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Wood Duck 12 / Hybrid Kit

by Chesapeake Light Craft

Compact, easy-to-launch boats just seem to get used the most. In a tenth of the time it takes to launch a heavy boat on a trailer or drag the big canoe down the lawn, you can slide one of these little kayaks into the water and be on your way. Keep your Wood Duck on top of the car, ready to toss into all the interesting creeks in your county.

The Wood Ducks are among our easiest-to-build kits. Panels are precision-cut on our computerized equipment, with puzzle-joints and pre-drilled stitching holes for fast and accurate assembly. Sheathed in fiberglass inside and out, the Wood Duck will withstand real-world abuse on gravel or shell beaches, and will bounce over submerged stumps without harm.

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Reviews

One of the things at the top of my bucket list for…

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One of the things at the top of my bucket list for about 10 years was to build a kayak. I have always loved the look of wooden watercraft. I have been a hobby woodworker all my life but mostly on projects utilizing a square or level. The challenge for me was building a project where these tools had no place. I had never kayaked so that was not the draw. I chose the 12' Wood Duck Hybrid because of its beautiful lines and the very positive reviews from those who had built and used one. I ordered the plans from CLC and sourced the supplies locally using Okoume plywood, and red and yellow cedar. I spent about 140-150 hours on the kayak running all the bead and cove strips myself in addition to tracing and cutting the pieces for assembly.

It is now in the water and I could not be more pleased with the handling of the Wood Duck and the attention it draws in the water. While kayaking was not the main reason for the project, it should have been the next item on my bucket list!

The Wood Duck is by far an all around kayak. The style…

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The Wood Duck is by far an all around kayak. The style of the wood bending over the bow has people stopping to ask if it's real. Smooth on bay waters and ready to take you as far as you want on any day of the week. It's lite strong and stays up with any it's size. Roomy, with lots of area to keep things inside away from the laments. You'll be glad that you built it, when any thing goes wrong you only need to fix it and why not you made it.

My first thoughts of building a kayak were that if you build…

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My first thoughts of building a kayak were that if you build it you can fix it. So true. Smooth riding stable and ez on the eye. Want to build one more just because each time is better.

What a kayak what a adventure. The kit shipped right to my…

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What a kayak what a adventure. The kit shipped right to my door.very thing I needed was in the boxes,they even had u-tube instruction. On the water it's smooth ez to paddle straight and true. And more room to turn around inside if you have a need to or just want to. I'd like to build the 14 next.

I have had my 12 ' wood duck now for…

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I have had my 12 ' wood duck now for more than a year it is surprisingly fast it was build using a kevlar lay up on the inside and outside of the bottom hull and also a denile fabric with expoxie graphite coating ...the boat is tough does not need to babied but always gets great comments .I have several kayaks to chose from to take paddling but the wood ducks are by far my favorite .CLC got it completely right with this design the one boat that does it all and does it well .Btw I paddle mine with a 255 cm paddle and wish I could by a longer one.

I'll echo all the positives from the other review. We decided to…

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I'll echo all the positives from the other review. We decided to build our own boats for cost and aesthetic reasons, choosing the Wood Duck Hybrid - same hull but with a strip constructed deck. We built Robins boat first, the 10' model. The process took about twenty days (we built from plans) with ample support from the CLC forum.

The build for my boat, the 12' model was interrupted by my work schedule. Whenever we would go to the water I would rent a boat. This was tough, several different boats and styles and I couldn't keep up with her, I'd be paddling hard and watching her from behind just casually working that beautiful thing through the water. Sometimes she'd rest her legs on top of the cockpit and look so comfortable...

Well this weekend we attached the deck and hull of mine and it's almost there. No more renting and my back is ready for that huge cockpit with ample room, I've even read about folks laying down in them and napping.

I will update this if I have any negative experiences but seeing how hers performs I doubt you'll hear from me.

After several years of sea kayaking, I found myself enjoying the tranquility…

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After several years of sea kayaking, I found myself enjoying the tranquility of quiet water paddling much more often than the challenges of open water. Lakes, ponds, creeks and sheltered bays open up a whole different world to the kayaker and provide an ideal environment to introduce others to paddling. Using a 17’ sea kayak in small creeks and lakes was a bit overkill, so I started looking into a more suitable boat for calm water, but nothing appealed to me. Sure, there were some nice poly and fiberglass boats out there that would do just fine, but nothing really piqued my interest until Chesapeake Light Craft came out with their Wood Duck series.

Wooden boats always have had a certain appeal to me, but to be honest, I was a bit intimidated by the building process. My father-in-law was gracious in building the boat for me, and it was very exciting seeing flat sheets of plywood become a beautiful work of art. All in all, I would say the entire construction process took about 60 hours of work.

In fitting out the kayak, I decided to use a VCP oval hatch instead of the flush-mounted hatch, and I am very glad. I have had VCP hatches before, and they are probably as close to watertight as can be expected from a hatch system. I also opted not to put deck rigging on the boat. The cockpit of this boat is huge – a small child can sit in front of an adult with no problems whatsoever, so it would be a long reach to the front deck rigging. Besides, I don’t see this boat being used like the typical sea kayak, so it is unlikely that a chart, compass and other navigational aides will need to be on deck. I simply place any items that I need in the cavernous cockpit. Another option added to the boat was a footbrace mounting kit to avoid drilling through the hull to mount the footbraces. The braces are fiberglassed to the inside of the hull and provide a much cleaner looking installation. I also added a Therm-a-rest seat pad to the standard foam seat.

How does it paddle? One word – a dream. A 12-foot boat is much more maneuverable in tight conditions than a longer sea kayak, making this boat ideal for creeks and slow-moving rivers. This boat is fairly wide (30”) but using a 240-cm paddle makes for easy work, and since the sheer panels are “tumbled home” clearance is greatly improved. As stated before, the cockpit is huge. I am fairly tall (6’1”) with long legs, and I can sit with my legs crossed, or knees up, which makes for very comfortable photography and bird watching. This would be an ideal boat for fishing as well – its stability is remarkable.

I give this boat a 10. It is the perfect boat for me, and the paddling I anticipate doing. If you ever have the chance to attend a get-together or demos by Chesapeake Light Craft, by all means do so – you will be able to test paddle their different designs and talk to other builders.