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Thread: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Scottsville, Virginia
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    434

    Default Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    I'm more familiar with boat projects that take years to complete. So going from a pile of wood and fabric to a completed hull, ready for paint and trim, was kind of baffling.

    My wife wanted something she could manage on her own, so I thought one of Dave Gentry's skin-on-frame open kayaks would be just the ticket. Dave happens to live a few miles up the road from us, so brought a couple of his prototypes over to the local pond for her to try out. The Chuckanut 12s was a perfect fit ("s" for slim or small or supremo). Dave offered to show me how he builds these, so we could build this one together.

    More details here than I can put in these short posts:

    Two Day Boat Build



    Day 1

    I got to Dave's shop on Saturday around 10:30am. He had already cut out the patterns and most of the stringers by then.






    We quickly set up a 2z4 as a strong back, clamped down a keel plank, and maked off the stations.
    Then clamp and screwed some brackets in place to hold the frames, and we were off to the races.






    Dave had modified every step to make if faster, cheaper, and easier. We dry fit everything with stainless steel screws from the hardware store.
    Then backed out the screws, squirted in some thickened epoxy, and screwed everything tight again.
















    By dinnertime, we had a completed frame done, and a logical break while the glue to set up overnight.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Scottsville, Virginia
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    434

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    Day 2


    On Sunday, I rolled up again late morning and we got started around 11am.
    While the hull warmed in the sun to finish curing the epoxy, we cut some foam insulation sheets with razor blades and stacked those in the bow ends.
    Cheap but effective floatation.

    Then moved back into the shade of the shop for skinning.
















    Polyester is super hard to find right now, so this boat is skinned with nylon. Nylon absorbs water, and swells and relaxes when it does, so we soaked the fabric first and put it on wet.
    We spritzed it with water to keep it damp while wresting it in place.






    Dave uses stainless steel staples to "stitch" the fabric to the frame, so this goes really quickly. Just takes a lot of strong hands to stretch it tight and drive the staples.

    Once the bottom was covered, we trimmed the excess fabric, flipped it over, and singed the edges to keep it from unraveling.








  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Scottsville, Virginia
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    434

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    Day 2 Continued








    Next was covering the deck, same way. After that, we ran a heat gun over the whole thing to dry it out. The heat gets a little shrinkage – not like polyester, but but enough to pull out a few dimples.


    And then it was done before dark on the second day! The whole boat weighs 25 pounds.

    Next up is sealing the fabric with paint, and adding cockpit trim and a rub rail. That's it.















  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Scottsville, Virginia
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    434

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    This is what a finished boat looks like, the one we tried out beforehand.








  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Scottsville, Virginia
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    And here's is some video from that day on the pond. Dave is there with his daughter in the new prototype of the Indian Creek Motor Canoe.

    The boat is driven by cheapie 12v trolling motor and a little battery the size of a lunch box. Dave covered the motor with a wood veneer cowling.




  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Melb, Vic, Aus
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    Jeez... took your time. lovely, thanks for posting

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    23,693

    Default

    Nice!

    I will build a Gentry yak someday!

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    philadelphia
    Posts
    492

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    Very nice Barry. I’ve been pondering a skin on frame, and this provides a lot of encouragement. I hope to see the boat some day.

    Andy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    21,979

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Nice!

    I will build a Gentry yak someday!

    Kevin

    I think I’ll build two. Loved the video.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    23,433

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    Awesome! Dave is just the coolest guy, and that boat looks sweet.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Wellington, NZ
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    That looks awesome!
    I'm going to have to build another kayak for my daughter, her current one has basically run out of freeboard.
    This (or something like it) looks just the ticket.
    I can't bring myself to buy one of those plastic abominations.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,422

    Default Re: Two Day Boat Build Chuckanut 12s Skin-on-Frame

    Nice. The fun-to-work ratio is off the charts for these little boats. You mentioned finishing with paint, but what paint works on nylon? I thought thick goops worked into the fabric were necessary.
    -Dave

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