I am pondering a strip built kayak project.... What are you experienced guys thoughts about this type of yak and building one? larry
I would do a stitch and glue first if for anything the experience of working with molds and epoxy. Stitch and glue is what i would consider a self taught introductory course into boat building. It only requires the tools you probally already own.
Most folks don't want to paint a stripper. In order for that beautiful natural finish to be beautiful I'd definately build by another method first.
As for cost, the strips aren't that cheap. I was pricing some Alaskan cedar the other day at over a dollar a foot already milled.
Of course I know someone locally that goes to Lowes and buys cedar siding and cuts and mills herself. The problem she has is numerous trips to Lowes digging through the stacks of siding to get the good planks.
She builds some beautiful strippers.
You can buy one router bit that will cut the cove and the bead. Still requires a good tablesaw to cut the strips. The other thing is length of the strips.
If you are building a 15 foot yak, you want strips long enough for a run down the hull unless you just like scarfing and piecing.
The October issue of Woodenboat Magazine has a feature build that will last over several issues. It's a strip built skiff. If you plan to strip build I would follow that series. It shows mold setup and the stripping. Although these strips are about an 1-1/2" wide it's still the same method.
Alot of little tricks to strip building.
Beginners do start right out with strip builts but I wouldn't. Probally the main reason is 75% of the home built boat projects started are never completed.
Alot of that can be attributed to people that bite off more then they can chew and frustration.
I hang out on some boat building forums and see it all the time. People have never built a boat and jump right into building a 25 footer. They get overwhelmed with the magnitude of the project and it winds up getting shelved. It's something you have to immerse yourself in and accept the fact that everyday in the garage isn't going to be cush. I know that much.
I've spent 10 hours scraping uncured epoxy off a lamination before. THAT SUCKS !
Matt at Jemwatercraft.com is a stitch and glue designer of canoes and yaks.
He is however designing a strip built. He puts out a good plan with instruction.
if he designs a strip built you can believe it will be made understandable and for a novice as he can.
Alot of these strip builts require laying glass. If you've never laid glass using epoxy I'd hate to lay it for the first time on something I had that much time in.
With the stitch and glue method you can screw up just about every step of the way and correct it pretty easy as long as you built the thing straight to begin with. Every mistake drives the cost up but it's fixable.
Strip is a little different. Once it's glue it's there. It's going to be major to undo much of anything.
What alot of people getting into building do is build something simple first even though it's not exactly what they want. Either they decide they do like it and keep it to add to the collection or they donate the finished boat to a boyscout troop and go on to build what they wanted in the first place.
If you go the stitch and glue route you have darn near around the clock support on the web and most of the plans put out are high quality plans suited to first time builders. No lofting. It's all done for you.
If you can run a tape measure, a pencil, and a piece of toe mold used as a batten (springing a batten) you got it knocked.
I pretty much laid it all out in my building a pack canoe thread step by step. As step by step as you can get on the internet. Although I did use my experience to deviate from the construction plans and alter the plan you can still see how simple it really is to throw one of these things together.
The pack canoe could have been stitched together on my living room floor but I went the strongback route. If you go the strongback route you dont have twisting issues and are all but guaranteed a straight hull.
I had to modify the stations to build on a strongback though. Nothing but some additional math though.
With good plywood I can start from scratch and have a hull for that canoe in a weekend. Actually finishing the canoe would take quite a bit longer to get it to the level of finish I did. It's the finish work that is the killer if you want something of showroom quality. If you don't care what it looks like you can bang them out quick. Quick as the epoxy cures.
Thanks for the good info. How do these wood boats compare in durability, strength to the more common types like composite, or plastic? Is there a weight difference? I would assume the stitch and glue made with plywood would be somewhat stronger than strip built? But heavier? Do you have any idea how many board feet wouid be needed for a typical yak? Is there any kind of inspection or anything to get a home made boat registered? I'm also thinking about building a duck hunting boat... like I have all this extra time. ha thanks, larry