Decked Kruger Seawind style build

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Doug that was awesome, beautiful area too, wow. I was waiting for you to bust out the flyrod tho :)

Mem, I couldn't say this design is fast, but digging in I've clocked it to 6mph and change with a pretty good load. It does feel as though it cruises well with steady effort if that makes sense, which is probably the whole idea behind the Kruger Sea Wind from which this build was inspired or copied perhaps. :) If you stop paddling for a second or two at pace it doesn't seem to loose much momentum. I don't have any experience in a Sea Wind or Monark or any other expedition type canoe, but this North Wind seems like a very good performer to me.

In terms of clocked speed here's a gps track from that trip we got out asses handed to us. This was where Tom (seasoned WaterTriber in Savage River Falcon) and I decided to do a friendly race around an island in the river. For some perspective this was after paddling about 20 miles for the day and against about a 1 knot current. My distance on the right fork was 1.0 mile, Toms was 1.1. I paddled about as hard as could and got to the intersection first by at least a minute, which probably accounts for the tenth of a mile farther Tom had to paddle. Other than some water and a couple beers I had the same load I started with, est 50-60lbs plus my fat ass at about 215lbs. Peaked at 5mph and averaged 4.3mph. Attached is the GPS track log and the track imported to GE.



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Mark,

Looks like it cruises agreeably, attains easily and glides well. When you get it out on some windy open water with long wave fetch I think you will be equally pleased. I am always amazed at how well Kruger design heritage hulls perform in windy open shallows, with short, steep, fast interval WHAP-WHAP-WHAP chop beating on a reach.

I presume you figured out why the rudder was hanging up in the first video? Any changes planned to the hanger slots for the adjustable seat?

I put a little ball, either a plastic one from a bungee ball thingie or a varnished wood ball from a craft store, on the end of the rudder deployment line. That ball is easier to grasp with cold or gloved hands, and I am enough of a nitwit to sometimes wonder “Is the rudder up or down?” When the hull is sliding in sideways at a take out I really want to know/verify that the rudder is up. See “nitwit”, sometimes, oh crap, it isn’t.

Not just when approaching a take out; don’t even ask how many times I thought the rudder was deployed and was simply waggling it in the air retracted. Wife and sons and friends paddle our decked canoes, and that little no-look verification is handy (no pun intended) for them as well.

A little blind feel for where the ball rests verifies the rudder position; ball tight against the cleat = rudder released down, ball dangling on a couple inches of loose line = rudder pulled up. Hard to tactile tell that with just a bit of cord (gloves, cold frozen fingers, etc)

How was it getting the boat on and off the roof racks? Getting any of the decked canoes on or off the roof racks solo is a PITA for me, especially in the wind. I ended up getting a Thule Outrigger extension that slides inside a crossbar.

https://www.thule.com/en-us/sport-rack/kayak-roof-rack-accessories/thule-outrigger-ii-_-16192

Stupid $100 pricy and certainly DIY-able, especially with a Yakima round bar, but now it is only a minor challenge to rack or unrack a decked canoe.

. It should be even more stable once I'm fully loaded with gear for 3 weeks, which is happening very soon.

That is what the hull was designed for, and I’m looking forward to your post-trip impressions.
 
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Thanks for the data Deerfly. I agree, the boat isn't really a speed demon. The hull doesn't really have a straight keel line, actually a fair amount of rocker, which makes it OK for entering and exiting eddys. There was a couple people fly fishing upstream from me, but I didn't see anybody catch anything.

Mike, I don't know why the rudder hangs up but if I just let it go it springs in to place. I did put one of those balls from the bungy thing on the rope, but that was too much, so I cut a piece of plastic thread spool, which is a bit lighter, and used that instead. I didn't have any issues getting the boat up on my Subaru, but if I had a truck or something taller it might take a little more wrestling. I used to carry some conduit that would slide in to my open roof rack, thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to cut a piece for that very purpose. I'm finished donating money to the THule company.

Here are some pics of my spray skirt/cover setup. This first pic is of the 3 flat aluminum bars. This is standard Kruger design, I just copied it for this boat.

IMG_2508.jpg


Here's the spray skirt installed, but not deployed. It's still nice and open. Note the last rib is removed.

