Small Boat Design

Discussions around designing small boats including kayaks and canoes.

Tracking Devices

I have designed and built my own sea kayak. It is 15' long x 24" x 13" deep. The underwater shape is almost identical with Nick Scade's free stitch & glue sea kayak plans on this site. Above the water is like a Chesapeake with a one piece curved deck. It has a vertical stem and stern and a waterline of close to 15'. The back of the cockpit is as deep as the front so that it it has a relatively high volume aft of the cockpit.I was hoping not to have to put any skeg or rudder onto it to keep it as simple as possible. In Australia almost all of the sea kayaks and racing surf skis have rudders as standard. I am fairly new to sea kayaking,60+ years old, but still very active and very fit for my age.
I have been pleased with my kayak's performance until Iwas paddling south near the entrance to Moreton Bay. The remnants of the ocean swell was about 2' from the north east and a locally produced chop of about 1' was coming from a little east of north. I got quite tired as I had to hold the boat on course when it began to plane and round up or change direction suddenly in the rather unpredictable waves.
I would like advice on whether to put a skeg or rudder onto the kayak. At present it is easy to launch,land and drag up the beach. I seem to have litle trouble keeping up with younger, stronger paddlers against the wind. I get the impression that many Americans do not have tracking devices on their kayaks. Have you got something else that we havn't got apart from two tragic vacant allotments in your premier city and a headache in Afganistan. Seroiusly, Would I be able to sovle my problem with better paddling technique and more experience ?
I would value any advice that any one could offer.
Thanks, Brian.

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Tracking Devices
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