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Thread: Kayak Building Questions

  1. #1
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    Default Kayak Building Questions

    I'm am thinking of building a tandem kayak and I have a couple questions.

    First I'm trying to decide between building a "Stitch and Glue (CLC Shearwater Double) and Strip build (Guillemot Double). I realized the strip build kayak is a lot more effort, but I just like the look of the strip built Kayak better.

    Has anyone build the Shearwater double? If so how does it handle in the water? To keep the cost down I was thinking of just purchasing the full sized plans and cutting out the plywood myself. Since the boat is 18.5' some of the plywood pieces will need two seems since the plywood is only 8'. Should I seem the pieces using butt or scarf seems? I know the factory kit comes with puzzle piece joints, which are probably better.

    As for the Strip build kayak I have quite a few questions. Can I use deck 5/4" cedar from Home Depot to make the strips? I checked my local lumberyard and the longest 3/4" cedar I can find is 16', so that means the cedar strips will need to be spliced since the boat is 20'. Is this done on the kayak when laying the strips or is it done before they are installed? If this needs to be off the kayak that will add LOTS of time to the build. I'm also guessing that I'll have to stagger the strip seams otherwise it may look odd. I also noticed that most builders staple the strips to the forms as they go along, then at some point they get pulled leaving holes in the strips. Is this noticeable in final finish? Meaning can you see the hole thru the finish of do they close up somehow? I also noticed a difference in the way builders use the "strong back". Some (Guilimont-Kayaks) make the forms slide over the strong back and support the strong-back with saw houses. Then he just flips the boat over when stripping the top, with the strong back still inside. I've seen others where the molds are attached to a much wider strong-back, almost like a 16' long 11" wide table. In this case it looks like the molds are literally screwed to the "table-like" strong-back, making it impossible to flip the boat over without unscrewing the forms. is this correct?

    Lastly does anyone have an opinion or experience on the two different build styles that they like to share?

    Thanks

    Bob

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I don't know how the CLC Shearwater Double handles but I do really enjoy my Chesapeake 17. If you do your own cutting make scarf joints, it is not that hard and there are many examples of different techniques for cutting them.

    If you go cedar strip big box cedar may be penny wise but $$$ foolish. Check out
    http://www.noahsmarine.com for precut cedar strips, they are long and high quality.
    Steamboat

    I get by with the judicious use of serendipity.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions



    This book will answer most your strip-building questions.

    As to the economics of building the CLC from plans? Stitch and glue boats are very dependent on the shape of the panels being correct and the kits are more or less self aligning . How sure are you in your large-scale drafting skills? Even at 1/4" marine grade plywood is far from cheap, one sheet could throw your calculations way out of wack. The kit makers are also pretty good at maximizing each sheet, tougher to do on your own.

    Whatever you decide to do, enjoy the build (I suggest going with the one you think looks best). As someone who started off building a Pygmy Double, mine got used a few times and I quickly built a pair of singles, we were much happier in our own boats.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I have build two CLC kayak Mill Creek 13 from plans.
    Check out the tread
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...Creek-13-Build

    Wojo

    kayak 7.jpg
    Last edited by 2dogsnight; 04-04-2018 at 10:10 AM.
    1955 Fontana 18' - 1958 Atomic 4
    1960 Skippy 12C FeatherCraft - 1947 Mercury KD4 Rocket
    1985 Glen L15 - 1980 Johnson 7.5 hp
    2016 kayak Mill Creek 13

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Hi Beer, welcome aboard!
    I have only built a kayak of ply on longitudinal frames, stringers. I did own a strip built melonseed which was a beauty, and I now own a 39' strip built ketch. You might also look into SOF: Skin On Frame construction. The boats are lighter, quick to build and economical of lumber. I haven't built one of those either, but this forum has a number of examples.
    I'm also on Long Island, and a homebrewer. Reach out if you want to meet about beer or boats.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Check out laughingloon.com.
    I built a Mystic Star from plans. It’s a great kayak. Tracks straight waves and currents, light, fast.
    Rob Mack (the designer) is a great guy to talk to if you run into problems. Plus also has video and complete instruction book.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I built an S&G Pygmy and a cedar strip Redfish. No question which is the more beautiful boat (the Redfish!), but the Pygmy is more rewarding to paddle. And it was much, much easier to build.

