Building Racing Boats
Faster. Stable. Seaworthy
Success in building racing boats, like success in paddling, is the result of hard work and dedication to excellence. We believe our kayaks and canoes are the best-designed and best-constructed racing boats available anywhere in the world today, and we believe they offer you a substantial competitive advantage due to their sleek design, responsiveness, light weight, and strength. Hydrodynamic tests conducted for the US Olympic Sports and Technology Committee and other organizations repeatedly confirm the superiority of our boats over other models. The success of our boats on the race course, and in the laboratory, is the result of several important factors.
Our hull designs represent the culmination of two decades of intensive research, scientific testing, consultation with top-ranking competitors, and our own paddling experience. Designed by naval architect Ted Van Dusen, our hulls are designed to hold frictional drag, wave drag, and aerodynamic drag to an absolute minimum.
Van Dusen racing boats are manufactured using advanced composite materials and space-age manufacturing technology. All our boats start with a pigmented polyurethane gel coat that bonds into the laminate during the curing process creating a strong, durable, and UV resistant outer layer. Depending on the hull laminate, we use pre-impregnated fiberglass and/ or carbon fiber cloth; custom-braided graphite and fiberglass parts; Nomex honeycomb, and syntactic cores. We were pioneers in the application of gelcoat, pre-impregnated laminates, vacuum-bagging and autoclave curing techniques to the manufacture of racing boats, and we have maintained a considerable technological lead over other manufacturers. Our kayaks, canoes, and racing shells are simply the lightest, stiffest, strongest, and most durable boats available today.
In order to paddle at maximum performance, you must be in a comfortable relaxed posture with a solid connection the boat and without anything limiting your range of motion. All our boats are first designed around the paddler and then optimized for minimum resistance through the water. Our foredeck is narrow for an effective catch, the cockpit is roomy, the seat is comfortable and fully adjustable, and the footboard is adjustable in small increments and very rigid so all your power is transferred into moving the boat. Everything works well so that you are not distracted by irritating little details. Our formula for success is simple: maximize propulsive power and minimize drag.