Monday, October 11, 2010

It Floats

Paul and I finally took the Grand Diva to the lake Sunday afternoon, first time on the water.

We’d put in the back band, and before gluing down the seat I wanted to make sure we had placed everything right. I also wanted a sense of what other outfitting I’d need, both for fit and comfort. And of course I wanted to make sure it floated :)

The boat has very hard chines; I was curious how it would paddle. The hull has a gentle V, and I was also curious about its stability. During the build I’d occasionally comment that “I hope I like how it paddles”. Paul would remind me that 2 years ago, I paddled this model for about 20 minutes and raved and raved about it, deciding it was the wooden model I wanted. The Grand Diva is 17.5 ft long and 21 in wide, designed by Graham Byrnes of B&B Yachts, the same designer as our Core Sound 20 sailboat.

Well it paddled beautifully. It felt wonderfully stable, certainly as stable as my NDK Explorer (which always surprises me when some say it's a tippy boat), and it balances itself on those chines with no problem.

I even got Paul in it for a few minutes.

I absolutely HATE rudders, but decided to put one on it anyway. I plan to sail it, and thought adding a skeg would be harder than putting on a rudder, hopefully the rudder will help more with the broaching in following seas,. It’s so maneuverable I had to apologize to it for the rudder (quite ugly).

I had little trouble with low sculls, but with the little paddling I had stuffed in it, and nothing glued down, my only attempt at rolling had things moving around too much, and I ended up needing an Eskimo rescue by a friend watching nearby.

What's still unfinished. I now need to get the seat, hip and thigh braces all put in, add some inside-the-cockpit bungees to hold the pump, sponge, and a few other things, varnish the deck and add the deck bungees and deck lines.  My son Alan is working on the Flat Earth Kayak Sail mount for me.

It does need a bit (a lot actually) of decoration, I’m still trying to work on that, though not quite sure what to do. With its black hull, and dark mahogany deck it just looks too much like a guy’s boat, and I need it to be my boat.

1 comment:

Floatsome said...

Beautiful! Glad to see that you've got it on the water.