    I agree 100% with Stromborg, above, in recommending a pair of singles rather than a double. Doubles are a pain to schlep around on land and not very interesting to paddle.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I built four CLC Chesapeakes (14, 17 and two 18s). All have bright decks. One of the 18s has a stained bright deck. Stain, epoxy, fiberglass, what an adventure. My CLC kayaks are light and can be carried by one person (weights under 52 pounds). Mo info on my Chesy 17 at https://chesy17.blogspot.com

















    I've never strip-built anything so I can't comment other than I have helped my buddy schlep his strip-built kayak.


    As far as kits...they have their advantages and according to Sys3's The Epoxy Book kits are all the rage. But since my reason for building a wooden boat is to build a wooden boat, a kit partially defeats my purpose. I liken kits to cookies baked from store-bought cookie batter https://boatbw.blogspot.com/2017/01/...ch-or-kit.html. From kit or scratch, the end result is wonderful. The only difference is the baker's satisfaction.


    Do not fear the scarph .... https://seascull.blogspot.com/2014/0...phing-101.html
    Last edited by Mo 'Poxy; 04-03-2018 at 11:13 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I (was "we) have built .. S & G strip and traditonal canoes and kayaks.

    on strip building.. next time you see hardwood floors.... look down.. you have the answer. random length and joints. yes you can rip up deck boards and use them full width.

    Loon is here on this site.. most likely will chime in.

    Plywood.. scarf.. you will have a better build.

    About tandem kayaks... few people enjoy them.. the paddlers need to paddle in sync or they will be hitting paddles in mid air. tandem kayaking is not as fun as tandem canoeing
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Stripper questions:

    Can I use deck 5/4" cedar from Home Depot to make the strips?
    Yes, as long as they're basically clear. You will need more strips, but that's not a big deal.

    ...the cedar strips will need to be spliced since the boat is 20'. Is this done on the kayak when laying the strips or is it done before they are installed?
    It can be done either way, though if you do it on the boat you want to try to do it on fairly flat-ish spots, not dramatic curves. Butt joints can often work just fine. I've built boats where nearly every strip was made from two or three hunks with just staggered butt joints, and all done on the hull with no scarfs at all. Having them pre-scarfed on the bench will probably make strip installation a bit easier, but it does add an extra step and is certainly not absolutely required, as does putting bead and cove edges on your strips. Plenty of nice strippers had been built long before anyone decided to bead the strip edges.

    I also noticed that most builders staple the strips to the forms as they go along, then at some point they get pulled leaving holes in the strips. Is this noticeable in final finish?
    Yes, the holes show to some extent as lines of small dark spots. How much that bothers you (or not) is up to you. Personally, it never really bothered me, it's a boat, not a grand piano. If you can't tolerate the holes, there are various other ways to hold strips in position until the glue dries (bungie cord, tape, clamps, straps, etc.) though staples tend to be easier and are usually somewhat more secure.

    Various builders and instructors have their own methods of dealing with the forms and strongback. I'm not sure that there is any one system that is head and shoulders better than the others. If building from a specific plan, I would probably just follow the directions. For the 18' double kayak that I built back in the dark ages, I stripped the hull and deck as two separate pieces and clam-shelled them together with both inner and outer fiberglass tape seams. It worked fine, but getting the pieces the same width everywhere so that they fit together was fairly tedious. I suspect some of the newer methods from current builders are easier.

    My best advice is probably to go long. Back in the early days, the first doubles we had (other than skin on frame folders like Kleppers and Folboats) were about 16.5' long (Hyperform and Phoenix). They were pretty doggy. The 18' double that I strip-built was better, but at only 27" maximum beam and probably 23"-24" at the waterline, fairly twitchy. The double that my wife and own today is 21.5' by about 31 maximum beam is drastically better in just about every way (Current Designs fiberglass "Libra" - I don't really care what kayaks are made from, I just want exceptional performance). Is it more fun than our singles? Probably not, but it is very comfortable, quick and responsive in its own right. One of the hardest things to do when you are in the canoe and kayak business is to convince customers to buy boats which are long enough to really perform well and glide nicely. Do not be afraid to meet or exceed the 20' mark on a double kayak. It will reward you with performance, capacity and seaworthiness.

    My old 18' strip double, and my wife and her mom in our current Libra.

    Nanaimo.jpg

    Libra.jpg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    About tandem kayaks... few people enjoy them.. the paddlers need to paddle in sync
    Paddling a double kayak with a child is like sword fighting.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by BeerBrewer View Post
    I'm am thinking of building a tandem kayak and I have a couple questions.

