have a skilled artisan build your boat. “It’s an art. the cost of my time is $0. strong. While time may be money to some. Most scratches and dings are in the varnish layer only. Quebec.

com. GUILLEMOT KAYAKS Glastonbury.com PYGMY BOATS. strip-built construction for complete design freedom. Ph: 413-773-5375. Rugged. Email: info@ guillemot-kayaks. Pygmy produced North America’s first computer-designed sea kayaks.net. however—if you want to be able to gas your car. a rowing skiff and a wilderness tripping canoe. Even stitch and glue kayaks can be built to high performance hull shapes. Wood kayaks are as stiff as kevlar and fiberglass boats. Email: jbabina@snet. Richmond. Ph: 203-481-3221. MA 01301 www. During the past 15 years they have expanded their line to include 15 models of sea kayaks. but other times it’s nice to know that the vessel you doggedly worked on for all those hours looks pretty good to others! t Shawn Baker is a 25 year-old “old married guy”. though.kayakme. JASON DESIGNS Branford. New Hampshire Newfound Woodworks has been supplying cedar strip/epoxy canoe and kayak kits to boat builders for 12 years. Four years of devel- the praise and compliments of complete strangers. Please check out our huge website: www.com. Port Townsend.ca. If the cedar strip kayak meets our criteria of performance we then start to manufacture it in fiberglass. CHESAPEAKE LIGHT CRAFT Annapolis. Ph: 603-744-6872. no weather cocking and a fast hull with good stability.serve as evidence enough that a woodstrip boat can be built to accommodate absolutely any design feature desired. Kits are precision cut on our own machine from African Mahogany marine plywood. beautiful. Contact owner. Wooden kayaks have the knack of attracting slack-jawed stares and worldwide. author of Canoecraft and KayakCraft. By and large. Ph: 250-245-5199. they still looked better than an average economymodel plastic boat.com. Website: www.LaughingLoon.com. with 10. Ted Moores. Washington Pygmy is the largest and oldest manufacturer of precision precut plywood kayak kits in North America. This stiffness means less paddling energy is lost in flexing the hull—a stiffer boat is a faster boat.pygmyboats. INC. young and old. NEWFOUND WOODWORKS Bristol.ohurleysboats. Started in 1986 by boat designer and software engineer John Lockwood. LAUGHING LOON Greenfield Massachusetts Rob Macks’ kayak designs include the award winning Panache. Maryland Chesapeake Light Craft has enjoyed a long development and widespread popularity. or 12' daysailers. Our touring and racing sea kayaks are built and paddled by professional kayakers and rank beginners. who’s been paddling for 4 years. teaches classes.com. Call 360-385-6143 or visit www.Greenfield. © Wooden Kayak Directory A GREAT LITTLE KAYAK CO. or travel anywhere in populated areas undisturbed. Chestnut “prospector” canoes. builds kayaks and canoes. Stitch and glued hulls are the easiest way to make a hardshell kayak with hard chines. Continued on page 15 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 Uvƒƒˆw‚u Uˆi† i¤‚s‘¤piwri†yi¤t†ƒ Laughing Loon Custom Canoes & Kayaks 10 •Plans. British Columbia We teach people to build their own 18' sea kayaks. Web: www. We will assist throughout your construction to help you get it right. The Current Designs ‘Caribou’ was originally a stitch and glue design that performed so well it was added to the composite maker’s lineup. com. Kits & Boats •Beautiful Designs •Outstanding Performance Wood Strip Canoes & Kayaks Catalog $5 US / $8 intl 413-773-5375 fax 772-3771 833-L Colrain Rd. BEAR MOUNTAIN BOAT SHOP Peterborough. Email: info@bearmountain boats. Free brochure and video. Email: info@newfound. the best reason to paddle a wood boat is that they’re just so beautiful! While I have seen a couple of wooden kayaks that were victim to lessthan-adequate handiwork.com. Web: www.com. the Georgian Bay and the North Star which was inspired by the baidarka kayaks of the Aleut Eskimos of Alaska. father of 2 Labradors.clcboats. We supply everything from books and videos to completed canoes and kayaks. His greatest thrill so far has been paddling his newest strip-built boat in Deception Pass. Mike Walker. Ontario Renowned for pioneering the woodstrip epoxy construction technique. O’HURLEY’S WOODEN BOATS Ladysmith. We start by building each new design in cedar. Distinctive designs to suit any paddling style. A word to the wise. Get ready to have people around your kayak when you build this one.com . These are highly sophisticated. Connecticut Plans for building your own high performance wooden sea kayak. Complete instruction book available separately. and much stiffer than plastic.bearmountain boats.newfound. high-performance boats that can be assembled by beginners in their own garages.LaughingLoon. Ph: 604-671-3295.com. Email: ohurleys@sprint. Web: www. we are a small company which builds kayaks as a labour of love. Accurate. Connecticut The Outer Island kayak is a low volume kayak replicating the west Greenland lines in a conventional round chine hull. computer generated full size patterns. It meets the needs of advanced paddlers who desire a low volume kayak with easy rolling characteristics with it’s low back deck. 8’ dinghies. launch your kayak.com/l. Expedition and sailing sea kayaks are our specialty. Ph: 705-740-0470. Web: www. and do custom boat building and small boat repairs. Sometimes it’s really nice to be able to go unnoticed and enjoy your fine handmade boat in solitude. sells plans and offers advice to first time builders. British Columbia Manufacturers of Teeka Kayaks. Email: laughing_loon@shaysnet.5. We are always open to suggestions on new designs and ideas. building wooden kayaks for 2. And a well-constructed wooden boat is a sight to behold. Web: www.com laughing_loon@shaysnet. don’t get a wooden kayak. Please visit our web site and interactive bulletin board. WA this past summer.com or call 410-267-0137.kayakplans.000 boats on the water opment into this one hull.

while it is always dry within. This seaworthy. the covered canoe is far stronger than an open boat. Unfortunately. The typical solution for most early peoples was to cut down a tree and hollow it out. or a millrace. is attended with infinite toil and trouble. That ancestor of the Aleut and Inuit “Eskimos” began the evolution of the boat that supplied the livelihood of the people of the Arctic and later developed into the glossy plastic craft paddled by enthusiasts today. Somewhere in the arctic along a sinking land bridge. By collecting the small pieces of driftwood that made it to their shore. However. we can be sure that craftsman used the best material available—wood. 1806. the residents of the north fashioned a lightweight wooden frame and covered it with sealskin. The best source of food was the ocean. CT 06405 USA 203-481-3221 DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 11 . lightweight boats built by the locals. on which account they prefer purchasing it at a dear rate. decked boat combined with a sprayskirt was the first boat that we would recognize as a kayak. The Arctic is a harsh environment. MacGregor. large trees don’t grow in the far north.A Brief History of Wooden Kayaks N obody knows when the first kayak was built. can be worked with stone-age tools. What was needed was a means to access this plentiful food source. Nick Schade As the early arctic boatbuilders ventured out on the treacherous waters they eventually thought of the idea of covering over the top of the boat and securing the bottom of their cloak around the opening to keep waves and spray out. and it can be sculpted into a wide variety of shapes. Kayaks were an integral part of the Aleut and Inuit lifestyle. Around the turn of the 19th century European explores started to find their way into the far north and send back reports of the seaworthy. These reports eventually prompted boat builders to adapt their techniques to emulate the “canoes” of the north.” —A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe on Rivers and Lakes of Europe. Wood was the most important resource for making this boat possible. they can only wash over the deck of a canoe. Wood is lightweight and resilient.” —Gavriil A Sarycev. The bare collecting together as much wood on the shore as is requisite for a [kayak]. J. a lock. 1866 The traditional kayak had a wood frame covered by seal skin. and when the breakers are high in the open sea or in river rapids. It provided the semi-rigid framework around which could be stretched the sealskin. Wood provided a material that could absorb the stress and strain of riding over waves and the impacts of hard landings. someone was inspired to create the predecessor of what we currently call a kayak. TRADITIONAL KAYAKS “One whole year and more is spent in build such a small boat. The solution they developed was probably even better than a dugout canoe. were made using this basic technique. and may be fearlessly dropped into a deep pool. This is the basis of the original kayak. O U T E R I S L A N D GREAT PERFORMING LOW VOLUME STRIP BUILT KAYAK 18' X 21" BUILDING PLANS / INSTRUCTIONS Free brochure and video information e-mail: jbabina@snet. Even quite large vessels such as Umiaks. which could carry several passengers plus gear.net JASON DESIGNS • 7 JEFFREY LANE. John MacGregor popularized the covered canoe. A Russian Explorer. BRANFORD. EUROPEAN ADVENTURES “Besides all this.

including kayaks. the same technology that pushed wood to the side also gave new life to building wooden boats of all kinds. decked “canoes” based on the Rob Roy. and helped reintroduce the amazing boats of the arctic to Europe. While commercial builders had migrated to manufacturing kayaks with fiberglass and plastic.org/jm/ tm. Traditional boat building generally incorporated ribs to provide support across the grain. If wood absorbs water it is subject to rot. weight. strength and maintenance problems. [Available at http://www. covered boat with the publication of A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe on Rivers and Lakes of Europe. made ribs unnecessary in some boats. Since 1907 Klepper had been making folding kayaks and in 1933 Folbot entered into the market. New York was notable in North America for building small. A more impervious coating is needed to preserve the wood. Rushton of Canton. homebuilders maintained an underground following for wooden kayaks. The new materials offered the means for hobbyists to create boats as good or better than commercially available. Gino Watkins led the expedition. They used a lightweight. and refined the construction to make his boats extremely light. While wood is very strong. J. Wooden boats became marginalized with the perception of durability. Varnish or paint applied to keep the wood dry eventually fails due to sun exposure or the constant expansion and contraction of the wood. Fiberglass and epoxy now provide this coating without obscuring the beauty of the wood. wooden frame. Eliminating the ribs could save a lot of weight and make the interior cleaner and easier to maintain. In 1880 a Rushton “Rob Roy” canoe cost $80. double paddled. the British were exploring an Arctic air route. while sticking to European methods. MODERN MATERIALS World War II spurred development of new materials such as plywood.eldritch press. rotomolded. double paddled. Although building boats with wood is generally too labor intensive for commercial manufacturing. an account of his adventures in a small wooden kayak. with its layers of veneer laid in different directions. these kayaks were constructed much like the Inuit boats. But ironically. The labor-saving techniques of building with fiberglass soon took over the construction of boats of all kinds. The Rob Roy type became very popular and widely emulated. H. but substituted canvas for the sealskin. it is stronger with the grain than across it. Some of these builders went on to write articles on building kayaks in magazines such as Popular Mechanics. While folding kayaks continued to be manufactured with wood. it remained within the means of the basement and garage handyperson with limited tools. In 1930. Other than the fact that they could be quickly disassembled for transportation and storage.John MacGregor popularized the idea of paddling a small. These 12 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 . Other boats used fiberglass reinforcement to eliminate the ribs. commercial kayaks soon were only made with fiberglass or later. Plywood. fiberglass and resins such as polyester and epoxy. THE MODERN WOODEN KAYAK Back yard builders seeking to create their own kayaks adapted the modern materials and building techniques to their craft of choice.htm] His “Rob Roy” was constructed of oak and cedar using European building techniques. became fascinated by the kayaks built by the Inuits of Greenland.

This technique was The original Inuit and Aleut technique adapted from techniques used for buildof skin-on-frame is still around and evolving large plywood boats. Chris Skin-on-frame boats are still some of the Kulczycki. Both stitch-and-glue and strip-built kayaks have gained loyal followings. There are a few manufacturers trying to maintain the beauty and strength of wood in their kayaks. wood is still the fastest. or custom built for them. Many Books.guillemot-kayaks. But with proper care zine articles and book. and skin-on-frame. It produces a ing. With the growth of sea kayaking as a sport has come a growth in the popularity of building wooden kayaks. the other KayakCraft. about the history of puter software has made this process the Aleut kayaking culture. One of Nick’s designs built by Russ Cozens. page 36). Wolfgang easier. they are a way for an individual paddler to create a oneof-a-kind boat personally suited to his or her own paddling needs. cheapest and easiest way to build yourself a high quality kayak. t Nick Schade is the author of The StripBuilt Sea Kayak.articles often included full plans and instructions for building your own boat. Glastonbury. The Strip-Built Sea Kayak. and the owner of Guillemot Kayaks. was instrumental in the popularigets into the boat. There is something about the visual warmth and texture of wood that attracts DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength dling them. The first published mention of strip-built kayaks seems to be from David Hazen in his book The Strippers Guide to Canoe Building. opment of plywood kayak designs. a source for plans for people to build their own wooden kayak. Instead. The Kayak Shop (see these boats are still a good choice. formerly of Chesapeake Light lightest kayaks available. and fiberglass. A fresh coat of varnish every few years will keep the wood bright and fill in any scratches. George Dyson culated and cut in order for the boat to popularized this technique to the for many come out the right shape. ComFUTURE OF WOODEN KAYAKS mercial builders often create a strip-built The wooden kayaks you see today genprototype to test new design ideas because erally gave been built by the person padthis offers a lot of design freedom. The skin material is now canvas or lightweight boat quite quickly. lightweight boat. CT Ph: 860-659-8847 Schade@guillemot-kayaks. The main techniques for building wooden kayaks today are stitch-and-glue. The original kayakers depended on this ability. It is a gratifying experience to paddle the vast ocean in a beautiful wooden boat of your own construction. but the wood panels must be very precisely calbasic technique is the same. And people around the world have built from them. then glued together with epoxy wooden kayaks always stand out. He can be reached at Guillemot Kayaks. The plysynthetic instead of animal skin. While a scratch will be more noticeable on a nicely varnished wooden kayak. Recently a couple of books have come out describing this method. It is nice that wooden kayaks also happen to be lightweight. Because water Craft. strong and beautiful. Stitch-and-glue uses precisely cut panels of plywood stitched together withattention. out ribs. strip-building. durability and beauty.com © 13 . the wooden frames need zation of the technique through his magato be dried after use. CanoeCraft. They were able to construct a vessel capable of crossing the open ocean using tools and materials gathered from near their homes. Modern comin his book Baidarka. Wooden kayaks will never be massmarket products.com www. A typical stitch-and-glue or strip-built kayak weights around 40 lbs. one by myself. these boats don’t differ much from fiberglass boats with regard to maintenance since they are covered in fiberglass and epoxy. one of the greatest beauties of a wooden kayak has been the ability to build it with simple tools. published by Ragged Mountain Press. builders. narrow strips of wood boat that flexes and responds to the water are wrapped around temporary forms and like an extension of their body. People like them for their light weight. people build them to help preserve the Strip-building first made the transition traditions of the early Aleut and Inuit from large boats to small ones via canoes. but the additional labor cost required to use wood will probably keep these efforts marginal. by Ted Moores who was instrumental in popularizing the strip-built technique for canoes with his original book. then covered with fiberglass and epoxy to make a rugged. Next to the modern plastic boat. Today. From the beginning. Brinck’s book The Aleutian Kayak provides John Lockwood of Pygmy Boats was an a complete description of how to build a innovator in using software in the develskin-on-frame boat in the Aleutian style. others like the intimate feel of a In this technique.

During that summer I did a lot of sea kayaking with one of the local outfitters. the ‘Volkskomponentkayak’. would fit in an elevator and in the tiny storage room of my apartment. and reinforced the two bottom panels on the outside with fiberglass cloth. The first weekend I stitched the six plywood panels of the hull and deck together with wire. the three compartments are bolted together with six bolts each through the bow and stern bulkheads.com lbadventures@hotmail. taped the seams with fiberglass tape. cockpit. and a week later I signed up for one of his workshops. If I didn’t like it for paddling. After the deck and hull were joined.. I was curious how the hard-chined Volkskayak would feel and handle. WA 98279 Ph: 503-621-1167 www. coated the wood with epoxy resin. Familair with rotomolded seakayaks. arranged a test paddle.Building a Volkskomponentkayak . my Volkskayak was almost ready to paddle. Facing the problem of storing a sea kayak in my apartment. Apart from glassing in the doubled. I would at least have three pieces of unique furniture for my apartment! The next two weekends I glassed the outside of the bulkheads and did a lot of sanding and finishing. I started building my kayak in November. The saw blade had to hit right between the doubled bulkheads to separate the bow. The following weekend I removed the wires.or why anybody would cut a perfectly good kayak into three pieces! lywood? A sea kayak made from 4 mm plywood? Is that a really good idea? I stood in front of this little booth at the 1999 spring fair in Halifax. heavier bulkheads the kayak was then built like a normal stitch and glue kayak. HONDURAS HAWAII. But my boat was designated to become a Volkskomponentkayak. I remembered Gerry and his Volkskayaks. By the end of the summer I decided that I had to have my own boat.com WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 . and the Volkskayak was transformed into a Volkskomponentkayak.laughingbirdadventures. After only a Attachment system For paddling. and it took me two months to finish the project. This design. We used beefier 8 mm plywood for the bulkheads. and his workshop where you can build one.. The operation was a full success. a stitch and glue boat building method. could be the solution for my storage problem. ‘Volkskayak’-Gerry Gladwin had a gleaming smile on his face when he told me all about his Greenland-inspired kayak design. and doubled them. Gerry handled the saw as I was too afraid to mess this part up. which breaks down into three pieces. BAJA 800-853 BAJA (2252) 14 PO Box 332 Olga. In preparation for this step we had done a modification during the previous steps. then glued them with thickened epoxy. restricted to weekends. One important question remained. P Scene in Ulli’s garage I gave Gerry a call. and stern sections. and got hooked. My face must have given my skeptical thoughts away. After Christmas I Adventure Travel Since 1991 SEA KAYAKING TOURS IN BELIZE. That day I had no idea that ten months later I would be building my own Volkskayak. One particular design. Would I like it? Could I handle a kayak without a rudder? Ulli Höger couple of hours the result already gave an impression of the kayak.