IMG_2514.jpg


Here's the spray skirt closed up and ready for nasty conditions. I used a slightly heavier fabric for the skirt compared to the cover which I'll show below. There are 2 #10 plastic tooth zippers in front with storm flaps sewn over the top. I wanted the seams on the flaps to be waterproof, hence the ugly seam sealer. I toyed with the idea of using a waterproof zipper, but they seem too difficult to open in case of a wet exit. The #10 zippers will separate by just pulling on the middle flap. I think I'll install a couple snaps to hold the skirt on in case of bad conditions, one near the front and another just behind the seat.

IMG_2517.jpg
The cover is installed with the ribs too, except you move one of them back behind the seat. This suspends the cover and keeps a big pool of water from collecting there. Again, none of these ideas are mine, I simply copied the Kruger example I have available.


IMG_2521.jpg


And here's the cockpit cover. It is made from a lighter fabric, a 1.6 oz silicon polyester. It too has some ugly seam sealer showing. This should be enough to keep a bunch of water from collecting inside the boat at night.

IMG_2522.jpg

Enjoy, Mark
 
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Here are some pics of my spray skirt/cover setup. This first pic is of the 3 flat aluminum bars. This is standard Kruger design, I just copied it for this boat.

And here's the cockpit cover. It is made from a lighter fabric, a 1.6 oz silicon polyester. It too has some ugly seam sealer showing. This should be enough to keep a bunch of water from collecting inside the boat at night.


Mark, nice looking covers.

Without any arched stays on our covers the only thing holding them lofted is the top of the back band, although if I am anticipating a real deluge overnight I’ll stuff something atop the utility thwart to help raise the front. And, more importantly, set the hull on a sideways drainage angle.

PA060100 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Those are nylon covers, and will sag water filled. Even poorly attended/big puddled I have never imploded any snap rivets, but walking down to the boat to find a gallon of water pooled on the covers is unwecolme. At least with the hull on an angle most of the water drains over the side, and it’s easier to tip the hull another 10 degrees to shed the rest.

BTW, do not have a brainfart and try to remove the cover, or even just peel back just a piece of it to reach inside, with a gallon on water puddled atop. Ask me how I know.

I think I'll install a couple snaps to hold the skirt on in case of bad conditions, one near the front and another just behind the seat.

I like that idea a lot. We have belt & suspenders bow and stern snaps on a couple of our coaming randed covers, if only to help hold them in place fore and aft for the stretch fit. Put the front of the cover on, walk to the other end, pull and oh crap, the rand came off the far end. A snap at either end prevents that action.

All of our open canoe covers are affixed with snaps. I remember some paddler’s tale of his St. Bernard type dog jumping on a snap riveted spray cover with no implosion. The biggest complaint folks have with snap riveted covers is the simply number of aching-thumb snaps (their bad for not river dunking the stuff bag of covers first, for easy snap rivet fit in low humidity shrunken nylon conditions).

Most snap riveted covers have the studs every 8 inches; last snap riveted cover I stretched that to every 10 inches with seemingly no difference. I don’t own a St. Bernard for a test, nor paddle in conditions with dog-sized waves crashing on the deck, but it seems plenty sturdy.

In whitewater use, or open water crashing waves that 8 inch snap spacing is probably a good idea. For a more causal rain, splash and spray a cover snapped every 12 inches might work just as well.
 
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Here's the spray skirt closed up and ready for nasty conditions. I used a slightly heavier fabric for the skirt compared to the cover which I'll show below. There are 2 #10 plastic tooth zippers in front with storm flaps sewn over the top. I wanted the seams on the flaps to be waterproof, hence the ugly seam sealer. I toyed with the idea of using a waterproof zipper, but they seem too difficult to open in case of a wet exit. The #10 zippers will separate by just pulling on the middle flap. I think I'll install a couple snaps to hold the skirt on in case of bad conditions, one near the front and another just behind the seat

What type and weight of fabric did you use for the skirt? Source? Is it as heavy as the kruger skirt fabric?
 
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What type and weight of fabric did you use for the skirt? Source? Is it as heavy as the kruger skirt fabric?

I used the HyperD300 fabric from Ripstop by the roll. It's not as heavy as the Kruger fabric, at least not the fabric they used for spray skirts in 1996. The Kruger fabric seems like a cordura except that it has a thicker PU coating on the back. It seems like a type of awning fabric. Let me know if you have any more questions.

