Kayak - Chesapeake 17' LT

Kayak built by Ted Gauthier

Ride in a Balloon

Ted Gauthier takes you along for a ride in his balloon from beginning to end.

Go For a Ride with Us

This video will take you through the process of setting up, launching, flying and packing up a hot air balloon. Our hope is to give you an inside look on a ride in a hot air balloon.

See the view from the air

FlyBalloons.net pilot Ted Gauthier takes you on journey over the neighborhoods looking from his hot air balloon.

Go For a Ride with Us

This video will take you through the process of setting up, launching, flying and packing up a hot air balloon. Our hope is to give you an inside look on a ride in a hot air balloon.

Fall Colors

Go for a ride over the neighborhoods and enjoy the view.

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Flying In Michigan

The joy of flying hot air balloons in Michigan is highlighted by all the wonderful scenery. There are hundreds of lakes, wildlife and rolling hills.


Michigan Balloon Festivals: 2018

Balloon over Bavarian Inn, Frankenmuth, May 25-28th

Frontier Days Balloon Shoot Out, Carson City, June 1-3

Michigan Challenge Balloonfest: Howell, June 22-24th and 26th.

Field of Flight Air show and Balloon Festival, Battle Creek, June 28-July 4

Grand Rapids Balloon Festival, Hudsonville, July 19-21

Jackson Hot Air Jubilee, Jackson, July 20-22

Midland Balloon Festival, Midland, August 2-5

Metamora Hot Air Balloon Festival, Metamora, August 24-25

Greater Lansing Balloon Festival, Lansing, August 24-25

Kalamazoo Balloon Festival, Richland, August 24-26

Hale Yes Hot Air Balloon Festival, Hale, September 21-23









Balloon Advertising

Advertising on a hot air balloon is a fantastic way to get exposure. Your name is as large as a freeway billboard and can be viewed by thousands of people in your market area.

Let us be your pilot in the sky !




Photos and Information

Ted's Kayak

Building the Chesapeake 17L Sea Kayak

The Building the Chesapeake Kayak (the explanations below were taken from the CLC manual). The photos were shot while building my Chesapeake 17Lt. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

The Chesapeake Touring Sea Kayaks, Chesapeake expedition touring kayaks excel in rough water and steep seas. With their high-volume bows, the Chesapeakes cruise over big waves. Their highly cambered foredecks shed water quickly and provide plenty of foot room. Underwater the stern blade-like sections assure that the boat tracks well with minimal weathercocking, even in fierce crosswinds.

West Greenland tradition influences the Chesapeake's hard-chine hull. It's easy to lean and turn: the boat handles following seas confidently and surfs beautifully. A long waterline and substantial rocker give you plenty of speed. You'll leave the plastic boats behind even as the high-volume hull swallows enough gear for a weekend afloat or several weeks of cruising.

Chesapeakes are built to endure a lifetime of expendition touring, with 4mm okoume plywood hulls and decks and fiberglass sheathing on both hull and deck. Epoxy end-pours at the bow and stern simplify contruction and provide extra impact strength. The keyhole cockpit is roomy, easy to get in and out of, and simple to pad out for a comfortable custom fit.

The Essentials of Stitch and Glue Boatbuilding:

What is Stitch-and-Glue Boat Building? With the introduction of epoxy resin and high quality mahogany marine plywood, boat builders found that they could eliminate much of the traditional framing in their wooden boats. A new building method evolved. Instead of gluing plywood panels to a skeleton of chine logs and frames, Panel edges were temporarily joined with wire ties and glued with epoxy. The term stitch-and-glue comes from the wire ties, or stitches, used to hold the panels together. It's not as outlandish as it sounds. Stone age cultures often built their plank boats by sewing the plank edges. Stitch and glue goes one step further, using epoxy to bind and seal the joints.

As builders saw how well this worked, fewer and fewer frames were left in the completed boat. Soon boats became monocoque structures; that is, the load-bearing structure was the skin or hull, not an internal framework. This made lighter boats. All the parts were glued or bonded to one another, which made for stiffer boats.

In the past, boats had been built over elaborate molds and strongbacks over which the planking was bent. Some builders and designers, including Chesapeake Light Craft, eliminated the traditional building jig. By carefully designing the panels or planks and bending them over a few bulkheads or spreader sticks, a fair hull or reasonable complexity is easy to assemble. Stitch-and-glue building method is not ideal for every hull shape, yet it works remarkably well for kayaks, skiffs, sharpies, and some motorboats.

Out having fun on Sylvan Lake

How long did it take for Ted to build his kayak?

I began building in November 2003, we had the maiden voyage in June 2004. This project was fun and a wonderful learning experience. I was looking for something to keep me busy in the winter months. I worked on the kayak in my spare time so the build time was much longer than it should have been.



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Did you know that all of our balloon rides are "private"?

We will not put other passengers in your balloon like other balloon operators.