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Thread: A 24 Hour Kayak

  1. #1
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    Default A 24 Hour Kayak

    I’ve been thinking about this for years and figure I’d better get it out of my system before it drives me batty.

    I’ve convinced myself somehow, that’s its possible to build a kayak in 24 hours (I’m also convinced I can do it for $240 which is an different obsession altogether). To complicate matters, I want her to be beautiful, paddle well, and be well built; I want to proud of her and I want whoever paddles her, to feel the same pride. My hubris (yup damn pride) wants her to be built by others too. I want, perhaps, what we all want when we set out to design and build a wooden boat … but I want to do it in a stupidly short period of time and with a pathetically small budget.
    To be successful I figure she’ll need to fit at least these criteria:


    • use panel construction (4 perhaps)
    • use chine logs vs stitch and glue (or perhaps some secret sauce)
    • use an open cockpit
    • forego complex hatches and bulk-heads
    • be designed well enough to track and turn without a rudder
    • minimize the number of ply sheets (three? four perhaps?)
    • use big-box-store adhesives
    • minimize time on the lofting table
    • reduce scarfing to the bare minimum (butt joints?)


    I began sketching in Delftship a year or so ago and built a basswood model. Unfortunately, when moving files to a new machine I lost the .fbm files but I do have the model. Here then, is what I’m starting with. I’m thinking over the next couple of weeks I’ll sketch her again. In the meantime, here’s the first shot, a rather poor pic of the model.




    Perhaps, next time I’m in the shop I’ll be the opposite of absent minded, and bring a camera. Until then, I’d be awfully interested from those who have shared a similar delusion.

    .................................................. .................................................

    Edit ... two years later
    Here she is on the bench ...
    4 panels. 3 sheets. Glued and screwed over chine-logs.
    Cockpit riser and rim laminated in place.



    Trevor

    See Building Plans for an elegant Solo Cedar Strip Canoe


    Last edited by tpaetkau; 02-24-2019 at 06:41 PM.
    Trevor Paetkau
    Canoe Plans and Custom Boats
    Stratford, ON

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    looks very good. That's what I would like to build in the future.
    What's the length is going to be ??

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I think it's perfectly doable, both by time and budget (if you don't count the time waiting for the glue and paint to dry.)

    Here's Bolger's take on the instant kayak. I built one of these for my son many moons ago, and it was a much handier kayak than I expected. If a person isn't in a hurry, the bottom shape isn't near as critical as many would suggest.

    -Dave

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    While it might be possible to build a siimple kayak in 24 hours, why would you force yourself into such a tight schedule? Do you have an urgent appointment you have to paddle to?

    I built my Spindrift 11 in 6 weeks which was something of a record for that build, and it's not that complicated. Forcing yourself to build a boat of any kind in 24 hours is asking for trouble. It is very easy to make mistakes building boats, and just giving yourself time to ponder and think is a good way to avoid most of them.

    If you do decide to take on the 24 hour challenge, I wish you all the best. Certainly you have chosen a boat that could be built in a weekend if you have everything ready and you know exactly what you are doing.

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    GREAT QUEST!

    the shape of your model is inspiring

    what capacity are you targeting?

    have you considered creating the ability for expansion to accommodate different sized/weight paddlers?

    your OP lists wanting others to build, have you considered offering her drawings to a youth/community boat shop group build?

    w/ the ability to make her viable in 24 hours, she would be a great project for youth groups, offering almost instant gratification & your price point/big box materials target would provide more impetus for group builds

    the coffee pot's on & i'm makin a full batch of...



    may the saw dust fly

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I've built over two dozen kayaks. . .and I have to say I don't think your quest is grounded in reality. Certainly not if you have the same definitions for "paddles well”, and "well built" that I use. It's already possible to build a truly excellent kayak for something on the order of 40 hours. Trying to do it a whole lot quicker than that means you're cutting corners. A whole bunch of corners. And for what? What are you gaining, honestly? Less slapdash hurry and more careful craftsmanship, please.

    You can't bake a great pie with poor ingredients. And even a mediocre pie is going to take a certain amount of time to bake. What's your goal? Owning a great boat? Or getting the building part over with as quickly as possible?
    Last edited by James McMullen; 01-16-2016 at 08:57 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I don't know about the 24 hour part but I made a one sheet boat that was a lot under your price figure.



