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Frej special – Howard Spira

Frej – Howard Spira

I ett mail häromdagen kom bilder på en mycket lätt och välbyggd Frej i Washington DC – ännu mindre än min Frej S:

"Bjorn, I am pleased to report the recent completion of a Frej 90 for my wife ~ 4.572 meters. The project was long in planning because my wife is petit and I wanted a very special project for her. So finally done after two year. The objective of the project was I wanted a high performance design, great looks, something that was designed around my wife’s small frame, and something that I could build with some careful techniques to be below 11.3kg so that she could easily carry it. After a lot of research and searching, I came to know a Frej 90 builder who had a similar petit wife…and I was off to engineer a solution and get it done with some flare. Pictures are attached…and some building notes.

  • Major focus on light weight so basic execution was 3/16 inch western red cedar with 4 oz s-glass inside and out…very careful epoxy work.
  • Keyhole style cockpit with no recess….my wife is not super experienced kayaker so wanted her to be comfortable and at ease to get in/out. Also, since the boat was built light with no rub-pads, the basic idea is you don’t drag it or run it up on beach….but get your legs out and pick up the boat…very easy to do this with a key hole cockpit
  • Stained the wood for a clean look with Behrens Solar-Lux stain Blood Red with white cedar accents.
  • Custom seat from Joe Greenley at Redfish Kayaks. The seat integrates back and thigh support into a single unit so there is no back band or cheek plates. It’s a very clean design and contributes to light weight
  • Custom built, carbon fibre skeg and skeg box. But the control box and mechanicals are provided by Mark at Superior Kayaks. It’s a very robust, clean, well engineered design based on single wire pushrod approach like in high end model aircraft. Also very lightweight.
  • Soft pad-eyes for all the deck rigging inspired by Redfish kayaks…..very robust but light as there are no screws
  • Optic yellow bungee for some ‘pop’ against the deep red color of the hull Careful use of kevlar in seaming and carbon in bulkheads to keep weight down.
  • Chesapeake Light Craft cut the forms. Dan at Clearstream provided the reduction.

Overall…am delighted with the look and the outcome. When it warms up here, my wife will take it for a spin.

Thanks for the inspiring design.


Frej – Howard Spira

Frej – Howard Spira


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