The Vember family of sea kayaks
Our Shrike kayaks, with their hard chined hulls of West Greenland origins, have been a remarkable world-wide success, but the Vember family is for those who desire kayaks which are more “British-style”. In particular, kayaks with round bilge hulls to give smooth and progressive stability from upright to edged; kayaks that would be capable and reassuring in rough seas and strong winds. The members of the Vember family (Vember and Vember Expedition) have proven to satisfy those requirements.
We’ve long been interested in strip-building round-bilged sea kayaks, but had been put off by the many hours this seemed to require, in comparison with the 100 hours to complete a stitch-and-glue Shrike. To reduce the construction time, the Vember family kayaks combine a strip-built hull with the simple, light-weight and quick deck construction used in the Shrike family, and a first-time strip builder might take 150 hours.
Start building today with free plans
Plans and build manuals for both kayak designs are available for free download
I designed Vember to be my ultimate sea kayak. She is the result of years of dreaming, and 18 months of designing, building and testing. On her first paddle I knew she was as perfect as I could make her. She has a smooth range of stability, she tracks beautifully in windy conditions, she handles well in rough water, and is half the weight of my regular fibreglass sea kayak.. She didn’t stay my personal kayak for very long. My wife and experienced paddling friends have enthused over Vember’s handling and light weight, so we have decided to release the plans of the Vember family to the world.
If I had to pick just one boat, this would be it. Even empty and in a cross-wind, she behaves herself and I’ve yet to really need the skeg. She’s light enough to throw on the roof-rack for an afternoon’s playing, but has the capacity to take a fairly hefty load for trips. The shallow rounded keel allows you to layback fully and this means I’ve been able to hand roll her – a trick I can normally only do in my specialist rolling boat.
She attracts a lot of attention. Every time I’ve taken her out, without fail, I’ve been approached by people who have been seduced by the curves and want to know what she is.