Panthera – Bas Tinhout
I’ve finished my Panthera kayak and super happy with the end result. I’ve launched the kayak on Friday 26 June and made three short trips on the river Rhine since.
Being content with the built can’t compare with how exited I am with how it performs in the water! It paddles exceptionally light, responds immediately to the rudder and is more stable than I expected. With the rudder up it is also easily turnable. The kayak is easy to move sideways using sculling technique because of the flat bottom. With touring speed the kayak paddles very light and during a sprint the friction is low. I could reach 12km/h without help from waves or wind. I was lucky to put the kayak to test in the last week with 5 bft wind from the west which made some small but rolling waves on the river Rhine. I could almost surf them! Having a lower initial stability is a real advantage as smaller choppy waves do not interact with the kayak so much. The kayak feels stable enough to relax, look around and take out a camera to make some pictures.
I’ve build the kayak from Western Red Cedar strips with some fir accent strips. The stems are reinforced with laminated ash. The hull has a double layer of glass. I have recessed the cockpit rim and made the flair from bend WRC and fir. I have made three hatches. The hatch covers rest on triplex lips and are held with magnets. Unfortunately the front hatch is leaking so I’m thinking to install the roll-top of a drybag inside the hatch to make a watertight closure. I have installed a SmartTrack surfski rudder which works very well. The footpeg adjustment system is a bit heavy though. In total the kayak weights 19,5 kg. The total length of the kayak is 5m 61,5cm.
I’m looking forward to taking the kayak out on some bigger trips. The kayak definitely spaked interest in the build, design and performance with my kayak friends from VADA kayak club in Wageningen. Thank you very much for the advice during choosing the kayak design and the building process!