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Old 07-16-2008, 10:01 PM   #1
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Default Making a kayak for my wife

I've been working on building a kayak for my wife. I'm just about ready to put the deck on. It is a Chesapeak Light Craft design. I lofted the layout from his book and have been working on it VERY intermittantly since May, mostly just scarfing the panels and lofting the lines onto the panels.

It uses a building method called stitch and glue. You take your pieces of plywood and use wire ties to hold them in place. Then you lay a fillet of thickened epoxy resin and a layer of fiberglass tape over the seam on the inside. When the inside had dried you remove the wires, smooth up the outside and lay a coat of fiberglass cloth over the hull, and then put a layer of epoxy resin over that. I really started working on it two and a half weeks ago, when I looked at the calender and realized that I was running out of time to get it done. We are heading to the Allagash Wilderness in the middle of August for a 100 mile trip up the Allagash River.

Here is what it looks like now.

I used a white resin pigment on the area inside the cockpit so that it can be kept nice and clean. You can see the bulkeads the seperate the cockpit from the fore and aft compartments. The deck beams establish the curve of the deck and hold the hull rigid.

I have two coats of epoxy resin over the layer of 6 oz cloth on the outside of the hull. You can see here where I sanded it up to get rid of the rough spots before I lay on a few areas of additional cloth on areas like the stem and the first few feet of the keel, areas that will get a lot of abuse.

The footbraces drying in place.

Once the footbraces get a few coats of epoxy and everything gets another sanding I can put the deck on. I also need to put a coat or two of the pigmented epoxy to fill the weave of the cloth in the cockpit and cover up any uneaven spots. I have the cockpit coaming allready cut out so it will be a realtivley simple thing to epoxy that in place and smooth that out. Then all I'll have to do is cut out the hatches for access, install deck lines and hatch tie downs. A half dozen coats of marine varnish on the hull and topsides will finish things up.

I'll probably be up till midnight the night before we leave on our trip. LOL


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Old 07-16-2008, 10:17 PM   #2
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Wow, very cool! When I was 10 yrs old, my dad build his own wooden sailboat...and I've been thinking of doing this myself. However, before I jump into a $5-10k project I was thinking of building a smaller dory or canoe. How much did your materials run?


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Old 07-16-2008, 11:49 PM   #4
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Really cool! I have wanted to build a kayak using that tech. Here is one I built a few years ago using a George Dyson Baidarka design:

It has a aluminum tube frame covered with nylon skin.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:55 PM   #5
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Awesome. What a nice way to show the SWMBO that you really care about her. I'm sure she will cherish it.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
How much did your materials run?
+1 I'm curious about this as well.... Also, where did you source the materials?
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:49 AM   #7
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Sweet! Red built herself a kayak a few years ago - looks like fun!
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:57 AM   #8
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Nice work. I built a 9' jon boat several years ago using the stitch n glue technique. Remember to get some UV protection on that baby! The epoxy will degrade in the sun over time.
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:42 AM   #9
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That is freaking beautiful! I love working with glass on a hobby scale

So you are building this for her, what are you building yourself next?
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:55 AM   #10
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That's really cool Paul... I'm sure Mrs. TheNurse will enjoy it!

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