Fisherman 12 för Seabird kayaks
My cooperation with Seabird Designs is over - our opinions about quality, customers and service differ too much.
The other day the first Fisherman 12 was shipped to Utah, USA for an outdoor event in the Salt Lake. This has been an assignment far from my usual long slim kayaks like Black Pearl, Qanik and surfskis...
The Fisherman 12 is a short, wide, platform for fishing/hunting, 12 feet long. My first sketches were mailed in December 2010 to Seabird together with this explanation:
"A fully developed tunnel hull offers some interesting advantages for a hybrid canoe-kayak: foremost in stability, speed and tracking.
The “pontoons” increases initial stability by positioning the floatation further out from the centerline and deeper in the water compared to a traditional hull, making for a stable platform for stand-up fishing or paddling.
Since the length-width ratio is an important part of the speed equation, two narrow hulls give a better top speed than one wide of the same displacement. Not that speed is top priority for a wide fishing/recreation canoe, but once in a while a little speed will be appreciated: a far-off fishing ground, to get out of the way in a threatening encounter with reckless speedboat drivers or just to feel that it is not the hull that hampers the development of paddling skills.
Two narrow hulls track better than one without destroying the superb maneuverability of the short hull. This, together with the speed advantage makes paddling longer distances a more enjoyable task than normally in this kind of craft.
The tunnel will be useful as a work-area in front of the seat and can be outfitted with equipment after fashion: boxes and storage for fishing or hunting gears, cameras etc.
The canoe can be used without the seat attached, sitting on the tunnel and leaving more room for stand-up paddling, that is becoming increasingly popular in some segments of the paddling community, offering a superb view down in the water. Another option is to row, sitting on the tunnel with oarlock in the rod holders.
The seat is adjustable along the tunnel, and there is storage compartments at the sides. The large storage front and aft can be fitted with covers. A slide system at the sheer allows attachment of whatever gears needed. A trolling motor/rudder can be attached to the stern."
Tunnel hulls are of course no new invention. They have been used for many different types of craft through the years: primarily on fast offshore racers, where air forced into the tunnel contribute lift, but also for the stability as in Hickman Sea Sleds, the early Boston Whalers (later they got a cathedral hull instead – an added central hull). For paddled crafts Yoav Rosen is known for his Wave Walk (or infamous for fancy marketing claims).
Other Canoe/kayaks in this niche are Ocean Kayaks, Native Watercraft, Wilderness Systems (Native Watercraft and Wilderness Systems use a form of tunnel hull where the tunnel is shallow and therefore contribute not only to stability but also to increased wetted surface and higher friction), Heritage kayaks and others...
Black pearl och Qanik