Sunday, July 19, 2009

A New Project

Here is the beginning - we're going to build two skin-on-frame kayaks based on Thomas Yost's Sea Tour 15R design with our own alterations. I've posted about this project earlier in this post. Well, we've finally gotten started. The picture above shows a lot, actually. There is this nice, very expensive sheet of 1/2" thick Occume Plywood. Good stuff, but at $145 a sheet, it had better be. For those of us not blessed to be near a supplier of marine-grade plywood, go to your local lumber yard and ask questions. We were able to buy this material through our local lumber yard for a minimal premium over what I could buy from Boulter Plywood and far cheaper than going to get it or having it shipped here.

On the plywood are some patterns that were laid out in the CAD system and printed out at my local office supply store. The patterns were laminated to some cardboard and cut out. There are patterns for both the kayak frames and stations that hold frames one and six to the strongback. Also, are two aluminum seat-post clamps that we intend to use for some home-made adjustable foot braces. Above the patterns and foot braces are a strongback made by screwing together two 2x4's . On the top of the picture is some beautiful 16' long select White Pine that has been
planed to 3/4" thick and cut into 1" and 1-1/2" wide stringers. What's lacking here, and I don't understand why, particularly is a form for the stem and stern. It would seem to me that these patterns could have easily been defined, but Thomas Yost leaves this bit of detail out and lets the builder define the shapes of their stem and stern.

I'm sure some of you are rolling your eyes at the choice of White Pine for stringers. It has some good and bad points. The good: it's inexpensive, relatively light-weight and relatively strong. The bad: it dents relatively easily, can bleed pitch and isn't particularly rot resistant. For a small light boat that will not "live" in the water, I'm not particularly concerned about rot resistance. If I was, I would choose Western Red Cedar, but as I noted, my friend who I'm helping here, is sensitive to Cedar dust.

Some of the variances that we are going to have from Mr. Yost's design include the addition of an access hatch on the back of the boat. We're thinking of something like the lid of a Shaker box that will be held closed with some straps and a buckle. Underneath the access hatch will be some slats to act as a floor in this area. Rather than use a plywood coaming, we're going to laminate several thicknesses of stock. Also, we plan to use a Dacron skin instead of PVC for a lighter boat.

With our prototype model to guide us, we're getting started.

Look for more updates to come in fits and starts as we progress.

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