Somebody’s wish for a handcrafted cedar-strip kayak is going to come true this fall.
All they have to do show up at the Kalamalka Rotary Club Dream auction Nov. 18 and keep bidding.
It didn’t take much convincing for Jordy Koenig when he was asked if he would donate a kayak to the auction.
“I know that the funds that are raised go back into the community and that Rotary does a lot of good things,” he said.
Koenig, a Vernon native who has lived on Okanagan Lake all of his life and loves the water, has made several kayaks and canoes for himself, family and friends and for sale through is company, Koenig Kayak &Canoe.
“It takes a lot of patience and about 400 hours to build a kayak or canoe. I listen to the radio in my workshop and it’s a good place to be when I’m not out on the water,” said the retired Telus employee, who noted that Telus does a lot of philanthropic work in the community.
He starts a kayak with shaping the yellow cedar, spruce, mahogany and purple heart wood and fits them together meticulously around a form using epoxy resin. He adds a handmade back rest.
The model he is making for the Dream Auction will weigh 45 pounds and would sell for about $4,000 to $5,000.
“This is my favourite model, the KLT, Koenig Light. It’s easy to paddle and easy to control. It feels really nice on the water,” said Koenig.
He knows his kayaks have what it takes to go anywhere.
“We did a great trip to Kinbasket Lake two years ago, a 250-mile, 12-day trip with all our food and gear in the kayaks,” he said. “I’d like to do some ocean kayaking but kayaking anywhere is great. You’re close to everything, see everything, smell everything.”
Koenig is interested in making more kayaks for fundraising for local charitable organizations and he hopes the community can help him. The basic materials for a kayak cost about $1,000. He would like to get donations of yellow cedar, epoxy resin and fibreglass cloth.
Anyone who has material can check with him to see if it is suitable at email@example.com.