Ready to give up for the season

I'm building a SW sport hybrid. I am just about ready to give up for the season. I have read the manual again and again and again. I don't feel comfortable with the info it is giving me. Does anyone have any suggestions on a book or video?  I really need more info before even considering to proceed any further.

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RE: Ready to give up for the season

If you live in or near the Western NY area and are looking for a SW sport hybrid kit let me know. I am not enjoying this build and don't want to deal with this anymore. It includes the complete kit, hand saws, varnish and everything needed to complete this build. Willing to let go cheap.

RE: Ready to give up for the season

I'm sorry you are feeling discouraged about your build.  What stage are you at?  You can ask specific questions about any of the phases of building on this forum and get lots of great input.

There are some excellent books and videos of different parts of the process if you are interested.  CLC has several for sale on their web site (search books and DVDs, and I also found several at my local library.

Kayaks You Can Build by Ted Moores is excellent for the stitch and glue process, great photos and tips.  (

Building Strip Planked Boats by Nick Schade is great for strip built boats (the deck of a hybrid) (

Pygmy boats has a great series of online videos for the stitch and glue part of the process (search YouTube videos for Pygmy Boats). 

There are also lots of builder's blogs with photos of the process that I found invaluable during my first build.  Here's a nice complete build log wiht photos for a Shearwater Hybrid:  If you go back through the blog you'll see all the steps from beginning to end. 

Hope you find these helpful.  I sometimes took a break from building each of my boats if I was unsure of what to do next or feeling unmotivated for some reason - a few weeks or months off won't hurt the boat.


RE: Ready to give up for the season


What's the problem? Have you actually started building itor are you stuck in the before-the-build stage? It may look daunting, but it's lots of little tasks done end to end. You don't have to know how to do it all, just the first task. It's how Tarzan eats an elephant - one bite at a time.

So let us know what the roadblock is. Chances are, someone out here will know a way around it. Or see if you can get in touch with a local paddling organization. Dan Thaler (professional award-winning builder of strip yaks) posts here pretty often and he's associated with the Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club. If nothing else, he/they may be able to point you towards someone in your area who can help. Or maybe you could arrange a vist to one of their members' shops.

Or call the CLC tech support line with your problem.

Remember, you're not alone, lots of people have done it and you don't have to build an award-winning boat on your first try. We're pulling for you, just let use help.



RE: Ready to give up for the season

I too would encourage you to not give up. You could continue, make every mistake in the book, end up with a heavy kayak and as ugly as sin, but it would float and you could get out there and have fun paddling it. Or you could go slow, and make it a thing of beauty. Most likely, it would be something in the middle. If it's first time around, every step will feel a bit daunting when you start it, and after that step is out of the way, you will have confidence that it will be even easier next time around. If you continue and get it built, you will be able to look back with pride knowing that you built it with your own two hands. You will also be able to look back to when you were asking questions instead of answering them on the forum!

As Kathy and Laszlo asked, what stage are you at and what is the roadblock? If you are staring at the manual, the first step is to get started. If you are somewhere in the middle and stuck on a particular stage, just ask and there will be many others that have been there before and made all the mistakes themselves... and ended up with a very useable boat and then went on to build even better ones!


RE: Ready to give up for the season

Hi all. Thanks for the support but as you can tell I am beyond flustered! I am stuck at the stage of starting to build the strip deck. I find the manual useless at this point. It is creating more questions in my head than it is answering.  To start, I have no idea how to make the scarf joint.  "These foundation strips should be glued to length using an 8:1 scarf joint, just taper cut into matching strip".  I have no idea what this means!?!  2- Glue with thickened epoxy. - Thickened with what - wood flour or silica?  Two methods of starting the strips are mentioned- do I want to start from the center and work out or from the edge and work in?   How do you remove the cock pit aporn from it form (it is in there really tight)?  Do you use brad nails or staples and then how do you remove them without damaging the cedar?   It seems like I have a boat load of questions and very few answers.  I bought this kit to have some fun and build a beautiful yak.  At this point this is anything but fun. I'm about ready to have a viking funeral. 

RE: Ready to give up for the season

Don't give up!!! You can do it.  Take a little break,  Realize there are many ways to do then next steps and they all work.  If you do some You Tube searching on the topics you have mentioned, you'll get a sample.  Then take a little time to think about the way that makes the most sense for you. As far as the deck, the order you lay the strips down depends on what pattern you want to end up with, so give that some thought.  There are simple and complex patterns, all depends on what you want to do. 

There are YouTube videos on making scarf joints as well as online drawings/photos, and of course lots of people on this forum can walk you through it (thicken the epoxy with wood flour to peanut butter consistency). 