Email: joe@redfishkayak.villasdeloreto.com Ph/Fax: 011-52-113-50586 Apdo. t Anyone we missed should contact us for our next issue.com Web: www. The assembled Volkskomponentkayak had my boat painted and was ready to go.com http://www. We specialize in the woodstrip method of construction in a workshop format with tools and materials provided. is currently working in Halifax. Washington Ray Klebba’s White Salmon Boat Works’ primary purpose is to teach the first time boat builder the art of building their own ‘dreamboat’—be it canoe. fast and maneuverable. Constructed of the finest traditional marine grade woods. calm seas and national parks • 6 nights/7 days paddling or 10 days paddling/mountain packages! • comfortable lodging on the beach • experience naturalist guides • weekly December through April • beginners & experienced paddlers • wonderful local cuisine Villas de Loreto Villas de Loreto Baja Mexico A charming beach resort on the Sea of Cortez in the old town of Loreto Offering sea kayak rentals. Roy’s objective was to bring the kayak kit business to a higher level of precision and beauty than was available at the time. my Volkskomponentkayak will be with me. I launched it in the Northwest Arm of Halifax harbour and since that day I have covered a couple of hundred kilometres in my Volkskayak. ROY FOLLAND WOODEN KAYAKS Hudson. With an innovative approach and unique construction methods. air conditioning. Web: www. 15th KAYAK COSTA RICA PADDLE IN PARADISE — our 15th season — • warm. Ph: 208-3447116. exploring the lakes. when Gerry checked it in as his luggage for a trip to Mexico.red fishkayak. sea kayak.royfolland. deadline December 15th. the company’s entire line of canoe and kayak paddles also features the innovative Helix Lamination spliceless shaft.truenorth woodenboat. diving.volkskayak. Quebec Roy Folland Wooden Kayaks was established four years ago. t Dr. And if I have to move to a new paddling place somewhere else in this world.ca/tour 15 . Email: info@zuzupaddles. rowboat or other small craft. An experienced and accomplished designer. Web: www. 2’ Feb/Mar 2001 Deadline: Dec. originally from Germany. ‘Canada’s Ocean Playground’ on the east coast. Boise. Info is available on several kits.C.com. Ph: 520-774-6535. com. More details about building a Volkskayak can be found at www. coastline and islands of Nova Scotia. As durable as they are beautiful. revolutionary design.net. Call for assistance or advice. Idaho Joe Greenley of Redfish builds wood kayaks that are beautiful. Web: www. Summerland. 132 Loreto B.dal.seakayak. Ph: 250-494-4458.com.com.com. ZUZU PADDLES Flagstaff.com. a patented technology combining the warmth and feel of wood with the strength and lightness of today’s composite materials.ca/~uhoeger or www. pool.net.bc. boat plans and boating accessories. anyone can build these beautiful wooden kayaks. © WHITE SALMON BOATS WORKS White Salmon. Students build the boat of their choice using our plans or their own. and the latest composite technology. complementary breakfast Special Exploratory Tour of PANAMA Bocas de Toro (Caribbean) Fall boat sale of glass & plastic expedition boats. Email: kayak@royfolland. British Columbia True North is dedicated to producing top quality. these fine wooden boats can be paddled with pride and confidence and are destined to become a treasured family possession. Nova Scotia at the Department of Physiology and Biophysics Dalhousie University. We also offer easy to assemble kits. Ph: 450-458-0152. Arizona ZuZu paddles are a truly unique combination of fine woodworking craftsmanship. —NEW at Villas!— Restaurant & PADI Dive Shop www. Email: dreamboats@gorge.com.S. Their lines and finish make them as pleasing to the eye as they are to paddle.Wooden Kayak Directory Continued from page 10 REDFISH KAYAK & CANOE CO. TRUE NORTH WOODEN BOAT CO. The first one became airborne last spring. Ulli Höger.zuzupaddles. bicycles. Mexico 23880 DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength Ph/Fax: 250/539-2442 kayak@gulfislands. high performance wood/epoxy canoes and touring kayaks. Email: woodboat@vip. ‘Wooden Kayaks—Pt.

But to get there in my own hand-made wooden kayak required noise. The jigsaw pieces of 4 mm (3/16 in. My kayak would break apart far out to sea. involving more epoxy and nailing. maybe even worse. The second weekend involved more basic construction and by the third weekend. I was expected to build my kayak out of those? How was it possible for such thin. My heart sped as I picked up one of the pieces gingerly and wiggled it up and down. “And in between all this you sand. Best is just to stop sometimes and feel every little thing suddenly brought to stillness. and painted the whole inside with epoxy. deep pulse. your breath and paddle strokes joining together in one long. wobbly wood to keep me afloat? My 140 lbs would shatter the wood in a twinkling right at the shore line. inserted bulkheads in the proper places. quality control officer and co-instructor of our classes. marine-grade plywood) were beginning to look like something. It agreeably waved back. I nearly dropped from shock. twisted the wires to hold the edges flush with each other. sand. and gently pushed off into a rolling swell of water. sand. By the end of the first weekend our team of four classmates had sanded the flimsy plywood pieces smooth on one side. You choose whether to paddle alongside and join in conversation or not. There's a sudden separate universe that exists when you push off onto water.” dictated Mother Therese. and I’d sink to the bottom. and registered by Lloyd's of London as being high-quality. I needn't have worried. your heart. dust. Maybe even something that would ultimately hold me afloat in the great big sea.Learning to Stitch and Glue T he morning I walked into my first build-your-own-wooden-kayak class. On the workbench lay four of the flimsiest pieces of plywood I could ever recall having seen. The boats looked stronger and stronger. perseverance. We checked each boat for being straight and true. patience and just the maximum-I-could-stand of sacrificed weekends. finished in Israel.” Okume marine-grade plywood (from okume trees in Africa.) Donna Wilford “Best is just to stop sometimes and feel every little thing suddenly brought to stillness. That repetitive sanding was one of the WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 16 Photo by Paul Wilford . It doesn't matter that others may be with you. shipped to the USA. and gone on to construct three other such hulls. And maybe something that would again bless me with that quiet taste of freedom I'd experienced the first time I slipped into a kayak five years earlier. Or. carefully laid out two layers of finicky fiberglass ribbon along all inside seams and joints. Then another thought crept into my mind. ‘sewn’ the pieces together with 18-gauge copper wire. Maybe the instructors had run into financial difficulty and cut corners on ordering their wood. we all had our decks on. Best is just to imagine the water under you running in one big ocean river all around the world. Best is just to paddle and listen to the sound of the sea. with husband John.

Exclusive Caribbean Reef & Rain Forest Packages Sea kayak.ca. crab claws slicing the water of my deck. experienced boat-building hands of my instructors every step of the way. Then artist David Lloyd came to do custom artwork on our kayaks.com 17 Photo by Donna Wilford . I had imagined the top of my kayak looking like a beach. She was both beautiful and terrible at the same time. sand. As we rounded the corner to the finish line. Camp. never catching me. and the natural grain of the wood showed me where the rocks and tidal pools would be. sand.—so I could launch.” Ever since CirSea first slipped into the ocean. writing and performing a song for our instructors and reading some rather questionable literary pieces having to do with sanders during lunch breaks. Fish. Scuba.com). fish tail undulating below the surface. discussions abou today's teenagers (our children). Bird watch. Iguana Hunt. The class I took through O'Hurleys' Wooden Boats in Ladysmith involved six weekends in a row of half-days each Saturday and Sunday (www. but I look forward to years of paddling pleasure. surprised once again at the uniqueness of each boat and the imagination of each design: “We assume everyone's going to go in there and build a wonderful boat. it was sand. which our class relieved with ribald tales of past relationships. I turned the project over to David and left. but never. Other classmates felt the same. the sea witch at my back. But I also wanted some kind of sea witch or monster coming up from below. varnish.ohurleys boats. & Relax in Belize! Donna’s classmates with finished kayaks. My kayak named herself—CirSea. I've enjoyed each minute of peace upon the waters. varnish. Hike. paint. adjustable foot pegs. I'm proud of every boat that has come out of the classes. Cave Exploration.innocentearth. Instructor John O'Hurley was impressed as usual. pieces of beauty and function. boring parts. varnish. and that my kayak was not going to break apart on me). etc. her face that of a First Nations mask.rainforestkayak.Photo by Donna Wilford When I next saw my kayak. seats. t Donna Wilford was born and raised on the west coast but didn’t get into kayaking until her 11-year-old son Paul attended an outdoor wilderness camp at Strathcona Park and then led the family on a kayak trip. and they do. O'Hurleys' can be reached at 250-2455199 or 250-246-8578. paint. We had created four wonderful pieces of floating art. epoxy. sand. Sail. sand. Courses & tours in Clayoquot Sound with Dan Lewis & Bonny Glambeck Father and Son Island Excursion Week May 18th and 25th Women’s Island Adventure Week May 4th and 11th Travel Experience in Belize since 1973 www. epoxy. There are several build-your-own-wooden kayak classes offered in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith-Duncan area. © Donna’s kayak CirSea (right) and sister craft.com Toll free (USA) 888-826-5922 or 570-686-9393 DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 1-877-422-WILD www. a sea witch of weird fantasy swam along my aft deck. I could hardly wait for the final steps to be finished—all the bungy cords. sand. or by email at: ohurleys@sprint. seaweed hair trailing out behind. I'm what you'd call a complete novice at the craft of kayaking. This was the most exciting part for me (after I realized I was in good.

Some manufacturers offer add-ons ranging from Vaclav Stejskal come to about $140 to $200 for the wood. may add another $200 to $300 or so. Some start with only a set of plans in their hands.5 ft. So. as well as the pure functionality of the wood strip kayak. while others may be building from ground zero.ca/gabriola Gabriola Island. 14 YEARS IN BUSINESS • 6 & 7 day kayak trips from Loreto. cedar strips. that inspires passion and stirs thousands of ‘do-it-yourselfers’ around the globe to clean up their basements. your wood strip kayak will be about half the cost of a similar commercial fiberglass kayak—and of course. Let’s assume an average 17. varnish. and attics and plunge right into construction of their dream wooden kayak. plywood. Nov-Apr (Cdn$615-655) ADVENTURE OUTFITTERS • NEW advanced paddle Loreto-La Paz. Add 2. The craft may take a couple of weeks longer to finish but you will have unquestionably ‘built the kayak completely from scratch!’ Other builders start with a kayak kit because they may not have access to all the machinery needed. if you start in February. The trade-off with kits is that although they can shave weeks off the project. Minicel foam seats and foot braces to hardware and varnish. It is the spirit of discovery combined with the builder’s artistic impulse. brushes etc. both you and your kayak will be ready for your maiden voyage in May or June. fibers and extras can add a few hundred dollars on top but ultimately. If you can mill the strips yourself it will BAJA MEXICO KAYAK TOURS LOW COST. which averages about $100 at most. because everyone’s shop is equipped differently and builders‚ standards of quality and material selection vary widely. a few sheets of particleboard and a couple of planks of cedar. and epoxy. which may go from $113 to $205 depending on the brand of epoxy you choose. Of course some people will have a lot of tools and useful material lying around their shop. Milling your own strips simply makes it possible to create infinite variety of decorative inlays with greater ease. Wood strip kayaks are built year round but the vast majority of builders choose the long dark days of winter and early spring to get into the project. So.5 gallons of epoxy. or would prefer to dispense with the prep work and tedious dustiness of strip milling.wi. Mar 2-10 (Cdn$835) • Mainland Mexico bike tours pmarcus@island. the complete control one has over the selection and quality of wood and other materials. BC CANADA V0R 1X0 PH: 250-247-8277 FAX: 250-247-9788 18 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 .net RR1 Site 1 C-23 Also 2-9 day summer trips to: • Johnstone Strait/Knight Inlet • Queen Charlottes • Clayoquot Sound • Nootka Island • Broken Group • or Gulf Islands Weekends www. Mar 27-Apr 5 (Cdn$935) • Mtn. fiberglass. O Laying down cedar strips. Exotic wood. the ‘labor of love’ is always free! The question I am asked the most is: ‘How long will it take?’ An average person can transform a few bundles of cedar strips into a completely varnished single kayak in as little as two months of creative and enjoyable time. Large expedition kayaks and doubles average about three to four months. kayak uses about three (3/ 4 inch x 10 inch x 16 ft. there is a limit to the selection of strips and epoxies and there is also a higher cost for the prefabricated components. how much does it cost to build a stripper? It really depends.The Cedar Strip Kayak ne cannot help but touch the silky smoothness of the cedar wood kayak hull and imagine paddling in deep bluegreen water in search of solitude. Bike & Kayak Combo. The kit provides all the major ingredients—the full size forms for building the kayak mold. The benefit of starting this way is the very low construction cost and perhaps just as importantly. The rest of the materials such as particleboard. SELF-CATERED.) planks of cedar. which will reduce the cost considerably.bc. The average total cost can range from about $500 to $1000. garages. The last big item is fiberglass cloth.

which gives the whole structure the kayak shape‚ and necessary Preparing for inlays. Most high performance competition yachts at the Americas Cup have balsa wood as the core material but few would think of these sailboats as wooden. the inlay patterns crystallize and the wood becomes flawlessly smooth and clean. In fact the more appropriate term should be ‘composite sandwich core kayaks’. the entire craft is encased in a fiberglass/epoxy skin. Some builders avoid this step by fastening the strips to the forms without staples. At this point the surface is very rough.The construction of a wood strip kayak often starts with a table of offsets‚ or ideally with a very accurate set of full size plans. the staples can be pulled out but the wood core holds its shape now.Clamping inlays in place. and spruce. the wood for this construction must fulfill a few requirements. The best and time-tested woods are the cedar species. caked up with glue as well as staple holes. The occasional mistakes are not hard to undo since the body of the kayak comes together one strip at a time. sandwiched between thin skins of high tensile skins that makes wood strip kayaks some of the strongest craft in relation to their weight. For 19 . dar from water. Once the dust clears. A fairing board is a flexible piece of plywood about 4 inches x 16 inches with 60 grit sand paper attached to it. Once you build the mold. rigidity. All forms are arranged on a strongback (spine). harden slowly enough to allow a comfortable pace of work and are relatively foolproof. The actual stripping involves stapling the wood strips to the edges of the forms with long staples. In order to achieve the desired shape. The term ‘epoxy’ sometimes elicits a nervous reaction in new builders. Many people think of these kayaks as wooden—wood being associated with waterlogged. Regardless. wood strip kayaks can truly boast material-unrestricted. These forms or stations precisely define the shape of the kayak and also serve as attachment points for each strip. for it may be associated with the fast setting epoxy tubes in a hardware store. This is done at first with a plane or belt sander but the second and most important smoothing step is accomplished with the ‘fairing board’. the construction enters a completely different phase. and workable. Out of all the homebuilt construction methods. there is a feeling of confidence and being ‘over the hump’. the surface is still at the ugly duckling stage and needs more work to remove all the smudges and irregularity. velvety smoothness. which bonds everything together. even without the staples. and yellow Alaska cedar. Other commonly used wood are pine. mahogany. that of high tech composites and modern chemistry. full size plans almost completely eliminate measuring and the mold is aligned visually using register marks printed on the templates. which takes about 3 to 4 afternoons. The results are often beautiful but the construction is slowed down significantly because each glued strip must firmly set before another strip is added. which need to be filled with wood putty or other water-soluble filler. and like in a painting. flexible. redwood. can weigh as much as 5 to 8 strips of eastern white cedar. that is. Spanish cedar. The strips are glued together side by side and their specially shaped edges (bead & cove) interlock together. weak and outdated technology. be light. each can always be removed and replaced later. eastern white cedar. The outcome is often so spectacular that one is completely awash with the resolve to get the thing on the water as soon as possible. It is the cedar core. Laying down the thin splines of colorful and fragrant cedar over the mold is not unlike applying paint on a clean sheet of canvas. The plan templates are glued on particleboard and the forms are cut out with a finetoothed jigsaw. basswood. Exotic wood is most often incorporated in smaller quantities because of its density. forming a smooth continuous core. One strip of red Paduk. relatively strong. The fact that the strip core can assume almost any smooth convex or concave shape allows the kayak to be designed and shaped with great flexibility. Once the entire mold is stripped over. In order to increase the strength of the kayak and to protect the ce. Unlike a table of offsets. It is the only practical tool builders have in their arsenal to bring the kayak DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength surface to a ripple free. The epoxies used for clear coating are very high quality. for example. All energy can now focus on imprinting the kayak with your creative imagination. Having finished the woodworking stage. the character of the kayak develops by planning but also by spontaneous experimentation. namely Western red cedar. hydrodynamically efficient hull forms.

clean out your basement and go for it. if you like a little challenge. By the time you get to the water. Stohlquist. Will it float? What if it scratches? Then. hatches. because most builders aren’t. At long last. After filling and sanding. example. you are hundreds of meters away from the shore testing the ‘performance envelope’. He has worked as a boat builder in Germany building composite rowing shells. Yakima 17. The kayak is basically done and the temptation to take it for a spin is all but irresistible. the hull as well as the deck are covered with lightweight fiberglass cloth and wetted out with epoxy. Qualicum Beach. naval architecture and development of OneOceanKayaks. t Vaclav Stejskal was born and raised in Prague. people will be giving you thumbs up. and competed for 14 years in rowing as a member of the Czech National Rowing Team. And it may just be one of the most memorable projects you ever do. which has the consistency of maple syrup. but that will do little to dissipate the butterflies in your stomach. You needn’t be a carpenter to build a wood strip kayak.The project nears completion. the day to ‘hatch’ the kayak out of the warmth of the shop is here. But before you expose your woodcraft to the full sun. Currently he’s involved in kayak hull design. and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science at Harvard University. before you know it. A couple more filler coats bury the fabric weave and a couple of days later the entire coating turns into a hard plastic shell.com. Marine varnish provides the ultimate protection. highlights your wood inlays. a 17 foot stripper can beat the weight of the same size Kevlar kayak by 5 pounds—not to mention its heavier fiberglass counterpart. and gives the kayak smoothness and gloss. © AVAILABLE AT OUTSIDER—the outdoor store. Stearns. the last fiberglassing task is to ‘wet sand’ the kayak with 180 grit wet/dry sandpaper in preparation for varnishing. The epoxy. the epoxy coat needs protection against the UV light. is carefully spread and smoothed out over the fiberglass.5’ Triumph Unique retractable rudder system Toll Free in BC: 1-877-752-6610 West Coast Dealer Inquiries: 250-248-2075 • Touring Singles & Doubles • Whitewater & Surfboats • Paddles & Accessories 20 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 . which turns completely transparent on contact with the resin. All other functional parts of the kayak such as the cockpit. So. BC Vancouver Island Dealer for AZUL Sun. hip plates and foot braces can now be built. bonded together. Riot. When the deck and hull shells are One of Vaclav’s finished works.

