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This was an interview with the local news paper



1.  How long have you been making kayaks ?

 

I have had an interest in Kayaking for some years and I began creating and making my own design in spring 2013.  

 

2.  How long does it take to make one approximately ?

 

Aside from my full time job I have committed most of my free time to building kayak's.  Depending on the design and the time I have, each wood kayak has taken me approximately 4-6 weeks to build. 

I have found that the more experience I gain, the more productive I become in making them.

 

3.  Are you planning on setting up a business selling them

 

Currently, I am generating interest in my work and I am keen to progress this ideally into a full-time business.  I am very ambitious and it would be my dream to establish a reputation as a kayak builder with great skills and design ability here on the Isle of Man.

       I take great pride in my work, and I spend a lot time researching design, durability and performance. 

Although I am building kayak's from wood at the moment I have started using other materials such as fiberglass, and im looking into using carbon in the near future.

       I have been mostly building demonstration models whilst I build up my reputation and gain more knowledge and experience.

       This is a relatively new project but I hope to generate more interest as time goes on.       

 

4.  Which clubs have shown interest and given you feedback ?

 

Currently I am a member of Manx Paddlesports Canoe Club and building up relationships with various members.  I was invited by Steve watts at the club to bring along my kayak's and attend their monthly club Sunday paddle at Mooragh park, Ramsey for timed laps in sea kayak's and sprint boats.  My K1 version of a race kayak was taken out by Steve himself and he achieved his personal best in 15 years of racing on the lake and setting a record time of 4 mins, 49 seconds, beating that of the very lightweight fiberglass sprint kayak's that are normally used on the rivers and canal's in England.  Manx Paddlesports relay team have requested to try out my race kayak for next years 96 mile Cheshire Ring race that they have since won on numerous occasions and I am excited to see if they can improve on their past achievements using my kayak.       

 

5.  Are you a keen kayaker yourself, are you a member of any clubs ?

 

During my younger years I spent many hours on white waters, rivers and lakes  but it is only recently throughout the summer months that I have begun taking up the sport again on a regular basis.  The Isle of Man lends itself to sea kayaking which is a new sport in itself for me and one I am keen to master through the help of Manx Paddlesports and their coaching.        

 

6.  How much does it cost to make a kayak ?

 

Cost is varied dependable on the design, materials and the detail that goes into the finish.  I hope to offer a range of purpose built kayak's to fit size and shape of the individual and the activity for it's use.  Specifications can vary on speed, comfort or ability of the paddler. 

 

7.  What is your occupation normally ?

 

I am a builder by trade in the construction industry, whilst in the last seven years on the Isle of Man I have been working as a building site manager and currently I am running my own small building outfit.    

 

8.  How did you first get interested in kayaking and making them ?

 

From an early age, I have been a keen kayaker, mainly in the North West of England.  I spent my time kayaking on rivers and lakes, but relocating to the Isle of Man, I saw an opportunity to adventure into sea kayaking.  On researching the best kayak, I came across the stripwood kayak's and fell in love with the craftsmanship and design and sought to make my own, knowing I had the skills and passion to do so. 

       I took it upon myself to further research over the last two years and start building them myself.  It is something I am passionate about and gives me great satisfaction when seeing the end product being utilised to it's full potential.

       Initially, what started as a hobby, turned into a product that has great interest and hopefully a call for here on the island and further afield?

       The feedback I have received from fellow kayakers is very positive and has inspired me to push this further.    

 

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