Building a Stitch & Glue Kayak: Video

This 14-part video walks you through every step in the construction of a wooden Chesapeake 16 kayak.  Handsome, straightforward to build, and with famously likable handling qualities on the water, 8000 of the award-winning Chesapeake-series kits have been built around the world, with countless more from plans.  Fifteen years later, the kits have many new tweaks. (For example, we use simpler puzzle joints rather than the scarf joints seen in this video.)

Filmed in 2001, the goal of the Chesapeake Light Craft team was to create a boatbuilding video of unprecedented clarity.  High production values and an emphasis on watchability made it very popular.  The droll sight gags and general levity of the piece were deliberate.  It seems to work;  prior to 2001, boatbuilding videos specialized in somnolence, taciturnity, and cheap-wedding-video visuals. You can purchase a copy of the DVD here.

Here's the whole 60-minute video, below, or scroll down to watch it in smaller chunks:

Part 1: An introduction to the Chesapeake 16 kayak.

Part 2: John Harris outlines the history and basics of stitch-and-glue boatbuilding.


Part 3:  The first steps in assembly.


Part 4: The "stitching" part of "stitch and glue" boatbuilding.


Part 5:  The Chesapeake 16 kayak is epoxied together.

Part 6:  S
moothing and prepping for fiberglass.

Part 7:  
The kayak's hull is sheathed in fiberglass.

Part 8:  
In this segment, the Chesapeake 16 kayak gets a deck.


Part 9:  The kayak's deck is trimmed and sheathed in fiberglass.

Part 10:  
John fits and installs the cockpit coaming and hatches.

Part 11: Hatch covers are fabricated for the Chesapeake 16 kayak.

Part 12:  W
e sand our kayak and ready it for varnish.

Part 13:  
In this segment, we learn to varnish like professional boatbuilders.

Part 14 - Building a Stitch-and-Glue CLC Kayak