    First I'm trying to decide between building a "Stitch and Glue (CLC Shearwater Double) and Strip build (Guillemot Double). I realized the strip build kayak is a lot more effort, but I just like the look of the built Kayak better.
    I've built both strip and S&G, including a CLC Triple. You can expect at least 120+ hours for the S&G and 350+ for strip and maybe a lot more for each. Finishes can range from "workboat" up to "yacht" and there a lot of sanding hours separating the two. Also, milling your own lumber will add a bit of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeerBrewer View Post
    aHas anyone build the Shearwater double? If so how does it handle in the water? To keep the cost down I was thinking of just purchasing the full sized plans and cutting out the plywood myself. Since the boat is 18.5' some of the plywood pieces will need two seems since the plywood is only 8'. Should I seem the pieces using butt or scarf seems? I know the factory kit comes with puzzle piece joints, which are probably better.
    Puzzle joint are better,... for the kit maker. Puzzle joints help kit makers ensure more precise and consistent customer builds but are weaker than scarf joints. Proper scarf joints are as strong as the wood itself and are fairly easy to master. If you have a local source for material and use no-name epoxy you can save quite a bit of dough. All-in I paid about 2/5's of the price of the kit.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeerBrewer View Post
    As for the Strip build kayak I have quite a few questions. Can I use deck 5/4" cedar from Home Depot to make the strips? I checked my local lumberyard and the longest 3/4" cedar I can find is 16', so that means the cedar strips will need to be spliced since the boat is 20'. Is this done on the kayak when laying the strips or is it done before they are installed? If this needs to be off the kayak that will add LOTS of time to the build.
    This is done on the kayak. Strips need only to be butted to each other with out any joining, unless the area has a pronounced bend. The FG skins on the inside and outside provide the strength. Use the best material you can afford and cry only once.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeerBrewer View Post
    I'm also guessing that I'll have to stagger the strip seams otherwise it may look odd. I also noticed that most builders staple the strips to the forms as they go along, then at some point they get pulled leaving holes in the strips. Is this noticeable in final finish? Meaning can you see the hole thru the finish of do they close up somehow?
    The hole are not really noticeable and the size can be mitigated by stapling through another sacrifice material. I like pallet strapping tape for this. Aligning the wide part of the staple leg with the grain will minimize tearout. Also, wetting and steaming the holes with an iron will mostly swell them shut.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeerBrewer View Post
    I also noticed a difference in the way builders use the "strong back". Some (Guilimont-Kayaks) make the forms slide over the strong back and support the strong-back with saw houses. Then he just flips the boat over when stripping the top, with the strong back still inside. I've seen others where the molds are attached to a much wider strong-back, almost like a 16' long 11" wide table. In this case it looks like the molds are literally screwed to the "table-like" strong-back, making it impossible to flip the boat over without unscrewing the forms. is this correct?
    Follow the directions of the plan author, they usually know the best way.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeerBrewer View Post
    Lastly does anyone have an opinion or experience on the two different build styles that they like to share?
    Both methods will build great boats. Strip will result in a more aesthetic boat but at triple the build hours. Your choice.



    Also. some respondents have said that tandems are not worth the trouble. I have umpteen boats and my Triple is the one that I use the most. YMMV.
    Last edited by Dusty Yevsky; 04-03-2018 at 11:15 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    One of the things which came out about the time that tandem kayaks started to gain popularity here in the USA (mid to late 1970s) was something called the "rest stroke". The main purpose was to eliminate the problem of paddles hitting each other due to close quarters and lack of synchronization between the paddlers. It's very simple, but makes quite a difference, and essentially it just means that you paddle at a fairly relaxed tempo (pace set by the bow paddler) and incorporate a short pause (1/2 second or so) at the end of the power portion of each stroke before heading for the other side. The stern paddler has no choice but to follow the lead of the bow paddler, who can't see him/her, but the rest stroke adds a fair amount of predictable rhythm and discipline to the process. Good paddling or any sort generally requires a certain amount of discipline, and this is simply one more example, geared specifically toward double kayaks. So the problem of hitting your partner's paddle, even in pretty close cockpit locations really isn't something to worry about. You simply need to learn how best to paddle such a boat and practice a bit.

