Strip built kayak

Discussion in 'Kayaker and Canoe Fishing' started by IA Flatcatter, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. IA Flatcatter

    IA Flatcatter New Member

    Messages:
    122
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    SE IA. on the skunk river
    I am pondering a strip built kayak project.... What are you experienced guys thoughts about this type of yak and building one?
    larry
     
  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

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    9,407
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    Four Oaks, NC
    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 !

    Just my two cents.
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    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.
     
  4. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    I've got a book somewhere around here that details the strip built canoe and kayaks.

    It's alot of presision just to build the jig required for one.

    Mark, I ordered the plans for a GF16:wink:
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I thought you got out of the boat owning business and now you want to jump back in with both feet and both hands.:eek:oooh:
    You never cease to amaze me.

    I got the plans for the OD18 if you want to build that one. Perfect for the 60.
    Darn near forgot. I got the plans for the GF18 too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
  6. McDreamy

    McDreamy New Member

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    279
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    nc
    mark, my father has a wood shop and all we mess with is cedar we even cut our own lumber
     
  7. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    Yeah, I amaze me too:smile2:

    I guess I got homesick for the water and fishing poles.

    Went out with a guy this afternoon and set a spot net and 7 crab pots. Got over 100 spots and checked 3 pots on the way in and got 1/2 a 5 gallon bucket of blue crabs.

    They's covered in old bay and cooling off as I type:wink:

    Fish fry Saturday:cool2:
     
  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

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    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I bet you are wanting to do some shrimping:wink:
    Better watch the net talk around here. Folks get their panties all in a wad because it aint sporting and all.
     
  9. IA Flatcatter

    IA Flatcatter New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    SE IA. on the skunk river
    Mark,

    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
     
  10. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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  11. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    State:
    Virginia
    Larry, I definitely plan on building a strip-built kayak someday...whenever I have the time.

    Someone cartopped a strip-built kayak past my house a few weeks ago; when I saw it, I could not believe how beautiful it was.

    I purchased several books on the subject (kayaks and canoes), and have checked out the Internet helps out there. Strip building is not for the faint-of-heart, but it truly makes a beautiful and unique craft. True, it can be expensive, but the end result is a work of art. In fact, I think this is the biggest problem with strip-builts: who wants to wet the hull of a beautiful boat like this?

    Don't underestimate the strength of these hulls. The concept eludes most people (they just don't get it). It seems too lightweight and flimsy to be strong. Like the concept of a kayak's secondary stability lacks meaning until you've spilled a few times, you learn the strength of strip building only after studying the engineering behind it for a while.
     
  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    As far as durability, certainly they are stronger then a glass boat. As far as aluminum, they are quieter and more puncture resistant.

    These stitch and glues are light and economical. My next build is a cold molded monoque construction. 20 foot center console. With a 90 horse 4 stroke and 5 adults onboard 42 MPH.
    Find that at a dealership. As far as strength, this boat has a real solid wood keel. Find that at a dealership.

    Alot of engineering goes into stitch and glue. Alot of testing.
    I'll pit a stitch and glue against anything made in a factory any day of the week for strength, weight, and economy.

    As far as registering you'll have to contact your state about that.
    In NC all I have to do is apply for a title.
    If you build to sell the vessel is required to be Coastguard approved. Hull plate with maximum number of occupants, weight, and HP.

    Those last canoes I built are stitch and glue. They aren't categoried as a wood boat. It is composite construction. The plywood is just a mold. A sacrificial mold. Meaning it is lost in the boat construction. You can't retrieve it and reuse it.

    These home built boats from professional plans are better then anything you can buy from a manufacturer. I've messed around with too many boats, owned too many boats, and built boats to know that.
    You build a couple and you'll see what I'm talking about. They are tanks but lightweight tanks. Alot of materials engineering goes into them.
     
  13. IA Flatcatter

    IA Flatcatter New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    SE IA. on the skunk river
    Joel, I have to admit that the looks of the strip built kayaks and canoes is what first got my attention! and you are right, the first scratch would hurt a lot...
    Would a canoe be a lot easier to build?
    I don't doubt the enginering, I still shake my head when we set those i joists for a new house, A strip of 1/2" osb on edge is so much stronger than a 2X10 it's all in the enginering...
    I am sure I can handle the wood aspect of building one of these watercrafts, like Mark says the epoxy, coating stuff is what I lack the knowledge on. Does knowing how to glue laminate on cabinets and counters help?:roll_eyes:
    thanks for all the info.
    larry
     
  14. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The learning curve with epoxy isn't that big of a deal with some reading and video viewing on the interent.
    You have pumps on your jug.
    2 pumps of resin, 1 pump of hardener. No curve there.

    Your curve for the most part is developing your own recipes and figuring out your timing.
    Epoxy isn't just a coating, it's everything from glue, to a fairing compound, to laminating glass.
    Some things I mix in epoxy building boats.
    Micro balloons, fumed silica, graphite powder, wood, flower, and milled fiberglass strands.
    That is where your recipes come in.

    Timing is where the largest part of the curve is at. Learning your working times at different ambient air temperatures.
    Biggest thing is mix small batches and get those small batches out of the mixing pot and spread onto a board, the boat, or something.
    Mixed and contained epoxy kicks faster. Get it spread out so it isn't generating heat.
    I also use a refrigerator or ice cooler to place unmixed batches prior to mixing.
    Takes longer for the mixed epoxy to overcome the coolness with it's heat generartion.

    That is the curve. Learning the little tricks. I don't know them all and constantly play around while building with developing new techniques for me.

    If you got sense enough to lay a boat out on plywood using blueprints, epoxy aint that big a deal.