The vibrating whine of the sander can also be tiresome. You know you’ve sanded North Island Kayak Rentals & Tours Serving British Columbia’s Northern Vancouver Island and the Central Coast WaveLengthMagazine. 120-grit is next. then I continue on to 220-grit. I’ve always liked painted hulls with varnished decks. The discipline of keeping sharp sandpaper on the sander is rare outside of professional shops. mostly concentrating on epoxy runs and sags and areas where the fiberglass cloth must be feathered. Anything that makes the job of sanding more comfortable means you’ll stick with it longer. 80. Harris Step 1: Apply varnish in vertical strokes source and lay in a supply of 80. so a good one is worth the money. and so on in infinite regression. so you’ll have to be wary of blemishes from the moment you start. Makita. The high-end disposable dust masks (such as 3M #8511) will do for a short project.The Varnished Kayak A majority of kayak builders finish their wooden kayaks ‘bright—with a natural wood finish—because kayaks with a varnished hull are much prettier than plastic boats. On hard-chined boats. so the builder presses down harder on the sander to keep cutting. but this will always result in a lumpy hull.com is your Gateway to the World of Paddling DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength For Information or Brochure: Toll Free 877-949-7707 nikayak@island. PorterCable. You’ll spend more time sanding your wood-epoxy kayak than anything else during construction. ruining or at best dulling the gloss of the varnish. and DeWalt brands. Not cutting fast enough with the pad held flat? Switch to a coarser paper. the more powerful the better. a clear-finished kayak is a worthy goal of craftsmanship and the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from passersby are worth the extra hours of sanding. Always keep the sander pad flat against the work. Personally.or 120-grit paper will leave little swirl marks in the epoxy that will almost always be visible through the varnish. and 220 grit paper. often covered with unsightly half-moon shaped cuts that will glare at you through the varnish. Sanding can be seen as drudgery. and ear protection. As the sandpaper fills. Bear in mind that they last a long time and you can use a sander for all sorts of projects. and equip yourself accordingly: buy a good sander. And sand you will. so you must wear a mask. After 60 or 70 kayaks. There’s an urge to lift the pad and sand with the faster-spinning outer edge of the disk. Find a wholesale John C. and expect to use it all. An all-varnish finish is a brave choice. A common mistake among boatbuilders is not changing the sandpaper frequently. avoid the chines once you’ve glassed the boat as the sander will quickly cut through the glass on these hard points. Use a hand-sanding block instead. This is deadly when sanding epoxy. so invest in a set of ear protectors or plugs. Varnish will show every wart and mis-step in your carpentry work. Nevertheless. I know that the quality of my finish work depends largely upon patience with the sander. I endorse the Bosch. but the cartridge-type respirators are far more comfortable to wear. Change the paper often. A 5 inch random orbital sander will be all you need. however. a tasteful approach that shows off both the wood texture and the hull shape. Epoxy fills the sandpaper quickly.net www. a respirator. depending upon your outlook. especially the types of epoxy that ‘blush’.net/~nikayak/ 21 . Accept that sanding is going to be the difference between a good finish and a bad one. This approach also has the advantage of hiding my (frequent) mistakes. Epoxy sanding dust is a toxic sensitizer. it stops cutting as easily. but it’s an essential practice for smooth hulls.island. This in turn builds up heat between boat and sander. I start with 80-grit paper on a glassed and epoxied kayak hull. or it can be a sculpture exercise. lots of sandpaper. 120. softening the epoxy so that it fills the paper more quickly.

without little dark indentations in the epoxy indicating a low spot. so you will have to go on the offensive. clear. This film is mostly water. which we like because it’s well-priced. like me. Most The Paddle Sports Centre of the Universe ≈ KAYAK SALES. With the epoxy cured and sanded. MAS resin. you can stop read- Step 2: Horizontal strokes from dry to wet. being careful to ventilate the shop and let the lacquer thinner evaporate for at least 45 minutes before applying the finish. and has a nice amber tint. one of the byproducts of the epoxy cure. and ‘blushing’. This is actually a fairly apt description of what’s happening. You can wash it off. purging dust from every surface. Remember. Here at CLC we’ve covered scores of kayaks with ZSpar’s Captain’s Varnish. blush-free surface that you can sand and varnish within 72 hours if you have a warm shop. easy to apply. Maybe. I use generic lacquer thinner and a clean rag to wipe off the hull. know how to use it. many epoxy brews form a greasy film on the surface called ‘amine blush’. will yield a hard. RENTALS & TOURS ≈ ≈ WWW.) SOME VARNISH AND A PLACE TO APPLY IT A bewildering array of varnishes are available for coating your epoxied boat. you should clean off the hull with some sort of solvent. I’ve also had good success with Interlux and Epiphanes products. (MARKET SQUARE) VICTORIA. You should stick with a marine polyurethane varnish. this may expose a weave pattern that shows up in the final finish. an essential step to prevent the dreaded ‘fisheyes’ in the finish. used with their ‘slow’ hardener. APPLYING VARNISH If you’re lucky enough to own an HVLP sprayer. so this is not a good idea.OCEANRIVER. you’ve had paint or varnish shrink away from an epoxy coating like oil from water. making an almighty mess of your kayak. These days you have to think like a chemist to get your polyurethane varnish to stick to your epoxied hull. Every floating speck of dust in your shop will fly into your wet varnish. (Don’t use acetone or mineral spirits for the wipe-down—they are filled with impurities. B. and have access to a spray booth. A lot of people just go paddling with bare epoxy on the hull. Banish kids and insects from the shop. As they cure. including your own clothes. One alternative to the amine blush aggravation is to use an amine-free brand like MAS Epoxy. turning yellow and brittle in time. A clean workspace is essential at this juncture to avoid the dreaded ‘nonskid finish’.brands of paint and varnish have a proprietary ‘solvent wash’ which I seldom use because it is expensive. but all epoxies lack UV protection and will break down in sunlight. so it may be advisable to let the epoxied hull cure for weeks or months before you apply the finish. and it’s the very devil to get paint or varnish to stick to it. ‘spar varnishes’ sold in hardware stores aren’t likely to have much durability or UV protection. as if on cue.C. but the epoxy keeps curing. ≈ 250-381-4233 22 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 . “PREPARE SURFACE” That’s what it usually says on the varnish can. A puddle of water on the floor around the boat will prevent dust from being kicked up. Try not to sand into the glass. enough when the entire hull is a uniform cloudy gray. for a long time. but these vague instructions hide a lot of methodical work.COM ≈ Group or Private Tours/Instruction with Professional Guides & Instructors Group or Private Tours/Instruction with Professional Guides & Instructors We have the finest selection of kayaks & paddling gear you can imagine! We have the finest selection of kayaks & paddling gear you can imagine! since 1981 1-800-909-4233 1437 STORE ST. any wooden surfaces that are to be displayed under varnish must be sanded up to 220 grit prior to applying epoxy and fiberglass. to eliminate the swirls caused by the sander.

htm DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 23 . so we should talk about brush selection. MD. stiff. I apply the varnish with vertical strokes to an 18 inch patch (less if it’s hot weather). overlapping the finished patch slightly to maintain the ‘wet edge’ so that you don’t have vertical lines where you finished one patch and started the next. Moorage. Art. not just gorgeous on the top of your car.. t John C. I always wetsand with 400 grit between coats. The good foam brushes have wooden handles running all of the way into the foam head. Charts. permits sanding with grits finer than 220. Books and PRIME PADDLING near Drumbeg provincial park and the Flat Top Islands Call 250-247-8931 Email: tpreeve@island. Then. I’ve forsaken my badger-hair collection for foam brushes. and fast on the water. NOW THAT YOU HAVE A FLOATING COFFEE TABLE. because that’s the way to go. Fuel. finishing at the bow on the other side of the hull. Most of us will be brushing on the varnish by hand. Continue right around the stern.net www.island.net/~tpreeve/index.com © Page’s Resort Marina Silva Bay—Gabriola Island NEW Cottages. Never put the brush down into wet varnish. He can reached at 410-267-0137. Harris is the President and CEO of Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis. even film. In this second step. which requires special paper sold at any paint or hardware store. disposable. and ideal for applying thin coats. it is crucial that the brush strokes go from dry to wet (right to left in the drawing). A glossy finish without brush strokes is a matter of brush technique. the left hull bottom and right hull bottom first.. and the horizontal strokes even out the varnish. however. The vertical strokes get the varnish onto the boat. (Wetsanding. Diveshop. The first few scratches will be painful but after that. More than 7 or 8 coats is probably overkill. I follow this with lengthwise strokes smoothing out the vertical strokes. I varnish kayaks upside down. I varnish the deck in one swipe. The varnish ‘seam’ between left and right sides is on the keel and won’t be ugly. Without delay. I don’t think the order matters much.) The kayak will require a minimum of three coats for protection of the epoxy. Campground. Check out the Chesapeake website at www. without a plastic insert. Largely out of laziness. Showers. from bow to stern. The objective is to apply a thin. and deck last.clcboats.Good Good Bad Bad ing here. repeat the process in the next 18 inch patch. Foam brushes are cheap. Laundromat. Beginning at the bow. you’ll remember that you have a kayak that is light. Don’t be afraid to use it—I know of kayak builders who put their boats on display in their living rooms. It will start to look really glossy at five coats. without dipping the brush in the can again.

four triples and a single. These factors—weight. a third option makes a lot of sense—wood. wood with fiberglass and epoxy results in a hull that is rugged. They recognize that the performance of wood designs meet or exceed other materials on the market.” Andy says. The choice for him was easy. professional kayak guides and outfitters have relied on plastic and fiberglass for their fleets of boats. with a little energy. This first impression in years past was often quickly coupled with ‘Fragile?’ ‘Heavy?’ These latter two misconceptions have eroded in recent years. One is lighter. It gives my clients the feeling they are traveling in class. is actually functioning as a lightweight compression core.explorecharters. With a little sweat equity I was able to start my business for far less than with fiberglass boats. We have science to thank for the rest. Lon Smith of Kayak Port Townsend in Port Townsend.com 24 . Andy Gale. “They really want to take care of the boats.Outfitters and Guides Warm up to Wood or years.” He goes on to say that paddlers in his boats have a different attitude. Seeing wood kayaks as a way of setting themselves apart from other companies. though. His company does custom sail/kayak tours from a 48-foot trimaran mother ship. Outfitters and guides are beginning to take notice.” He knows that his wood kayaks are making an impression. Riding piggyback into remote paddling destinations are three doubles and a single. all wood composite kayaks. “was capital investment. and [wood kayaks] definitely make a difference.” As much as this is appreciated by Brandon. “It is amazing the abuse these boats can really take. Brandon Davies of Blue Otter Outfitters in Friday Harbor. Washington has also embraced wood. cost and beauty—have not escaped the attention of some outfitters. We have nature to thank for providing such a beautiful and suitable material. In the last several years. they recognize that many potential customers are drawn to their beauty. yet much lighter than a hull made from fiberglass alone.com EXPLORE! CHARTERS Toll Free 888~649~6669 Cell: 360~6763 explore@explorecharters. Beyond the beauty is technology. a growing number of companies have taken a second look at this alternative. When we paddle up to a beach and there are other kayak groups there. Fiberglass cloth adds important tensile strength and abrasion resistance to the wood. This sandwiching of lightweight David Grimmer F Andy Gale of PTOutdoors started his guide service with these wooden kayaks. among his fleet of twenty boats. He has plans to add to the fleet this winter. “The number one reason. “We wanted to hit the market differently. getting out of the boats before running ashore. “We wanted to stand out. The part you see. It is really nice to have twenty foot (wood composite) triples weigh much less than our eighteen-foot (plastic) doubles. What you see is not always all you get.” Today Andy has five wood kayaks. In addition.com www. Washington saw the popularity of triple wood kayaks in his neighbor’s outfitter service and decided WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 ADVENTURE IN COMFORT AND SAFETY EXPLORE! BC Coast by Kayak and 80-ft Mothership OCEAN RIVER SPORTS 800~909~4233 www. “And then there is the weight. Washington. Each of them has their merits. For some guides and outfitters. A common first impression of a wood kayak is ‘stunningly beautiful’. owner of PTOutdoors in Port Townsend. At the time I didn’t want to use plastic boats.” Brandon says. I thought that by choosing wood composite boats I would also be offering a superior product to my customers. Modern ‘stitch and glue’ and ‘strip built’ kayaks are encapsulated in fiberglass and epoxy resins. And they are. there are always comments on the beauty of our boats from the others.oceanriver. started his guide service in 1996 with two stitch-and-glue triples. one less expensive. About half of the letters he gets from past clients praise the wood kayaks. the wood. Epoxy resins join the fiberglass and the lightweight wood core. he adds. adding wood kayaks to a fleet can be considerably less expensive than fiberglass boats.

“My plastic boats are commodities. For some outfitters this is not an issue. There is some maintenance needed after a season. They really came in handy. The wood kayaks really bring people in. Our boats didn’t wear much after their first season of service. from Maine to Baja plying the waters in wood. “After three years. He can be reached at Pygmy Boats Inc. I use them for a summer and then sell them while they are still in good condition. epoxy. I plan on having these boats for the life of my business. It is unlikely that wood kayaks will ever be the mainstay of the kayak tour industry. A builder can expect to spend around 70 hours building a single boat or around 90 hours on a double or triple kit. He has worked with Pygmy Boats Inc. for the past five years. says this of their choice to move to wood after 12 year in the business: “We were looking to add to the variety of our fleet. It gives clients more confidence in the guides and the business. As the number of outfitters and guides using wood kayaks increases. “They are more popular than our fiberglass kayaks. wood kayaks arrive as precision pre-cut wood panels.” As preventive maintenance. We needed more boats. a little maintenance is easy.” After a busy summer season of heavy use John truly believes adding wood kayaks was a good choice. If you are a company that has built kayaks. I think of my wood kayaks as a capital asset to my business. We could probably charge more for them. I guess a portion of it was keeping up with the Jones’. the boats are in great shape.pygmyboats. All the scratches are just aesthetic. and fiberglass. It is nice to know that more of these guides can speak objectively to their clients about the pros and cons of all the choices available to them. the impression of the public changes. Individuals just getting into kayaking today are more likely than ever to encounter the full variety of options available to them. After building the boats. Once a design has been settled on. I have added graphite powder to the boats below the water line. Plastic and fiberglass kayaks are ordered from manufactures.com © WEST COAST EXPEDITIONS Educational Nature Tours since 1974 Sea Kayaking in the Kyuquot Wilderness Toll Free 800-665-3040 www. they show up and are ready to be launched. John Burke. Kayak Port Townsend has added Kevlar tape along the DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength Lon Smith’s Kayak Port Townsend fleet includes wooden kayaks. Most of today’s paddlers have participated in a tour or rented before eventually purchasing a boat of their own. Andy Gale thinks differently of his wood kayaks than his plastic ones. Building in the off-season can be an enjoyable and rewarding change of pace after a busy summer season of tours and rentals. The results for some are well worth the effort. keel of their triples. At the end of the season. 360-385-6143. “The Pygmy triples are great. Wood kayaks require a time investment. clients are impressed. I built the boats so I know what to do.net/~nature •Basecamp comforts •Educational focus •Cultural contact •Family oriented •All-inclusive 25 . Today you can find guides and outfitters across North America from Alaska to Florida. t David Grimmer has a background in outdoor recreation. We often put weaker paddlers in the triple because they are faster than our fiberglass boats. light weight kayaks that are performing as well or better than any in our fleet.” Their boats are also painted with graphite powder below the water line. www.to add a couple to their fleet this past summer. a guide for the organization. We could see the popularity of the triples being rented down the street. maintenance is straight-forward. “That really reduces the wear from beach landings.” This thought is echoed by Brandon Davies as well.” Their wood triples are among the fleet making an annual migration to Baja for winter season tours.island.” Lon Smith adds. During that time he has seen the popularity of wood kayaks blossom with outfitter and guide services. but the boats start the following year fresh and as good as new. The public relies heavily on the opinions of their guides.