    There are a few people though, who have a nasty tendency to stop paddling every time they see something new or get ready to say something. Being behind them and trying to paddle is extremely frustrating and totally destroys any hope of synchronized paddling. You really have no choice other than stopping off at the first deserted island you come to and leaving them there as you paddle away.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Share your frustration of the "sight seeing" paddler, but that would be my wife and I cannot leaver her on the island.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I have several relatives who are prone to this, especially when we paddle the big fur trade canoe with a group on board. They shall remain nameless and we'll just call them the Dotes sisters, Marsie and Dosie, as well as their small cousin Lamsey Divey. Sitting in the stern and trying to make up for an entire side of sightseeing slackers makes me want to bonk them on the head with my 6' ash guide paddle.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Rowing or paddling tandem ruins the fun for me. I like to pause when I feel like it, and meander about. I employ a different cadence from most, and they tend to get me all wet with catching crabs or otherwise scooping up water.

    If you choose to scarf strips on the bench it's most easily done by ripping out slightly oversized square or slightly rectangular stock and scarfing it. Once that's done thickness plane it to 3/4 or 7/8 then rip out the strips. Try for net vertical grain. Scarf joints can be cut by making a jig and sliding the end of the square or rectangular stock endwise into a miter saw set at 10 degrees. Perfect cuts every time, and quickly.

    I prefer B&C because I like to use TIII and produce good tight joinery. B&C also helps align the strips when glueing.
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 04-04-2018 at 01:48 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    TheraBand instead of staples. The disadvantage is that you have to wait for the glue to cure before adding the next strip.

    rowboat 016.jpg

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Listen to Todd.

    Strip is much more beautiful. Except when you don't care to sand out a lumpy resin application - then neither looks good. Generally lighter also.

    Butt joints on the boat are easy, make the joint between the forms, and use a piece of strip (covered in packing tape) clamped across the joint to get it level and not "peaked".

    I desperately wish my daughter and son in law had of chosen two singles rather than one double. Perhaps at least one of them would have been used in the last 2 years.
    A double gets heavier rapidly. More difficult to move around or put on the roof rack. It's also difficult enough to find space for a single rather than a 20' double (at least at my place). I'm really afraid Todd's advice to make a double longer will prove out right (even though the daughter and son in law are small people). This was a Guillemot Bootlegger.

    I don't like bead and cove - but to each his own.
    I'd never spend the ridiculous amount to buy pre made strips. Picking thru big box lumber still makes a great looking boat with a little care. Although I was tremendously envious about lumber Nick Schade provided in a picture from a specialty shop in the Northeast. http://www.kayakforum.com/cgi-bin/Building/index.cgi for a lot of information.

    And have fun no matter what!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    This is not the kayak for which you seek, but sort of similar. It is a CLC 12' Wood Duck hybrid. The kit was very accurately made, but the instructions had their snag areas; nothing large, but frustrating here and there, which is probably typical of any company since this was our first one. Expect to spend many, many hours at this, unless you have experience. We are pretty fair wood workers, but new to kayaks; we have about 500 man-hours in this sucker, and I don't think we could pare that down real far on the next one. It takes a LOT of time to get all those pieces fitting as tightly as we did (patting self on back....). Good luck with yours. johnKayak 1, varnishing.jpg

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Re the double kayak concept. Rent one first......they don't call them divorce boats for nothing.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I've pretty much decided to go with a strip built kayak because, I just love the way they look and also because I'll be working mostly alone. From what I've read about the S&G method it works best with another pair of hands. The Kayaks above are great looking by the way....Nice job by all!!

    I've been working with wood since I was a boy, but I've just never built a boat before. I've framed houses, build furniture, done a lot of finish carpentry and trim work. I've even restored at least three houses (all real handyman specials), doing all the work myself. I'm also an amateur wood carver and I am into Intarsia (making pictures with different types of wood pieces). If I switch back to a S&G Kayak design, I used to be a Draftsman so I'm sure that I have the skills to accurately draw out the panels onto the plywood. I'm an engineer, so I ask a lot of questions. I know sometimes I ask too many, but I just like to know what I'm getting into.

    As for time, I've got plenty, because I was laid off from work a couple years ago after working 32 years in Telecom. Apparently no one wants to hire an older Network Engineer. You know what they youth and skill beats age a treachery every time! No worries though, I was prepared for the layoff, so its all good. Now that I've finished all of the "honey do" projects around the house, I've got the time to build a strip build kayak. Frankly, I love the look of strip built kayaks so much that I don't care how long it will take to build.

