The O Six Hundred Kayak is a reimagining of a 4,000 year old inuit design where once animal skins would be stretched over a wood or whalebone-skeleton frame. Our 2015 design is a flat pack kit that you assemble yourself; a timber frame construction that slots together like a model aeroplane with a translucent kevlar skin that glows in sunlight.
At just 10kg anyone can get to the water with ease. This is exactly what we’ve discovered from customer feedback. Our customers include kayakers who’ve until now been unable enjoy their pastime due to unwieldy craft, to design aficionados and on to urban escapists who want to get away for an hour or two. Whether it’s the satisfaction of building a boat or just getting out there; our kayak is afloat.
The O Six Hundred is the original kayak. Kayak means ‘man’s boat’ or ‘hunter’s boat’ and native kayaks were a personal craft, each built by the man who used it, with assistance from his wife, who sewed the skins. Our kayak is more egalitarian.
At just 10kg, its lightweight body means anyone can get it to the water. Its price point of AUD$1490 means it’s within reach of most kayakers too.
Polyurethane, fibreglass and carbon fibre kayaks purport bomb-proof strength but suffer from bloated weight. Even top end kayaks, which demand investment of AUD$3,500 and more, can’t achieve weights less than 12kgs.
In just two hours almost anyone can say they’ve built a kayak. Our ‘built by you’ design uses the precision of a computer numerical cutting machine to cut 9mm-thick marine plywood into interlocking ribs. Each piece tensioning the next. Cedar spines then bond the main body once glued into place. The final frame is rigid, light and strong.
The O Six Hundred Kayak is encased in translucent kevlar fabric found in modern sailmaking or bulletproof vests. This skin is akin to a tailored jacket, where the panels are stitched together, it’s backed with heat seam tape which waterproofs the fuselage. Once the frame is assembled the kayaker simply pulls the skin over the frame and laces it on the bow like a pair of sneakers. The skin-on-frame construction tensions the entire form further to create a robust, light and watertight kayak.
Boarding a kayak is the most pressure you can apply to the frame. So we designed the cockpit to distribute the downward pressure of a boarding paddler. Whereupon the horizontally positioned pieces, that form the coaming of the cockpit, use the vertical support of the ribs to dissipate weight. Four individual pieces are layered to create the sturdy cockpit; this structure also benefits the paddler on dry land as they lift the kayak from this point.
The O Six Hundred Kayak is positioned as a recreational-tourer suitable for lakes and harbour paddling. Its flat(ish) bottom hull means it’s very stable and is a good choice for paddlers who don’t want to be challenged with staying upright. The kayak tracks well and keeps a good line due to its placement in the water. This negates the need for a rudder. So you can just get on and enjoy exploring new frontiers.
The O Six Hundred Kayak utilises small batch manufacturing which reduces the need for stock storage. It also benefits our design. Affording iteration and improvement based on feedback. This is a huge advantage in keeping at the forefront of customers desires and wants.
A single sheet of four by eight marine plywood makes the ribs for one kayak. Computer numerical cutting means we minimise wastage. The cedar spines also benefit from being standard and are from hardware stores.
The skin is easy to remove. Which means it’s effortless to maintain, repair and clean. If the frame died before the skin, or vice versa, we can supply the component needed to keep paddling.