Kevin Fenn cut his teeth in the paddlesports business before anyone was really paying attention to kayaks around the turn of the century. He left the kayak behind several years ago to form East Cape Skiffs and this year, with East Cape co-owner Marc Page, has returned with a completely new craft that is catching the eye of those paying attention.
Fenn and Page introduced their new brainchild, the SKANU, this year at ICAST/IFTD in Orlando, Florida and walked away as a new product showcase winner. I got the chance to catch up with him and pick his brain. DOn’t forget to check out the video at the end of this article as well.
The SKANU is a combination of a kayak, canoe, and skiff. It boasts flat decks with an awlgrip finish, composite laminate, and built-in rod racks. The rod racks can fit four fly rods up to nine and a half feet long and also double as a shotgun or rifle holder for hunters. The SKANU is designed to take up to a 3HP engine but can be poled with ease or paddled with a 230cm paddle.
Up front, the boat boasts a casting deck, a reinforced bow with enough real estate to mount an iPilot, and a dashboard that will accommodate two seven inch fishfinders or up to a 10-inch screen for a single unit.
Fenn was happy to challenge a shallow draft comparison with kayaks currently on the market. The SKANU boasts a true four-inch draft he added. The poling platform near the stern is easy for standing or sitting depending on what you need.
As a long time kayaker, my questions drifted toward length and weight. If I’m going to use this skiff style kayak, I need to be able to move it.
Surprisingly, the rigged models at ICAST weighed in at 95 pounds and with a couple of tweaks, a new finished out model is expected to be around 80 pounds. It’s 12’6″ long and 41 inches wide at it’s widest point. That’s important to know because the boat has a taper on the X and Y axis so it is taller in the bow than the stern and also wider in the bow than the stern.
The worries of deck flex are alleviated in the SKANU because of the ribbed floor construction and composite laminate material. I pounded on it pretty good on the show floor and can tell you it’s rigid.
Fenn also mentioned that they don’t predesign the SKANU loaded with accessories. He values each angler’s desire to rig it how they best see fit.
Back on the design, the SKANU boasts a “no slap” hull design to offer quiet stalking in the flats and if you do want to run electronics, the boat has premolded in rigging channels. In essence, you can hide all your wires. The floor also has a camber to it so all the water runs to the edges of the boat and can then run to the back of the boat where it can exit a self-bailing drain.
The finished rub rails and rolled edge are something that really adds a nice touch and is rarely seen on paddle craft.
The SKANU comes in at $3600 and according to Fenn is not a craft meant for mass production but rather a few hundred a year. He realizes it is niche and if this SKANU fits into your wheelhouse of flats stalking and poling without needing a trailer, you are going to want to check this out.
Below you’ll see Kevin Fenn walk through the SKANU with Andrew Cameron of My Next Fishing Trip.