Harry Weidman (basic and intermediate kayak instruction). Nick Schade showing creative stripping methods. Peter Hunt explained GPS use. sealing the wood and giving it strength. Jay Babina (Greenland paddling techniques/rolling). these strips were all put together in slick curves in a boat that was functional. just wait a while—it will change.The 4th Annual Newfound Rendezvous I t took a year’s planning and many man/woman hours but we were finally able to enjoy another great gathering of wood strip/epoxy boat builders at Geneva Point Conference Center on Lake Winnipesaukee. These are all people with a love of boating and building. Of 26 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 . Rob Macks stripping a canoe by his staple-less construction method. After seeing the rot and deterioration from years of neglect I was determined that I wasn’t going to get involved with wooden boats! But this epoxy/fiberglass coating thing was something else. who go one step further by creating their own designs that will perform to high expectations. and Eric Schade (Shearwater Boats). It wasn’t just that these boats were made from wood for I had been exposed to wooden boats before when I rebuilt the transom of a Chris Craft and re-varnished the whole boat in my woodworking business. This was a first for many. Eric Schade stripping a Hybrid kayak. Nick Schade (Guillemot Kayaks). Jim Luton (Islander Design). When we came up with this idea I was afraid I might have to step in to break up serious disagreements. Rob Macks (Laughing Loon). and four coats of varnish giving the wood character and depth you could only dream about. As it turned out. not really sure if there might be others out there suffering from this same addiction. but there is a large group that has attended all three Rendezvous. but not so. At that time many people had built beautiful boats on their own in basements and garages. we got drenched with rain for a few hours on Friday but late in the day the sky cleared. The designers were there: Jay Babina (Outer Island). Demonstrations of canoe and kayaks were conducted by Jim Luton (canoe sailing). and cabinets from wood. so back to this year’s Rendezvous. I wasn’t sure what to expect. plished. OK. New Hampshire in September. functional cedar strip/ epoxy canoes. If you don’t like the weather in New England. doors. Peter Hunt (Little Dubber). Lenny Lipton showing his method of making secure kayak deck fasteners. Dr. and Mary Anne McFarland explored new methods of using epoxy. They also provide their designs for others to build. For someone who was used to creating windows. And it did. This is the first year that we hosted a “Designers’ Forum”. You also had thin strips that could be arranged in designs using different wood species! And taking this one more step. Attendees came from surrounding states and locally. We started the Rendezvous four years ago when Nick Schade suggested we give our customers and anyone who had built a stripper a place (a reason?) to gather and show each other what they had accom- Michael Vermouth The lineup on the beach was impressive. I became addicted when I picked up Canoecraft in 1987 and saw the beautiful. and offer assistance by phone and e-mail to keep builders on the right track. as we got closer to the date. Other related woodworking topics were explained by Bill Allen (split ash pack baskets) and Ray Wisner (marquetry). Many of the attendees discovered new boat building techniques by watching Mike Brooker stripping a Wee Lassie. Moultonboro. and me demonstrating fairing techniques. I feared a repeat and couldn’t even watch the weather predictions. Someone invited Hurricane Floyd to last year’s Rendezvous so. Caleb Davis (traditional solo canoe paddling in a tandem canoe). but it turned out to be an interesting discussion among the designers. a sort of cult following— people who will spend all of their free time between now and next year building the ‘perfect boat’ (surfers will relate with their quest for the ‘perfect wave’). this was something that had to be explored. Donald Campbell gave a talk on muscle use in canoe and kayaking.

It isn’t ‘backyard’ boatbuilding anymore—it’s custom boatbuilding. and rowing boats available for those who wanted to test performance. I find that every time I teach someone how to build. (On the west coast. Next September maybe you’ll show up at the Rendezvous with your functional work of art! I would like to thank the employees of the Newfound Woodworks. Some builders are content to get through the building process to have something that is functional and others are in the works-of-art category.com www. www. and the intoxicating smell of cedar. they’re hooked. and is very addictive. Generally we don’t have any kind of beauty contest here because that’s not what it’s about.GeorgiaStrait. Once they try one. the designer.com. sawdust. Those may be the last household chores that get done for quite a while. Somewhere in the process the users become builders and the builders learn to use and enjoy their works of art. They have to go home and clean out the garage or basement to make room. It grows every time we take our boats to the water and the uninitiated see them for the first time.newfound. but also a free flow of information regarding construction techniques. t Michael Vermouth can be reached at Newfound Woodworks. the builder. There seem to be two major types of people who get involved in wooden boats: the boat ‘users’ and the ‘builders’. In this case. Tony showed us all how judicious use of paint actually enhances the appearance of a stripper! This year’s event was the best yet. Inc.com Is it wild or farmed? Is it wild or farmed? Always ask. I come away smarter because they seem to come up with new angles for a lot of our ‘tried and true’ methods. but this turned out to be a very civilized discussion of design parameters and wood/epoxy/fiberglass hull strength issues. because the crowd on the beach became really quiet. It involves wood. I’ll bet others were also thinking.org Photo: Wild BC spring salmon by Alexandra Morton © DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 27 . shavings.) Not only were there demonstrations. This is unique because prior to this many strip builders would have chopped off their left hand before they would think to paint a stripper. and it’s growing rapidly. in Bristol New Hampshire at 603-744-6872 or by email: info@newfound. epoxy. Two builders broke new ground this year: Kent LeBoutillier built a kayak with his son that was decorated in flames reminiscent of those 50’s hot rods. etc. fiberglass. These boats were also used and paddle-tested. So be careful: there is a movement rumbling around out there. many volunteers who donated their time and energy to assisting with this event. from demonstrators to attendees and back. The ‘users’ are avid small boat enthusiasts who get into building hoping to end up with a more uniquely designed. Late Saturday afternoon we held the first ‘Paddle-By’ where we gave out numbers and people paddled their boats by the crowd on the beach as the announcer called out the name of the paddler. Eat Wild Georgia Strait Alliance: 250-753-3459 www. the important thing will be getting the hull stripped or applying the next coat of epoxy. and the many. Tony Hill’s kayak had a high gloss black painted hull with alternating mahogany and butternut strips on the deck. I have to say that shivers went down my spine as I looked up from assigning numbers to see more than thirty-five beautiful boats all milling about at once. each designer prefers his designs because he feels they perform to his expectations. Instead. I know I wasn’t the only one. This is the only place on the East Coast where this many wood strip designs are in attendance at once. Small boat building is alive and well. Netcage salmon farming pollutes the environment and threatens the survival of wild salmon.redfishkayak. It wouldn’t have happened without their assistance and encouragement. kayaks Flames engulf bow of a wooden ‘hot rod’. their spouses. but are smitten with the beauty and functionality of the wood strip/epoxy package. The designers and Newfound Woodworks had a huge variety of different canoes. “Wow. Joe Greenley of Redfish Kayaks hosts the West Coast Rendezvous in late August. look what we’ve done. The flames were made from real wood strips with fine workmanship.course. quality boat. The flow went both ways. Another couple of ‘firsts’ should be mentioned here.” The other item in the area of ‘firsts’ was in the unique design and accomplishment categories. Contact: 208-3447116. Why? Because it wasn’t just a gathering where the beautiful boats are all lined up to be admired—although there were over 125 boats on Saturday afternoon. The ‘builders’ are people who have maybe used a canoe or kayak before.

the third most ecologically threatened park in Canada. thriving local economy by destroying the very resource it is based on— pristine wilderness. The way forward is slow.rainforestkayak. This means leaving small patches of trees standing in the clearcuts. Iisaak’s cutting looks like nothing we’ve ever seen here—very small openings. Canada’s Prime Minister was here in Tofino to announce the new Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Sierra Club of BC. Clayoquot Sound. Although they did meet a few of the operational standards.422. and would move towards ecoforestry in second-growth forests. Finally the Panel died a quiet death last year when the government pulled their funding for implementation of the Panel’s recommendations. In May 2000. Without long term plans we’re back to taking potshots in the dark. It merely recognizes the globally unique ecology of the area. MB sold its BC timber cutting rights to US logging giant Weyerhaeuser). not really understanding the ecosystem we’re busily destroying. the remnants too small to be logged any further. not whether or not. the government clarified their mandate: to determine how. Friends 28 Dan Lewis of Clayoquot Sound. For some. the pristine valleys are too rare to be logged. the Panel was never asked whether logging the rare pristine valleys of Clayoquot was scientifically defendable. In 1997 I walked up the Tranquil Valley to check out one of the new cutblocks. It seems ludicrous to endanger such a vibrant. rather than experiment with this “kinder. and the local attempts to balance conservation with sustainable development. Anyone who has paddled in Clayoquot Sound or visited Tofino knows that there is already a lot of development here of another nature— tourism.WILD mail@rainforestkayak. which buys time for the needed changes to be implemented.000 peaceful protestors focussed attention on the BC government’s unpopular decision to allow clearcutting of Clayoquot’s pristine valleys of globally rare temperate rainforest. However. The agreement stated that Iisaak would not log in the pristine valleys. One of the promises made in the 1993 logging announcement was “world class logging standards”. Their first cuts took place in a small patch of old-growth at the mouth of the Cypre River. In 1995 the government heralded “the end of clearcutting in Clayoquot Sound”. And the longer it takes. and has taken a watchdog role Iisaak began their logging this summer past.877. the more obvious it will become that it’s time to put an end to logging of ancient forests anywhere on this beleagured planet. It is the easiest thing to do without actually changing anything in the way a logging company operates. t Dan Lewis lives in Clayoquot Sound. The arrest of nearly 1. Three people were arrested in June for peacefully protesting Interfor’s logging near the Park. Western Canada Wilderness Committee. gained international media attention during the summer of 1993. The panel came up with some progressive forestry policies. the local group. Rightly so.com © WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 W Photo Mark Hobson . This year they put in a contentious clearcut very close to the boundary of Pacific Rim National Park. development is synonymous with logging. the new company is still logging in old-growth forests. Things are moving here in Clayoquot Sound. the enviros would help market wood products produced by the new company. Toll Free: 1. There was a lot of fanfare last year when several major environmental groups (Greenpeace. Without long-term planning and studies. and sentenced to 21 days in jail this fall. a large valley Photo by Bonny Glambeck which was almost entirely denuded during the last 30 years. on the west coast of Vancouver Island. to determine the standards. no matter how it is done.com. When they raised this question themselves. Unlike Iisaak. We are muddling our way towards sustainability. Iisaak. Conservation groups argued that it would be excellent to see these policies applied to the rest of Vancouver Island’s forests. dispersed over a small area. I was horrified to see that it was essentially a smaller clearcut. who is to say that this small fragment of remaining forest wasn’t critical habitat for the wildlife left in the Cypre Valley? The bottom line is. the forests of Clayoquot Sound were to be cut.From the Rainforest Tranquil Forests? atching barges laden with raw logs leaving Clayoquot Sound for the first time in several years has got me thinking again about wood. Interfor is still trying to maintain the industrial logging status quo here in the Sound. where he operates Rainforest Kayak Adventures with Bonny Glambeck. Visit their website: www. and shift to cutting second growth. The on-the-ground standards basically called for what is known as “variable retention” logging. adjacent to older large clearcuts which run all the way to the estuary of a valley up which it had just taken us several hours to hike! The companies have met only a few of the 128 recommendations the Panel made for ecosystem based forestry. Interfor is the other company with logging rights in Clayoquot Sound. and where it comes from. In exchange. but are claiming full compliance. the resistance to change is huge. This designation does not protect additional areas. while a huge step forward from the conventional logging companies. hailed as a “new era of logging in Clayoquot Sound”. but the rate of cutting locally has slowed tremendously. chose not to sign. Yet these were not defined. a joint venture between local First Nations and Macmillan Bloedel (within days. the long-term plans so essential to determining whether the new standards could preserve endangered species were taking a lot longer to develop. home to the threatened Red-legged Frog. needs to honor its commitment to phase out cutting ancient forests. The Tranquil River valley. And the previously logged valleys are already too fragmented. and Natural Resource Defense Council) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Iisaak. gentler clearcutting” in Clayoquot’s endangered rainforest valleys. Unfortunately. The government was persuaded to establish a “blue ribbon” panel of distinguished scientific experts.

In British Columbia. and rewards those producers who demonstrate ecological. providing a consistent and credible framework for independent certification efforts worldwide. Both books mentioned above can be ordered by contacting Jay. California 94710. t For further information. Part of the good news about ecoforestry is prices! Generally speaking. In the USA. contact Jay Rastogi of the Ecoforestry Institute c/o 13802 Hill Road Ladysmith. social.” Other ‘certification’ schemes exist. Ecocertification assures consumers that the wood products they buy were grown and harvested in a way that protects forests for the long term. While there are more and more private land owners pursuing certification. ecoforestry is “predicated on maintaining the ‘natural capital’ of the forest ecosystem. there is a way to ensure wilder ness forests for the future and continue to build wooden kayaks.com> Ph: 888801-0855-1020. for example. established by the BC government to develop an ecosystem management system. Victoria. biodiversity. Both organizations are registered charities. See sidebar for contact information. diverse and local supply of forest products. Donations are being accepted by the Ecoforestry Institute. Certifiers assess the on-the-ground forest practices of a given operation against a stringent set of environmental and social criteria. Y “Certification shifts the motivation for responsible action from government regulation to market pressure. Berkeley. is a lumber company which specializes in certified wood.” Ecoforestry tries to maximize the value of wood products from a given amount of biomass extracted. but these forest industry initiatives are little more than management standards set by corporations to improve their internal practices. low impact logging. it’s a start. the wellknown forestry operation on Vancouver Island founded by Merve Wilkinson in 1938.ca> Ph: 250-245-5540. have announced their intention to switch to certified lumber within the next five years. like Home Depot. a number of big chains. BC V9G 1G7<rastogi@ ecoforestry. there is no clear system for connecting suppliers and buyers. As forester Herb Hammond puts it. the big five forest companies in BC have the province largely sewn up with forest tenures. BC. The Ecoforestry Institute is also working in partnership with The Land Conservancy to purchase ‘Wildwood’. however. 1995). seeking the highest economic purposes for the least amount of wood harvested. While in some cases this is ‘greenwash’. DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 29 . The model ‘Scientific Panel’. The property will be maintained as a demonstration ecoforestry site and will be the site of an educational centre. will likely spread. The million dollar question is whether we can switch to ecowood before all our forests are ripped down. and economic responsibility. But Clayoquot Sound is a hopeful example. Box 5070 Station B. California. V8R 6N3 and by The Land Conservancy of BC. read Ecoforestry: The Art and Science of Sustainable Forest Use edited by Alan Grengson and Duncan Taylor (New Society Publishers. from forest to finished products. Fax: 510-549-3001. 1997) and Wildwood by Ruth Loomis (Reflections. and are not independently verified.Moving to Ecoforestry es. Alan Wilson Forest companies are at least now starting to use the language of ecoforestry. It’s only where private forest land exists (or in crown woodlot licences) that certification is likely. Victoria. V9E 2H2. BC. and is inviting ecoforesty practitioners and associated organizations to list. The certifier also tracks the ‘chain of custody’ of the certified wood to ensure that it is kept separate from non-certified material at each stage of processing and distribution. while allowing a wide range of values and benefits to be derived from the ‘interest’ of the forest. 5793 Old West Saanich Rd. Ecoforestry favours value-added manufacturing and local jobs by providing a continuing. Better yet. no open market for timber. For tours of Wildwood forest contact the Ecoforestry Institute. To be included in the Ecoforestry Directory. therefore donations are tax deductable. There impediments to ecoforestry. Its practices favour native tree and plant species which provide for the needs of wildlife. two major certifiers are Smart Wood 802-434-5491 and Scientific Certification Systems 510-832-1415. subject to availability. wood from ecologically managed woodlots sells at the same price as lumber in the commercial lumber stores. EcoTimber of Berkeley. the Ecoforestry Institute is developing an Ecoforestry Directory. According to the Ecoforestry Institute Society of Canada. such as ISO. Contact them at 1020 Heinz Avenue. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization that accredits certifiers whose programs conform to its internationally recognized ‘principles and criteria’. To rectify this. The FSC enjoys the support of most major environmental groups. It’s called Ecoforestry. <ecotimber@ecotimber.

