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Plans, Swift/2 - 130 EUR
Swift/2 is a very fast and light canoe for training, competition and touring for one or two paddlers.
The rounded bottom with just a hint of V means a very small wetted surface and an easily driven hull. She is more tippy than canoes in general, but not excessively so: anyone with a little paddling experience will soon be comfortable with the stability profile. In the hands of competent paddlers, she is exceptionally fast and maneuverable.
Swift is designed to be built as light as possible without sacrificing structural integrity. A builder with a couple of light boards (fir or cedar), minimizing epoxy usage may reach 14-15 kg and still have a canoe that can handle bumpy landings on stony banks.
A couple of Swift's were built for multi-sport competitions. This is what one builder has to say (my translation):
"A year ago I built a Swift for competing in multi-sport events. The canoe is super and the fastest in the entire multi-sport circus. In spite of the low stability we paddle safely in rapids and in quite rough seas".
But as often with successful newcomers, there is talk of new rules, after successful lobbying from the old established manufacturers – meaning that Swift may be disqualified from some competitions. We will know soon.
The first builder had a few comments:
"She has been raced by the Naturguiden Adventures (Jonas Andersson/Peter Alvarsson). I noticed the increase of beam, Think it is a good thong. Mine was built 580/71 and it is fun to race, tracks well, but on a meandering river you have to be alert and plan your turns – but then it works to 100%! I do not know how others do but we lowered the seats to increase the initial stability. Another thing we needed to add was a good adjustable foot support aft."
The building of the first updated canoe was very well documented by Kristoffer Ahlin och Patrik Olsson, noting costs, hours spent and experiences in a comprehensive pdf-report with photos. There is also a project plan with adjusted times for those who want to know the scope before committing, compare with their own projects or is just curious. Here is a launching report.
||80 kg) normal - (max load) high
||Touring and day tripping in protected waters for two paddlers traveling light. Competition, training and exercise.
¹ These dimensions can be adapted to suit personal needs or wishes.
² Depending on type of wood, equipment, care with epoxy usage, sanding etc. etc.
The plan sheets contain the information needed to build the kayak/canoe. Station molds, stems and construction details are full scale. For kayaks the recommended cockpit size is shown half scale with offsets for a full scale drawing and advice on altering the size. On the plans you will also find advice on how to shorten or lengthen the craft. Lines and construction drawings are in metric scale 1:10.
The illustrated step-by-step building manual is in Swedish only, but it is available online in English: it covers all steps in detail and will guide first-time builders through the project.
Plans, Swift/2 - 130 EUR
Update 2007 – new rules
The Swedish Canoe Federation has now after consultations with the major players decided upon a new set of rules for competitions with kayaks and canoes. The new rules disqualify the fastest canoes – the original Swift/2 is not allowed in competitions where the organizers have chosen to play by the rules. As often such new rules are conserving – manufacturers with investments in outdated technology, hull shapes, materials can postpone the future yet another decade or so.
For Swift/2 it means that the beam had to be increased from 74 to 81 cm, noticeable in two ways: the new Swift/2 is not as fast as the old, and it is significantly more stable. To minimize the speed loss I have maximized the waterline length, meaning slightly more directivity and slightly less maneuverability. Not a problem for experienced paddlers but beginners may have to put a little more effort in tight turns
The old Swift/2
The new Swift/2
The overall consequence is that the difference in performance, shape and looks will be flattened out. The advantages for Swift will still be that a wooden hull is stiffer and lighter than a composite one – I believe that Swift will still be the fastest canoe around, albeit with a smaller margin (luckily the rules committee did not buy the demand that canoes in competition must weight at least 25 kg to be allowed!).