Guillemont Kayaks has some great videos on their You Tube series on doing strip built boats that I've watched many times.  Here's the one on how they do the deck:  Of course you may want to lay the strips down in a different order to suit the pattern you'd like.  You can use staples (and they have a video on how to pull them too) or build staple-less which is a bit more challenging. 

Don't worry about feeling flustered, there are just so many ways you can go with the deck and different methods, I understand why you could get confused and flustered.  Just give it a little time to think through the possibilties and then give it a try. 

RE: Ready to give up for the season


A scarf joint is simply  2 pieces of wood that are tapered at the ends and then overlapped where they're glued together. 8:1 means that the length of the taper is 8 times the thickness of the wood. That is, if you are scarfing 1 inch thick wood, the tapered area needs to be 8 inches from the thin end to the fat end, 1/2 inch wood 4 inches, 3mm wood 24 mm (just under an inch). The purpose is to provide more bonding area for the glue without increasing the thickness of the wood. You can use saws, planes, sanders, etc. to make the scarfs. Anything that removes wood is fine. Use whatever you find easiest to control. Practice on scrap wood until you feel ready to tackle the good stuff.


Thicken your epoxy with wood flour. Some people use silica, but that makes the cured glue rock hard and difficult to sand. It also lightens the color of the glue which may or may not affect the looks of the boat. Mix your epoxy and hardener, then add the wood flour until the mix has a consistency of mayonnaise or mustard. That's your glue.

Only mix small amounts of glue at a time  - 1.5 to 3 ounces of epoxy/hardener - until you get used to using it. That way if anything goes wrong you won't have wasted much. Once you mix it you can't store it, so have all your wood pieces ready to glue before you mix. Spend some time making the scarfs, then set up a gluing assembly line. Some builders use waterproof carpenter's glue (Titebond III, etc.) to avoid the mixing, cure times andpot life issues, but if you go that way you'll have to cut perfect scarfs. That's because while thickened epocy will fill gaps, white glue won't.

Finally, go to the top of the page, click on tips for boatbuilders and browse the articles and videos.

Good luck,



RE: Ready to give up for the season

Don't give up.  Go slow, maybe take until next late spring to get it done. 

On steps that seem daunting - read posts, watch videos, experiment on scraps.- be patient.

You will find you can master steps that just one week earlier seemed like a mountain.  Be patient and go by trial and error, observe what works and shift your technique if you to.

You will grow along with boat, and end up proud.



RE: Ready to give up for the season

I'm not in western NY, but would be happy to help any way I can. It's all doable. My last boat, a Great Auk 14, pissed me off so much I took a 3 month break. We all go through this. 

Feel free to call or email me 914-715-7245 danielthaler at gmail dot com

And! Don't forget the great folks at CLC. They have held my hand through many a dire moment

RE: Ready to give up for the season

I think you may be trying to hard to find "the" answer when the fact is, there are many ways to do these steps, all of which yield good results. Try not to overthink it. Just try to do one scarf joint. Here's a link.  Just google "scarf joint, cedar strip.

I tend to use Silica for adhesion joints like scarfs and wood flour for filleting or where it will show. But you can't go wrong either way. Just always mix the epoxy well before adding the filler.

Don't forget that you will be glassing the whole thing when done, so, really, whatever holds it together until then is just fine.


Staples work well. Just sink them deep enough to hold but not scar the wood. You can use little pieces of cardboard or posterboard under the staple if needed. Pluck 'em out with needle nose pliers. Brads work also. Have even used a brad nail gun set not to sink them all the way. Whatever holds long enough for glue to dry. Clamp it, tape it, staple it, hot glue it, sit on it, whatever works. It's all good. 


I'd start from the middle and go out, but others might do differently.


Not sure about the apron. If you ask that question as a seperate post, you'll get an answer.

Don't forget, this is supposed to be fun...not perfect.



RE: Ready to give up for the season



This is where ylou wish you could visit the guys garage and ease his concerns with a few helpful and easy demos.  Nothing but nothing can be more aggrevating than cryptic instructions that lead no where and a fair amount of money layed out for all the bother.  Your feeling all the hell alone, this kit can look like its for anyone BUT the person trying to build it. Profanity and tossed objects are a given.

Alas, I never got that way with my kayak build's but then again, Ive dealt with BAD instructions with other companies and projects.  Did CLC send this guy BAD instructions? No, but if the man has these unanswered questions then they may have well have.  You cant write instructions for EVERYONE and everyone interprets something a little different than another person.

So thats why CLC goes the distance with custmoer support. This forum recognizes the need as well as their apparent tireless phone support.  I NEVER EVER got a bad attitude when  I called for help, or emailed. 

