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Thread: Kayak building kits...any suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Default Kayak building kits...any suggestions?

    I'm looking for a winter project and thinking about building a wooden kayak. Has anyone done this, and do you have suggestions on kits to use or plans that would be good for an amateur woodworker. What companies are good for this type of project? Thanks!

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    My dad built this plywood stitch & glue type: http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/747634904.html

    He's built several simple boats as winter time projects, but this was his first kayak. If you have any questions about it PM me and I'll give you his phone #. He likes to talk about it.

  3. #3
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    CLC is a good source for boat kits and plans. Shipping the materials from the east coast could be costly.

    Pygmy is a good west coast option for kits.

    Both companies have great boats. Pygmy boats appear to be more recreational in nature. CLC boats appear to be for the more advanced paddler, but still have good recreational use.

    Bear Mountain is another option for kits, but I recommend them for their knowledge of the process. Ted Moore's book "Kayaks You Can Build" is a wealth of knowledge on how to build three different plywood kits.

    CLC has a great on-line help section full of construction tips.

    If you go with the plans only option you can obtain the correct plywood/wood locally from Hardware Specalities, and order epoxy from RAKA or US Composites. This will save money, but will cost time due to the cutting and fitting of the wood pieces. Most kits are CNC routed so they are precise in thier fit out of the box. Cutting and fitting your own boat has a certain allure to it, that has to be considered.

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    Default I'd check these guys out too...

    I'v been looking at this company's plans for a while. Seems like they have good plans and great support/knowledge with a forum once you start.

    http://www.bateau.com/proddetail.php?prod=SK17

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    You'll probably get killed on shipping the kits to AK, so I'd consider getting sheet ply and cutting out the parts yourself. Lofting and cutting isn't too tough. The question is strip built or stich and glue? Stich and glue are pretty simple to build, no complex jigs and minimal tools. I'd recomend getting a copy of The Kayak Shop, it covers constructing stich and glue kayaks, and has enough information to build 3 of them. I'd like to bang out a couple this winter, but have a feeling I'll be short on time, again.

    Strip built boats are beautiful, a bit more work, but worth the effort if you have a decent shop and tools.

    I forgot to add, it can be tough finding high quality thin marine ply in AK, so you might have to ship up a flat from say Edensaw in Washington. Check with Skiffkits in Anchorage for System III epoxy.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I forgot to add, it can be tough finding high quality thin marine ply in AK, so you might have to ship up a flat from say Edensaw in Washington.
    Finding thin high quality BS1088 standard marine Okoume plywood in Anchorage is one of the easiest things to do. Maybe 20 years ago it was hard, but not in the last 10 to 15 years.

    Call Hardware Specialties at 563 1312 and order what you want from 4mm thick up to what ever monster thicknes you may need (40mm?). You will have to pay a deposit (over the phone on a card is OK). Wait 2 weeks and they will call you when it is in on their twice a month load from the States. You don't pay for shipping since it is in their overhead costs already.

    Go to the shop at 424 West 54th Avenue (off Arctic) and finish paying for your materials and the guys in the shop will help you load it on your truck.

    If that is "tough" I would hate to think what you consider "easy".

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