A racing sea kayak optimized for speed
Wood Strip Mystery Racing Kayak
Wood Strip Mystery Racing Kayak Plans
Light weight Cedar Strip Mystery Racing Kayak

This kayak has been optimized to be as efficient as possible at race pace, while fitting with in the rules for a "Sea Kayak Touring Class" as defined by the United States Canoe Association: 20ft max length, with a 4" water line beam of at least 18". To that end it is 20ft long over all with a 19' - 11 1/8" waterline length. While the design is 18" wide at the 4" waterline, with a 200 lbs paddler the boat will draw 3 1/4" and the waterline beam will be 17 3/8". The hull is computer optimized to have a very low wetted surface area and extremely low wave-making shape for the minimum possible drag. The over all maximum beam flares out 20" to conform to the minimum requirements of the Blackburn Challenge Sea Kayak class. The flare also provides additional secondary stability and excellent downwind surfing performance.

The foredeck is high to provide a clean, dry and fast ride going into heavy chop on open water. The deck ahead of the cockpit is cut away to allow efficient, close-to-the-hull paddle strokes without hitting the boat. The cockpit is long enough for paddlers to sit with their knees up, free to move, allowing full leg extension and torso rotation.

This design is strip built with 1/8" thick strips on the deck and 3/16" strip on the hull. With a lightweight racing layup the kayak can be built with a bare-boat weight of 26 lbs and fully equipped at 31 lbs or less.

This design will perform best when equipped with a rudder. It tracks very straight and is barely effected by wind, but efficient steering at a race pace is best provided by an efficient rudder. It is a stiff turning boat, not suitable for races with a lot of sharp turns, but runs fast on a straight away. Due to the narrow waterline beam of this design, it is not particularly stable, however a low seat will make it comfortable for most experienced paddlers. A higher seat placement will allow better leverage for those comfortable with the stability.

Included in the Plans:

  • Eight 24" x 36" [61cm x 91cm] Drawing Pages including: An overall drawing, a full size "stacked" form drawing showing all the forms and then all the forms drawn individually and at full size. Also included are templates for the cockpit and coaming recess parts.
  • Kayak Building Notes: These notes provide supplemental information such as bill of materials for each design.

Recommended Manual:

Digital Download

Body Plan Drawing
Wood Strip Mystery Racing Kayak Sectional Lines
Profile Drawing
USCA Wood Strip Mystery Racing Kayak Profile
Plan (Top View) Drawing
Wood Strip Mystery Racing Kayak Plan


Beginner Small Paddler Average Paddler Large Paddler Extended Tour Fishing Lakes and Rivers Open Water Racing Surf


Length Ft Beam In Beam Gunnel (in) Waterline Length Ft Waterline Beam In Design Displacement Lbs Draft In Waterplane Area Sq Ft Wetted Area Sq Ft Surface Area Sq Ft Volume Cu Ft
20.00 20.00 19.90 17.40 230.50 3.30 18.50 22.80 58.00 12.40

Secondary Measurements

Prismatic Coefficient Block Coef Midship Area Coefficient Waterplane Area Coefficient Lateral Plane Coef Sinkage Moments to change trim 1 inch Righting Moment at 1 degree Vertical Center of Gravity above DWL
0.62 0.46 0.74 0.64 0.96 88.00 92.10 -0.42 7.30

Stability Curves

Predicted Drag