What model Shrike did you choose?
Shrike Too / LV (scaled down to 95%).

What modifications, if any, did you make to the design described in the Build Manual?
– Replaced most of the 50mm 175g/m² glass tape with 204g/m² carbon tape. Not cheap but added strength and looks great (if I say so myself).
– Glassed the outside of the deck and hull with 105g/m² glass for abrasion resistance and strength.
– Split the shear-clamp diagonally, then reinforced the inside shear-clamp / hull / deck joint with 50mm 220g/m² glass tape.
– Added a small end-pour to the nose and stern for buoyancy and strength.
– Deleted the skeg (to reduce weight).
– Truncated the nose and stern and replaced with a safer rounded-off poplar block, reinforced with 160g/m² carbon.

What is the weight of the finished kayak?
12.5kg / 27.6lbs.

Anything you wish you had done differently?
Initially I was going to paint the entire hull black and varnish the deck, as I felt this would look better than an “all wood” finish. But the carbon-on-okoume looked so good I was tempted to skip the paint and varnish the entire boat. Alas the first couple of carbon tape runs on the hull were a bit wavy and not very pleasing to the eye. I ended up painting the lower hull only. Still looks good – but next time…

How does the kayak perform on the water?
Great! She’s got plenty enough speed and responds well to correction strokes. The extra carbon in the boat was put there to strengthen the boat for the odd surf-session. I haven’t been out in the surf yet, so I’m not sure how she handles. At this stage, I’m probably more concerned about her being strong enough to handle the conditions. We’ll just have to wait and see if I built her strong enough. Surf can be very cruel!

Further comments?
My deepest thanks and respect to Chris and Nick for coming up with this initiative. Designing a boat is one thing, but making it open-source and non-profit – fantastic!
I built this Shrike to replace my (much) heavier Eagle “Offshore” sea kayak. So, feeling duly inspired by your free design concept, I’ve tried to follow in your footsteps by giving the “Offshore” away instead of selling it. Understandably there are many people that aren’t prepared to accept such an offer – so I had to change the deal from “free of charge” to “permanent loan”. But, she now has a new home.
Huge thanks to my one-in-a-million wife for her flexibility and patience.
Thanks again, guys.
Cheers
Rob

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