By Magic Lamp Productions.; Hollywood Video Studios
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Extra info for Celestial navigation
Tracking, or holding a straight course despite the effects of wind and waves, is more important than turning ability in touring and sea kayaks. To strike a balance between tracking and turning, most sea kayaks are designed with a small amount of rocker—1 to 3 inches. Longer boats, boats with V-shaped hulls, and boats with very fine ends can have more rocker without compromising tracking. Rocker improves a boat’s handling in waves. A common misconception is that adding rocker makes a boat slower; actually, modern flatwater racing kayaks often have considerable rocker.
If you don’t mind a slightly slower machine, one of the best inexpensive sanders is the quarter-sheet Makita palm sander. Many other companies make similar models, but the Makita fits your hand just right. It sands fast enough for you to see progress but not so fast that you’ll accidentally sand through layers of plywood or fiberglass tape. Quarter-sheet sanders use inexpensive sheet sandpaper rather than costly hook-and-loop pads. In addition to an electric sander, you’ll need a sanding block.
If you choose to try your own design, consider starting with an existing design that you like and slowly redrawing it to better meet your needs. Designing from a blank sheet of paper is much more difficult; I wouldn’t recommend trying it until you’ve built a few boats. Computer design programs, which make computations and panel expansion far simpler, are ideal for designing kayaks. Several share-ware programs are powerful enough for the occasional kayak designer. The least expensive professional programs cost only a few hundred dollars, yet they can accomplish in seconds what required a full day at the drafting table only a few decades ago.