    This one is a little under 8 foot long and made from just one sheet of plywood. I used chine logs, glue, nails, screws, just about everything except epoxy. Mine isn't exactly a kayak but paddles much like one. shouldn't take much to get rid of the transom to make it more kayak shape. I never got to test the sail out in any real wind. I still hope to use this one like Dylan's duck punts. Use a paddle in place of a rudder and leeboard.

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by 2dogsnight View Post
    looks very good. That's what I would like to build in the future.
    What's the length is going to be ??
    I'd be reluctant to stretch her out past 15' though theoretically there might be an argument to be had for fabricating panels with three rather than two pieces, at which point I suppose length wouldn't be limited to what one could get out of two sheets of ply.
    Trevor Paetkau
    Canoe Plans and Custom Boats
    Stratford, ON

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I think it's an interesting challenge. It's not going to turn out anything particularly precious, but a solid, sturdy, plenty good-looking double-paddle canoe might come of it. I've got a couple of hull kits cut that are fairly similar in concept, though without the arbitrary time constraint.
    Since you don't mean a 24 hour boat building marathon (that might be interesting in it's own way, but a little pointless) then it should be considered that 3 work days is the schedule you actually have in mind. Unless there's a good reason for limiting each day strictly to 8 hours, then you could think of a less restrictive, though potentially exhausting, 30-36 hours over a long weekend.
    With that in mind, the methods you have in mind could yield something interesting and usable. You'd have to plan carefully, group all epoxy joints and 'glass reinforcement tasks late in the day so that you can take advantage of overnight cure time (assuming warm ambient temperature). Using the quickest, strongest construction adhesives and polymer brads, you could make short work of a basic chine-built 3 or 4 panel hull. I think CNC-cut parts would be the only way you could do it. Laying out curves on plywood and cutting parts would take a big chunk of time and if you could start with parts that snap together into well aligned and accurate panels, you'd be ahead of the game.
    Even then, you'd have to do something like complete hull on day one, deck and fiberglass reinforcement on day 2 and sanding and finishing on day 3. I think the fiberglass part, even just taping the outside of the chines would be the thing that would stop you. There's no way you'd be able fair the joints and apply paint in one day. Use good marine plywood, skip the fiberglass and leave the chines exposed, paint the bejeeszus out of it and hope for the best would be about the only to get there.
    I think the marine ply and 2-part paint you'd need to even come close would blow your budget.
    Might be better to think in terms of a vacation-week boat. There are plenty of designs that you could start on a Saturday, blow and go all week and go for a paddle on the following Sunday.
    John Allison
    Austin, TX

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    kids @ 8', adults @ 15'...

    sounds about right, to this old man

    am i seeing correctly that she has a flat bottom w/ slight rocker?

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    The Storer Quick Canoe is a good example of what can be done.

    http://www.storerboatplans.com/wp/ne...er-in-4-hours/

    These canoes were built before setting off down the Loire.



    I think far too many boat designs demand far too much time to buid for busy young families. Getting on the water in a safe design is what matters.

    Perttu's kayak design looks a possible very quick build to me



    Brian

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Why 24 hours? Why indeed ...

    It's partly a creative endeavour ... there are a number of design and materials challenges inherent in it. I'd like to see if I'm up to the task.

    It's partly a social endeavour ... because I intend a simple build over a short period, it can include those who don't have the skills or time to participate in a more traditional form. And as a previous poster mentioned, it reduces the barrier to entry for school groups etc.

    There's a business aspect to it. In the past year the Ashes' shop turned out 9 canoes, racks of paddles, we prototyped landing nets and toboggans, completed two restorations, and laid the backbone for our first Whitehall. It's been busy and I've learned much; not the least of which is that a wooden boat is largely a luxury item and a 24 hour kayak (whether in reality it takes 24 hours or 36) would make my craft affordable for a much different demographic.

    And ... last but not least, there's very little invested in it. Not much more time than 1 long weekend and a modest amount of material; much of which in my case will be scavenged from offcuts from the woodbin.

    In any event, I won't be able to free up space until April at the earliest so there is time to plan. My first task, beyond soliciting feedback, will be to enter lines into Delftship and see what comes up.

    Best, T
    Trevor Paetkau
    Canoe Plans and Custom Boats
    Stratford, ON

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    There seems to be an assumption here that the boat has to be covered in fiberglass. It isn't necessary if the plywood is half decent, and glassing adds a lot of time and expense to the project. It can also put off the first-time builder who's never dealt with epoxy. That Bolger boat I posted higher up can be cut out and assembled in no time. I did glue it up with epoxy, but other glues would have worked. If I remember correctly, I had everything marked up, cut out and mostly assembled in the first 8 or 10 hours -- the decks and cockpit trim went on later. I think I put about 30 hours into it, and I work slower than most.

