TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By DarrellS
I was digging around BBworks last night and noticed this. What is it? I am too "large boned" :roll: for a boat this narrow but I am curious.
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By gerald
ah yes...my Stiletto. I WILL build that boat one of these days. Should be a very fast cruising boat. 20" wide is about as narrow as I can go and be comfortable in a wide variety of water conditions. 20' is a good length for all out speed for a strong paddler. Any longer and you start getting too much friction and drag from the boat. The length gives you potential speed. The width and a few other factors determine how much energy it takes to reach that speed. It would also have a rudder. When you have no rudder you expend energy keeping the boat going straight. With this boat you want to expend all energy in going forward. It will be interesting. I believe I could possibly fit into an 18" wide boat. Not sure. I'd have to measure my butt. We'd just have to sit you down and measure your butt to determine what you can fit in. My marathon boat is 24" wide. You can try it and see how it fits. It's a very tame boat to paddle since it was designed for paddling hour after hour. As an alternative you could consider a surf ski. Some very large people sit in those boats and they probably average 18" wide or less. For an experienced paddler a surf ski is the fastest, offshore paddled boat there is. Fast is relative though. 3 mph average is fairly fast. 5 and 6 mph is getting right on up there. 6 mph would make you a competitive marathon racer under most conditions. I would expect to get 7 mph out of the Stilleto--not sure for how long. I may have a competitive mind, but the body is failing.
Anyway...if you are wanting a really fast boat 18 to 20 feet is the length. Width is the narrowest you can comfortable paddle after getting use to the boat. 16 feet is a good compromise.
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By gerald
Ron: Length is not the determining factor for when you need a rudder. Design, shape, and intended use are the factors to consider. Many people feel that A rudder is for turning the boat. I don't. True--it can turn the boat but I don't think that should be it's primary use. The primary use of a rudder should be as a trim tab. A trim tab is for directional stability through waves, wind, etc.. You can keep paddling straight without all the correction strokes. More efficient paddling in this case.

First lets talk about rudders on shorter fishing and recreational boats. I think all new paddlers should start paddling without a rudder. Learn how to paddle a boat before you add a rudder--and then understand the uses and limitations of a rudder. The best use I found for a rudder on a fishing boat was to orient the position of the boat while drifting. That way I could always be in position to best present the lure. In other words--I'm facing the way I want to face and I can stay facing that way. Other factors are viable for fishing boats to greater or lesser degree.

Ok...a long, fast boat is designed to slice through the water with minimum drag. I shape the bow and stern for different things, but for the stern I want the water to leave the back of the boat with nary a ripple. Such a shape may not necessarily be good for directional stability. The bow may be deeper than the stern--which is usually contrary to shorter recreational boats--and might make the boat a bear to paddle. So--I design a boat for one specific task--go fast forward--and add a rudder to help with some deficiencies.

Just wait till I write a long article on paddles. That ought to stir up a lot of controversy...
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By gerald
bowgarguide wrote:Waiting on the paddle article

:dance: :dance: :dance:

It'll be awhile. I gotta catch up with 47 eleven things first....
By jerryb
Gerald I agree 100% on your take on a rudder. I always say that down here on the coast the biggest thing a rudder does for us is lets us deal with the wind. Us the rudder to hold your heading then you can concentrate on paddling.
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By Pogo
Yep, I agree with those rudder comments too, especially the lines that say 'I think all new paddlers should start paddling without a rudder', and 'The best use I found for a rudder on a fishing boat was to orient the position of the boat while drifting'.

But I've always had trouble with the conventional wisdom that corrective strokes cost you efficiency, since my (version of) corrective strokes are all about forward propulsion; I see 'em as effort that's been redistributed, but still directed towards shoving the boat forward. I also see the rudder as introducing drag into the equation. But the racers use rudders, so I assume there's something I'm missing.
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By gerald
Racers use a rudder mostly so they don't have to make correction strokes. Correction strokes take energy away from forward propulsion. It may only be .5%, but after 10 miles which boat is in front?...and after 100 miles which boat is further out front? This is a general but true statement...
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