    I guess that I should have mentioned in my earlier post that I've Kayaked quite a bit (always in those plastic kayaks). I'm no expert mind you, but I can get around in a Kayak. That said I am a very experienced canoer and I've owned my own 17' aluminum canoe since I was 15. My wife and I have already been in a double together a couple times. She found it more stable than our canoe. We enjoyed Kayaking together a lot and we didn't any paddling issues, she paddles when she wants to! A few years ago we were on big lake paddling in one of those tandem plastic kayaks when an older couple came up behind us in a much longer wooden kayak. Well they blew past us like we were standing still and I thought to my self, some day I'm going to get one of those! All that said, I do see the merits in Kayaking alone at times. So if all goes well with the tandem build I'll probably end up making myself a single, so I can go out and play in the surf!

    So I'm pretty sure that I'm going to build the Guillemot Double. I also just ordered the book recommended by Steve above, "The Strip-Built Sea Kayak by Nick Shade. I know I'm probably being way too anal about the strip staple holes showing through the finish, but I just can't help myself. So I've been down in my shop playing with ways to hide the staple holes in the strips as best I can. So far I've only used different types of wood filler that I'll cover with some Poly Urethane. When I get a chance, I'm going to try the Dusty Yevsky


    steam iron method mentioned above. I post some pics of the results if worthy.

    Lastly, I have to thank you all for your responses.

    Bob

  22. #22
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BeerBrewer View Post
    I've pretty much decided to go with a strip built kayak because, I just love the way they look and also because I'll be working mostly alone. From what I've read about the S&G method it works best with another pair of hands. The Kayaks above are great looking by the way....Nice job by all!!

    I've been working with wood since I was a boy, but I've just never built a boat before. I've framed houses, build furniture, done a lot of finish carpentry and trim work. I've even restored at least three houses (all real handyman specials), doing all the work myself. I'm also an amateur wood carver and I am into Intarsia (making pictures with different types of wood pieces). If I switch back to a S&G Kayak design, I used to be a Draftsman so I'm sure that I have the skills to accurately draw out the panels onto the plywood. I'm an engineer, so I ask a lot of questions. I know sometimes I ask too many, but I just like to know what I'm getting into.

    As for time, I've got plenty, because I was laid off from work a couple years ago after working 32 years in Telecom. Apparently no one wants to hire an older Network Engineer. You know what they youth and skill beats age a treachery every time! No worries though, I was prepared for the layoff, so its all good. Now that I've finished all of the "honey do" projects around the house, I've got the time to build a strip build kayak. Frankly, I love the look of strip built kayaks so much that I don't care how long it will take to build.

    I guess that I should have mentioned in my earlier post that I've Kayaked quite a bit (always in those plastic kayaks). I'm no expert mind you, but I can get around in a Kayak. That said I am a very experienced canoer and I've owned my own 17' aluminum canoe since I was 15. My wife and I have already been in a double together a couple times. She found it more stable than our canoe. We enjoyed Kayaking together a lot and we didn't any paddling issues, she paddles when she wants to! A few years ago we were on big lake paddling in one of those tandem plastic kayaks when an older couple came up behind us in a much longer wooden kayak. Well they blew past us like we were standing still and I thought to my self, some day I'm going to get one of those! All that said, I do see the merits in Kayaking alone at times. So if all goes well with the tandem build I'll probably end up making myself a single, so I can go out and play in the surf!

    So I'm pretty sure that I'm going to build the Guillemot Double. I also just ordered the book recommended by Steve above, "The Strip-Built Sea Kayak by Nick Shade. I know I'm probably being way too anal about the strip staple holes showing through the finish, but I just can't help myself. So I've been down in my shop playing with ways to hide the staple holes in the strips as best I can. So far I've only used different types of wood filler that I'll cover with some Poly Urethane. When I get a chance, I'm going to try the Dusty Yevsky


    steam iron method mentioned above. I post some pics of the results if worthy.

    Lastly, I have to thank you all for your responses.

    Bob
    I/ we, built 7 strip canoes I was going to build a strip kayak but I never did, we did build a couple CLC s&g kayaks before he was doing CNC kits.

    I don't think s&g requires two people for smaller crafts like canoes and kayaks doing never hurts to have extra hands.