    Realistically, this will be a disposable boat to get people started. Decent plywood and paint will make it work -- in fact, creativity with the paint job will be the most agreeable part and give the builder a unique if not museum-worthy craft. Even without the plasticizing goop, if stored indoors such a boat will last many years.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    BS 6566 Keruing and Meranti can be had for between $50 and $60 a sheet, both of which should hold up in a marine environment.
    3M 5200 Adhesive can be had for $30 to $40 a tube and you'll destroy the ply before breaking the bond.
    Let's say a 16 run of 1x8 cedar supplies enough lumber for the chine logs, and costs $40.
    Mechanical fasteners at $20, pot of utility grade spar varnish for maybe $20 and shop supplies for another $20 and it costs out "close" to $250.
    Oh yeah, and a seat.
    Trevor Paetkau
    Canoe Plans and Custom Boats
    Stratford, ON

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Terrific idea.

    Skin on frame would be faster, simpler, lighter, cheaper and easier to build.

    Good luck!

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Christie View Post
    Skin on frame would be faster, simpler, lighter, cheaper and easier to build.
    Took the words right out of my mouth!

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by DGentry View Post
    Took the words right out of my mouth!
    SOF is a bit intimidating for some noobs, though there is little to substantiate those fears

    other than HOW DO YOU KEEP THE WATER OUT????

    knot2 mention THE WARMTH OF WOOD...

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I have to agree that for a first time builder, a more familiar type of boat is a much easier sell. Also, SOF construction is a lot fussier than a simple ply boat.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I'm surprised we disagree here.
    I've built many different boats and have found SOF to be the easiest, fastest, cheapest going.
    But, to each their own.
    Cheers!

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I agree with Tom Christie. I find SOF to be not only inexpensive and quick, but also enormously more pleasant from a woodworking standpoint. They also aren't captive to the inherent crudity in hullshape of a flat-bottomed simple plywood boat. Skin on frame is capable of great subtlety and grace, while still being ever so economical in cost of materials. It's the quickest and easiest path to a sophisticated hullshape.

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I've been looking at the Sea Bee 13 kayak by Tom Yost. I drew up the frames in a CAD program but never actually started it.


    I sure like the looks of a SOF when the skin is clear vinyl or even a translucent covering that shows the frame. If I build one, it will almost certainly be covered (temporary) with whatever waterproof plastic or tarp is laying around at the time but I would love to have a real nice and real light SOF kayak.

    I've never tried SOF building before but it looks like, if you had patterns to quickly lay out the frames, there isn't much to these boats. I don't think I fit the frames all on a half sheet of plywood in my drawings but it should take less than a sheet to build the Sea Bee 13.

    I rounded the space between all the stingers on my drawing. That is probably not needed on all of them.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Thanks for posting the Yostweks Sea Bee. Tom's site had gone missing and someone has created a mirror image so people can still access his designs. By removing the sea bee bit of the link we have the link to his mirrored site

    http://www.yostwerks.org

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Dreams View Post
    I've been looking at the Sea Bee 13 kayak by Tom Yost. I drew up the frames in a CAD program but never actually started it.


    I sure like the looks of a SOF when the skin is clear vinyl or even a translucent covering that shows the frame. If I build one, it will almost certainly be covered (temporary) with whatever waterproof plastic or tarp is laying around at the time but I would love to have a real nice and real light SOF kayak.

    I've never tried SOF building before but it looks like, if you had patterns to quickly lay out the frames, there isn't much to these boats. I don't think I fit the frames all on a half sheet of plywood in my drawings but it should take less than a sheet to build the Sea Bee 13.

    I rounded the space between all the stingers on my drawing. That is probably not needed on all of them.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian
    Something I always do on frame sections that are from the sheer line down to the keel. Good practice, even if the hull will not be leaned over that far.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  24. #24
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I never tried this yet but, I did make my CAD drawing for the Sea Bee 13 as a full scale printable PDF file

    Here's a picture of what you could end up with.



