Select HOME to return to Index



Toronto, Canada

EXPLORER - a 2 piece small portable boat, capable of fitting in most cars. A great winter project, and Mark added 

some personal touches that make the boat unique.


Over the winter I built an explorer from plans I bought from you in the fall. Yesterday, April 4th, was its maiden voyage. Usually at this time of year there is still ice on the Outer Harbour at Cherry Beach in Toronto, Canada. However, spring has sprung early this year, and wearing a wetsuit I ventured out on this sheltered bit of Lake Ontario.

Getting in was a bit of a challenge, and I ended up getting a boot full of water, but stayed upright. The boat is pretty stable, but could be more stable if my seat was lower. I had screwed two pieces of 2 X 4 to a board for a seat. It was plenty high enough for my knees to clear the thwart. I think I'll replace the 2 X 4's with 2 X 2's. 

It is not fast, but I did not expect it to be. The kayak paddle works well. I was going to try to turn around to check out the trim sitting backwards in a rowing position. When I tried to turn around, the boat got a quite tippy and I gave up, not wanting to fall in the very cold water. Maybe with a lower seat I can turn around and try the rowing position. It seems to be a very good boat for checking out ponds and small lakes. Best of all, it is very easy to load and unload from the car, taking a fraction of the time and effort it takes for me to install the roof racks and load and tie on a 14 foot kayak.

You can see from the pictures I put on a larger front deck. There is a bulkhead under the deck that provides flotation chamber in case of capsize. In the rear I tied an empty and sealed water container. Hopefully in the event of a capsize I could bail the boat out and re-enter from the water. This worked with the mouse boat I built a few years ago but this new boat is 3 inches taller and a bit narrower. It may be too tippy to crawl over the stern, so I might have to rig a paddle float.

Return to top of page for and select Home for menu