All that to say Kris, that your troubles are a lot smaller than they appear.  Folks here WANT to help, in this forum and in CLC.  LOL, you ARENT alone though it can sure as hell feel like that if you are having questions dangling.


Your answers have been addressed pretty good here, but only you can decide that.   I will say emphaticaly that Nick Schades book: Building a Strip Planked Boats is EXCELLENT. Hes an easy writing, and for that matter easy speaking individual who gives you the straight info clear and concise.  Trust me, you read his book and youll be handing out advice here.  Not a big read, but an EASY informative read.



RE: Ready to give up for the season

I did my cedar strip by just cutting everything with the chop saw and butt jointing the pieces end to end and it looks great. I used a hand held stapler to fasten it all together. I started by trying to use as few staples as possible and ended up putting in more than neccessary and it added a lot of character and nobody seems to think twice about it. I wouldn't bother with gluing with epoxy or making it thicker for gluing, just use regular old wood glue, titebond 2, doesn't even need to be the titebond 3. If you have gaps you can fill them with regular old filler when you get to the sanding portion. I think you will be surprise by how good it looks when you are done even though you think its not perfect as you are working on it. If by chance you really disagree and don't like it when finished then you can always paint it and no one would ever know.

RE: Ready to give up for the season



Oh yeah, butt joints.

I did the CLC scarf on my West River multichine and man I never scarfed again.  I use butt joints and I love it and live with it. sure theres some modest extra weight and it can affect a curve to a degree but all too tolerances that fall well below my aggrevation in trying to plane decent scarfs, stitching them then trying to have clean chines. Maybe had I built from a kit instead of plans itd be different.

I am a diehard butt joint builder.



RE: Ready to give up for the season

I'm building my first, a Great Auk, completely from the book.   I think it's Rob Macks who says "If you're not enjoying the process, then you're doing something wrong".  I'm enjoying it, but it is slow going.  There is TONS of information out there, between Nick's Youtube videos, to individual build pages.  I found one to be very fun and useful, by Kurt Maurer.  I think he calls it "The Sawdust Factory".  I use his scarf jig method, which is very simple, and makes a nice, easy scarf.  I glue them with regular wood glue, and this works fine.  On flat sections, I scarf in place. Otherwise, I scarf and glue with a clamp on the floor, then fit the full-length piece. 
Take it easy, do some online reading and looking, and go with it. I'm glad I did, even if I'm not on the water yet!


RE: Ready to give up for the season

By the way, if you don't know who Rob Macks is, then you definitely have not done enough web browsing on the topic!!!

RE: Ready to give up for the season

I agonised for ages before I started the deck, and looked at stacks of build blogs on here. There are easier and harder plank designs. The easiest is to start in the centre, and work outwards, without a perimeter strip. This gives a nice surfboard look, without having to do loads of mitre joints. I went for a perimeter strip, and did about a pair of strips each evening. Pinning it neatly is a good look, or you can pin scrap wedges next to the working plank. There are some pictures on my build blog of the sw sport hybrid here. Stick with it, and take it slowly. It will be fantastic in the end.

RE: Ready to give up for the season

Great advise here mate.


Here's how Nick Schade tackles some of your issues.

RE: Ready to give up for the season

Thanks for all the info and support. I'm not giving up but I am definitely stepping back and taking some time off from the build. I'm going to do some reading of different materials and watch the suggested videos. I'm going to take my time because I don't think I could get to the glassing of the deck anyway. By the time I get to that point, I don't think the temps will be good to work with epoxy. Besides, now I can concentrate more on Autumn paddling. I love paddling this time of year, with the cool temperatures and changing leaves. 

Thanks again all, no questions for now but I'm sure I'll have plenty for you down the road.   :)

RE: Ready to give up for the season

All due respect to Mr. Macks, but there were times where enjoyment had nothing to do with it for me. For me it was the challenge. Others might agree or disagree for themselves. I took a year to build a simple LT17. I found that there were weeks on end where I did not want to touch the project. For me, woodwork is tedious. I am not a "finish" woodworker. I can build a deck and it would look like a lumberjack built it; with a big hammer and a big saw and nothing "fine" about it.

But slogging through, as Lazlo said all the small steps, yield a great boat. And that is where I got my own enjoyment - looking at what I built. Strip work must be even more tedious. Take your time and ask questions here. CLC probably has a picture of me above the help line that reads "Confused Individual". They really are a patient group on the end of those phones.

You can do it. Just recognize that maybe it ain't all fun for some people. Sorry to say, but for me it was not. But like me, no matter what, you will be happy if you stick it out.

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