I made the boat from ½ inch regular plywood encapsulated with Epoxy for the cross sections and cedar stringers. First I used 10oz cotton canvas cloth from Joann fabrics. The final weight was about 35lbs. I paddle the kayak for about 20 miles in 4 months. Doing 5k, 7 mile runs, 4 mile run. And a couple 15 river runs. The cross section in front of the coming cracked because I may have cut some spots too thin and strapping it to the top of my car too tightly. I decided to do a permanganate repair by removing the skin and replacing the 3rd cross section instead of just trying to repair with the skin on.
I glued the cross sections with wood glue and pegged at different angles. Using a Japanese pull saw I was able to cut out the cross section with out damaging the stringers. The new cross section I made was out of 2x4 red cedar glued with gorilla wood glue, to about the same size as the cross section. And made some improvements like decreasing the distance where the calves would hit. It's lashed to the stringers with artificial sinew. The Boat is now skinned with 9oz nylon coated with Corey's goop. The kayak now weights 29.5 lbs with a seat made from a lawn chair and Para cord. It's Very comfortable.
I use a Greenland paddle that I have carved. 82" long and 3" wide at the blade. And Loom is 16" X 1"
Here is my experience of the kayak so far. As a beginner kayaker I found the kayak very tippy at first. It kicked me out a few times (4 to be exact. I remember all 4 times because the water was cold!!!) I paddle mostly lakes and rivers in the state of Kansas and MO. Not knowing anything else I let an experienced kayaker take the kayak out for a spin, he told me the secondary stability was rock solid. That gave me confidence in the boat. Now I know it's all me and not the kayak that has been kicking me out.
Hull speeds. I am pushing the limits of the hull speed with the Greenland paddle. As soon as I try to go at a rate of 5mph I poop out. The boat likes to crust at around 4.5 -4.6 MPH you can see my times I have been finishing. I race with bunch of epic surf skis they are all about 5.5 mph. and above.
This is a great boat to learn on and I am very happy with the performance. I'll like to know if my guess was right about the hull speeds.
Initial stability is okay but secondary is solid. First time kayakers will find it a little tippy getting in for the first time but will quickly get used to it.
I am 5'8" and 175 pounds and the cockpit is just right for me. I built foot rest's and attached them to the gunwales which cause my feet to stick up higher than they should. On my next boat I'm going to attach them to the chine stringer which should help with this. Some builders have raised the deck a little and this might be a good idea if you have big feet.
We live a mile from the Mississippi River which is like a monster waiting to get you, or so most people that live here think. We've been on four river trips since the end of August including the Phatwater challenge which is a 42 mile race. Each time the boat handled extremely well only getting me wet one day when crossing a dike.
My impressions are very positive for the Sea Tour. In fact I'm currently building another one. My only complaint is it's not as fast as I would like for it to be. Might just be me.
I also added a 2 cm. of height to the front coaming, to add a little more foot room. At 5 ft. 9 in. with size 9 1/2 feet, I get by with snug shoes and the foot braces. Without foot braces, somewhat larger feet will fit.
A Yost boat is not hard to build, and there are a lot of experienced builders willing to discuss the details at kayakforum.com (as well as a searchable archive, where answers to common questions are ready and waiting). If you just stumbled into this review with no previous knowledge of Yost skin-on-frame kayaks, check out yostwerks.com.
This was my 3rd Yost boat. I'm not going to submit reviews on the others, but will add brief comments here:
The Sea Rider (multichined variant) -- 17 ft. x 19 1/2 in. -- is a very efficient Greenland-ish hull, fairly stable for its width. The cockpit is small, and there's not much extra foot room. Forget about installing foot braces unless you have short legs and small feet. You have to be willing to sit with straight legs; some people love it, but I could not take it.
The Sea Otter R -- 15 ft. x 20 in. Very tender, at least with a 135 lb. paddler. Similar in design to the Sea Tour 15 R. Skip the Sea Otter and go directly to the Sea Tour.