Feb 4, 2009 at 6:51 pm #1233805
John Paul ReidMember
Anyone know where to read up on making wooden kayaks or have anything to say about them?Feb 4, 2009 at 6:56 pm #1475495
Greg MihalikBPL Member
Look here to get started.
Plug in "stripper kayak" to Google and you'll find this and more.Feb 4, 2009 at 7:01 pm #1475496
W I S N E R !BPL Member
They're certainly beautiful…
I was doing much research into them a few years back, primarily for building an ocean fishing model.
All sorts of plans are available for purchase online- quick searches will show you many companies.
Some things that have stopped me (perhaps unfounded):
1. Hundreds of spare dollars for wood
2. Concern that a wooden kayak will be heavier, thus harder to get onto roof racks, launch, etc.
3. I'm worried about durability and the ease of repair; rocky landings, fishing around rocks, etc.
Despite this, it doesn't seem that the strip building method is too difficult if you're a fairly experienced woodworker with a decent shop (and space).
Good luck.Feb 4, 2009 at 9:19 pm #1475537
@umnakLocale: Southeast AlaskaFeb 5, 2009 at 5:39 am #1475564
Tom ClarkBPL Member
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk has an interesting discussion about wooden kayaks in their podcast series. It gets into the history, design, and the people.Feb 5, 2009 at 6:34 am #1475574
Nathan VBPL Member
@junkLocale: The Great Lake State
Check out http://www.Chesapeakelightcraft.com, I built a kayak from their plans about 8 years ago and it turned out great. It handles and tracks perfectly, and looks awesome.It is actually quite durable and has held up to a lot of rocky shore landings. Sure the varnish gets scratched, but it's repairable.Feb 5, 2009 at 6:44 am #1475579
Greg MihalikBPL Member
WOW! What a beauty!Feb 5, 2009 at 7:19 am #1475586
Jim W.BPL Member
A friend and I made a pair out of 4 mm plywood using the "stitch and glue" method. Somewhat tedious but not very complicated. We got a set of full size plans so no lofting was required. They are 17' long and required 2-1/2 sheets of plywood each. The entire craft is coated with epoxy inside and out, the entire outside and all interior seams a are reinforced with fiberglass cloth or tape.
I say "made" but mine is still hanging in the garage waiting for cockpit coaming, seat, and hatch covers.
Weight of a wooden kayak is much less than a plastic model, somewhat less than a conventional polyester/fiberglass model, and about the same as a vacuum bagged epoxy/fiberglass model. Mine, still waiting for the parts mentioned above and a few coats of varnish is 38 pounds. They are very stiff but wouldn't be good for rock gardening or frequent rocky surf landings.
Having sewed a tent and built the kayak, I suggest that the kayak is far less frustrating to build.Feb 12, 2009 at 5:47 pm #1477457
@adie-mitchellLocale: Northwest Mass
last summer i built a 17 foot touring kayak out of western red cedar strips. i got the plans from Nick Schade at Guillemot-kayaks.com. i built the petrel, from full size plans that i ordered from him. i also bought his book,the strip built sea kayak: three rugged, beautiful boats you can build (http://www.amazon.com/Strip-Built-Sea-Kayak-Rugged-Beautiful/dp/007057989X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234488646&sr=8-1. this tells you clearly, and with insightful detail, how to strip build a wooden kayak. however, he has a new book, which i haven't read, but seems to be a newer edition, Building strip-planked Boats (http://www.amazon.com/Building-Strip-Planked-Boats-Nick-Schade/dp/0071475249/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234488646&sr=8-2). it also seems very good. technically, the books come with everything you need to build a kayak. however, instead of plans, you get what is called a table of offsets, from which you can loft(draw in full scale) the design for the kayak. this is, however very tedious and not entirely simple, so i ended up buying the full sized patterns from Nick for about $100 bucks. this made it very easy. just glue the patterns down onto some ply, cut 'em out, string them along a piece of 2×4, and start stripping. these boats are a big time investment. they take about 100-200 man-hours…but what you get is an object of almost unparalleled beauty…that you have created. its not hard to do, i built one when i was 15, but it does take time. the best thing to do is order one of nick's books, and read through it. if you still want to build one, you have 4 options. build it from the table of offsets, buy full sized patterns, buy a kit of some sort (clcboats.com offers complete or partial kits to almost all of nick's designs), or scale the project down to a stitch and glue plywood design. (Nick also does these, i just think that they are no where near bing in the same league as a strip built boat in terms of beauty. they are a lot quicker to build though.) if you are worried about the performance, or the weight (this is a site dedicated to ultra-light pursuits, after all), some people have been able to build an 18ft boat for 30lb…which rivals many hi-tech composite boats. anyway, i really recommend browsing nick's site, and/or reading his book before you start the project. if you are interested i can post some construction photos if you don't understand the method. also, if money isn't much of an issue, nick will build you one…it'll be one of the most beautiful things you ever behold, and a joy to paddle, but it'll cost ya!Feb 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm #1479599
I've built several wooden Kayaks. My firt was a 17' Ocra from Beateu boats. I used 1/4 exterior grade plwood and covered the outside with fiberglass. It weighed a lot (100lbs(, but I taught myself to kayak in the ocean with it. It was bounced off of rocks and everything else and never had a problem and I never dumped in it either. I could probably make one with okume and the same amount of fiberglass and it would weigh about 50lbs which is good for 17' sea kayak. I fished in it too without any problems. I've also built a Guillemont Mystery strip built. Very pretty and fast, but very tippy.
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