Read and submit reviews for the Chesapeake 14.
What I like about it is its low deck (I do not bang my hands on the sides while paddling with my Greenland paddle), and the ease at which it balance braces and rolls for someone of my size. It is definitely a kayak that a child could grow into and possibly keep into adulthood. It has plenty of stability for a beginner, but for someone wanting to learn more advanced skills, it will fit the bill. It is a nice looking kayak as well. I have no regrets for purchasing this kayak and look forward to paddling it often.
The construction is very straightforward, with patience, and I had to learn some lessons along the way (read: cover up some mistakes). Having some intermediate woodworking skills helped as I was able to anticipate some problems before they occurred and could apply some better methods to smooth the construction process. Nonetheless, working in the evenings and after work, the process took longer than the manufacturer-provided estimates, but not enough that I considered it a problem. The people at CLC were always and immediately helpful. I was able to build it in the basement, including the sanding, epoxy, and varnish, but I did the painting outside (yes, I was able to get it out the basement--through a window).
We are looking forward to using this boat for the next several years with my daughter and her friends, and with the upcoming neighborhood kids as they grow.