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Denman Marine Newsletter

Hi Denman Marine, and welcome to the latest Denman Marine newsletter.


In this month's newsletter we have;

  • Spotlight - Shearwater Kayaks
  • Te Rapunga Update
  • Special - Wood Duck Kayaks
  • Build Updates
  • Custom builds and CNC cutting
  • Global pricing pressures

If there is anything you would like to see in our future newsletters, discuss, query or order, please contact us via the contact form on our website.

"[T]he Shearwater is an eye-catching, light and fast cruiser that does many things well. It is a strong contender for the budget-minded paddler looking to answer the 'If I could only have one kayak' question." - from Sea Kayaker's October 2006 review of the Shearwater 17.


Stitch-and-glue sea kayak design has grown up a lot in the last fifteen years, driven by enthusiastic paddlers who prefer ultralight, beautiful boats that handle like extensions of themselves. For a new line of high-performance sea kayaks, Chesapeake Light Craft commissioned veteran paddler and kayak designer Eric Schade. Eric created three sleek, state-of-the-art wood-composite kayak designs.

Elegant lines result in real performance. The sweeping sheerline complements the nicely balanced ends; there isn't an awkward hump or bump anywhere. The sheer panels are "tumbled home" to reduce windage and improve paddle clearance. Like all Chesapeake Light Craft kayak kits, the decks are smoothly cambered, not cut up into a faceted, homebuilt appearance.

West Greenland-style hulls provide telepathic handling to the skilled paddler, while initial and secondary stability are ample for the newly initiated. On the water, the Shearwater demonstrates excellent poise and responsiveness in a broad range of conditions, edging turns easily when leaned but tracking straight when pushed hard in surf. A cutaway bow and skeg-like stern ensures tracking even in extremely rough water. The relatively low profile means you'll spend less time on corrective strokes and more time covering ground.

The Shearwater design abounds in interesting and innovative features. Flush hatches are standard. Veteran stitch-and-glue builders will find notable tweaks in the Shearwater kits, including CNC-cut "finger joints" instead of the more typical scarf joints. The finger joints eliminate the alignment step required of scarf joints, so parts are quicker to assemble and impossible to misalign. Another luxury in the Shearwater kits is that 99% of the holes for the wire stitches have been drilled for you by our CNC machine. This means faster assembly and no measuring for bulkhead locations, as those holes are drilled, too.


You can't have everything in one boat.  For speed, you want long-and-narrow.  For comfort, you want beam and a big cockpit.  For maneuverability and compactness, a short kayak is desirable.  Artful compromise is the mark of good design, and we feel that Eric Schade's Shearwater Sport is a great combination of kayak virtues.

The compact Shearwater Sport gives up nothing in cruising speeds to its longer, narrower Shearwater sisters, though it won't be quite as fast in a sprint.  It's still more than fast enough to accelerate onto waves for surfing.  Indeed, many paddlers will build the Shearwater Sport just for surfing, while maintaining longer kayaks for distance work.

For less adventurous paddlers, the Shearwater Sport offers the perfect compromise of light weight, sharp West Greenland handling, effortless cruising speed, and an extra-large cockpit for comfort.  The shorter length means easier construction, storage, and cartopping.  It might just be the One Kayak that does almost everything well.  Watertight bulkheads and flush-mounted deck hatches are standard, so many builders will camp out of the boat.

Please head over to our website to checkout the Shearwater for further details or to place an order. Otherwise please dont hesitate to get in touch with any questions you have.

The restoration of Te Rapunga continues, you can follow along via the Te Rapunga Instagram page for frequent updates.


Te Rapunga is the foundation for an amazing story about a man, a small boat and the many lives they influenced along the way. You can find more information on George Dibbern, Te Rapunga, and the restoration via our website.


You can also find us via our Denman Marine Instagram and Facebook accounts where you can see many more updates about past and present builds.

Wood Ducks are among our easiest-to-build kits. Panels are precision-cut on our computerized equipment, with puzzle-joints and pre-drilled stitching holes for fast and accurate assembly. Sheathed in fiberglass inside and out, the Wood Duck will withstand real-world abuse on gravel or shell beaches, and will bounce over submerged stumps without harm.

Beautiful, easy to use recreational kayaks for just about everyone to enjoy on the water.  With big cockpits and ample stability, the emphasis is on comfort.  But these boats really paddle well! Keep your Wood Duck on top of the car, ready to toss into all the interesting creeks in your county, or for use as a fishing platform.

Looking to get the little ones on the water and into kayaking? Checkout the Wood Duckling, which has been specifically adapted from the madly popular Wood Duck series.


Till the end of June, all Wood Duck full and wood parts only kits are $100 off* when you use the code: 100OFFWD during checkout (exclusions apply).

Please note the coupon code is case sensitive (all caps). This offer is valid from 19/05/22 till 30/06/22. Applicable to Wood Duck full and wood parts only kits. Shipping within Australia and New Zealand is tailored to suit individual orders and will be quoted separately.

Russell's Wood Duck 12

Russell's Wood Duck 12

Don't forget, we offer many services, including but not limited to:

We can custom build to any design, including - Paul Gartside, Joel White, Iain Oughtred, David Payne, Swallow Boats, B&B yacht designs, Bowdidge Marine Designs, CLC boats and many more. This also includes the Teardrop Camper and Class Globe 5.80.

While we have done our best to absorb rising costs, unfortunately the ongoing economic uncertainty is driving a continued increase in cost of almost everything we work with, including transport.

Prices continue to rise, and we expect that they will remain at these high levels for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately due to these sustained global pricing pressures we are having to pass on some of these continued, but modest, price increments accordingly.

Contact Us


Please feel free to contact us at any time via our contact form to discuss your next boat or project.


Please note, all prices listed above are in Australian Dollars and include GST.

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® Denman Marine 2022