Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Bibliophilia: Kayaks, Kayaks and more Kayaks

Given my recent activities, I got my mitts on every book I could find on the subject of building canoes and kayaks. The Building and Repairing Canoes and Kayaks I found the least useful of the bunch because of the age of publication and since it deals exclusively with building fiberglass boats. Not what I was involved in, and the other books dealt with the matter as it pertained to strip building better anyway. Building a Strip Canoe is very nice, especially the included plans. If building a canoe, I would recommend that particular book. The Modern Canoe is another one that I gleaned some hints from, and also recommended to anyone building a canoe. Wood and Canvas Kayak Building is interesting, but since it was a different construction technique, I didn’t read it in any intense depth. I’ll read it again at a later date I’m sure, but given time constraints right now, I needed to focus only on stuff relevant to the kind of boat I was building. Kayaks You Can Build was very good, but dealt more with stitch and glue plywood construction. A technique I would love to tackle soon, but not what I was working on right now, so it got only a cursory read. KayakCraft was by far the most helpful, since it dealt with kayaks specifically, and also because it ties in with the plans we used. This and his other book on strip building a canoe are the books on the subject. Lots of photos and diagrams, and the text I found straight forward and helped me get a good grip on the whole process.
Woman’s Guide to Sea Kayaking – Shelley Johnson

Then after reading everything I could about making them, I wanted to read everything about paddling them, handling them, rolling them, tripping in them, etc. Lots of experience in canoes, none in a kayak. Not for lack of desire, just lack of opportunity. I don’t think the Woman’s Guide to Sea Kayaking has that much gender differentiation other than the title. Women and this man can (and did) learn stuff from it. Kuhne’s book was fairly bare bones; some good info in it, but the presentation was marginal. Certainly compared to the presentation in Paddle Your Own Kayak. Lots of beautiful colour photos, and touched on everything you could want to know about the topic. If I was to recommend only one, the McGuffin’s book wins hands down.
Paddling And Hiking The Georgian Bay Coast – Kas Stone 
Then I wanted to read about going specific places in them. Kayaks don’t really lend themselves to woodland lake hopping so much. But they do lend themselves to open water island hopping. Given there are tens of thousands of islands in Georgian Bay, this is an area ideally suited to the craft. I thought both were equally good. The maps are very rudimentary, but they’re meant to be coupled with  real maps - topos and sailing charts.

1 comment:

  1. I can't get into any kind of "professional" level sport anymore. Either they're doping or they're getting paid so much they don't play for the fun of it.