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I'm building a Night Heron kayak using cove and bead western red cedar. I'm taking some video as I go. I hope you find the following helpful.
Like the hull, I used strips taped to the bottom of a bench plane to make consistent width strips with the bead removed. These strips were then beveled to create a tight joint with the sheer strips on the hull. At the ends the sheer strips need to be tapered to meet each other at a nice point.
In 2010 I started making a strip-built Petrel sea kayak using cedar strips, fiberglass and Carbon-Kevlar Cloth. I documented much of the process on video and below are the short videos I produced showing many of the building techniques incorporated. The above video provides a quick overview, follow the links below for more detailed looks at the individual steps.
My Petrel has been my primary boat for a long time. It has been through some serious abuse over the years. Not only has it been dragged up beaches and bumped into the occasional submerged log, I've also crushed in the side playing in rock gardens, I've stored it outside all summer in the sun with no cover, and kept it outside, uncovered all winter, I've also left it on the roof of my car while running errands around town. After all this abuse it was looking a little shabby.
I put together this 5 minute video to provide a broad overview of the strip-building process. My other videos go into a lot more detail, but if you want to see a quick synopsis of the whole project, this should help you out.
Every year since 1998 Chesapeake Light Craft has been hosting a gathering of small boat builders. On Friday they have an open house at their shop with demonstrations and a cookout. On Saturday it is on a beach on Chesapeake Bay.
I'll be bringing some boats down and giving some sort of demonstration this year. Come visit, bring a boat if you've got one, or just test boats you may want to build.
Location: Chesapeake Light Craft, Annapolis, MD
While many people mount these hip-braces or as I call them "cheek plates" so they extend from the deck and are attached to the hull at the bottom as well. I prefer to just have them attached to the deck. In this way I don't get a hard spot in the hull that might cause cracks as the boat flexes. I prefer to just cantilever them straight down and glass them in with a good fillet on each side.
I've got mixed feelings about deck lines. All those pieces of string running around the deck mess up the beauty of the wood, but if you should end up swimming next to the boat for some reason, having something to grab onto may save your life. I am even more ambivalent about hatch hold-down systems. Again, most systems mess up the lines of the boat, yet hatches are really useful for carrying gear.