Mark
 
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Thanks Mark. My kruger seawind skirt is in need of replacement soon and with the demise of Kruger Canoes that is no longer an option. I had a lead on the company that made them for Mark P, but they appearred to have closed shop. Plus, there are a few modifications I want to make, so trying to figure out my fabric options. I am actually starting to think that the kruger fabric is outdated, as there appear to be some fabrics out there with very high abrasion, UV, and water resistence. And yes, some of them are marine awning fabrics.
 
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One of the changes I want to make is to put the hook side of the velcro on the portion that you (and many of us) fold up under the front deck. The way kruger had it, the hook side ends up snagging nylon pants, shirts, etc.
 
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Hi, I am very glad I found this post about you building a JEM Northwind canoe. All the information in this thread is great, thank you very much for all the details and everyone's comments and questions. I've been on a search off and on the last few years for plans to build 2 different boats out of wood or composite - one being a Sea Pearl 21 (I've found a few very close) and the other a Kruger Seawind. I've even purchased plans from Hugh Horton to build a Bufflehead Decked Canoe but still not sure that is what I want. But his decked sailing canoe and the Artemis version of his canoe are pretty close to what I would like if I can't do a Kruger Seawind type canoe.

I've written JEM a couple times this past week and have not received any response so I'm really hoping they are still selling plans and can get back to me to answer my questions. I am wanting to build one of the Northwind canoes - not sure if I'm going to do it as the standard wood strip boat like the plans are designed for (I'm not interested in doing the stitch-n-glue model) or maybe do it as kevlar/fiberglass composite boat, I have a couple books explaining how to build kevlar canoes so thought that might be an option (something new to try), or a combination. I've even thought about doing it as a SOF boat to try that.

I do have a question if I may ask, the plans call for the cockpit opening to follow their plans (if they include a template for that?), but you built/cut yours using the Seawind dimensions/template, do you know of a place I might be able to find the actual measurements and shape of the Kruger Seawind cockpit opening so I can duplicate that? I do believe it looks better and would like to go with that shape like you did. I can't seem to even figure out if the plans include some type of building details/manual/specs or if it only includes the building form templates printed up for their fee and the rest is up to me - one of my questions for JEM that have not been answered yet. Maybe I'm reading over it and have missed something on their website, wouldn't be the first time.

Thank you very much and if I missed something in your post I do apologize. Also if you have any additional information about your build I would love to read about it.

Ed
 
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Hi Ed, I looked to see if I still had the template for the Kruger cockpit opening, but I must have used the paper for something else. It may be around here somewhere yet, so if I find it I can send it to you if you actually decide to build the canoe. The boat itself is in storage for the winter and not easy to access, so if you remind me in the spring, say after April 1, I will measure offsets so that you can easily re-create it. The difference between the two openings is really just towards the front.

The plans do have a template for a cockpit opening. The difference is visible in one of the pictures back in this thread. The cockpit template in the plans is narrower in the front. If you look at Deerfly's build, I believe he used the cockpit opening from the plans. You may not be able to see any significant difference. I don't really have an opinion about which one would be better. If anything, the opening in the plans would potentially be drier. I wanted my opening to be the same as a Kruger, since I also had spray skirt and cockpit covers to use as a template. Why re-invent it?

All you get when you buy the plans is two long sheets of rolled up paper of printed stations. I think the website has a really small version at the bottom of the boat description. That's all you get. I think he says to look at canoecraft or Nick Schades books for instruction. Since I've built a few boats, I didn't really need much help besides a little detail about building the cockpit coaming, which is quite time consuming. You can get all of that information online, like on youtube. I put up a few videos to help fill in gaps that aren't covered by other builders. I was able to find a used copy of Nick Schades older kayak building book which was a good read, mostly just to see how he does things differently. Theres some good advice on deciding on a layup. All I can say is avoid the temptation to use kevlar on a wood boat, I learned my lesson.

Let me know if you have any more questions, Mark
 
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Hi Ed, I looked to see if I still had the template for the Kruger cockpit opening, but I must have used the paper for something else. It may be around here somewhere yet, so if I find it I can send it to you if you actually decide to build the canoe. The boat itself is in storage for the winter and not easy to access, so if you remind me in the spring, say after April 1, I will measure offsets so that you can easily re-create it. The difference between the two openings is really just towards the front.

