NSW Sea Kayak Club – Advanced Kayak Kits [62]

By Mike Snoad

Advanced Kayak Kits started life in January 2001 on Deal Island in the middle of Bass Strait (Deal Island seems to be a re-occurring theme in my life story). It was a question I posed to my fellow kayak expeditioners that started it all. How can I share with other kayakers my recent creation, a purpose built plywood composite sea kayak? This new kayak was proving to be a well-balanced high performer with no apparent vices that was exceeding my expectations on this demanding first trip.

The rest is history. For the last five years Advanced Kayak Kits has been producing ‘build yourself kits’. We now produce kayak kits in four different models in our workshop at Nelligen on the South Coast of NSW. These are all variations of the original Deal Island kayak, which is still in use and has clocked up thousands of kms on expeditions including three Bass Strait crossings. All models are capable of being customised to suit individual requirements in a way often not possible with mass produced plastic and fibreglass kayaks. Accessory kits including our very popular sail kits are part of this customising process.

Our philosophy is simple. Our kayaks must be well-balanced performers. They must be robust and also look good. We test the prototypes of all new models in a wide range of conditions including long expeditions to ensure that they meet our high standards.

We believe that it is important to use the materials that come from environmentally sustainable sources in Australia wherever possible. For instance the marine plywood we use is manufactured in Australia from plantation grown Hoop Pine. This is a timber species native to Australia and it is also significantly stronger that most imported plywood. Other kayak kit manufacturers typically use imported plywood manufactured from tropical rainforest timbers.

Most importantly our customers must have ongoing access to us for advice especially during the kit assembly stage.

The most rewarding part of The Kayak Kits adventure is the positive feedback we get from our customers.