Chesapeake Light Craft Tred Avon Kayak

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Project by DustyMark posted 05-08-2014 02:11 AM 2706 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this two-man kayak from a plan by Chesapeake Light Craft in 1996. It is 29 1/2” wide and 20’ 6” long. It originally weighed in at 69 pounds fully rigged. There are four laminated beams that define the radius of the deck. This stitch and glue kayak is constructed with 6 mm okuome mahogony plywood. The deck is coated with Interlux marine varnish and the hull is painted with Interlux Brightsides paint.

Water Damage
The Tred Avon has served me well over the years. Unfortunately, my cockpit covers leaked during outdoor winter storage in Illinois in 2006. The boat sat filled with water for months. Back in the mid 90’s the manufacturer didn’t recommend fiberglassing the interior cockpit floor, but only recommended painting an epoxy barrier coat. The water found its way past the epoxy and began a slow rot process. I finally noticed damage this past winter in the floor. I patched the cracks with with 10 ounce fiberglass tape. I then fiberglassed the entire floor with 6 ounce cloth. I should get quite a few more years out of the boat with this sound repair.

Electric Bilge Pump
We are moving to MN this month and plan to paddle in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior. I recently installed an 1,100 gph electric bilge pump to help empty the cockpit if we should ever swamp in those frigid waters. This will free our hands to be able to put our spray skirts back around the cockpit coaming upon reentry. The battery is tucked neatly away in a Pelican box bolted to the stern bulkhead in the dry storage area.

I built the paddles in the photos. The shafts are laminated from basswood and turned on the lathe. The blades are also laminated from basswood and sheathed in 6 ounce fiberglass cloth. I faithfully used my homemade wood paddles for years. However, I finally nodded to technology and purchased a nice pair of Werner Camano paddles with carbon shafts and fiberglass blades. They are a delight to paddle…

Final Thoughts
The Tred Avon isn’t the most seaworthy design since the bow doesn’t have quite enough buoyancy. This causes the bow to plunge through the face of larger waves rather than float over them. I’ve used it in 4’ chop in the past, but it’s a pretty wet ride for the paddler in the bow. It’s perfect for chop of 2’ or less. I’ll likely build a new tandem kayak within the next couple of years.

-- Mark, Minnesota

10 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5179 posts in 2872 days

#1 posted 05-08-2014 02:15 AM

A very nice looki

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View DustyMark's profile


335 posts in 1230 days

#2 posted 05-08-2014 02:20 AM

Thanks. I just finished sanding and varnishing the top for maintenance. She isn’t pretty close up since she bears the scars of a lot of hard use. But she paddles well and looks great from about 5 to 10’...kind of like me!

-- Mark, Minnesota

View PaulDoug's profile


907 posts in 863 days

#3 posted 05-08-2014 02:31 AM

Sweet looking kayak. I built a skin over frame one last year (Kudzu Craft). It was very fun to build, but I can’t use it. My back will not take sitting in the position required for a kayak. I had it out once and had to be lifted out when I got back to shore. But great fun to build.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1056 posts in 794 days

#4 posted 05-08-2014 03:50 AM


-- Jeff NJ

View Rick's profile


8287 posts in 2192 days

#5 posted 05-08-2014 05:47 AM

Very Nice Indeed Dusty! Thanks For Posting!

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

View hoss12992's profile


3484 posts in 1052 days

#6 posted 05-08-2014 08:01 AM

This is just plain AWESOME! Thanks for all the detail and sharing your thoughts. I plan on building a couple in the future. Absolutely love yours. Great job and thanks again for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View rossinator's profile


36 posts in 798 days

#7 posted 05-08-2014 09:50 AM


View bowtie's profile


930 posts in 1506 days

#8 posted 05-08-2014 11:18 AM

Very nice kayak! Beautiful photos, makes me want to wet a paddle!

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View GerardoArg1's profile


887 posts in 1153 days

#9 posted 05-08-2014 11:26 AM

Very well done! Love the kayak and the wood…so, love this!. Congatulation

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

5448 posts in 1488 days

#10 posted 05-08-2014 12:35 PM

That’s a handsome kayak. Looks like it should efficiently cut a clean line in flat water and allow you to sneak up on all kinds of wild life. And just 69# is awesome. I personally wouldn’t want to paddle anything in 4’ swells, so my hats off to you.

When storing outside, do you place it upside down on saw horses? That should keep the water out.

I’d love to paddle the Apostle Islands some day. Been to the UP several times, but never that far west.

Thanks for sharing and good luck with your next build.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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