but rather matriarchal groups—mothers and their children. Lowering my hydrophone I entered another world. As I approached.. I left the steaming canner of tightly sealed jars of pink salmon and hurried to answer.com www. the new whale watching boat out of Port McNeill. Among some groups of Orca. Solstices.. 15 years guiding. Arluks.From the Archipelago Blackfish Sound s the words “Blackfish Sound. but the voices of 100 Orca easily filled it. The most important thing to the Orca (after food and air) is family. Amaruks. whales are easy to identify. or take pictures and contribute to the collective database on the social life of the eastern Pacific Orca. 36 foot aluminum. 6 years commercial kayak group transport. fully equipped twin diesel. I saw a sea of Orca dorsal fins. The first name in a radio call is the vessel being called. Orca research of this coast is one of the greatest and most cooperative scientific pursuits in Canada. Naiad Explorer” crackled over the radio. territory and sound. from Johnstone Strait to Village Island.” came Bud Butler’s voice. Cell: 250/974-8088 Box 113 Port McNeill. “you are not going to want to miss this”.capescott. first mate on the Naiad. especially in the conditions of that afternoon—glassy calm with wisps of cloud nestled into every cleft in the hills.net/~vikingwest BROUGHTON ARCHIPELAGO 30 PO Box 40. That is why the contributions of so many people have been essential. but it can be done. While the concept is elegantly simply. which is my work. At the end of Fife Sound I spotted the Naiad Explorer. Lookshas • Camping • Showers • Hot Tub • Sales • Instruction BEGINNERS WELCOME Office ph/fax: 250/956-3431. A few researchers have been involved from the project’s inception— Graeme Ellis. owned by Donna and Bill MacKay. NEW ‘ORCA WATCH’ ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE BLACKFISH SOUND AREA. Kyooks. As I made sure the canner wasn’t going to explode in my absence I could hear him chastising me for taking so long to answer the radio. The unique calls FAST KAYAK GROUP TRANSPORT Access remote Grey and Orca whale areas. others nearly impossible. She looks like a fifty foot Zodiac—an unmistakable profile on the coast. but among elephants the males do leave their natal groups. It was Dr. There is nothing quite so nice as letting go the boat lines and heading out for a whale sighting. and mine is Blackfish Sound.” The rhythmic pulse of the steam escaping from the canner must have masked the previous calls. Mayne Island BC. “You’d better get out here. John Ford and Paul Spong— but hundreds have participated. Michael Bigg who discovered that a good picture of an Orca’s dorsal fin can be used to distinguish that whale from all other Orca for its entire life. it has probed the secrets of one of the most difficult mammals to study.. Queen Charlotte Strait is a broad expanse of water. 12 passengers plus kayaks and all gear.. As the photographs kept coming we learned that whales grow up slowly—about the same rate as us— not reaching full maturity until their early twenties. unlike male Orca. but the photo-identification work taught us these weren’t harems. The second name is the vessel calling. BC VON2RO www.com/kayak WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 Photos by Alexandra Morton © . Gradually the pictures are allowing us to piece together the fascinatingly complex and unusual social life of the Orca. “Everyone’s been calling you. the pictures are difficult to get because Orca think nothing of traveling one hundred miles a day. Discover the beautiful Gulf Islands from our singles and doubles. no one leaves their mother! This is similar to elephant societies. Some Alexandra Morton A Orcas (once known as ‘blackfish’) are very social beings. Cape Scott to Cape Caution. As I approached the waves of fins falling and rising from the water’s surface I struggled with an internal dilemma—to record sounds. Teslas. and he gave me his position out in Queen Charlotte Strait.mayneisle. Underway for three decades and passed like a torch from one researcher to the next. The first researchers to look at Orca “saw” a harem society. We learned that the whales of this coast are reluctant to mix and have developed distinct societies with their own culture of unique behaviours. CANADA V0N 2J0 Tel/Fax: 250/539-2667 kayak@mayneisle. This was an unusually large gathering of whales.

Many of these fish had fresh pellets in them and so we knew these KLEPPER World’s Finest Folding Kayaks Since 1907 For those who can’t afford to buy anything but the Best Light and compact. ••• I spent most of the summer learning about another sea creature which was rising with increasing regularity to the surface—Atlantic salmon in the nets of commercial fishermen. Lost in the three dimensions of this symphony. H’s and I’s. After I counted over 1. For days afterwards the morning whale reports—usually restricted to a local VHF radio channel— became mainstream news as this enormous congregation of whales pushed further and further south.000 escaped farmed Atlantic salmon caught in Johnstone Strait in 24 hours (see my column in the last issue). The fishermen were wonderfully tolerant of my constant questioning at the busiest time of their year.of each lineage rippled out from their family epicenters and surged into and around the calls of other ancestry. or island sailing. Did the southerns get a taste of the northerns on a current traveling west from the Strait of Georgia and decide to come home? Were they on their way home anyway? Did they announce their return with calls so loud it cleared the northerns ahead of them.000 Atlantic salmon in one day. exploding to the surface to gulp air and vanish.W. in the territory of the southern resident Orcas. Althoughtthey enter each other’s territory periodically. the groups of whales slid in one behind the other and became waves of mammalian warmth and sound in a salmon-filled sea. river/lake paddling. KLEPPER CANADA 4718 1st St. the Klepper “Aerius” one or two seater stows in two carry bags for travel freedom by plane or car trunk to anywhere. were away at the time on the west coast of Vancouver Island and the northerns remained until the day before the southern whales returned to the Strait of Georgia. breaching. Whales blazed beneath the boat.klepper. finding a new partner or rejoining their families. I stopped and let these waves wash beneath and around me. This constellation of sound washed up against the land which contained it and poured back into the Strait. An opening near my home in Tribune Channel produced over 3. Many were the northern resident whales from up around Prince Rupert. the whales became distant and the fog slumped down the hillsides and pooled along the water’s surface. Where Queen Charlotte Strait narrows into Blackfish Sound. Campbell River and elsewhere that they have whales for neighbours. we have never seen southerns and northerns mix and we didn’t see it this year either. or did the northerns taste the southerns on a northbound current and skedaddle? Was the precise coming and going a coincidence? I don’t think so. I sidled up to one family after another and snapped a visual record of who was there. They come and go in interesting ways. There were A’s. roaring around in tide lines—presumably after salmon. Some Orca came back right away. AB 1-800-323-3525 www. They were spread far and wide. C’s. There was no time to reflect. I left the gathering as it flooded into Johnstone Strait and on down into Discovery Passage.com DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 31 .com amscgyca@cadvision. Calgary. chasing one another. it is clearly even more exciting to the whales. but the others remained in the south. as they appear to have a greater capacity to enjoy the company of their own kind. It is hard not to contrast my humanity against the backdrop of whales at moments like this. Spectacular all-male groups coalesced. I began questioning fishermen at every fishing opening and going boat to boat to collect samples and take pictures. however. S. Assembles easily in minutes into a unique performance boat for sea kayaking. not wanting to get lost in the fog. They were moving fast. These whales reminded the coastal communities of Powell River. Whale choreography on this coast is al- ways a little mystifying. While a group of whales this big is exciting to us humans. G’s. I left the marine world and puttered after the Naiad and the whales. The southerns. into the territory of the southern resident whales. weaving against the outgoing threads of sound—it was a whale’s universe down there. almost all the pods in the northern resident orca community.

past Pine Island. others were crawling in lice. the best rivers in the area. some long jagged straight teeth. ••• The tiny Echo Bay School opened its doors again this fall and. The greater problem is that no one knows who these Atlantic salmon belong to. The pulse of this coast may have skipped a few beats. Indeed. What do Atlantic salmon in the Pacific mean? Well.000 Atlantic salmon caught from Campbell River to Alaska although I had talked to less than one third of the BC fishing fleet and only one Alaskan boat. It appeared they were area and I began wondering if the vast quickly figuring out how to survive outnumber of escaped farm fish were fueling side a pen—something government has an explosion in the seal population. they eat and attack Pacific salmon. In all. some had no spots. The tourists fled south. Please contact the provincial Ministry of Environment and bolster their courage to tackle this. The growth rings of trees far up the slope will be marked well this year with the special nitrogen these fish impart to the earth. Sointula gillnetter. The dolphins have been scarce because the ocean has set its table far to the west. reading WaveLength every couple of months has induced me to borrow a kayak to ferry my daughter to school— and to find the peace you know. Calvin Siider is fighting hard to get a winter fishery opened on Atlantic salmon. The rainfall this fall is befitting of a raincoast and even the beleaguered chum salmon have made a brave showing. pupils piled maple leaves high and jumped into them.32 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 Photo Alan Wilson fish had escaped within hours. I don’t think we need to know any more before we take some action. tance away in Knight Inlet revealed an While none of the fish had food in their even broader diet including shrimp and crab. along with herring and many. But the fish shouldn’t be sold because they could have recently eaten medicated pellets. but it is still thumping with magnificent force. These fish were not from one or two breakouts: the range of conditions and types suggested these fish were from many farms over the years. have refused for the past decade to tag their livestock so as to avoid being held accountable for escapes—so perhaps they have forfeited their ownership of these fish as well. assured us they could not do. a clustered around the outside of the pens. Something is going right in the ocean and wild salmon are benefiting. and there are measures which would make by-catch negligible. They catch more of the estimated 30. This is a new problem for this coast. the sandhill cranes close behind them. others fine inward pointing teeth. so perhaps the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has no jurisdiction over them. the biological perspective is clear—get Atlantic salmon out of the Pacific before this experiment runs its destructive course. Some were covered in spots. They are not a wild Pacific fish. very few Pacific salmon are around that can be caught. Some had been treated for sea lice. Eric this happen? stomachs in the first Tribune opening. But while the politics are muddy. Good winter to you. an easy swim away from ees in order to get them out of the water. as well as carry exotic diseases and enhance local pathogens.000 escapwere maturing. they initially denied losing any fish. requiring new and creative solutions. The fish farmers. Some looked like coho. on the other hand. like children across the country. by It was frightening to watch these big ten the second opening a small percentage pound fish hit the gillnets one after anhad eaten sticklebacks. t Alexandra Morton is a marine mammal researcher in BC’s Broughton Archipelago. which had now been free for at least six A few weeks later. Over 400 seals assembled in the small wild salmon. observHe was successful and this fishery proers spotted three Atlantics in a half hour vided a second look at the Atlantic salmon in the neighbouring Kaweikan River. In winter. I examined the stomachs of almost 800 Atlantic salmon and found the industry and government statement that escaped Atlantics don’t feed on wild food to be wrong. much more mature Atlantic salmon escaped farm fish and so Calvin Siider. How many times a year does Alex’s family in a wooden boat built by husband. a fishery a short disdays. Some had no teeth. Oh yes. hounded government These fish appeared to have been feeding at all levels to reopen Tribune to try and on pellets escaping through the nets. There the Naiad recently passed through an aggregation of dolphins a mile wide and four miles long. If there hadn’t been a commercial opening they likely wouldn’t have become aware of the hole until harvest time. parasites and predators. which were abunother in broad daylight—there were so dant in the area. By the end of August I had counted over 10. The diminutive pink salmon came home in such abundance this year that the bears feasted heartily. © . others like sockeye. been squeezed and trampled. I also found a disturbing number of different types of Atlantic salmon. When the nearest fish farm at Sargeaunt Pass was queried. But later they had to announce they had found a hole through which an unknown number of salmon had been escaping for an unknown period of time. I also found Clearly commercial fisherman can catch larger.

Call 604-879-2992 or email: info@rfu. NEW ECOTOURISM FORUM The Global Coalition for Advancement of Ecotourism has launched a new. cultural or regional expertise. North Cascades and Redwoods National Parks and Point Reyes and Cape Cod National Seashores.com ECOTOURISM DATABASE The World Wildlife Fund has started to compile an ecotourism database on the grounds that supporting community ecotourism is one of the best ways to achieve sustainable development. funding. Information on new resorts and seasonal destinations. simply send a blank email to: greentour-subscribe@egroups. To join the list.Font@lmu.. Order deadline January 31st. plus tax and delivery. marketing and organization.egroups. kayaks for all seasons Specializing in Feathercraft™ Sales and multi-day rentals Knowledgeable.unepie.com KAYAK EXPEDITION SCHOOL Wilderness Kayak Institute (WKI). Great prizes! Speakers like David Suzuki. League of Conservation Voters. Kenya on the occasion of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity held at UNEP Headquarters in May 2000. Brower also launched the genre of largeformat conservation photo books to heighten public awareness of wildlands. clean water and clean paper. information sharing. and in the Queen Charlotte Islands and Central Coast of British Columbia from May through September. Leeds Metropolitan University in England will work alongside the WWF to establish the database of worldwide experts who can provide technical support (including planning advice and tools.ac.nationalevent. Preseason deals on boats and gear. Perhaps Brower ’s best-known accomplishment was his success during the1960s in leading a Sierra Club campaign to block two hydroelectric dams proposed for the Grand Canyon.Taylor@lmu. is being launched this winter in Baja. recycled copy paper. canoeing and white water. value holiday packages. Contact Xavier Font: X. e.uk. California. WKI is directed by John Dowd. WaveLength will be attending the Vancouver show and we hope to see you there! Contact: 800-891-4859. Watch the experts & test products in the pool. bringing images of America’s landscapes and a strong conservation ethic into people’s homes. Brower pioneered 70 first-ascents in an outdoor adventure career that took him around the globe. etc. These 12-day courses operate in Baja from February through April. training. all while paddling along a section of remote and challenging coastline. then moves to Toronto Feb. worldwide interactive email forum on ecotourism— GREENTOUR—with the intention of increasing awareness of environmentally responsible travel. you can browse the GREENTOUR archives at: www.000 members nationwide. halt dam construction in Dinosaur National Monument. died this fall at his home in Berkeley. Brower was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times. info@momentumevents. Through Sierra Club Books. The database will be a key tool for WWF to provide technical support and information to conservation practitioners and community-based tourism developments. specific ecological. Friends of the Earth and the Earth Island Institute. www.T. and create Kings Canyon. DAVID BROWER REMEMBERED World renowned environmentalist. announcement of contests and news on upcoming events are welcomed. An avid mountain climber and skier. Contact WKI toll free at 877-724-1808 or see www. including navigation and weather and sea state assessment. He also led Sierra Club efforts to pass the Wilderness Act. 1618.50 per case. Landscape Unit Planning is the main tool to protect biodiversity at the watershed level. In addition to leading the Sierra Club.com REACH! FOR UNBLEACHED You can help BC’s leading non-profit group focused on pulp and paper issues— Reach for Unbleached!—to promote clean air. Join Reach’s Bulk Office Paper Buying Club to lower the price and increase demand for chlorine free. Brower took out full-page ads in the New York Times equating the proposal to flooding the Sistine Chapel. 30-Apr.uk and co-ordinated by Jan Taylor: J. Mexico. with over 600. At the heart of the problem are ‘Timber Impact Caps’ (TICs) that limit the im- Feathercraft™.wildernesskayak. Canada.1st.com Seattle. The price is $53. Washington “Put a boat in your baggage and paddle the world!” 33 .org for more information. www. The database will include all areas of competence required to use ecotourism as a development option.. and he founded the Sierra Club Foundation. To look at past messages and discussions. a new sea kayak education program geared to the experienced kayaker.g. education and training. monitoring and evaluation tools and policy development) for the establishment and development of ecotourism projects in ecologically important areas. GREENTOUR was launched in Nairobi. WKI’s “Expeditions” are for those who have completed the “Masters’ Program” or have achieved a comparable skill level. as is research and debate on ecotourism issues.com. WKI’s “Masters’ Program” is designed to take the experienced paddler or the motivated beginner to an expedition skill level. personal service Rentals delivered anywhere in USA 1-800-586-9318 foldingkayak.com/group/greentour. The most important event of the year (at the Inter-governmental Organizations level) is the May 2002 World Ecotourism Summit in Quebec. David Brower. It will also include sources of information and companies as well as individuals. at the age of 88. The Sierra Club is the USA’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. Includes sea kayaking. BIODIVERSITY TO BE SLASHED The Sierra Club of BC is warning that the government’s Landscape Unit Planning Guide severely restricts biodiversity protection promised under the Forest Practices Code. DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength The Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC met in October on Gabriola Island. Paddle the Grenadines in the Caribbean or the Straits of Magellan in Southern Chile. ac. BC on Feb. emphasize wilderness survival strategies and focus on a wide range of seamanship. 23-25 and winds up in Calgary Mar. The program will refine technical paddling skills. world-renowned sea kayaker and author of Sea Kayaking.Ecobytes Photo by Howard Stiff 2002—UN YEAR OF ECOTOURISM The United Nations General Assembly has declared the year 2002 as the year of Ecotourism and Responsible Tourism.or/tourism/home OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SHOWS A series of Adventure Sports & Travel Shows kicks off in Vancouver.

