Ugly Duckling is for sale as a first step in a fleet reduction.
Ugly Duckling (UD) started her life as continues to be a Guillemot Petrel by the renowned USA designer Nick Schade. The designer’s information on the Petrel can be found here. https://guillemot-kayaks.com/catalog/strip-built/sea-kayak-solo-surfing/petrel
UD was built circa 2010 by a VSKC member who lives down on the Surf Coast. Tony built UD bombproof, using the strip plank method, but using a material known as “Duracore”, sandwiched between layers of fibreglass cloth. This composite sandwich core construction method means that UD is one very strong little Petrel. She weighs in today at 22.0 kilos (excluding the triple skegs*).......... respectable weight given that UD is fitted out with 3 rather hefty Valley hatches.
In 2013 Tony sold UD to another club member who then on sold it to me a couple of years later as his other projects were of higher priority. At that time UD sported her original yellow (and rather faded) gelcoat, and so I came to name her Ugly Duckling.
I first paddled UD on the Yarra/Birrarung in Alphington. At that time her fit out was rudimentary, sans foot pegs, sans backband but with a ‘bonus’ half seat and triple* surfboard thruster skegs. Tony had built UD as a surfing kayak. That standard 11km paddle from Fairfield boathouse to Studley Park boathouse return is still an ugly memory of a beautiful reach of the river. The drag from the skegs was profound, and the leg pain (that followed the numbness) was excruciating.
On that day the refurbishment of UD started. She was still on the roof racks when the demolition saw removed the skegs in a sweep of therapeutic vengeance. In spare time over the next couple of years, an estimated 100 + hours were spent on the refit. The hull was sanded and faired, then recoated with Norglass 2 pack undercoat and topcoats. In a nod to Tony’s vision and first build, the modest safety lines remain as originally placed, but renewed with double braid polyester, whipped fast and sealed with heat shrink. Bow and stern toggles, a paddle tether and foredeck bungy line were added. The cockpit is fitted with Sea Select adjustable foot braces, a comfortable closed cell foam seat pad, and a (padded) carbon fibre backband.
Ugly Duckling was something of a little Swan when relaunched in 2016. If asked to rename her I could only choose Leda. The drag bestowed on her by the thruster skeg experiment is long gone. She accelerates and cruises easily, is lively in chop and surf as her designer notes. Easy turning follows from the generous rocker and soft transition of the sheer into bilge. If you wanted to tour in UD, it may be valuable to fit a retractable skeg to trim out the weathercocking tendencies.
With three other kayaks in my fleet, and plans to continue a transition to skinboats, UD was an ‘interest’ boat for me. I have paddled her no more than ½ a dozen times since relaunching her circa 2016.
UD would suit a person of moderate to advanced skills whose weight and height do not exceed about 90kg and 180 cm / inseam 32”. The height and inseam guidance is of some importance as it reflects the position of the forward bulkhead.
I am asking $900 or near offers for Ugly Duckling. That’s broken down as $300 purchase cost, $300 in refit materials, and $300 for my labour. She will come as described above, with future steps such as pump choice at purchaser’s discretion. Many standard keyhole spray decks will fit.
Ugly Duckling (Leda) – Guillemot Petrel (17’ 0” x 20” x 22.0 kg). $900 or near offer. Graeme Quin – 0408 587 964. Happy to take calls if further info required.
UD/Leda is lofted at Mount Duneed. If you are keen, pop on down, throw her on your car and take her for a paddle. It's just 10 minutes across to Lake Connewarre, 5 more to Barwon Heads, same to Fishos Beach at Torquay.
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