Is there such a thing?
Is there such a thing?
The Greenland Kayak is probably the simplest.
It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.
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What you actually want is a good kayak--not just an easy to build one. There are some stitch and glue designs that will probably give you the most boat for the least effort--and some of them are very good, but some are dreadful. Pygmy and/or CLC both have a variety of models that are suitable for someone without any woodworking experience to build.
Skin-on-frame is the most fun and least expensive way to build a kayak, though it does take a little more woodworking skill--which might actually be part of the fun. Cedar strippers are going to take at least double or triple the time as these other styles of building, and they involve making comparatively huge amounts of sawdust, so unless you just really, really like that stripey look, that would be my last recommendation.
I've built a couple dozen kayaks in all three of these methods plus conventional fiberglass methods. A Pygmy Coho is my first choice for a very useful boat for not too much money or time, but a skin-on-frame baidarka built anthropometrically to exactly fit you yourself is the most rewarding of all.
Don't be swayed by over-simplified boats like the Six-Hour Canoe if you really want to actually paddle distances or in open water. A good, efficient kayak that is enjoyable to paddle all day long needs a more sophisticated hullshape than "easy to build" offers.
Quite a few single chine vee bottom stitch and glue plywood kayaks that are as easy as it gets.
I'm a canoe guy, and I'm sure a lot depends on the particular performance specs you are looking for in a boat, but I am have a great time building a stitch and glue kayak (CLC Mill Creek) for my wife.
"Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau
Skin on frame looks pretty simple and very quick. Some of the more simple designs are based on marine ply cross-sections with light-weight stringers. I'm working on some designs that will be similar to those on Thomas Yost's Website (www.yostwerks.com) More complex designs can be found in books by Cunningham, Morris and Starr. These require a bit more work in the preparation of the forms for steam bending (depending on whose method you may use.) All in all, beautiful fast and well-performing craft.
The Greenland and Aleut style boats have a long history and are notable for their performance. I'd start with those designs. As an instructor teaching others to build strip boats, that is a relatively long process - "easy" is a relative description Tack and tape (like Fitz is working) on can be pretty simple, too.
"Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy."
- Bill Mason
But you have to have a program to get a boat that fits you and the type of kayaking you intend to do.
How big are you?
How big are your feet ( this is very important)?
What kind of kayak venues will be on your short list?
Have you any experience and if so how much?
Bear in mind, plywood kayaks have definite benefits but you can put yourself in a short rotomolded plastic kayak for a lot less than it takes to build one from plywood.
If cost is a factor you can build a skin on frame kayak for very little but you will have to steer clear of paddling venues with a lot of rocks and snags.
Last edited by Cuyahoga Chuck; 04-26-2009 at 07:53 PM.
Dick Newick has a plywood kayak with deck logs and chine logs that have the same angle, it's dead simple to build, actually easier than stitch and glue, and a great boat for a fun kayak. The plans are not listed on his site, I know what I paid for mine but it was 8 years ago and it was well below $50. He was an avid kayaker before he became involved in multihulls.
Call him http://www.dicknewick.com/index.html
I built a Pygmy when I was in grade 10. No one helped me at all. Took about 160 hours, and I paddled it around VI two years later. Cost me $400 to build in 1988.
I wanted to build a Y-Flyer, but couldn't afford the wood...so I built the Pygmy.
I'll second Pygmy kits (built two). Straightforward, good instructions, good designs. Be prepared for sticker shock, unless you have priced okume plywood recently. The stuff has gotten really expensive, and it is the major expense of a kit.
OTOH, if you want more of a project, some of Nick Schade designs are nice, but you will have to build from scratch.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
I'm 6'1 190lbs size 11 shoes as for venues this would really be for the quite tame Chattahoochee river than runs by my back door. And yes I know I could easily pick up a used plastic boat but I was kind of looking for a companion to this summers planned sailing canoe.
For relaxed daytrip paddling on calm water you'll likely be happiest with a fairly beamy design, even flat bottom such as the Mill Creek line. Is there any current in the river? A comfortable kayak speed isn't much more than walking speed so going against any current will really slow you down.
Here's CLC's Chesapeake 17
Model:Length:Hull Weight:Beam:Max Payload:Cockpit Size:Paddler Weight:Knee Height:Max. Men's Shoe Size:Chesapeake 1717' 0"45 lbs.24 in.325 lbs.31" x 17"180 - 250 lbs.12"14
And the shorter, even beamier Mill Creek line:
I'd imagine the Mill Creek boats won't paddle as well, but will be extremely stable - good for fishing, you can even sail them. They are flat bottom but double chined:
Jim Michalak's Toto, although called a double paddle canoe is about as simple as you can get. However, unless you are up around BUll Sluice or one of the other lakes I don't believe I would use it on the hooch.
What James said.
And I, too, am a big fan of the SOF boat. Tom Yost's wooden framed non-traditional models go together the quickest and easiest, as CanoeEz may have mentioned:
Also, perhaps you should check out the Kayak Builder's forum:
Kayaks are good.
This build blog of the CLC Wood Duck might prove helpful.
Thanks guys, you've proven again why this forum is such a valuable resource.
Concerning the Toto: a couple folks in my boating group have owned a Toto. They've been happy with the design, but the use is limited by low freeboard combined with open cockpit. Twere me, I'd go SOF. I hear nothing but good about how they perform, and I love their prehistoric look, and spare beauty. It appears, though, as if you may have decided on a direction. Care to share?
Started work on a Yostwerks SOF Saturday. See Dgentry's post for the link. As laid out on the Yost web page, the wooden frame boats look very straight-forward and pretty simple. "traditional" frames appear to be more work.
In my case, the primary user is 4'8" and 75 pounds. Time for the kid to learn the joy of making sawdust.
My boats: http://pwp.att.net/p/s/community.dll...pid=383370&ck=
Paul Fisher's kayaks don't get much ink around here but he has some quite eye catching designs:
One of the great divides in kayak paddling is the deep water rescue question.
The question is: "What do I do when it capsizes?".
And two of the answers are:
1. - I roll it.
2. - I swim to the edge.
Which of these answers you choose has a huge impact on the choice of suitable boat.
Free and simple Kayak plan can had here.. http://www.spirainternational.com/hp_hunt.html
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