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FREE plans for Shrike-LV, a lightweight sea kayak for stitch and glue construction

The Shrike-LV is a 90% version of the original Shrike design. Designed for lighter paddlers in the 140lb range. The dimensions were calculated by applying a 90% factor to all the standard Shrike dimensions, with the cockpit slightly lengthened beyond 90% at the owner’s request. The % factor is obtained from the graph shown in the answer to FAQ question 1. The paper plans were printed to 90% scale, and used throughout the construction.


Length 4.77m (15 feet 8 inches)
Beam 0.508m (20 inches)
Cockpit internally 0.760m x 0.368m (30” x 14.5”)
Keel to underside of foredeck at front of cockpit 0.286m (11.25”)
Keel to top of rear rim of cockpit 0.206m (8.1”)
Weight 12.7kg (28 pounds)

The LV is a blast to paddle. Her ultra-light weight and rockered keel make her ultra-reponsive to every movement of paddle and paddler. Both these features could lead to excessive weather-cocking, the bane of many kayak designs. However, throughout the Shrike model range, the high aspect ratio skeg is more than adequate to deal with any weather-cocking we have experienced. The highest wind speed during testing has been 20 mph on the beam. About one third skeg kept the kayak on the desired course. Occasionally, when a stronger gust came from slightly forward, the tops of the waves were blown across the foredeck, and it was uncanny to watch the behaviour of the kayak. The bow would blow downwind for a few inches, and then come back onto course. Very reassuring. The natural edging angle for sharp turns is when the water level is just at the top of the gunwale, and then you can truly make the LV perform. Build the the LV to enjoy the paddling, not as a fishing platform! It is important to understand that you can choose to vary the basic Shrike design to accord with your own preferences for length, cockpit design and size and knee height, freeboard etc. This can be achieved by varying the % output of the plotter to suit your planned total load, as desribed in the FAQ section at question 1. We are not just planning to offer the four current examples of the full-size Shrike, Shrike Too, Rotator Shrike and Shrike LV (Low Volume). We are offering a design system where you can build your ideal bespoke lightweight kayak, if the current four models don’t exactly suit you.

Build details and Plans

The Shrike-LV is built using the same hull panels and bulkheads as the Shrike. The size reduction comes by plotting the plan templates at 90% scale. The Shrike plan templates, build manual and modifications for Shrike-LV can be downloaded here.

Build Gallery

Afloat Gallery

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