Frej – Dan Caouette for John Power
From Dan Caouette and Clear Stream Custom Water Craft: a new beautifully finished Frej, built for a customer – and with a new and interesting take on the Maroske deck fittings!
I wanted to let you know that I recently finished and delivered a new Frej for John Power in Northampton, MA. He originally purchased the plans and milled the strips the forms. He approached me this winter to build it for him when he could not find a suitable space for the construction.
The kayak is built from 3/16” (4,75 mm) thick western red cedar and laminated with “S” glass and bio-based Entropy Resin CLR epoxy. The hatches and adjustable rope-operated skeg are from Kajak Sport in Finland. The deck is finished with a very traditional Kirby Company (New Bedford, MA) marine paint while the hull has a high-tech, very rugged, silicone-based epoxy bottom paint called “Wetlander" from Wearlon (NY).
The final weight, completely outfitted, is 35 lb (15,9 kg).
I build in the winter months and most of our waters are frozen solid when the boats are complete. I don’t often get a chance to paddle the commercial boats I build.
This time I did!!
I was able to put the FREJ through some sea trials of the FREJ at our local pond on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon before it met its new owner.
The FREJ lived up to its expectations. It was very maneuverable with good hull speed and stability. Very comforting. The adjustable skeg makes it very adaptable. When it is retracted the boat can turn in almost it’s own length. About an inch down it corrected for the slight windage.
It’s very obvious why it has become your most popular model.
Aside: The deck fittings are a new development on the “Maroske” tube fittings. These are made from PETG plastic tubing (often used to water cool computers). PETG is often used in 3D printers. The straight tubing is cut to length then a silicone rod is inserted. The plastic is heated with a heat gun and formed around a wooden form. When cooled the rod is removed. Two holes are drilled into the deck and the U-shape is then bonded with thickened epoxy. The excess on the outside is trimmed flush with the deck. The 1/2 (12mm) tubing (outside diameter) is large enough for both a 3/16” (4,5 mm) cordage and 7/32” (5,5 mm) bungee.
More pictures detailing the entire build can be found on my Facebook album (no account required to view them).
John will be paddling in much rougher water soon and will send his own review.