    It would take 30 pages taped or glued together to make this. A light table or window would help to line the pages up. There's some wasted space but paper isn't real expensive. The separate parts could be roughly cut out of the paper patterns and glued directly to the plywood or to something else as a tracing pattern. Full size patterns should be much faster than lofting the lines directly on the plywood.

    I think the drawing is correct but no guarantees. I haven't tested this yet.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

    P.S. I just fixed the link. First one I missed a little bit on the lower parts.
    Last edited by Sea Dreams; 01-18-2016 at 12:25 PM. Reason: link to better PDF

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Dreams View Post
    I never tried this yet but, I did make my CAD drawing for the Sea Bee 13 as a full scale printable PDF file

    Here's a picture of what you could end up with.



    It would take 30 pages taped or glued together to make this. A light table or window would help to line the pages up. There's some wasted space but paper isn't real expensive. The separate parts could be roughly cut out of the paper patterns and glued directly to the plywood or to something else as a tracing pattern. Full size patterns should be much faster than lofting the lines directly on the plywood.

    I think the drawing is correct but no guarantees. I haven't tested this yet.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

    P.S. I just fixed the link. First one I missed a little bit on the lower parts.
    Staples or Office Depot has wide format printers which is really useful for things like this if you can put the parts on a standard sheet and save as PDF at 1:1. It's a pretty economical way to go. Just bring it in on a thumb drive.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  26. #26
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Brian, I noted this comment: "I rounded the space between all the stingers on my drawing." If I understand what you're saying here, you drew a fair curve where the original shows scallops between the frame/stringer junctions. The scallops are critical -- if not cut, the skin will have hard vertical ridges at every frame.

    Tom, I don't disagree that "
    SOF to be the easiest, fastest, cheapest going." What I'm arguing is that for the first time builder, the ply kayak is an easier sell and more likely to get the would-be paddler building and in the water with confidence. SOF boats make non-boaters nervous. Heck, even some experienced kayakers look at my SOF boats and think it's a pretty dicey way to be heading out. It's also important to distinguish between the traditional and the fuselage frame approach to building SOF kayaks. The traditional approach requires some detailed work, in some cases cutting mortises, steaming and bending frames, and usually laminating a cockpit coaming. The fuselage boats can avoid all of these, and consequently require less skill and go together much more quickly. I'm sure I could have built a couple of ply kayaks in the time it took me to assemble my baidarka.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Brian, I noted this comment: "I rounded the space between all the stingers on my drawing." If I understand what you're saying here, you drew a fair curve where the original shows scallops between the frame/stringer junctions. The scallops are critical -- if not cut, the skin will have hard vertical ridges at every frame.
    I think I just explained it wrong. I offset the outside lines either 3/8" or 1/2" and drew a scallop between the stringers with the deepest point of the scallop (3/8 or 1/2") centered between the frame/stringer junctions.

    The top didn't get any scallops.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Dreams View Post
    I think I just explained it wrong. I offset the outside lines either 3/8" or 1/2" and drew a scallop between the stringers with the deepest point of the scallop (3/8 or 1/2") centered between the frame/stringer junctions.

    The top didn't get any scallops.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian
    Did you also recess the furthest point of the"scallop" about 1/8"back from the line between stringer points? That helps to avoid hard points poking in the skin at those intersections.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  29. #29
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Brian,

    That was a nice exercise but it is a waste of time to get it printed and then transfer the lines to the ply.

    Just do the layout on the ply. Skip the wasted step. That is what the SeeBee offsets are for.

    Curved lines between the stringers look nice, but don't add any strength, just make a straight line at 1/2 the height of the stringers. Cut the stringers into the ply at 1/2 height - you are finished.

    But you should be careful with the lower stringers at the front and back frames. The stringers will not twist. The offsets assume you can.
    Look at the angle of the lower stringers at the #3 frame. Then check it at the #1 frame. It is going to be different if you follow the illustration on how to cut in the stringer notch. I had to repair at least 4 stringer notches because of this.

    IMHO

    Good luck, and realize you can find a mistake (or something you done like) take what you have done apart and be back to a finished frame with very little wasted time. Second time to cut a frame is much easier than the first.

    Do you have any desire to build more than one? If so, when you have the frames like you want them, take the frame apart and make a pattern. I used 1/8" ply - cheap stuff. Reassemble the frame and make it permanent however you are doing the assembly.
    Last edited by upchurchmr; 01-18-2016 at 09:39 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    Did you also recess the furthest point of the"scallop" about 1/8"back from the line between stringer points? That helps to avoid hard points poking in the skin at those intersections.
    I'm not sure what you mean. The scallop was all I drew up and it should go from right against the stringers to up to 1/2 inch away from the skin between the two stringers.

