Stage 1 of the Kayak build: the deck frame

The build started with making the bow and stern pieces cut out of plywood. A fellow student had made an extra set, so lucky me, all I had to do was put urethane on them, and do some sanding so the pieces fit together. When those were dry, we found a perfect piece of yellow Cedar 14’ long, and cut it in two to make the thwarts. Cory and JP took me out on water and watched me fumble around in a couple of different boat types, including baidarka and Strider. We figured the Strider type boat was a better fit for me. Corey determined where and how big the cockpit should be, based on my weight, athletic ability, and the planned use of the boat. We clamped the bow ends of the gunwales into a jig to put a slight upward curve into them. We used a router to put tenons for the ribs every 4 inches. We attached the thwarts to the bow and stern pieces, and compressed the thwarts to the width appropriate for me, and held it in place with a strap. Then I cut the deck pieces to fit the width of the frame, drilled holes, put in dowels to hold their position, and tied them in with sinew (waxed nylon).


Above: stern


Above: bow, showing the slight rise to the front tip.