1% of the annual cut.ca/slupinbc/vanisle. resulting in increased business uncertainty. To analyze the ecological footprints. netcage salmon farming and compared their ecological footprints and energy use. Timber Impact Caps for Old Growth Management Areas are just 2.ca/hfp/planning/lup.ca> ACCESS TO CROWN LAND The Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC is currently drafting proposals to BC Assets and Lands (BCAL) to address land-use tenures as they pertain to commercial sea kayak tours under the Commercial Recreation Land Use Policy. BC in fall/winter 2000 is by donation. the government moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling will be maintained. DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER Fishermen in central Japan are set to begin hunting dolphins. and hence least sustainable system for producing salmon currently operating in British Columbia. contact: stopthe slaughter@hotmail. sustain labour inputs. but they plan to catch a total of nearly 2. with a provincial election looming on the horizon and Dosanjh’s party low in the polls. The course takes place on the west coast of Vancouver Island. the few reserves that are allowed for marbled murrelets aren’t located where the murrelets are actually nesting. with strict quotas set each year. or risk losing some of their harvesting rights. Vancouver Island Forests Coordinator.net/~taili 800-939-6644 • 250-935-6749 Cortes Island • British Columbia WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 Malaspina University-College 34 Ph: 250-753-3245 local 2480 Nanaimo Campus 900 Fifth St. and if not. COMMERCIAL FISHING WINS Peter Tyedmers. at: jill@sierra clubbc. <tyedmers@interchange . which runs until the end of April. Call 800-909-4233. and pink salmon had the smallest total ecological footprints. Sierra Club of BC.ubc. Both whaling and dolphin hunting are traditions that date back hundreds of years in Japan. Poor weather prevented fishermen from going out to sea at first.3% See the guide at www.for.gov.ca>. In addition to Taiji. You can view the draft plan at http:// www.400 dolphins and smaller species of whales during the season. Nor does it protect endangered species adequately. U’MISTA CULTURAL TOURS Book tours in Alert Bay. and assimilate CO2 equivalent to the greenhouse gases that result from industrial energy and material inputs. tourism and recreation. an annual autumn event. In the late spring of 2000 a meeting between then Minister Corky Evans and representatives of the SKGABC lead to an understanding to work towards a resolve to the issues by the end of 2000. Current Designs • Meals. it’s anybody’s guess how long the 25-year old moratorium will remain. contact the Living Oceans Society at 250-973-6582. He analyzed the biophysical efficiency of commercial fishing vs. The dolphin hunting season officially got under way in this fall in the small port town of Taiji—the traditional home of Japanese whaling—some 450km southwest of Tokyo. contact Don Cohen at <cohen@mala. For complete information on the BC Commercial Recreation Land Use Policy. Pedersen may be trying to force increases in logging activity. Enhanced Forestry Zones (EFZs) are a misnomer (they were formerly called ‘High Intensity Areas’). but to date have not been granted any form of land tenure. Several sea kayak tour operators have applied for tenures since the fall of 1998. former representative on the BC Government’s Salmon Aquaculture Review Committee. for example. For more information. Contact: tourab@island. For more info and action. It also fails to adequately address First Nations’ issues and the needs of other economic sectors. $1100 includes all kayaking equipment and transportation from Nanaimo.bcal. Instructors: John Dawson and Dan Lewis.” OCEAN RIVER DONATES TO GSA Admission to evening talks and slide shows at Ocean River Sports in Victoria. The BC Ministry of Forests is also now putting finishing touches on the province’s first ‘Higher Level Plan’. areas that can’t be cut anyway. where some legal standards set by the Forest Practices Code are being overruled in order to maintain an unsustainable rate of cut. dolphin hunting is allowed at several other ports and a total of nearly 17.bc.000 dolphins are caught every season. Rooms & Camping • Expert Instruction • Rental & Sales • Desolation Sound • Gorge Harbour Marina Resort www.214). visit the BCAL website at: www. he quantified the marine and terrestrial ecosystem support areas needed to grow salmon.org or call 250-386-5255 (ext. On Vancouver Island. BC with Lillian Hunt. The hunt is being carried out in accordance with International Whaling Commission (IWC) rules. For more info and action contact Jill Thompson. Nanaimo. However. with proceeds to the Georgia Strait Alliance. chum.net t Coastal Kayak Leadership Training Course May 11-20.island. Pedersen’s comments refer to areas of BC’s north coast which are as yet untouched because of environmental pressures.com NO OIL AND GAS BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh recently announced that until science proves the oil industry will not threaten BC’s coastal environment. Necky. has just published his PhD thesis on the impacts of salmon farming. The proposed plan creates ‘zones’ covering about 1/3 of Vancouver Island to be managed differently than the Forest Practices Code specifies. Lillian also manages the ‘Gwakawe’ Campground. such as fishing. But unlike Japan’s whaling programme.bc. but he claims he is testing to see whether the annual allowable cut is an accurate assumption of the amount of timber the region can produce.luco.bc. Adding insult to injury. Wilderness First Aid Class for Kayak Leaders April 30-May 5 Cost $1000 • Wilderness Sailing & Kayaking Trips • Nimbus. BC V9R 5S5 . the lands “ought to be removed from consideration. Legislation was passed in May 1998 that requires all commercial recreational tour operators who access crown land to apply for some form of tenure. Commercially caught sockeye. dolphins are hunted purely to provide meat for consumption.gov. Discounts for Malaspina students.pact of biodiversity measures to 4. which Tokyo says is for scientific research purposes. This area is a potential ecotourism mecca— already a major draw for cruise ships—and has unresolved First Nations’ land claims. The results indicate that salmon farming is the least biophysically efficient. ‘Enhanced Forestry Zones’ will cover 24% of the Island. For more information. according to a Japanese Fisheries Agency official.ca/ USE ‘EM OR LOSE ‘EM BC’s chief forester Larry Pedersen has ordered logging companies to log along scenic routes such as the Inside Passage to Alaska. the new Guide also directs that all old growth reserves have to be located in areas that are ‘non-contributing’ to the timber supply—that is.bc. May 25-June3 Additional courses may be offered subject to interest Malaspina University-College offers a comprehensive 10-day ocean kayak course designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skill necessary to lead groups of kayakers in coastal waters.

To prepare—cover and bring water and rice to boil for 2 minutes. Cook and Cool: a) Rice: To speed cooking time. All with skegs.C. B. Spread rice in large shallow pan.net Visit our site: www .Paddle Meals Hume Cookin’ “ love to cook. Slice thinly. Serve bubbling hot. Caper’s (complete) pancake mix. so “roll your own”. 13'4" America. Canned tuna or salmon. sugar. as we go to press. c) Mushrooms: Use small saucepan to soak mushrooms in 1 cup warm water for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. pepper or paprika At camp: Cube bread so everyone has a piece of crust. Go Vic Go! BLACK TUSK FONDUE No. Kayaks & Dinghies —SALES. Wasabi mixed with light mayonnaise and milk. Rub pot with garlic. swirl in fondue. SENSATIONAL SUSHI SQUARES Snack for 4 or meal for 2 Not everyone likes raw fish. N. Vancouver. baby carrots or cucumber to dunk. leave rice to soak in saucepan (or Nalgene bottle) with water for several hours. her Women’s Eight is off to compete at the Head of the Charles race in Boston. 16' Captiva. Carrots cut in thin strips. stirring until sugar dissolves. dunk. cut in strips 1/4 English cucumber. Sharon Hume.net/middletonsboats DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 35 . simmer for 10 minutes or until no liquid remains. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 14'6" Corona COMPACT KAYAKS: 9'4" Swifty. they and a group of friends enjoyed this fondue on a hiking trip. Add lemon juice. b) Sauce: In a small saucepan combine vinegar. When Sharon and Richard (now her husband) were at UBC. cut in strips. Sharon shops at health food stores for organic instant cereals. Warm sake (Japanese rice wine) is a nice touch. Options: Bring along veggies like bell peppers (cut in chunks). (604) 240-0503 Email: middletons@norf. Make it easy. Keowee II Formula Kayaks available in fibreglass • 14’ Mystic—40 lbs • 16. quality products like real maple syrup. And only the freshest vegetables and fruit. stirring with Deb Leach with Sharon Hume wooden spoon until cheese melts. These days Sharon is a “masters” rower with the Victoria City Rowing Club and. peanut sauce. not a walrus tusk—the Black Tusk peak north of Vancouver. 16’ Vizcaya. for 15 minutes.5’ Serenity (3 hatches)—56 lbs. Cover with damp cloth. OUTFITTING & TRIP RENTALS— 2095 Flynn Place. tasty and light. let cool. Spear bread cubes.5’ Diamante—50 lbs • 17. Add cheese by handfuls. Toss with remaining vinegar mixture. nor f. hiker and paddler. BC © Perception & Formula Kayaks TOURING: 17' Eclipse. cool. Thin omelet cut in strips. Pack along: 1-2 cloves garlic 500 ml dry white wine 15 ml lemon juice 50 ml Kirsch 2 crusty French sticks In zipper lock bag—combine and shake: 500 g shredded Swiss cheese 45 ml flour nutmeg. mirin and salt and heat to boiling. toasted 1/2 avocado cut in slices 4 tbsp pickled ginger Other Topping Ideas: Shitake mushroom cooked in soy sauce. Roll into a cigar shape. and Cannor Brothers sardines. We had a wonderful time together cruising the markets of Loreto (Baja) to prepare for our kayak trip around islands in the Sea of Cortez. her kayak and computer live in Victoria. cut in 1 cm thick sticks 2 tbsp sesame seeds. Build: Each diner spreads wasabi (or not) and rice on their nori squares. covered. let stand. 2 cup Japanese sushi rice 2 1/4 cups water 1/3 cup rice vinegar 1/4 cup white sugar 2 tbsp mirin (rice wine) 2 tsp salt 4 sheets nori (pressed seaweed) cut in quarters Toppings: 10 dried shitake mushrooms 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp white sugar 1 tbsp wasabi powder—mix with water or extra soy sauce to form a paste 200 g flaked crabmeat or imitation crab (surimi) or 50 g smoked salmon. t I Deb Leach. cook for 15 minutes. 11' Sierra. Chicken with peanut sauce. Why buy freeze-dried?” These are the words of veteran camper. Brooks • White’s • AquaBound • Harmony • Extrasport • Serratus Middleton's Canoes. tamari or rice vinegar. Add Kirsch and stir until blended. Sprinkle with half the vinegar mixture and toss with fork until combined. Eat with pickled ginger. pour in wine and heat gently until it starts to bubble. Add soy sauce and sugar. cherry tomatoes. Ph. adds toppings.

displaying the title of the pages so you can see which issue the article Ted Leather was from.bc.com and Outdoorable. It includes: ecoforestry principles and practices. CANOE & KAYAK SALES. a popular Steve Killing design. but couldn’t find? As the WaveLength internet site has grown in size.Web Paddling Search Me H ave you ever spent hours looking for something you knew was there somewhere in your pile.WaveLength Magazine. B&W. New Society Books. $19. 154 pp. softcover. 1997. forest ecosystem components and restoration. give our Wavelength Search a try. The search engine will go through all 800 pages looking for any reference to Thailand and display all of the pages it finds. New Society books are available at www. give a brief summary of the page. from setting up the shop to making the paddle. In this book he describes the process of building the Endeavour 17. wood and forest products certification. tools & materials.. an internet services company specializing in web site design and management. US$24. So we decided our whole site had to be searchable and we set up a search engine for it. 1999. goals. which specialize in paddling information. 52 pound. The Kayak Shop by Chris Kulczycki Ragged Mountain Press.. safety and risk management. B&W. Contributors include James Agee. policies.ca 36 . This book contains all the information you’ll need to build a strip sea kayak. tools & techniques to ensure that a first-time builder can create a woodstrip kayak with truly professional results. 320 pp. Email: webmaster @WaveLengthMagazine. 171 pp. RENTALS AND INSTRUCTION Located at the corner of Pembroke and Government Streets in Victoria BC Specializing in kayak & canoe repairs Ask about our Voyageur Canoe trips EcoForestry. 20 foot double kayak. and practices of ecologically and economically sustainable forest use. finishing. sea-worthy strip kayaks. Now if I could just find that missing sock. ISBN 0-07-057989-x. KayakCraft by Ted Moores. Arne Naess and Gary Snyder. Let’s say you’re interested in information about kayaking in Thailand. soft-cover. t Ted Leather is the WaveLength Webmaster and operates Clayrose Internet Creations. The WaveLength Search engine works like those internet search engines with one big difference—it’s search area is the material on our site. and best of all. Herb Hammond. and plans for building wood & epoxy paddles. Chris Maser.voyageurcanoe.com Books The Strip-Built Sea Kayak by Nick Schade. So next time you’re looking for something specific on our site.95 This important book focuses on the new paradigm in forestry—the philosophy. ISBN 0-07-035519-3. photos. Nancy Turner. and current ecoforestry practitioners and techniques. The boats included are a round-bottomed. The author also includes information on designing your own kayak. $19. Easy to understand detailed instructions & excellent photos. 1993. He includes detailed information on how hull design affects performance. Mystic 575 Pembroke Street.95 US Ted Moores (author of CanoeCraft) believes that professional results can be expected if good patterns are used and simple steps performed with care. ISBN 0-86571365-0. $19. Victoria. The Art and Science of Sustainable Forest Use Edited by Alan Drengson and Duncan Taylor.newsociety. B&W. WoodenBoat Publications. 28 pound. high performance 16 foot single kayak. and a compounded-plywood. He provides all the neccessary information about design. repairs & maintenance. materials. softcover. 191 pp. a hard-chine.htm> and in the Search box type “Thailand”. a similar problem confronted us—how to find something in nearly 800 pages of information. it will list the most relevant pages first. Go to our Search page <http://www. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on our site. 18 foot single kayak. building techniques. Ragged Mountain. Clear detailed instructions and excellent photos & diagrams.95 US The Kayak Shop includes the complete plans and building instructions for three elegant wooden kayaks that anyone can build.95 US Nick Shade presents full plans and instructions for building three beautiful. ISBN 0-937822-56-6.bc. About.95 / CAN$29. softcover. In addition. Chris Kulczyki assumes the reader has only elementary woodworking knowledge. our Search page also accesses two external search engines. give you direct access to that article via a link. Montauk.com.ca www.com/search. BC V8T 1H3 Ph: (250) 361-9365 Fax: (250) 361-9375 Email: kayakcentre@voyageurcanoe. Diamante.com or 800-567-6772. 1998. t WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 FORMULA KAYAKS Serenity. 38 pound.

and can be recycled.ZuZu. AZ. videos.com One year subscription: 1 entry. 232 or 800-663-7740 ext.ca ZUZU PADDLE ZuZu’s most popular paddle.com DEREK HUTCHINSON CD This innovative CD contains over 60 minutes of MPEG1 video of Derek demonstrating different paddle strokes and sea kayaking techniques. www. See www.Epub-Adventures.com. If you give a Gift Subscription. WAVELENGTH GIFT SUBSCIPTION Consider giving a WaveLength Gift Subsciption to your favorite paddler.northwater. Two year subscription: 2 entries. all-around jacket.com for $14. stainless steel piston rod. It’s freemoving. SYMPATEX NAVIGATOR ANORAK Designed as a versatile. Flagstaff.paddles. webbing and side-release buckles on either side.Holiday Gift Guide EXPEDITION DECK BAG This medium profile. the handcrafted Islander features the company’s patented Helix Lamination shaft technology. For information on these and all the other great marine gear from Scotty. and beautifully constructed. and mail it with a cheque to WaveLength: RR-1 Site-17 C-49 Gabriola Island. VISA accepted. Contact: wavenet@island. It’s completely waterproof and can take pictures underwater. dirt and sand. M/C. Ph: 520-7746535 PROTECT OUR COASTAL WATERS The Georgia Strait Alliance has various gift items for sale: their 10th year anniversary poster and t-shirt. Rolano! 3-day trip valued at $1000. the Islander is among the finest touring paddles available today. retails for about $18 Cdn. See below. www. the Navigator is ideal for paddling. It features a big lever-type shutter release and large top-mounted film advance knob that are easy to use even with gloves. All those who give Gift Subs are entered in our subscription contest (2 entries for 2 yr subs) for a chance to win a mothership cruise with Explore! Charters. your name will also be entered*. warm. float. Shock-cord on top. 2001 * The 1st ten who give GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS will receive a pair of special paddlers’ socks from Tilley Endurables.com or call 800-214-0141. humidity. Website: navarro gear.com. Light. and publications. and strainer bottom.org and click on ‘Resources’. Email: scott@navarrogear. This is essential equipment for your favorite paddler. and a factory tour of Current Designs where his kayaks are manufactured in North America.com SCOTTY PUMP All three sizes of Scotty pumps come with a lifetime warranty. Available at www. active design ensures performance while paddling.95 US plus shipping and handling. TO SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW YOUR SUB: • $19/yr in Canada or $33/2 yrs (both include GST) • $17/yr US in the USA or $29/2 yrs • $22/yr US (or Cdn equivalent) overseas ($40/2yrs) Clip or photocopy this coupon.Fujifilm. 232. It contains 27 exposures.) 37 DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength . FUJI WATERPROOF CAMERA The Fujicolor QuickSnap Waterproof one-timeuse camera is great to take kayaking. ZuZu Paddle Co. check out www. Subscribe to WaveLength—or renew your sub—and you could win a trip on the 80-ft kayak mothership. The first ten who give gift subscriptions will receive a pair of paddlers’ quick-dry socks by Tilley Endurables. and comfort while lounging in your beach camp.Georgia Strait.net or 250-2479789. Final deadline for contest is January 5. www.scotty. Fax: 604-251-9862. 888-649-6669 explorecharters. BC CANADA V0R 1X0 D00-J01 NAME____________________________________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________________________ PROV/STATE_______________ CODE _________________ EMAIL_____________________________________________ 1 YR 2 YRS GIFT Subscription with gift card: “From _______________________________________________” (Print your name if you wish us to send a gift card and sub to a friend or relative. Expedition deck bag from Northwater has plenty of storage. The transparent blue plastic case protects it from water. and a zippered mesh exterior pocket on the front round out the easy to attach bag. Navarro Weather Gear: Ph: 604-251-1756 ext. There are historical segments where he discusses the evolution of the Toksook paddle.