The plans do have a template for a cockpit opening. The difference is visible in one of the pictures back in this thread. The cockpit template in the plans is narrower in the front. If you look at Deerfly's build, I believe he used the cockpit opening from the plans. You may not be able to see any significant difference. I don't really have an opinion about which one would be better. If anything, the opening in the plans would potentially be drier. I wanted my opening to be the same as a Kruger, since I also had spray skirt and cockpit covers to use as a template. Why re-invent it?

All you get when you buy the plans is two long sheets of rolled up paper of printed stations. I think the website has a really small version at the bottom of the boat description. That's all you get. I think he says to look at canoecraft or Nick Schades books for instruction. Since I've built a few boats, I didn't really need much help besides a little detail about building the cockpit coaming, which is quite time consuming. You can get all of that information online, like on youtube. I put up a few videos to help fill in gaps that aren't covered by other builders. I was able to find a used copy of Nick Schades older kayak building book which was a good read, mostly just to see how he does things differently. Theres some good advice on deciding on a layup. All I can say is avoid the temptation to use kevlar on a wood boat, I learned my lesson.

Let me know if you have any more questions, Mark

Dogbrain, Thank you for the quick reply. No rush at all, There will be lots of time before I get to that point. I will be going through and reading this thread a lot more closely now. I see where the outline of the cockpit is around the forms on the template sheets at the bottom of the spec page for JEM. At first I didn't see where it was there. JEM also replied to my questions and solved that so I'm good to go. I'm ordering the plans today. Thanks also for the kevlar over wood advice, I was actually thinking of building the boat from kevlar or fiberglass without using wood at all - not sure of my ability on that, but wood will probably be my choice since it's what I'm most familiar with. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, just maybe trying to duplicate the Seawind without actually spending 5-7k for one - wood will probably still be my choice. Thanks again for the help. Ed
 
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Pushing the envelope of what canoes are capable of

The Kruger-style decked canoes are incredibly boats. I try to avoid pushing the conditions envelope, but I’ve had our Monarch out in stuff, further from shore than I would have preferred, that would have seen me pissing my pants in an open canoe. I was still on the edge of anxious, especially when I had to turn amidst the waves, but that is a very forgiving hull.

Even our converted “European-style touring canoes” are capable of handing windychoppy confused conditions. And they sail well, at least downwind, provided they are not, uh, “over-canvassed”.

Mike M Sailing 01 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The later model decked canoe designs are something special.

EK_0012 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr
 
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To Ed or anyone else who cares, I have found two differences in hull design between the Kruger Sea Wind and the JEM clone for those wondering how closely the two perform in the real world. Overall, I'd say they paddle very similarly, neither has an edge when it comes to speed or maneuverability. First, the JEM design has a rounder hull shape than the Kruger. This makes it a little more tender with the canoe empty. You can easily stand up in the Kruger, with the JEM design being a bit twitchy. With a load the JEM design is rock solid. It's possible that the JEM design is a slight improvement under rough conditions, but I can't say I've pushed mine at all in that regard.

The other difference, which I think is more important, is that the bow of the JEM is more likely to dive into a wave that the Kruger will ride up and over. I saw this in some moderate sized wave trains on the Yellowstone River paddling right next to the Kruger. The wave period was about the same length as the boat, so probably the worst case scenario. I was getting water washing over the bow and the Kruger wasn't. The cockpit coaming did its job and kept me dry though. The bow deck profile is definitely lower on the JEM which is part of it, but I believe the Kruger hull might have a little more volume towards the front.

test.jpg

On a related topic, I've been learning Delftship this winter and am working on a 16.5' decked canoe design. It will look like a Kruger, with a deck and a scaled down cockpit opening, but below the waterline it's completely different. More of an asymmetric canoe design a like Bell Magic, with a skegged stern, and designed to be paddled without a rudder. The stern will be vertical in case I want to add a rudder at some point. Here's a sneak preview. It still needs a whole bunch of fiddling before I commit. Before I waste the extra time and materials for the decked version I may build this as an open canoe first to see how it performs.

Mark
 
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