Building Stitch and Glue Kayaks

This is an old page kept for historical purposes, for the latest information about building Stitch and Glue Kayaks please visit my new Stitch and Glue Kayak Page.

The "Stitch and Glue" method of building a kayak uses plywood to make the skin of the boat. The basic process is: panels of plywood are "stitched" together with wire, tape or tie-wraps; a filet of thickened epoxy is pushed into the corner between the each panel and then fiberglass is laid over the joint. When this is done you will have something that looks like the hull of a boat. After glassing the outside, installing a deck and painting or varnishing, you will end up with a lightweight, rugged, wooden boat. This is a very good technique for making a hard-chined kayak design.

A stitch and glue hull afterit has been stitched.

Ease of Building

The trick in designing a stitch and glue is creating the panel shapes. They are what determine the shape of the boat. If the panel shape is wrong, the finished boat will not be what you expected. If you have good panel shapes to begin with, you need to cut them out accurately and align them correctly. If the panels are not aligned correctly relative to each other, the boat may be skewed or twisted. Other than designing the panels none of this is overly difficult. It just takes care.

The stitch and glue method is a quick way to make a kayak, and as long as you are careful, it is fairly easy. It is somewhat limited in the shapes you can create since there will be a hard angle between any adjacent panels, but if you are want a hard-chined boat, this method works very well.


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High Performance Wooden Sea Kayak Designs
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54 South Rd
Groton, CT 06340

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