Replies held in strictest confidence. 79 May to October 250-339-0580 Rentals • Lessons • Tours • Necky Sales coastmtn@island. delicious meals.outer. BOOK AHEAD 604/885-6440 pedals_paddles@sunshine. www. Bicycle Rentals & Beach Club.S. Stn. BC If you’re planning a paddling trip near Northern Vancouver Island or the Central Coast.bc.com www. RENT from us. Please submit replies to: Odyssey Kayaking.terrafin. • 5k N. McNeill) VHF 73. A Vancouver.com info@nootkaisland. Island hop and snorkel in turquoise waters in the Sea of Cortez. First aid and CPR must be current for 2001 season and a minimum of “Essential Wilderness First Aid” for leaders. TV & Hot Water.net/paddle VARGAS ISLAND INN Affordable Wilderness Resort accommodations in Clayoquot Sound on Vargas Island beachfront. Saturna Island. Box 751. 10 Rms. Based at Villas de Loreto. cost-effective guided tours on the BC Coast since 1993. Licenced Tonga sea kayak operator since 1991 6 & 8 day trips No experience required. Ph: 250-752-0455 www.net/oceansound seaotter@he. Mexico 23880 Call or Fax: 011-52-113-5-07-92 Sea Kayak Association of BC Whale Watch & Island Hop in Baja! Kayak with gray whales in Magdalena Bay.net www.com/posada Juarez Esq Davis #4. A/C. Inquire about special packages.. Vietnam.net/~tree COAST MOUNTAIN EXPEDITIONS Sea Kayak Tours Discovery Islands & Fjordlands (250) 287-0635 Remote Homestead Lodge We live where we paddle vikingwest@capescott.C. Gwaii Haanas National Park in the Queen Charlotte Islands.net www.nootkaisland. Call Toll Free: (ph/fax) 1-888-897-5223 Email: adventures@nahanniwild. bicycles.extremeinterface. Guides require a verifiable industry standard certification and experience.S. Wildlife. all equipment & hotel included for just $940! _dgZYd*Y\n]flmj]k Canada. day or week. skadvent@iea. Loreto B.com/kayaktonga Odyssey Kayaking is now accepting resumes for guides and helpers for the 2001 kayaking season. V0N 2P0 or Email: odyssey@island. V6K 1T8 Ph/Fx:604-736-0377 Toll Free:888-736-0377 http://www2. Check: www.ca/tour 1-800-632-0722 www.net www.com Discover this Newly Remodeled Hotel located in Downtown Loreto.f ikco. Nootka Island Lodge.Small groups.sympatico. Ph/Fax: +676 -70173 Email:kayaktonga@kalianet.com SECHELT INLET Paddlers’ Paradise Accessible wilderness only 2 hours from Vancouver. complementary breakfast.nahanniwild.com SEA KAYAK ADVENTURES.seakayak. expert guides. Andaman Islands.island. BC V0R 2E0 Vic_Nadurak@bc.com/intothecurrent Ph: 250-245-3532 Villas de Loreto Villas de Loreto Baja Sea Kayak Adventures with Nahanni Wilderness Adventures Explore Baja’s beautiful desert islands in the Sea of Cortez. 132 Loreto B. lessons & trip planning.net www. with all the comforts of home.com www.to Web:w w w. TOURS • LESSONS • RENTALS • SALES GALIANO ISLAND KAYAKING Costa Rica Sea Kayaking since 1987 Ph/Fax: 250/539-2442 kayak@gulfislands.net/~casablan Ph/Fax: 250-539-5553 KAYAK ADVENTURES RENTALS.bc. Beachfront.he. With 10 years guiding these waters. BC V9N 3P7 tree@island. Every reason to sea kayak is found here.seakayakadventures. BC V0N 2Y0 Offering custom. Ocean kayak & canoe rentals. pool & air conditioning. Port Hardy.net www. Hot tub. let us show you! 2977 W.com Kayakers & Divers General Transport VIC NADURAK MARINE SERVICES Landing Craft Charters 333 Chemainus Rd. Reasonalbe Rates. Box 1349.coastmountainexpeditions. 5th Ave.net Ph: 250-902-0565 KAYAK NOOTKA ISLAND Breathtaking scenery and wildlife in an historic setting.) KAYAKERS TRANSPORT (17 yrs) ORCA WHALE WATCHING (15 yrs) CHARTER & SCHEDULED SEATS TO REMOTE LOCATIONS OR DAY PADDLE FROM THE SWANSON ISLAND B&BS Charming little beach resort on the Sea of Cortez offering sea kayak rentals.net/~odyssey/ • KAYAK RENTALS • Ph/Fax: 250/247-9824 www. BC Ocean Sound Kayaking Co.villasdeloreto.ca www. Tofino • Ideal for kayakers • Inn & cabins • All self-catering • Passenger & kayak transport from Tofino available • Lots to do! CALL 250-725-3309 Sea Kayak Tonga with Friendly Islands Kayak Co.com 121 Boot Cove Rd. Kayak & Whale Watching arrangements. BC V6C 2N6 Or call 604-738-8406 http://skabc.island. Courtenay. LESSONS rbruce@gulfislands.C.W.net www. Local guides/interpreters. Vancouver B. Guided tours available. TOURS. Cuba Meets once a month.net 250-956-3431 (Pt.island. NEW at Villas—a restaurant and PADI dive shop.sunshine. Also trips & training.BED & BREAKFAST ON THE BEACH Gabriola’s south coast paradise. Escape by the hour.com No experience necessary! Free brochure: Call 1-800-616-1943.net/~odysseyk/ www. Inc SEA KAYAKING & INLAND TOURS 1-800-781-2269 global@portal. Mexico 23880 TREE ISLAND KAYAKING 3025 Comox Rd.net/~seaotter/ Ph/Fax: (250) 752-8693 Toll Free: 1-877-752-8693 current@island.C. BC. ODYSSEY KAYAKING Ph: 250-902-0565 odyssey@capescott. sales.com Website: www.com Ph/Fax: 011-52-113-50586 Apdo.ca 2 B&BS ON BLACKFISH SOUND (VANCOUVER IS.tripod. Lessons for beginners. Belize.egmont-marina.com Mothership Paddling & Guided Tours Qualicum Beach. Gabriola Island. Ladysmith.ca .capescott.globaladventures.

dozens of historical photos.com Seakayak & Cycle Tours & Rentals MAJESTIC OCEAN KAYAKING Ucluelet.seakayakitaly. Sardinia. (650) 728-8720 bkossy@igc. www. BC 250-245-4096 or 1-877-KAYAK BC (529-2522) www. Hakai Passage. AUSTRALIA.com Arbutus Point Oceanfront B&B 2.CycleNewZealand. Saltspring Island.alertbay.bc. SEA KAYAK TOURS—2000 BC. Rentals & Tours Custom Classes & Tours Bud and Sheryll Bell Ladysmith. Eclectic. Rentals & Sales PTARMIGAN TOURS Box 11 Kimberley BC V1A 2Y5 250/422-3270 E-mail: ptarmigan@cyberlink.com n ctio ars! In a 4 ye for 2 LAND AND WATER BASED • 14 week semester programme • Outdoor Education Practicum Phone (250) 286-3122 www. Lead guide applicants must be fully qualified and have 5+ years sea kayak experience.ca NEW ZEALAND Natural High.cyberlink.ca http://www.saltspring.saltspringisl. www.Sealegs-Kayaks.net www. Desolation. Great snorkelling. Small Group Adventures. Riding. caves. Perfect for relaxing.colt. Resume to Fax: 403-547-2529 Email: peytosl@telusplanet. Barkley and Clayoquot Sounds. hull in great shape. Lovely beaches. forest tours.coastalwatersrec. Kayak in tropical aquamarine waters.com www. it’s Italy! Elba Island for a day or a week. ensuite baths.Epub-Adventures. Canada V0N1A0.org www. and hey.com WWW. Fireplaces. ANTARCTICA ANTARCTICA AND THE HIGH ARCTIC 7-15 day adventures.com Half & Full Day Kayak Tours Voyageur Canoe Tours —Liz Issac— Ph: (250) 728-3535 Fax: (250) 728-3534 Toll Free: 1-877-728-3535 Email: deer_paddles@hotmail. espresso. Cook’s Tours. Email: tim@crossinglatitudes.ca SEA KAYAK ITALY Italian guide. KAYAK RENTALS Reservations: 1-888-633-9555 nancy@saltspring.ecowest. Bunsbys. Alert Bay.com explore@explorecharters.com FOR SALE 1994 Feathercraft K-1 Expedition.com/cooktour Epub Adventures Interactive CDs on Sea Kayaking Now available “Master Sea Kayaker: Derek Hutchinson”: over 60 minutes of MPEG1 video.bc. half day trips and multi day trips. Email: waletail@island.com adventure@natural-high.. Sunshine Coast. Ice and wildlife.net BANCAN ADVENTURE TOURS INC. Adventure with Comfort and Safety. amazing birds & wildlife.com —your Gateway to the World of Paddling KAYAK SALT SPRING ISLAND Luxurious oceanfront accommodation for the discriminating guest.com www. Broughton Archipelago.zeballoskayaks.net www. Snorkelling.com www. Comfortable and friendly with wonderful food. spectacular snorkelling and Fijian hospitality. BC V8V 4Y9. Surfing. teal deck.ca EXPERIENCE BOUNDLESS LAKES & WATERWAYS IN THE KOOTENAYS OF BC’S INTERIOR • VIEWING OSPREY. Everything provided. Victoria. 185-911 Yates St.. Available at: www. Also custom cruises: 3.nz 64-3-5466936 64-3-5466954 fax SPECIALIZING IN MARINE AREAS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 15 MAPS AVAILABLE Bella Bella.com Visit WaveLengthMagazine. Johnstone Strait..majestic. knowledgeable guides.southernseaventures. Adult oriented. Will ship anywhere. Call 406-582-0315. hot tubs. jacuzzis. Zeballos. Cycling. Guided day trips. BC. . turquoise water.com/sskayak 2923 Fulford-Ganges Rd. Kyuquot. Quatsimo-Goletas Channel.BowenIslandKayaking. Coastal Waters Recreation Suite 547.co.. G.explorecharters. EAGLES AND ALL WILDLIFE Kayak Lessons. Quality equipment.com 1-888-ECO-WEST tours@ecowest. Brooks PO Box 111.com Check out our on-line catalogue at www.bc.9¢ per min local and long distance! Set-up fee waived for Kayakers only! Must mention this AD (US only). BC.SeakayakNewZealand. Kayak Mothershipping available.com/maps/ info@coastalwatersrec. Wilderness & Cultural trips.bc. Georgia Strait. Partnership possible for right candidate.ca/~ptarmigan/ Cowichan Bay — VANCOUVER ISLAND Ph/Fax: 250/653-4222 sskayak@saltspring. Nootka. LEAD AND ASSISTANT GUIDES WANTED New company requires full time guides for 2001 season. BC V8K 1X6 TROPICAL & POLAR PADDLES FIJI. 11 days in spring or fall.net Web: www. 4 to 6 day cruises. Toll Free: 1-888-283-0954 Fax: 510-848-2565 Email: cventure@pacbell. brand new spray skirt and sea sock.com 1 888 KAYAK-67 escapades@saltspring.ca www. TUSCANY & BEYOND. BAJA. Saltspring Kayaking Daily Tours. BC V0P 2A0 Phone (250) 761-4137 kayak@netcom. Adrenalin Dealers WWW.islandescapades. unforgettable seafood.com Wilderness Experience in Comfort Whale watching.4 and 7 day expeditions. Kyuquot. 1-800-889-7644 majestic@island. native art & dance.com Toll Free: 888-649-6669 See our ship on page 37 Ph:250-642-6669 Cell:250-360-6763 ZEBALLOS EXPEDITIONS & KAYAKS Paddle the Breathtaking West Coast of Vancouver Island RENTALS TOURS TRANSPORTATION TRIP PLANNING COSTA RICA—JANUARY 2001! Exciting. Box 22. Sailing. gourmet food. asking $2. No experience necessary. Nootka.com Bowen Island Sea Kayaking OPEN ALL WINTER Tours • Rentals • Lessons Call to reserve 604-947-9266 www. blue lagoons.com 80 ft Kayak Motorsailer Mothership Explore! Desolation Sound and Gulf Islands.TROPICAL PADDLING IN FIJI White sand beach camps. Exotic interpretive rainforest hikes. Microsoft operating system compatible.bc. cliffs. Toll free 1-877-9745002. sand beaches. Esperanza Inlet.000 US. MasterCard/Visa accepted. Gulf Islands. Spectacular scenery.

Ancient giants. there aren’t that many species—our forests are renowned for their size. This is the sort of book that makes the world a better place— it is thorough. shade. It’s also worth mentioning Hiking the Ancient Forests of BC & Washington by Randy Stoltmann. But enough about the forest—how about the trees? Stretching your minds way back to high school botany. lumber. 527 pp. but he tries to see the forest and the trees. Trees are essential to paddlers as well. We use logging roads to access many fine paddling areas where the vistas are marred by industrial clearcutting. which will guide you to the best examples surviving of the trees on this checklist. you’ll love it. and forests dominate the coastal landscape. tourists and critters) would look upon the forest industry a bit more kindly—a lesson modern foresters are reluctantly learning.000 readers per issue. He’s not sure which side of his brain is to blame for either job. Our temperate rainforests are fascinating ecosystems as well as a key part of our economy. Oregon & Alaska). not their diversity.Know Your Neighbours Coastal Trees T rees. wet climate is ideal for growing gigantic coniferous forests. The Northwest is famous for its trees. Lone Pine Publishing 1994. and notorious for our rapid removal of them.95 Cdn here are a number of good books on BC trees but for paddlers you cannot beat Plants of Coastal BC. fuel our beach fires and frame our coastal scenery. t Biologist Bryan Nichols has worked as both a timber cruiser and a Lorax loving environmental educator. This month’s lifelist covers the most common and notable trees you’ll see as you paddle along Northwest shorelines. There are scads of details on ethnobotany—if you’re interested in how First Nations used local plants. ISBN 1-55105042-0.000 hits per month PRINT & WWW ADS AVAILABLE AT VERY REASONABLE RATES (1/3 40 OFF FOR US EXCHANGE) WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 . you might well remember there are two main types— coniferous and deciduous. It’s also packed with info.net Bryan Nichols Plants of Coastal British Columbia (including Washington. green gold. You might also have noticed that coniferous (cone bearing) evergreen trees dominate our forests. Isn’t it ironic? Of course all those missing trees are an integral part of our lives as well—who hasn’t lived in a wood-framed house or read a book? It’s hard to talk about coastal trees in the Northwest without getting a little depressed—so many of the oldest and most impressive examples of them were logged in the orgy of clearcutting that has marked the past century. protection. all of us (locals. What sorts of trees do kayakers regularly see? Surprisingly. If our predecessors had had the forethought to leave more stands intact. The cool. by Pojar & MacKinnon.com gets 150. easy to use. Trees are big woody plants—though I think that we shall never see. although our fall colors fall short of the more deciduous East. six times a year WaveLengthMagazine. Every kayaker should have this book—it is one of the three essential guides you should have on each trip. plants as impressive as our trees (apologies to Joyce Kilmer). —Bryan Nichols T WaveLength (print version) has 50. field sized and full of beautiful color photos. full color throughout $24. brynance@pacific coast. including line drawings of foliage and range maps. food. They shelter our campsites.

