Easiest Kayak To Build

What's the very easiest Kayak to buld that will work for a 160Lb male?

I have a lot of hand tool woodworking experience, but never on a boat, and never with stictching, epoxy, and fiberglass.  I will often build something to get the feel of the joints, technique, etc. Then I will move onto another piece that's more complicated. 

I figure I can enjoy any of the CLC kayaks as a first entry, and learn a lot. Then I can proceed to a second. I have every possible water condition easily available.

So, nominations?

2 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Easiest Kayak To Build

Hi Elliot, 

from an easiest to build, and within the CLC catalog, its going to be a shearwater or a chesapeake.  i have built both and i would give an edge to the shearwater in terms of simplicity. 

they are a little different in construction and each will have a challenge for a new builder.  but why i give the edge to the shearwater is there is really no heavy duty planing activity required to get a good result on a shearwater.  i think the tortured deck and driving nails in a chesapeake can be difficult to control and when stuff is difficult to control...unexpected things happen.

both the chesapeake and shearwater have different sizes within their series for different size paddlers.  so at 160 lbs you are going to be in the shearwater 16 or 17 and for the chesapeake in a 16 or 17 and you could choose between the low deck or high deck versions.  personally, i like the look of the low deck versions.

but paddler weight, while an important factor, is not the only factor.   height, leg length, and feet size is important too.  also how much knee bend you like is important to how you will feel in a boat.

as an example, if you are not very flexible (e.g., need some knee bend and have big feet), i would go with the 17s of either boats.  if you are wiry and thin and flexible, that would point you to the smaller boat.  if you could, i would test drive a couple of these and see what fits well and makes you comfortable.   the most important feature of a kayak is it has to be comfrotable.   if its not comfortable sitting and paddling in it, don't do it.

other factors are thing like if you have guest that you want to use the boat that are bigger than you  or smaller than you?  are you just going paddling for the day or want to use the boat for a big camping trip where you need to carry a lot of cargo?  go with the larger size if you have bigger firends and are inclined to more cargo.  go with the smaller size if its the oposite.

finally, what looks good to you?  no sense building a boat that you don't think is pretty.   

in summary, you can't go wrong with a Shearwater or a Chesapeake.  of all the boats i have built, if i could only have one between these two, i would pick the Shearwater.

of course, you can always build both.  this is my wife's chesapeake 14 and my shearwater 17 taking a lunch break together at our favorite paddling spot.  they get along nicely.

RE: Easiest Kayak To Build

I’m building a Wood Duck 12. This is my first build and it goes together quite nice. What I liked about the WD from the description is it is very stable with a wide bottom. I’ve paddled kayaks and I prefer a stable platform with a wide open cockpit. I plan to do some fishing so the bigger cockpit of the WD is nice and should give me plenty of room without the fear of tipping over when i’m Pulling in those big hybrid bass!!

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.