One of the questions people have had in looking at the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN under construction was “will it hold more than just you?” I confidently said “I certainly hope it will take the whole family.” From the design, I was pretty confident she would be fine with us all aboard, and when I launched her and noted plenty of available freeboard with just me aboard I felt even better. A week ago Sunday, however, the theory got put to the test and the results were perfect.
We took the boat out to my favorite launching spot on Jug Bay on the Patuxent River, in Maryland. Its a spectacular spot – extensive wetland / forest preserve and not too heavily traveled. It was a stunning day, but the river was close to empty. We all go in Al DEMANY CHIMAN and she rode nice and high in the water. We set off upriver and she tracked well and moved along easily. The kids (8 1/2 and 6) played in the water and seemed comfortable in the center section while my wife manned the bow and I the stern. As we moved up-river multiple Vs of geese flew over and a water snake popped up to check us out before darting back underwater. When we got back to the ramp some kayakers were in and Al DEMANY CHIMAN got some nice compliments. It was a wonderful outing. I am really going to like this boat.