kayak couture part II

I wanted to update the community on my previous Kayak Couture post, a project I am working on building a 90% frej with a target weight of 22 lbs.


Since I last posted on this, I completed sanding and glassing the outside of the hulls and am busily winding up the deck-side of the hull with all the bits/structure that have to be completed prior to joining it to the hull.


From a weight perspective I am close to my target.  The pre-epoxy weight of the hull and deck was slightly below 13 lbs…which is close to my target weight for those pieces.   As a reminder, the core of the boat’s construction is 3/16 red cedar skinned in 4 oz s-glass (this is a high strength version of fiberglass that has most of the workability properties of e-glass).


The first picture is of the hull and deck post glassing.  A stain was applied and there is a bit of white cedar accents.  It also shows the layout for the hatches, rigging, and the coaming is just starting to be built out.


hull and deck outside glassed


The next two pictures show some of the construction on the underside of the deck and the coaming work.  On the underside,  you can see patches of extra glass where the deck rigging will attach and the behind-the-hatch-opening structure-and the fairing to get clean glass work around all of this.   The deck will have ‘soft-loop’ rigging avoiding the weight of screws and bolts.  The fairing around the hatch structure allows the glass to make its way around curves and makes use of micro-balloon fairing to keep it light as it’s not really a structural element.      The coaming is all built up from the 3/16 red cedar to that element light.


deck underside


The last picture is of the custom skeg/skeg box which I built.  The total assembly (skeg and box) weighs just over 4 oz but is very strong and stiff.  The skeg is red cedar core skinned in carbon fiber and the box is the 3/16 red cedar skinned with two layers of 4 oz s-glass on the inside and 1 layer or 4 oz s-glass on the outside.   It’s significantly lighter than pre-built skeg assemblies I have purchased in the past.


While 22 lbs is the goal and represents a perfect  ‘build’ according to the spreadsheets where I calculated the weight from a bill-of-materials, I think I will get pretty close to it.  I will do another weigh in when all the glass work is done but before I attach the deck to the hull.   The epoxy part is the most sensitive place for weight gain so I am working slowly and meticulously to not end up with epoxy where I don’t want it.


Anyway, it’s getting cold here…I have a small electric space heater now up and running in my workshop am writing while waiting for some bits to set up so I can start the some new tasks.   time to get back to work😊


4 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: kayak couture part II

oops....the last two picture got left out before i hit send...here they are:

this is the coaming build out:

coaming build out


and this is the skeg/skeg box:


skeg/skeg box

and now..hopefully, all correct...time to get back to work😊


RE: kayak couture part II

I like it. It's almost as if you're building a wooden sail. It looks as if it'll be a joy to paddle and a pain to carry on a windy day.



RE: kayak couture part II

 Good work hspira!  Where did you buy the S-glass?  Can you see the difference between S-glass and regular E-glass (cvlarity etc)?  I am about to start my Mystery and want to put S on the inside and maybe on the outside of the hull.  Probably 3 oz.  Thanks  

RE: kayak couture part II

Hi Mark, 

On my s-glass, i buy from a place called Sweet Composites https://sweetcomposites.com/

they are a small company owned by a former olympic-class paddler and are very nice and easy to work with.

on seeing a difference between s and e-glass....you really have to look hard to notice a difference.  in my workshop, they are so close, i use labels to tell the difference in the raw material.   on the boat, s-glass, if you look carefully and the light is right....you can see the threads in a way that e-glass is totally clear.    it is very hard to notice on a stained/dark hull.  and the picture that i have posted of my petrel in the past was another s-glass creation.  from a workability/wet out perspective, i have experienced no difference.

i was intrigued when i saw that you were going to build a Mystery.....looks like a fun project. and i definitely think if you are looking for a light build, i would put s-glass in my arsenal.  its a lot more expensive than e-glass but you just aren't using so much material that its going to bust the bank.   i am not sure if they have 3 oz and fwiw, i have seen some builders who claim they were working with 3 oz and i simply have not been able to find it and wonder if they are getting 3 and 4 mixed up.   i have seen 2 oz e-glass.  but again, no 3 oz....so i am curious about what you find and please share if you find these lighter weaves.



« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.