Guillemot Kayaks Night Heron

Guillemot Kayaks Night Heron     Photo: courtesy of Guillemot Kayaks

Wooden kayaks weigh significantly less than most modern fiberglass boats, so they are easier to handle on land and faster on water. The catch? These handcrafted works of art can cost as much as a new car. A red-cedar-strip Guillemot Kayaks Night Heron, like the one pictured here, takes Connecticut designer Nick Schade more than 300 hours to build and costs $22,000. While even Schade's baseline models are pricey (from $10,000; wooden­kayaks.com), there is another option: Make one yourself. With household tools, 30 clamps, and a little space in the garage, you can build your own with a kit from Redfish Kayaks for $1,495 (redfish­kayak.com). Get working now and you'll be paddling, in style, by next spring.

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