For more than 20 years, Chesapeake Light Craft has been designing functional and appealing kayaks and small boats and selling them in the form of kits and plans. But what if you don’t have room to store a 15-foot kayak? The Chesapeake Shearwater 14 Sectional arrives to provide apartment-dwellers with a clever kayak storage solution.
Chesapeake Light Craft Shearwater 14 Sectional Specs
Weight: 48 lbs
Max Capacity: 300 lbs
MSRP: $1,150 USD (complete kit)
Chesapeake’s Shearwater 14 Sectional fits in anywhere
Developed by CLC with designer Eric Schade, the 14’6” Shearwater Sectional is a performance-oriented kayak that successfully bridges the gap between high performance, comfort, and stability. Spin loose five bolts at the watertight bulkheads and the Chesapeake Shearwater 14 packs down to fit into a closet or a small hatchback car.
A sister to CLC’s popular Shearwater Sport kayak, the wood-composite Sectional has been divided into three manageable parts that assemble in minutes. It can be stored in a garage, shed, closet, or displayed in the corner of an apartment living room. It could be hidden away aboard a cruising yacht, or even stowed in a light aircraft and flown into the wilderness.
“Apartment dwellers are limited either to expensive skin-on-frame collapsible kayaks, or a rented spot in a boathouse,” says John C. Harris, Chesapeake Light Craft’s CEO. “With the Shearwater Sectional you can have a high-performance touring kayak and store it, too.”
A capable and refined kit craft
At 48 pounds the Chesapeake Shearwater 14 Sectional weighs a bit more than the stock Shearwater Sport, but retains every quality that has made the original a huge hit with paddlers. The design combines the proportions and great looks of West Greenland-style kayaks with compact dimensions for the perfect compromise of light weight, sharp handling, effortless cruising speed, and an extra-large cockpit for comfort. Watertight bulkheads and flush-mounted deck hatches are standard, so many builders will camp out of the boat.
“The payload is ideal for up to a 220-pound paddler plus gear,” Harris explains. “But the Shearwater Sectional is proportioned to fit anyone from 100 pounds on up.”
Assembled with tried and true techniques
The Chesapeake Shearwater 14’s construction follows the proven stitch-and-glue process used to build thousands of CLC kayak kits. A dark sapele deck is standard. The Sectional kayak is built at full-length in the usual fashion, with the addition of carefully-designed structural bulkheads at the joints. When construction is nearly done, out comes the saw. Using cut lines clearly marked in the kits, builders cut between the bulkheads to create three watertight pieces.
Build your own boat with the Chesapeake Shearwater 14
The Shearwater 14 Sectional kayak from Chesapeake Light Craft is an excellent choice for those with the workshop space and woodworking wherewithal to assemble a kit boat. Once built, the Shearwater 14 is a handsome and maneuverable craft whether bobbing on the waves or standing in sections beside the piano.
“The obvious application is the paddler with a storage challenge—either an apartment or just limited space, but the possibilities for travel with a kayak like this are endless, and enchanting,” Harris says.