Soul ski - from down under

Sunday, 09 March 2008 11:27 | Written by 
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Our story on New Zealander Brad Haye's wooden surfski, aroused plenty of interest including a comment that it was ‘great to see some "SOUL" in the sport'... Well, it seems there's plenty of "soul" down under - here's news of another timber-ski project, this time by Stephen Kelly of Brisbane, Australia.

Surf ski with soul!

Soul ski! (Pic: Stephen Kelly)

Having just "laid eyes on Brad Hayes' beautiful timber ski - great job Brad - I thought I should show you an Australian timber ski," he said.

Spec-type ski

"This one is not the ocean racer type but more along the lines of a surf lifesaving spec.  She is only 5.2m long and 520 mm wide. I made her to purely go out and catch a few waves but have paddled her in a couple of 10-12 km races with the Gold Coast Ocean Paddlers.

Surf ski with soul

"More a surf lifesaving type ski" (Pic: Stephen Kelly)

"She weighs in out around 21kg so is a bit heavy but I did not want her to break up punching through the first set so I probably over speced!

"Like Brad this is all my own design - drawn up on a CAD system to what I thought looked good. The next one is on the drawing board and will be an ocean racer type - hopefully as good looking as Brad's."

Stephen is a land surveyor and uses AutoCAD at work - and used it to draw up the plans for the ski.

"I have since discovered the Carlson Design program Hull Designer which is specifically for hard chine plywood boats or similar. I have looked at others on the net and this one appears to be less "bells and whistles" but as proved to be a very useful tool. I am not a naval architect so a lot of the calculations and data are lost on me."


Stephen Kelly's wooden surf ski

Work of art... (Pic: Stephen Kelly)


"As for the plans," he said, "I have already been asked if I had them available from other paddlers. I guess I do have plans of a sort but as I drew them up for my own use they are a bit rough and a lot of what I did I worked out as I went along. A lot of time I spent on working out how I was going to build what I had drawn as I had never built anything like this before. I guess I could put something together but it would take some tidying up!"

"Attached is an article I wrote (may or may not be published) for Australian Amateur Boatbuilder magazine - the magazine that inspired me to do the project - which gives the full story of design and construct.

"Maybe one day we will see a few more timber craft competing in the ski races!"

Way to go Stephen! 

Soul ski

Ready for the varnish (Pic: Stephen Kelly)