What model Shrike did you choose?
I chose a standard Shrike. The main use will be day trips and extended trips of 3 to 5 days.
What modifications, if any, did you make to the design described in the Build Manual?
I decided to raise the freeboard by 2cm. I weigh 82kg, add personal kayaking gear assuming drysuit, PFD, throw line and safety stuff I carry plus camping and cooking gear for a 4 day trip I wanted to ensure I had sufficient capacity. Total weight could be 110kg. I didn’t want the kayak sitting too high out of the water though for when I had a lighter load. Increasing the freeboard allowed me to keep the masik lower at 11.5 inches. That made fitting the front deck easier and enabled me to get the front hatch in a good position. Besides that I kept to the plans and as a wanted a strong boat I did use extra tape on joints. I also wanted to paint it and opted for International Toplac. It does have a great finish but it takes a lot of work (and filler) to achieve it. I haven’t got it a perfect as I would like but I think that comes from experience.
What is the weight of the finished kayak?
20.8kg. I am amazed at people who are getting them down to about half that!!
How does the kayak perform on the water?
I have only paddled so far for about an hour and that was on flat water. Slight tippy at first but is glides over the water and tracks well. Also easy to manoeuvre when you get it on an edge. Looking forward to getting it on the sea.