Need help choosing touring kayak plans


New Member
Aug 4, 2020
Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum. I'm researching building a strip kayak and looking for plans that would fit my needs . I have many years experience woodworking but little knowledge of kayak types.
I plan on using this kayak in the intercoastal waterway (also called the Indian River, but it is NOT a river) near Melbourne, FL. Most of my time paddling will be near shore and in small tributaries, but to get to different shorelines, I will need to cross the "river" which can be as wide as 2 miles and can have small swells. Can most touring kayaks handle small (2'-3') waves? I am not a fisherman nor a racer. I mostly just want exercise and to explore. I am a skinny person so I don't want a design for larger paddlers. It needs to track well in wind, but I would like it to be responsive in smaller areas. I would not carry lots of gear in it, and not use it to surf in the ocean. Difficult builds would not scare me away.


Paddler & Moderator
May 15, 2005
Most touring kayaks would have to be able to handle what you want. I'd keep to the smaller widths 22" or smaller and say the 14-15 foot range.
It also might be worth considering a stitch and glue boat or so as some also would meet your size and requirements.
so look at the Guillemot, Thomasson, Redfish, Shearwater, Pygmy, and One ocean designs to see if any of the smaller models grab your eye and desire.
models such as cirrus, murrelet, spring run [might be too large], shearwater 15, petrel, etc might be interesting.


Mar 26, 2010
North Idaho (Sandpoint)
Lockwood is hoping to sell pygmy, although the virus is slowing things down. From the Pygmy web site:
UPDATE: Our Showroom is CLOSED. Kit production has been temporarily suspended. If you are interested in a boat kit you may place an order via our website. We will not charge your credit card until production has resumed and we have confirmed you would still like the kit at that time. By placing an order before then your order will be put in the queue for when production resumes.


Jun 2, 2009
Chesapeake Light Craft, is still in limited operation and has similar line of Kayaks as Pygmy. Materials and epoxy pumps seem to be a problem. Both companies offer plans. Also look south to Redfish, they sell only plans and the best kayak seats. I would contact Joe at Redfish directly.

Building a kayak from plans is a little more of a challenge, but more rewarding when finished. There is probably a 100 people on this form that walk you thru the process.
Because of hurricane season is here , source your cedar soon. I picked thru many racks of big box store cedar when I built y stripper.
It takes 3 times longer to build a stripper over a stick and glue.


Mar 2, 2012
Northern BC (FSJ)
You might want to share your dimensions if looking for plan suggestions unless you're planning on scaling yourself. A nice thing about some of Bjorn Thomasson's designs is he offers them in multiple hull sizes or might have already helped someone your size with scaling. When looking at width's for example you mention that you're tall and slim. For me 2-3" waves are very large as I don't practice rolling enough. I'm slightly taller and wide in the shoulders. In my 24" wide Scorpio HV (very stable) I feel ok in shoulder to head height waves. In my 22.5" wide Assateague (stable design) when wind waves hit the 2" mark I'm looking for an exit. My wife being short and slim recently rode some 2-3 footers in high wind pearling badly in her 18" wide scaled skin boat that I scaled down too much. Too narrow and she had a hell of a ride try to stay upright riding waves. I suspect her comfort level would be about 19'5" width as she's very petite. For me I find 23" is the right width for a mix of speed and stability at my not so great skill level after paddling renting lots of boats. It's what I'd want to scale up to for width. I'd then space forms (strip) for the volume I'd want to achieve for camping or day paddling. Do you have any kayaks you've paddled that you like that hopefully someone with kit experience can suggest a similar design to?

Edit: Re-reading this I see I shouldn’t post between night shifts, too much rambling.
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