Is MicroBootlegger the ultimate Tripping Canoe?!

Submitted byzaknafien onThu, 09/24/2020 - 10:51

Curious if any of those out there with a MicroBootlegger (μBootlegger) have ever paddled it with a single bladed Canoe Paddle??

As summer has officially passed into fall, I'm and currently beginning my winter boat building project.  My daughter and I (mostly I, she is 5yo) will be building a triple nesting set of the 66 Skin-on-frame Canoes from Cape Falcon Kayak.  I need a good set of boats for the whole family and these will suit us perfectly, and I can post separately about those if anyone is interested.  In researching canoes and designs, I have become quite enamored with the Kruger SeaWind design.  It's an awfully ironic time for that, as I found in trying to inquire more about them that the owner and builder of them Mark Przedwojewski just passed away last month.  49 is far too young.  For various reasons, this has further galvanized my goal to begin experimenting with interpreting a SeaWind-like boat into Skin-on-Frame for expedition use on the Chesapeake Bay.

Which brings me to the topic of this post.  Is it possible that the μBootlegger design has been hiding all this time as the ultimate Tripping Canoe, disguised as a tandem kayak...?  If' you've never seen a Kruger SeaWind, pull up the photo from the Kruger website and compare it to the preview of the lines of the μBootlegger!  "Blind man on a trotting horse..." as they say!  But seriously, if you add just one inch of width to the μBootlegger lines (which is easy to do with the forms), I'd bet it would be quite close to matching the shape and near performance of a Kruger SeaWind.  If you couple that with the moral ambiguity of the unknown status of Kruger Canoes and inability to request permission to take lines off an existing boat to attempt such a SOF interpretation, and I believe I am going to go the route of the μBootlegger

For comparison, here are some numbers comparing the μBootlegger with two Verlen Kruger designs, the SeaWind and Monarch:

Name - Length - Max Beam - WL Beam @ Draft - Capacity (design/max?)

μBootlegger - 17.4' - 27" - 26.1" @ 5.4" - 460#

SeaWind - 17.16' - 28.5" - 25" @ 4" - 500#

Monarch - 17.25' - 28" -  26" @ 4" - ??? 

By the numbers and from research the SeaWind "improved" on the Monarch by adding just a bit more volume and stability with a little more width and flare in the hull.  As the Monarch was the latest design before the SeaWind (there are older similar designs that Verlen paddled incredible distances like the Loon), part of me wonders if the 1/2" increase in width and flare was truly for preference, or to just have a "different" design, as he had previously sold the Loon molds to Sawyer (and they later passed on to Scott Smith?) and Monarch to Mad River.  From what I can see the bottom of the hull is also a little bit more flat/rounded than a μBootlegger, which comes a little more towards a V.  I also know the SeaWind to have about 1.5" of Rocker, and am unsure of the μBootlegger...

If its not obvious I think all of these are incredible designs.  Translating anything like these into SOF will require some changes and compromises of course...  What excites me most about the SOF intent of my build is the ability to experiment considerably with a sailrig and outriggers.  This could be done with a strip built boat as well, but with SOF i can tie things in, which allows for near limitless small adjustments in tweaking. 

The fact that Nick has provided his designs for home built use with a simple transaction also erases any karmic concerns.  Thanks Nick!

But I am super curious if anyone has taken their μBootlegger out with a canoe paddle seated solo?

~Johnathan