    Edit: I think the problem is I didn't erase the outside lines on my drawing.

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Brian,

    That was a nice exercise but it is a waste of time to get it printed and then transfer the lines to the ply.

    Just do the layout on the ply. Skip the wasted step. That is what the SeeBee offsets are for.

    Curved lines between the stringers look nice, but don't add any strength, just make a straight line at 1/2 the height of the stringers. Cut the stringers into the ply at 1/2 height - you are finished.

    But you should be careful with the lower stringers at the front and back frames. The stringers will not twist. The offsets assume you can.
    Look at the angle of the lower stringers at the #3 frame. Then check it at the #1 frame. It is going to be different if you follow the illustration on how to cut in the stringer notch. I had to repair at least 4 stringer notches because of this.

    IMHO

    Good luck, and realize you can find a mistake (or something you done like) take what you have done apart and be back to a finished frame with very little wasted time. Second time to cut a frame is much easier than the first.

    Do you have any desire to build more than one? If so, when you have the frames like you want them, take the frame apart and make a pattern. I used 1/8" ply - cheap stuff. Reassemble the frame and make it permanent however you are doing the assembly.
    I used the feet (decimal) offsets and the measurements didn't come out to perfect fractions of an inch. Drawing it in CAD and printing it out full size got around those tricky measurements. I suppose the metric would be much easier but I'm still fighting the switch. Blame the US public school system.

    My dream is to be able to see the frame sections and stringers through the skin so the curved lines (especially the upper ones) were mostly for looks. I figured the slight curves wouldn't be any harder to cut than the straight ones.

    I haven't done any more than computer drawings of this boat. If/when I build it I will keep in mind that some of the stringer angles probably need changed.

    It depends on how my first one turns out and how hard or time consuming it is. I could see building more than one if I like it. Having an extra boat could allow someone else to join in the fun. The light weight is the biggest draw for me. One of my favorite boating spots requires carrying the boat down a steep bank to get to the water and carrying it back up the hill when done. That's why I love my self designed, one sheet boat so much. I can easily carry it around by myself but it still takes a couple trips to get the mast, sail, and all the other sailing parts to and from the water. Hopefully the SOF kayak will be lighter yet even though it is considerably longer. It should be faster than my flat bottom, one sheet boat and hopefully faster and lighter than my shorter plastic kayak.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    I recommend that you do it just the way you want. It won't be an heirloom, you'll learn a lot, and your next one will be so much better. Plus you'll piss off a bunch of those "naysayers". All in fun, of course.
    Conservative gun grabber

  32. #32
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Brian,

    I guarantee the SeeBee will be faster than your plastic SOT.
    My friend took the SeeBee I made for him out with a same length SOT.
    The friend is a Canoe instructor (Boy Scouts) and his son was an underdeveloped newbie. The friend was on the SOT and was struggling to keep up after 20 yards.

    Any way you build the frames will work. I was just trying to make it easier (to me).

    Have fun.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Here are those other pictures of the model ... they'll show the possible lines more clearly. To my eye, a 4 panel boat does have the potential to be a pretty thing. For the most part I'm following a well worn path; she's just over 15 ft at the waterline and a tad under 23 inches at her beam with 3 inch rocker fore and aft. I just might make this asymmetrical to avoid the need for a skeg (thoughts?).

    I also foresee difficulty in handling the deck/cockpit transition; in order to get a nice camber out of a single panel the model required some cheats just aft of the cockpit. I suspect I'll have to design in a relief "dart". And the cockpit too, will need some careful consideration. Any fitting will need to be greatly simplified, yet at the same time with an open cockpit a coaming feels to me essential.

    Anyway, she's here for comment ...



    Last edited by tpaetkau; 01-23-2016 at 11:51 AM.
    Trevor Paetkau
    Canoe Plans and Custom Boats
    Stratford, ON

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    dfw
    Posts
    1,174

    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    sweet lines! the after deck transition is quite attractive to my eye. might it be simpler/quicker to have a V instead of a rounded front/combing/splash rail?

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Stratford, ON
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: A 24 Hour Kayak

    Actually, now that I think about, flat bottom and all, she will need a skeg.
    Trevor Paetkau
    Canoe Plans and Custom Boats
    Stratford, ON

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