First Built (17LT) Complete and Floating

I would like to start by offering encouragement to those of you who are contemplating a first build.  I assure you that by being patient and carefully reading the instructions, you will be able to build a great kayak.  You may curse a little during the process, but in the end you will find it rewarding.  In my case, I had never done anything like this before and I have only very basic carpentry skills.  I had never worked with epoxy resign, a block plane or varnish.  When I finally got brave enough to buy the kit, I set the goal of building a strong capable kayak that looks good from 10’.  In the end, I met that I met goal.  My boat may not look great compared to those built by some of the craftsman on this site, but it looks AWESOME sitting next to my friend’s plastic boats. 

Construction was straight forward and I found the kit to be very high quality with only a couple of very minor complaints.  The biggest complaint is that I see no way that a first time builder can complete the boat with the amount of resign included.  It took me 104 hours/46 work days (spanning 2.5 months) to build the boat.  Included in those totals are 4 hours/1 day to correct a mistake made early in the process and 4 hours/2 days to install bow and stern rub strips.  Besides cost of the kit/seat/shipping, I spent $100 on paint/varnish/primer, $140 on extra resign and a surprising $500 on consumables (sand paper, brushes, mixing cups, rollers etc).  The completed boat weighs 50.2# fully rigged.

I found the technical support provided both by CLC and this site to be exceptional.   

I am VERY pleased with how the kayak handles on the water.  There is no comparison with the plastic boats that I have been using. 

Our original plan was that my wife would use the Yellow Hurricane Santee 135 as her boat.  After seeing the two boats hanging on the wall, her comment was that the Hurricane “looks like something Barbie would use.”

The plan changed the other day when I screwed up and let her try the CLC while I was taking her kayak back to the truck.  The new plan includes a build for her.  Not sure what boat yet, but we are considering the Shearwater 14 and the Petrel Play. 

4 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: First Built (17LT) Complete and Floating

Great looking boat Mark.  I also love the 10 foot rule, but i'm guessing you can get a bit closer with fine results. By the way, plastic boats still are very necessary.  Ken and Barbie do need a way to get around.

RE: First Built (17LT) Complete and Floating

Beautiful work Mark, an inspiration to me to finish my two 17LTs that I'm working on.  

I see you did the paint up over the deck edge per the website.  Any advice you'd like to pass along, since there's a lot of discussion both ways on the forum regarding masking tape removal (remove when wet/ allow to dry), order of paint and varnish, etc.  


Thanks for sharing.

RE: First Built (17LT) Complete and Floating

I read the various opinions and decided to go with paint first then varnish.  Before paint I masked the deck with the fine line tape they sell here.  I left the tape on through all three coats of paint with wet sand between.  Once dry, I pulled the tape.  Then I masked over the paint side of the deck with fine line.  I was very careful to run this tape as close to the edge of the paint as possible but I made certain that a little paint showed to make sure that there would be overlap.  Then I varnished the deck leaving the tape inplace until the last coat was dry.  I had originally planned on covering the paint/varnish seam with automotive pin stripe tape but decided not to because the paint edge looked very good.  Because I was very careful laying the tape before varnish, the overlap of varnish over paint is 1mm wide max and hardly noticeable.  When you lay the tape down, you need to make sure that it lays flat (no wrinkles or folds) and that it is pressed down firmly.  Otherwise, the paint edge will be rough.

RE: First Built (17LT) Complete and Floating

> The biggest complaint is that I see no way that a first time builder can complete the boat with the amount of resin included...

Mark - I think everyone uses a bit more epoxy than needed on the first build. I know that I did! Applied with a brush or roller, it will leave quite a bt more epoxy on the material than if you use a squeegie to spread it around. I learned the hard way that too much epoxy on a vertical surface leads to runs. That's when I learned that it's better to use a scraper to remove them instead of a (an?) ROS.  Your 17LT looks just great, and I'm glad to hear that you're out there enjoying it and getting ready to start on a "real kayak" for your wife!


« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.