The MENAI has found a following from the ‘larger’ members of the paddling community who want a stable ‘big boys’ playboat in the bouncy stuff or who are looking for a little more space and comfort on extended day trips. The design ethos behind the MENAI was to develop a kayak to carry large amounts of expedition kit over long distances at a good speed and in considerable comfort. No simple matter!
The long waterline combines a large cargo volume with a good cruising speed. In order to counter this length and maintain good manoeuvrability, a flattened hull was placed in the centre section. This results in surprisingly good manoeuvrability for spot turns and when in the surf, it also gives very good levels of stability. The extended keel section to the rear maintains good directional stability when paddling on a heading but lifts free from the water when on a lean to aid turning. The MENAI has been designed to remain directionally neutral in most wind conditions with a slight tendency to turn up-wind as wind strength increases.
The wide hull and distinct chines give a very stable boat with comfortable and predictable edging characteristics – this is a good boat for taking photographs! The large volume in the bow gives a nice dry ride through chop and gentle handling over larger waves. The fine stern complements the bow, allowing the boat to ride up and over steeper waves. The volume distribution in the centre section allows the stern keel section to lift during edging, shortening the waterline and increasing the manoeuverability.
Hull: Length 18 feet 3 inches (5.56m) – Width: 21 inches (0.53m) - Volume: 382 litres