sea kayak


Savannah, Georgia


Gordon Lacy




When my friend Gordon Lacy found out I was interested in building a sea kayak he allowed-as-to-how he had a pretty good design he'd received from a cohort in Nova Scotia. Gordon had taken the lines of an actual boat and intered them into the computer such that that he could plot for me full size patterns of the parts require to build a stitch and glue boat. Having built quite a few beautifully crafted gems I was leaning toward the opposite end of the continuum for this project. Inspired by Peter Culler's use of latex house paint I imagined a fast and cheap building process.

Turns out this is exactly how Gordon's friend built his boats. Ripping open seams, reshaping, reglassing, experimenting with forms to optimize performance - pausing not at all for elegance or craftsmanship. If a boat blew off the roof of the car big deal, patch and paste, paddle and enjoy.

So, the boat you see here is build of the cheapest door skins available. The epoxy being the only costly ingredient. Latex house paint and boat cushion for me arse.


In picking the house paint I was drawn to the reproduction colonial gray blues. When I carried that boat outside the next day all I could think was - what color you gonna paint it now that it's primed - the "sea mist gray" looking exactly like automotive primer. I was going to live with it but then my brother Brad went paddling on Spring day off the beach in St. Andrews Bay (Panama City, Florida.) In a matter of moments he looked like a guy standing waist deep in the water with a paddle in his hand - the boat simply vanished, sea mist indeed!

So, what do do? Something bright was in order - after all I really don't want to get run down by some jet ski. But I didn't want to worry about scratches and dings either. On a whim I drew out a checked fabric pattern - as though a jester's shirt where draped over the boat - and went to hand painting a bright yellow in every other box. Came out pretty good - and it does get noticed!