Twin Star© tandem baidarka sea kayak by Laughing Loon
Length 21' Width 26" Weight 65 pounds
I have received very good reviews of the handling characteristics of the Twin Star, as I would expect from my other baidarka designs.
Provision was made for a rudder by altering the stern stem to a vertical edge to facilitate rudder installation. No one has not installed a rudder.
This design paddles extremely well without a rudder in the hands of experienced paddlers.
All the great baidarka qualities are here in a tandem wood strip sea kayak.
The baidarka style, with its great volume carried forward and aft leans itself to being the best design suited to a tandem configuration. Most Greenland style based tandems leave little room for gear for extended trips.
The Twin Star provides very ample gear storage for long trips.
Twin Star is a tandem version of my popular North Star baidarka.
Twin Star study plans
For current pricing on a finished Twin Star follow this link.
The photos below are provided by David Crocker of the terrific job he did on his Twin Star tandem.
"Your instruction manual is very, very good, and I felt well guided throughout the many steps. I am glad that you had the patience to really delve into the details, describing pitfalls and tricks, at every turn. I Love the magnetic hatches and am glad I took the time to follow your design on those (I feel the "shoe box" hatches that are on many home built boats are their downfall). The laminated combing is also very sweet, and solid! I often felt as though you were looking over my shoulder, which influenced me whenever I considered taking a short cut. My only disappointment is that I did not carefully "fair" the deck, but just dove into stripping it, so she has a bit of a "roman nose" at the front. Fully fitted out, she weights 68# (more than I had hoped, but still very manageable for this 60 year old guy). Though I intended to build the boat for "use" and not for "show", I think she came out awfully pretty."
I am certainly willing to talk to other builders about this boat or strip building the "Rob Macks Way", so you may share my email address with others.
Update - May 2011
"I have attached some pictures from last summer in the Twin Star. She performs as nicely as she looks, both empty on a day trip, and fully loaded for a 3 week camping trip. We had her out in some pretty rough stuff out on the west coast of Vancouver Island (the "wild side" they call it) - swells overlain with wind waves and gusts near 40 knots - and were okay. She felt solid and stable and got us onto the beach without mishap (That said, we should not have been out there. The weather really came on fast, in just a few minutes!). She handles fine on all points of wind and sea, and we even managed to surf her a few times, though that does feel a little hairy in a boat that length. I feel no need for a rudder, though I have to work a bit to keep her on course in a quartering sea. A novice, or someone not willing to use a full repertoire of paddle strokes, might prefer a rudder. I will probably add one around my 65th birthday (4 years away).
David Crocker's Twin Star tandem kayak above! .... Nice Work!
My brother Craig and I completed our boats and launched them on October 15th, the last warm day we had this year. I built the Twin Star, Craig built the North Star. Thought you might want to see what we were able to do thanks to your plans.
Here's the photo we took of our boats on the beach in Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico. Rocky Point is at the top, eastern side of the Sea of Cortez/Gulf of California, about 4 hours southwest of Phoenix, AZ.
My wife and I love paddling this boat! We do a lot of river rafting but are limited to going with a group and traveling long distances to get to rivers suitable for rafting. With the sea kayak, we can load it on top of our Tahoe and be at a mountain lake within 45 minutes from our home. It gives us a way to play together without mounting an expedition type trip. In addition, I found the construction process both very challenging and rewarding. There's something magical in taking a bunch of wood strips and turning them into a functional thing of beauty.
Rob Macks shows you, step by step, how he builds his baidarka bow and stern parts. This applies to the bow and stern for any of Rob's Star line of baidarkas such as the Dark Star, Shooting Star, Fire Star, North Star or Twin Star.
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