I found that the Zydeco functioned much like my "Common Sense" Pirogue.
It is more stable than a round-bottomed canoe, tracks well, and--unlike the
Pirogue--it is easy to cartop. The sixteen foot Pirogue I built weighs around
ninety pounds and is difficult to manhandle on and off of the roof rack of my
car. It once self-launched into Long Lake in the Adirondacks, taking the
car's windshield out on the way down. Zydeco is light enough that even a
klutz like myself can prevent such disasters. The boat's downsides are few:
a tendency to pound in a chop, too much freeboard to use a double paddle,
minimum space for two adults and gear. Of course, Zydeco is strictly a
paddle boat, no sailing gear is suggested in the plans. The seats designed for
the boat were too high for stability in anything but a flat calm. I took them
out and sat on a boat cushion on the bottom, which worked fine (The seats,
by the way, are of a clever design and quite comfortable and attractive.
They were also a pain in the butt to build. I hope some day to fit them into
another boat.). I have used the boat on lakes, ponds, and small rivers in the
Catskills and Adirondacks of New York State. It does okay in power boat
wakes and wind-driven chop. I have never tried using it in surf or rapids--it
isn't designed for such work, and neither am I. I finally sold it to my boss'
son, who uses it for fishing on local lakes and even rigged a small outboard
to it. He seems happy with it. Btw, I still have the Pirogue,
PS: Oh, yeah: the boat weighed 45 lbs., fully glassed outside, without the
seats. I built it out of 1/4" luan and white cedar.
Richard Barnes wrote:
> Hi David,
> What was your experience with the Zydeco? Where did you use it; how did it
> compare to the typical canoe?