    Strip built boats finished with varnish are beautiful but the slightest scratch makes them look like hell, keep that in mind when you use it LOL. Painted plywood is so much less stress inducing.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Bob,
    This is what staple holes look like. Nothing has been done to try to hide them. These were normal 9/16" Duo Fast chisel pointed staples, through the strips and into the edges of the forms. Ignore the row of nails next to them. This particular boat had ribs inside to stiffen the flat sides. They were nailed in from the outside and through the inner fiberglass before the boat's outside was glassed.

    In our typical stapled canoe/kayak construction the main staples would be into the forms and then a line of short-legged staples was usually placed straddling the strip joints about half way between the station forms, helping to keep the strips aligned to each other. There is usually enough color variation from spot to spot that it makes trying to fill the holes a waste of time. You would pretty much need to mix a new fill color for each hole. If they bug you and time isn't a huge factor, you might be better off going stapleless than trying to figure out how to hide the holes.

    One thing that helps, at least for these lines of helper staples between the forms, is to find the right staple gun. Some companies make little light duty staple guns at the bottom of their product selections. These shoot 3/16"-1/4" staples, but they have skinny round legs, like an office staple. We used to use one by Bostitch called the T-11 "Tack-ler". These little staples make such small holes that they pretty much disappear when the epoxy hits the wood. You still need the big staples at the forms and stems, but the lines between forms barely show up. If you do decide to staple, just make sure that if you get one of these light duty guns you buy a big batch of staples for it. They can be hard to find.

    It's interesting that in some sunlight situations, the clear glass fibers actually cast shadows on the wood, as you can see here. From other angles they didn't show at all. This was heavier glass cloth than would be used on canoes or kayaks though.

    staples.jpg

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I used nails instead of staples. (one boat)
    Just one hole instead of two like Todd's picture. Of course the nail hole is much bigger.
    What ever you do, don't get anal like I did and fill the holes with toothpicks. I needed two boxes of 500 double ended toothpicks, and used most of them.
    Its a dumb thing to do, because the toothpick shows the end grain and it gets dark similar to an epoxy filled hole. What a time consuming waste of time that was.

    I usually suggest to friends who want to make a strip boat, that they make a test piece. The 1st 4' of the boat. Takes very little wood, you will already have the forms, and it can be done fairly quickly. This will let you make your first mistakes, and perfect your strip fitting on something not the finished product. Sanding out the inside and outside, glassing, filling the weave, and varnishing can all be practiced for very little cost. And it can be done on the kitchen table (if SHMBO allows).
    At the end, you can mount it on a plaque and hang it like a moose head (dear head for those in texas).

    I've made 4 of them for different kinds of boats.
    Last edited by upchurchmr; 04-05-2018 at 07:30 PM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Aloha, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I used hot glue instead of nail/staples, so I didn't end up with any holes. I did need a lot of clamps (cheapo HF and some spendier Rocker bandy-clamps), and used tape to hold things in place in some places when there wasn't room for a clamp, while the glue cooled.

    After flipping the boat, I used a heat gun (carefully as to not burn/darken the wood) to gently melt the glue while wriggling the stations off. I've never build a boat with nails/staples so don't know how much time this cost or saved.

    I also made a test piece ahead, about 2' square, to practice everything through to epoxy and varnish. Even damaged it intentionally to practice a repair.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by BeerBrewer View Post
    the S&G method it works best with another pair of hands.
    Isn't that true for everything in life? During your strip-build you will encounter many times when you wish you were an octopus.

    Regardless, your strip-build will be a fulfilling adventure resulting in a thing of beauty and pride. Enjoy the build.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Mendocino, Ca.
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    There is a reason they call tandem kayaks divorce boats. I recommend two singles.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    2,710

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Hot water closed the holes a bit more. but like.. the most minor scratch on beautiful strip build will give the builder of it many sleepless nights. Do you wanna varnish and polish or go paddling? LOL Been there done that! thankfully chose the paddling
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Between Bourgeoisie and Proletariat
    Posts
    1,196

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Hey Bob, I built the Guillemot double, sorry i don't have any pics here.

    Having use both methods, strip first, I was startled at how quickly the S&G craft came together. But the strip build gives beautiful smooth lines.
    My experience with the Guillemot was i felt it needed more buoyancy at the front in a choppy sea. She looked gorgeous, and in glassy water was a dream to push along. But wet in a chop. She pierces the waves rather than rides over them.
    Also, when choppy a tandem kayak becomes more difficult to handle, especially when your co-kayaker is inexperienced. Bracing against capsize, and all that, is uncoordinated.
    I fit a rudder to it, and that fine pointed stern was unhelpful.

