Njord in New Zealand
I launched my Njord "Otāne" on the 6th April with a small flotilla of friends & a barbeque party afterwards. Otāne is the Māori (indigenous New Zealand people) name for the 26th night after the new moon. Otāne is generally a good day which proved true for the launch day last Saturday - calm & sunny.
I have adulterated the design a little; adding a rudder, a high deck & a large cockpit. I hope you will excuse this, rudders are a cultural imperitive in New Zealand. I will race the kayak & prefer to paddle with my knees up & together.
I've paddled three hours so far & I am pleasantly surprised at the boat's stability & good manners despite being 7cm narrower than my previous sea kayak. At 18kg Otāne accelerates down waves easily. Stability was fine in a confused short chop & the low bow makes a head wind less of a chore. I'm looking forward to my first race later this month, hopefully this boat will improve my times by 5 - 10%.
Many thanks to the kayak building community online, especially Ulf Johansson, Dan Caouette & Tomi Biloglav. I deeply appreciate their generous knowledge sharing & the time they take to document & present their building experience.
Thanks Bjorn for a great kayak.