smooth bark with pitchy blisters. and increasingly rare. Alas. PACIFIC YEW Taxus brevifolia Yews are short. not least for its smooth. shrubby trees with flat needles that come to a point. an effective anti-cancer drug. t © Bryan Nichols 2000. Maple wood was used to make paddles by numerous First Nations. BIGLEAF MAPLE Acer macrophyllum Canadians ought to recognize the leaf shape. this tree gets lower and lower as the growing sights get lousier—colder. Most of the biggest. Yellow cedar or “cypress” is usually shaggy looking. and so covered in mosses and lichens they are reminiscent of southern bayou scenery. Second growth stands can be so dense that it is dim or dark underneath the thick canopy. including sea urchin rakes and it is still used for carving. swampier and more extreme. The pitch (or balsam) from both was used for everything from chewing gum to shellac for paddles. clothing. Alders live short (60 yrs) lives but enrich the soil they grow in. ARBUTUS (Madrone) Arbutus manziesii Arbutus is an odd tree in many respects. waxy leaves are adapted to dry sites and are not deciduous. if you’re so inclined. settlements and landings. and bigleaf maples really do have big leaves. cedar is a prized timber tree because its weather and rot-resistant wood is great for homes and rooves. Young spruce plantations can be downright nasty to walk through—the needles are sharp. creeks. 41 . rain shadowed portions of our coast. ROCKY MOUNTAIN JUNIPER Juniperus scopulorum This shrubby tree with gray. Amabilis (which means “lovely”) is a beautiful tree. DOUGLAS FIR Pseudotsuga menziesii A favorite of the forest industry. WESTERN HEMLOCK Tsuga heterophylla What they lack in beauty. The harsh growing conditions they endure shape them into living art. doug-firs have thick. even at noon. The bark. they’ve been sorely depleted. The thick. Squeeze one of the bluish berries and you’ll be reminded of gin. Preferring drier sites. oldest cedars close to sea level have been logged but there are notable exceptions you might come across in some remote cove. because they are valuable timber and grow best in low valleys near the ocean. Thankfully for the slow growing yew. so you see lots of alder. strange sentinels on the rocky edges of the Strait of Georgia. Gulf Island paddlers see (and often camp under) juniper trees all the time. Even now. storm battered shorelines. peeling bark and are found near the ocean right up to Alaska. Arbutus is a good indicator species when you’re scouting your retirement home—it marks the drier. You might have found the “helicopter” seeds to be a fascinating diversion in your younger years. In many places the stumps are still impressive and show evidence of old logging techniques. SITKA SPRUCE Picea sitchensis Ah. DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength SHORE (LODGEPOLE) PINE Pinus contorta ‘Contorta’ is an excellent species name for coastal lodgepole because it grows in some of the most extreme spots trees can grow—rocky. stringy bark is relatively rare in BC but grows right in our front yards—dry. You might have noticed such sights are very common along the coast. juniper berries have provided that distinctive flavor for many generations of English drunks. medicine. fire resistant bark. You can often spot creeks and old roads along hillsides by the bright green trails of alder leaves amid the conifers. up to four meters across and seventy tall. seek them out because forest scenery doesn’t get much more impressive. our true firs have thin. fragrant wood were all used for the essentials—food. You’ll find Grand fir at sea level on the south coast— Amabilis fir towards the North. you’ve wandered through some of the few remaining patches of low lying doug-fir old growth—some of the most amazing stands of wood on the planet. RED ALDER Alnus rubra Alder is the pale-barked. Even if not. Weathered veterans that are old but small and oddly shaped are common sights from a kayak. hemlocks make up for in numbers—these shade tolerant trees are the most common along the coast. TRUE FIRS Abies amabilis & Abies grandis Incorrectly called “balsam” by many locals and the forest industry.Checklist # 16—Coastal Trees WESTERN RED CEDAR Thuja plicata BC’s provincial tree has been a boon to human life on the coast for thousands of years. Older ones may not be huge but they are impressive nonetheless. Hurricane force winds contort these trees into bizarre and artistic shapes familiar to outer coast paddlers. was derived from the bark. toothy-leafed tree that usually grows first in disturbed sites like old roads. much of the second growth we paddle past is replanted doug-fir. straight. My favorite tree of BC. YELLOW CEDAR Chamaecyparis nootkatensis Found only at higher elevations in southern BC. The hard wood was used for bows and a wide range of tools. peeling red bark that hides a green photosynthetic layer underneath. shelter. majestic. The distinctive yellow wood is often used for carving. scaly needles and a smell that gets described as anything from “lovely” to “like cougar piss”. the roots and of course the reddish. The trees themselves can be huge as well. No reproduction without permission of the author. spruce—tall. Taxol. red giants over a thousand years old. They have small red berries and reddish. with peeling gray bark. it is now made synthetically. rocky sites along the Strait of Georgia. an old growth sitka spruce grove is something to wax poetic about. fuel and transportation. Their short needles come in bunches of two. Droopy tops and scaly bark help identify them. If you’re lucky.

000 Cdn (approx. groceries. fridge. patio. young fruit trees. Efficient heating by south-facing passive solar design. berries. $83K US) 250-247-8858 42 We’re consolidating offices at a new location on Gabriola Island. separate 100 sq. 3 bedrooms plus home office. Just islands and us. supported by abundant fish stocks and great forests. log home: 2 bedrooms. loft office area. raised beds. etc. fertile garden area. We also recommend you visit GabriolaIsland. near shopping (café.. liquor store) and backed by 100 acre forest with trails. however. shopping centre. half acre treed lot. but it howled all day and night and our boat ranged around. Minutes from kayak launch. north of Kelsey Bay. ft. stove. Asking $125. straining at the anchor. propane fireplace and electrical heat. ornamental shrubs. email.com. fridge and stove.. one and a half bathrooms. Alan and Laurie’s houses are both for sale.000 Cdn (approx. school. and here and there are congregations of floathomes. new tile. seasonal marine resorts. some whales. wood floors. owner-designed and built. Private. The first day we ducked into Blenkinsop Bay. for days on end. bright and spacious home. new windows. treed setting. fish farms and temporary logging camps. Handy to ferry. washer & dryer. ft. an 11-mile stretch of the Strait which is unavoidable. These days the individualist ‘gypo’ loggers are long gone. wood windows-beams-staircase. We head north in our boat. Like many small boaters. Great neighbours. and pressing details of business. Remarkable cultures arose and spread throughout the landscape when the glaciers retreated. herb garden. There is. circular driveway. More photos at WaveLengthMagazine.org HOUSE: LAURIE’S HOUSE: Cosy 1000 sq. covered porch. cistern and well. we tend to prefer the backwater routes wherever possible to avoid the shipping traffic and weather in Johnstone Strait. new wallto-wall carpet. workshop/shed (with power/light) on level. Freshly painted throughout. Timing the many tidal passes of these routes is a challenge but the scenery is breathtaking and the waters are calmer than the Strait. The population of the area peaked again in the early 20th century on the strength of many small logging and fishing communities. $77K US) 250-247-8670 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 . Distinctive arbutus fringe the coast of Gabriola WaveLength is Moving.Mothership Meanderings The Broughton Archipelago—Part 2 or three summers we have travelled north to the Broughton Archipelago to enjoy this extraordinary maze of islandstrewn waters.000 years. both ideal for anyone interested in experiencing the great paddling in the Gulf Islands. populated mostly by non-natives. lifetime metal roof. HOUSE: ALAN’S HOUSE: 1500 sq. The next day looked like an improvement Sylvia Douglas of Minstrel Island Resort is raising an abandoned seal pup. As a result. The Archipelago is a resource-rich area which has supported First Nations’ people for 10. deli. Residents are few and far between: a few First Nations’ communities remain. plus wood and electrical. but most of these towns have now vanished too. This is just what we’re looking for as each August we try to escape the computer. Mostly it’s just seals and ducks. expecting the wind to die down after a few hours. In the 19th century. You can wheel your kayak to the nearby beach! Asking $115. Last summer we had quite a blow in this stretch and made slow time after leaving Forward Harbour. on treed half acre lot. and jumping fish in season. Cathedral ceiling. and 8. and logging and fishing are done mainly by multinational corporations based outside the region. destroying communities and an ancient way of life. etc. ft. doctor. diseases arriving with immigrants sparked epidemics among First Nations’ people. up Johnstone Alan Wilson F Be wa re Pa ssa ge Clio Ch ann el Minstrel Island Ch ath am Ch ann Potts Lagoon nah van Ha nnel ha C el Port Neville Forward Harbour Kelsey Bay Strait.000 gallon concrete cistern—excellent water supply. large livingroom and kitchen.

is gorgeous. although you could get stranded at the head of the lagoon at low water. Islets are a good place to camp to avoid bears and there is one inside Potts where we’ve seen paddlers. with room for several boats in two separate coves. After leaving Minstrel. Here you have your first taste of the area’s protected waters. restaurant. The first opportunity to leave the Strait is at Havannah Channel. We saw a black bear on the beach this summer. and fuel up before heading on. and our boat. some eight miles north of Port Neville. bunkhouses and cabins.deluge. Hang a right at the Broken Islands (not the famous Broken Group Islands of Barkley Sound) and scoot inside to get out of the weather. (Phone: 250-949-0215) We make it a habit to stop at Minstrel. But it’s a good place to practice moving water skills. but after only two miles we had to duck into Port Neville and sit out another day as the winds came in long. have a meal and a shower. CA 94510 Toll Free 1 800 422 2482 Ph: 707-746-6855 Fax: 707 746 0493 Email: primex@deluge. As the Channel widens. savor some of the historic atmosphere. This year we met a special new Minstrel resident. with a fuel float. Named after one of Captain Vancouver’s ships Chatham. etc). aside from some active logging.View from the dock at Minstrel Island. the first refueling spot after Johnstone Strait. Bigger vessels should watch the depth. you’ll see Minstrel Island Marine Resort. pick up on local gossip. store. Creative campers have lots of camping choices in the Potts Lagoon area. Our favorite spot in this area is Potts Lagoon on Cracroft Island. pub. Vessels must keep close watch on the range markers to stay in the narrow channel. Outside Potts. as you make for Chatham Channel. name of Alex’s boat). Clio Channel. a young seal pup which owners Grant and Sylvia Douglas rescued and were raising by hand. Alexandra Morton. so be sure and practice bear-proof camping (hang your food. this channel can run with a strong current so check your tide and current tables. a real fixture on the coast. Marine mammal researcher. keening gusts. The outer channel can run at several knots so check your tide tables. We watched as they filled a clean grease gun with a fishy mixture and pumped it into her tummy. but paddlers will have no trouble. one of the most protected anchorages in the Broughton. pass through the ‘Blow Hole’ into Clio Channel.com DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 43 . From the inner cove you can kayak through a tidal channel into a lagoon and river marsh which meanders deep into the island.com Visit Our Web Site: http://www. cook separately from your tent area. named her daughter Clio after this beautiful body of water which lies between Turnour and Cracroft Islands and leads into Blackfish Sound (the Paddling in the island-filled back waters near Potts Lagoon. Minstrel Island has been here in one form and another for many years. and pass the first of many abandoned First Nations’ sites (Matilpi). there are ESIGN” “BEST D KAYAK OE & CAN E MAGAZIN FUNCTIONAL TOURING GEAR FOR KAYAKS & CANOES PRIMEX of California Box 505 Benicia.

islandnet.com. Deadline for the Feb/Mar issue of WaveLength: “Wooden Kayaks—Part 2”. www.asudoit. Contact: Sandy Eastwood 250-374-5899 or Gilles Valade 250-371-5843 or advgconference @cariboo. When we transit Beware Passage aboard our boat.ca.com. Contact 800-891-4891 or maureenhenderson@sprint. to enjoy the marine life that flourishes around them. Info: 800-891-4859 or info@momentumevents. BC.com. at Transfer Beach. International Adventure Travel Show.org. May 18-21. International Adventure Travel Show. Florida Gulf Coast Sea Kayak Symposium. we’re drawn to those rocks and reefs.bc.wta. Contact Jersey Paddler: 888-225-2925. Feb 19. BC. Okanagan PaddleFest. Feb 23-25.many other islets. New Jersey. Contact Dennis Judson 831-458-3648. Santa Cruz. Jun 23-24. Boaters should indeed “beware” this complicated body of rock and water although paddlers have nothing to fear from it. See www. Toronto. with gleaming white shell middens peaking out from the forest here and there. When paddling.com. Coast Kayak Symposium. you enter the cosy waters of Village Channel— the area we described in the last issue— with First Nations sites of Mamalilaculla and New Vancouver.nationalevent.net or 250-767-2225.nationalevent. World Surf Kayaking Championships.jerseypaddler. Mar 23-25. Info: 800-891-4891 or ronc@nationalevent.silk. Jun 16-17. Ladysmith. International Adventure Travel Show.ca. Vancouver Island PaddleFest. t Photos by Laurie MacBride and Alan Wilson Calendar Dec 15. Mar 13-18. UCC Campus. Columbia • Access Remote Wilderness Areas • Warm and Dry Accomodations • Hot Showers • Superb Cuisine • Qualified Naturalist Guides • All Inclusive 6 Day Trips MOTHERSHIP ADVENTURESInc. See www. we follow the route suggested in Waggoners to pick our way between surface and subsurface rocks. Contact 250-2454939 or the Island Outdoor Centre at 250-245-7887. Feb 23-25. however.net.nationalevent. Paddlesport 2001. Call 206-635-1367. www. sponsored by Washington Trails Association and REI. BC. and gorgeous paddling through rich kelp beds and shallows.com. California. Ontario. SEA KAYAKING IN COMFORT & SAFETY • 68’ Mothership M. Thetis Island. Deadline for the Apr/May issue of WaveLength: “Paddling Basics”.V. Alberta. Somerset. From Clio Channel you can travel up into the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park through island-studded Beware Passage and past the First Nations village of Karklukwees. CALL US TOLL FREE 1-888-833-8887 VIEW PICTURES AND INFO www. which was abandoned along with nearby Mamalilaculla in the 1960s. Calgary.com. Vancouver. Peachland. Contact Mercia Sixta at 604-597-1122 or mercias@excite. Garden State Exposition Center. Mar 30-Apr 1.com. Feb 16 -18. www. Next issue we’ll look at some of the resorts and marinas in the Broughton where you can get services. Feb 16-18. BC. See www. Kamloops. Once through Beware Passage. Contact Wendell Phillips at wphillips@mail.net.com. BC.com/~momship 44 WaveLength DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 . www.com. TrailsFest at the Seattle Center Flag Pavilion. Call 250247-9789 or 247-8858 or email wavenet@island. Call 250-2479789 or 247-8858 or email wavenet@island. Mar 2-3.WaterTribe. 2nd National Adventure Tourism Industry Conference.

O.Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC The Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC is a non-profit society whose purpose is to uphold high standards for professional sea kayak guides and operators in BC. mail this form and a cheque to the address below.com> Piper Harris <piper.net DECEMBER•JANUARY 2001 WaveLength 45 .com> SECRETARY/TREASURER: Tracy Morben <majestic@island.harris@gems2.net> MEMBERS AT LARGE: Liz Richards <deer_paddles@hotmail. the Alliance strives to ensure safe practices on an industrywide basis.com> Colin Mac Neil <oskayak@home.net> VICE PRESIDENTS: Brian Collen <info@seakayakbc. Through on-going professional development and certification.ca> SKGABC Membership To become a member of the Alliance. Station A. V9R 5K4 250-245-3706 majestic@island.com> Ian Ross <roscoe@saltspring. Nanaimo BC. Company Membership—$100/year Individual Membership—$35/year Associate Membership—$25/year Alliance T-shirt—$20 each Subscription to WaveLength at special rate—$12/year (save $7!) Information and a copy of the latest newsletter—FREE! Name__________________________ Address________________________ ______________________________ Phone_________________________ Email__________________________ P. Box 1005. WWW.gov.COM YEAR 2000 SKGABC EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT: Liam Edwards <geofilia@island. SKGABC.bc.

& Boating Supplies. gear. 2001 www.com EXHIBITOR INFO CALL: Nicole Zaharko at (604)929-7442 Island Outdoor Centre Visit Vancouver Island’s Adventure Specialists located in Ladysmith.April 1. Ladysmith.Calgary. 2001 Roundup Centre . ON February 23-25. Tips and Touring Tales WIN Dynamic freestyle kayaking demos with World Class athletes OR INDO L BIG! Ken Whiting and Corran Addison POO Kids Kayak – Bring the kids for a safe and fun session on the water Boats.Canada's Ultimate Paddle Showcase ! Top manufacturers and retailers showcase 2001 products with preseason deals and demos Seminars Series on Techniques.Vancouver. AB March 30 . 2001 SHOW DETAILS AT International Centre . The Centre of Vancouver Island 610 Oyster Bay Dr.nationalevent.nationalevent. BC NEW & USED KAYAKS ACCESSORIES & GEAR EXCHANGE Kayak & Dive Lessons & Equipment. BC 250-245-7887 Mail orders welcome .Toronto. apparel and touring packages can be yours! COMING SOON TO A WARM AND DR Y STADIUM NEAR YOU! WARM DRY STADIUM BC Place . Backpacking. Camping.com www. BC February 16-18.

B. built to last. A work of art.com IN THE USA: We-No-Nah. PHOTO OF INUIT AT PELLY BAY IN THE CANADIAN ARCTIC TAKEN BY PHIL HOSSACK HEAD OFFICE: Unit 300.C. Post Office Box 247. Victoria. USA 55987 Phone: (507) 454-5430 • Fax: (507) 454-5448 • Email: wenonah@luminet. V8Z 6R4 Phone: (250) 479-0106 • Fax: (250) 479-0906 • Email: info@cdkayak.net .w w w . c d k a y a k . c o m Designed and built using knowledge of the past and technology of today. 770 Enterprise Crescent. Winona. Mn.

It must be dry. Reinforced urethane fabric skin.com info@feathercraft. Feathercraft is folding. In rough seas.feathercraft.com . 6061 T6 aluminum alloy frame. It must fly. 4 . The secret of Inuit inspired kayaks. We call it Feathercraft Sealskin Technology.244 Cartwright Street Vancouver BC Canada V6H 3R8 1 tel 604 681-8437 www. You call it DRY. Deck and hull seams Folded Feathercrafts are now welded. travel at 550mph. Naturally. the flex of skin kayaks gives you a remarkable advantage: smooth passage over waves with less effort. It must be strong. Shut. It must be swift.Expectations It must be beautiful.

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