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Vyneck

A piece of history!

Nigel Foster's first sea kayak design from 1977, in collaboration with Keith Robinson. Inspired during a solo kayak journey around southwest England in 1975, Nigel determined to create a kayak that performed to his own needs.

The Vyneck was released in 1977, in time for Nigel and his friend Geoff Hunter to take two of the first ones  to attempt the first circumnavigation of Iceland.

Their success that summer led to many other expeditions using this fast straight-tracking expedition kayak, with it's legendary performance.

Measuring 17 feet 11 inches long with a beam of 20.5 inches, the Vyneck has an arched hull between hard chines, and virtually no rocker. Viewed by many as a kayak for "experts only", Vyneck owners were considered skilled sea paddlers.Not that the reputation of the kayak was undeserved; the chines do offer secondary stabilility when the kayak is edged, but in order to release the stern for turning, it was essential to commit to full edging. The secondary stability created by the chine was tuned for a loaded kayak, so it required a confident paddler to edge to the chine when unladen.

(picture; Valerie Harrison, green Vyneck, tackles a tide race, Faeroe Islands 1980)

The Vyneck in Baffin Island 1981


This excellent cruising kayak led some years later to the design of the more user-friendly Legend.

(The Vyneck is currently out of production.)

"Vyneck" is an unusual name... where does it come from and what does it mean? And... how did nigel come to it as the name for his first sea kayak?