    I didn't have the trouble with the tandem set up people are describing, but i did end up using the kayak mostly by myself so a single may actually have been better.

    So I'd ask myself, what kind of kayaking will you do, are aesthetics a factor, how quickly do you want it built?


    Edit;
    If you choose the strip, i would say the bead and cove method is not necessary. On my second build i simply ran a plane down the edge to more or less match the angle of the installed strip on the boat. Also, i scarfed in place. fit the first length and then edge glue, and scarf glue, on the jig. The strips are really only to create space between the two layers of glass. They do some structural work of course, but the benefit of furniture quality joins can be over stated.
    Last edited by gypsie; 04-05-2018 at 10:30 PM.
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” - Charles Darwin (1809–1882)

    Nutshell Pram Build pictures ; https://photos.app.goo.gl/1GdBcckcgBAWsbVg1

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    8,781

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I've never build a boat with nails/staples so don't know how much time this cost or saved.
    Just for reference sake, we used to strip a canoe hull in three evenings, one for the bottom and one for each side. Staples were pulled the following evening and the outside was sanded smooth, ready to glass the next day. The hull and deck of a kayak would each take the same in terms of days, but fewer hours each day because there was less area to cover. With the right set-up, stripping can be done very quickly. We would clamp about six strips together, face to face using a bunch of spring clamps with the edges at the top and apply the glue (Weldwood) to all of them at once with a roller. Then they got stapled to the forms, one right after another. Clamp and roll glue on the next batch and repeat. We used square edged strips (bead and cove hadn't been developed yet) but there were only about four spots on an entire canoe or kayak that actually needed edge beveling. On the strip yak in post #10, I probably had a grand total of about 20 minutes of edge beveling time, using a Surform rasp by eye.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Tasmania, OZ
    Posts
    82

    Default

    I'm due to start on my "Hunter" build of a Bjorn Thomasson design, do yourself a favour and check him out. https://www.thomassondesign.com/en/catalog/my-kayaks

    I'll be painting, not interested in anything too prissy or something I'm afaid to mark.

    I cut my teeth on S&G kayaks, starting with the Cape Charles design that appeared in Woodenboat in about '95, my father later built a stretched version as a 24' double by simply adding 6' in the middle of the two bottom panels and fairing in the curve. This created a huge 2' long cargo space in midships, we'd go on trips for a week or more. There is no issue with hitting paddles in a "real" double, and man is she fast and stable, 4 sails, one in front and behind of each paddler. 3mm okoume ply glassed inside and out.

    Have a think about how you plan on using the kayak before choosing or even modifying a design. Day trips, overnight camping or epic voyages!

    Me 22 years ago working on kayak we sold kits for, photo was for the instruction manual..... I found a box of photos last week, wasnt I a cutie! Hahaha.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I thought an update was in order. I finally got my copy of Nick Schade's book ""The Strip-Built Sea Kayak" and I'm about half way thru it. OMG....that is such a great book. It explains so much! Today I ordered the Guillemot Double plans today. Now I'm beginning my search for wood!

    Thanks again!!

    Bob

  33. #33
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,004

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    You ought to watch Nick's videos about building online.
    Most everything he writes about is there in one form or another, and it is more updated to developments he has made over the years.

    Have you seen the kayak forum he sponsers? http://www.kayakforum.com/cgi-bin/Building/index.cgi

    laughingloon.com has articles on building which offer some different techniques. I've used both and pick and choose depending upon the problem at hand.
    I particularly use his bending strips with a heat gun. Quick, easy (after a few tries).

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    Others have said this already but I want to add my 2c. Paddling a double is clumsy on the water, plus you spend the entire time correcting the course and reacting to shifts in balance. Your mid section is in constant tension trying to keep the boat flat because of the movement of your companion.

    Build or buy 2 singles that fit your needs and have a good time.

    The bottom line is build what appeals to you the most.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    7,930

    Default Re: Kayak Building Questions

    I found wood for my stripper at Wood Steel & Glas in Madison, Connecticut. Not that long ago but I'm not finding their website.

    And ditto on the staple holes. Nobody but the builder even sees them. I didn't believe this until I took Nick's advice from his book and stopped worrying about them.

    The filled holes are here, but can you find them?

    7 hatch.jpg9 Dawson kayak.jpg
    -Dave

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