Saturday, June 03, 2006

Inspirational Boat Building

Check out these boats! A fellow builder posted a link to his site on the Kayak Builders BB. Here is his post:

"I built two SK S&G kayaks for a total cost of around $400. I built them using plans ordered from Sea Kayaker magazine ($6), 1/8" luan (had to fill in voids), fiberglass cloth from ebay (4 oz) and epoxy from Raka. The $400 includes everything else I needed to build them....Sea Dog footbraces, seat foam, rigging cord, work table, sandpaper, brushes, polyurethane, stain, etc. They came in at 41 lbs each. "

You can click on the pic to go straight to his picture gallery of the building process.

I think stuff like this is cool because it shows almost anyone, with very little space, time, and money, can build a boat. It takes a little focus, and sometimes, some creative financing. Ebay is a great place to find inexpensive materials.

US Composites appears to be the best source for resin and fiberglass. Plywood is always the tricky part. This builder bought cheaper wood and filled the voids. You can do this by shining a light behind the panels in a dark room and circling the voids with a pencil. Or, you could save the work and find a source for marine grade and pay the extra $20-30 bucks a sheet.

This builder bought his plans from SeaKayaker Magazine. They are a reprint of an article from years ago. I also ordered these but elected to build a similar boat from It is called the Point Bennet. I found instructions a little easier to follow and Duane, the designer, has been supportive. The Point Bennet plans are free. Free is good.

You can build a better boat than you can buy. It will come out lighter, sometimes stronger, customized to you, and less expensive. The major factor that should influence your decision to build one is whether you have the time and the patience to build one. Your first one is slow because you have to take the time to learn. Read books and familiarize yourself with the process. Get to know other builders. Learn from our experiences. Just get started, be patient, and have fun.

In the words of Gerald Hopkins, after a stressful afternoon of deck attatchment, "It's not like were building a piano, Dude! Relax. Sh*ts gonna happen. Grab a beer and let's get back to it".

Thats wisdom from one of the world's great woodworkers.

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