My DIY W Kayak For Fishing and Diving, By Berny Marsden, UK

Berny lives in the United Kingdom (UK), and he likes to fish and dive. He needed a small boat that could be motorized, yet be lightweight and easy to transport, and most of all, as seaworthy as it gets, and extremely stable.
Berny chose the W kayak concept, contacted us with a few questions, and created his DIY version, which is spectacular, as you’ll see in the video below, in which Berny performs diving and deep water reentry from the side of his kayak…

Says Berny:
-“I have a 4 hp outboard on loan from my brother in law. Unfortunately, I have hit a few snags with it. Although it appears to be in good order, it does not run smoothly and needs to have the choke partially turned on to tick over.
Also, I think it may be a bit on the heavy side so I think I will look for a 2 hp motor instead.
As a result of these problems, I’ve not had a chance to test the kayak properly under power and now the winter has set in so I may put it on ice until the spring.
On the plus side, the tubular jointed construction is a great success and the craft is very rigid in the water.
Cheers,
Berny”

14 thoughts on “My DIY W Kayak For Fishing and Diving, By Berny Marsden, UK”

  1. Great job Berny!
    Looks like you’d benefit from upgrading to a longer, more sturdy paddle.
    Also, paddling from the middle of the cockpit would keep the boat level, and make it go faster.
    Yoav

  2. What a remarkable achievement. It looks like Berny is unaware that he’s in such a small craft.
    Pete

  3. Coming to think of it, this slightly wider, ‘special edition’ W kayak could use a 4hp outboard, especially in view of Berny’s plan to use it together with a second diver. With all their heavy diving equipment on board, they’re likely to need a motor that’s more powerful than 2hp, especially when they go offshore.

  4. I’d love to see some video and to paddle the fiberglass copy that the guy in Europe made of the W. I’ll be it has a great glide and speed. The diving wood one seems like it will more than get the job done for him. Do you know if he used a stitch and glue construction technique on it?

  5. Hi Yoav……….I was surprised at the ease at which Berny was able to reenter his W from deep water. I don’t know if I could do that with my “unmodified” W. I’m afraid it would tip over too far and take on water. What do you think?

  6. Hi Gary,
    I doubt you’ll have a big problem getting back into your W500 this way.
    The important thing is to get a grip on the saddle and the far side of the spray deflector before applying your entire weight on the kayak.
    As far as being user friendly for the person climbing back in, the W500 being made from Polyethylene is an advantage, compared to wood.
    I’d practice a couple of times in 4-5 ft water before trying to climb back in this way in deep water.

  7. A bit more on my kayak. It’s actually constructed of 6mm marine ply and finished with Jotun XP two part epoxy paint. his is very easy to apply and is best done with a short pile roller. I found I got the best and smoothest coverage by applying the 2nd and subsequent coats whilst the previous coat was still tacky. This paint is very durable and is supposed to stand up to UV light well.
    The two hulls weigh about 58 Kg. This would be quite heavy to lift off a roof rack if it were single construction but I can easily manage each single hull on my own. Regarding reboarding in deep water, I have tried it over the bow/stern. It’s too narrow to get between the hulls especially when I am wearing a thick dry suit so I solved this by tying a two foot length of 2 X 1 inch batten to a couple of lengths of rope secured to the hull clamping tubes. This gave me a “handle” that allowed me to pull myself up over the bow onto the top of the hulls. I will probably use this method when sea diving especially if the sea is a bit rough.
    I have constructed the outboard mount bracket out of 1 inch mild steel angle section. I am awaiting it being sandblasted before applying a coat of zinc paint. Then I will be ready for powered sea trials.

  8. I should say I am indebted to Yoav Rosen and John Forney for their kind advice when I was building this. It’s the first time I have ever attempted any sort of boat building and I would encourage anyone considering home built craft to have a go. It’s very satisfying.

  9. Thanks Berny,

    We can’t wait to see pictures and video of your motorized W in action! 😀

    For those of our readers who are not familiar with the metric system: 6mm is about 1/4″, and 58kg is about 128 lbs.
    This ‘bomb proof’ built makes this W craft primarily a motorboat, as Berny intended it to be.
    Berny managed to keep it a cartop boat, which is an important feature in his design.

    Yoav

  10. I’m hoping to test the Seagull in the next week or two and shoot some video.

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