Boat Building Forum

Find advice on all aspects of building your own kayak, canoe or any lightweight boats

Paddle: Iqyax - Baidarka

Greg Barton tests the iqyax - Greg puts out all he has and hits nine miles an hour - extremely fast for a kayak this size, matching the best high performance commercial models.

Iqyax -baidarka, a work boat not designed for racing and not designed for flat water.

Excerpt below from PBS "Scientific American Frontiers" program, "The Baidarka Reborn"

For the first test they've chosen a calm fresh water lake, where it will be easy to measure speeds on a quarter-mile run. Recruited to paddle is Greg Barton, world record holding Olympic gold medallist. He'll run the course first in his own racing kayak. Gregs strength roughly matches a typical Aleut hunter who, like Greg, kayaked every day. But his kayak is radically different from the Aleut baidarka.

GREG BARTON This kayak is designed specifically for racing on calm water in a straight line. It's very narrow, that's the main difference between this kayak and the others. This is much skinnier, it has much less resistance in the water.

NARRATION Resistance is created when a boat pushes water aside, forming waves at the bow and stern. The faster it goes, the larger these waves grow. The paddler has to climb up his own waves. So as the boat makes big waves, it reaches a sort of natural speed limit that's tough to beat. Greg's racing boat is more streamlined than the average kayak. You can see the small waves it's creating. Full out, he hits ten miles an hour... Olympic class sprint speed. Now the baidarka. Based on its larger hull it's bound to be slower. But how much slower, no one knows. Greg puts out all he has and hits nine miles an hour - extremely fast for a kayak this size, matching the best high performance commercial models. But the two-piece bow seems to be doing little - it's right out of the water! In fact what's happening is the boat is planing - skimming the surface. It's a way to beat the speed limit of its own waves, a trick well-known to modern boat designers. But it looks like the Aleuts got there first. The trials were revealing - but not realistic. Baidarkas were meant for different conditions.

Full text at - http://www.pbs.org/saf/transcripts/transcript203.htm#2