Financial Times – How I Spent It – 2018
Class-of-their-own kayaks “There is a particular quality about a finely crafted wooden kayak; its motion through the water seems somehow smoother than other kayaks, and the sweep of the sheer and smooth arc of the deck draws the hand as well as the eye,” says Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks. Schade works collaboratively with clients on design, and crafts each custom vessel by hand-fitting hundreds of pieces of wood. His Standard model kayaks (from $15,000) are strip-built, often in red cedar or marine plywood. Each laminated vessel includes subtle accent stripes and is designed to provide responsive motion in high seas or calm inlets. Commissions take three to six months. For all-round performance, the Guillemot ($15,000-$30,000), with its shallow V bottom and hard chine, is the ultimate choice. This kayak – complete with rich mahogany finishes, recessed wooden hardware and custom upholstery – is offered in a range of sizes. Bespoke graphics are Schade’s speciality: he meticulously matches wood strips and incorporates inlaid marquetry. Paddles are also made to order (from $500) to ensure proper weight and fit.