Kayak

Kayak

I am building a strip-built wooden sea kayak in Pittsburgh and documenting the process. Here are the basic steps greatly simplified:

  1. Buy a set of kayak plans.
  2. Cutout out the cross-section shapes of the kayak from the plans (called stations.)
  3. Glue these to plywood and cut out the shapes of the kayak.
  4. Mount the kayak stations on a spine (called a strongback) and align them to make sure the shape will be smooth.
  5. Mill or buy strips of wood approximately 1/4″ x 3/4″.
  6. Start attaching the strips to the hull portion of the kayak. They are attached to the stations either by staples or hot-glue (I am using hot-glue) and to each other with wood glue.
  7. Cover the entire hull of the kayak.
  8. Do the same with the deck of the kayak, but be sure not to glue it to the hull.
  9. Cut out the kayak cockpit opening and form the kayak coaming.
  10. Sand the hull and deck of the kayak until smooth.
  11. Remove the deck from the kayak stations.
  12. Sand the interior of both deck and hull.
  13. Fiberglass both the interior and exterior of both deck and hull of the kayak.
  14. Join deck and hull with fiberglass tape.
  15. Sand
  16. Varnish
  17. Outfit with seat, rudder (optional,) hatches, etc.
  18. Paddle away!

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