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Video clips

Overview of making a kayak

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.

OkoumeFest at Chesapeake Light Craft

May 13 2011 12:00 pm
May 14 2011 4:00 pm

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


Installing Cheek Plates in the Kayak Cockpit

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.

Feed-Through Kayak Deck Fittings

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.

Overview of Making the Cockpit Coaming


The hole pretty much defines the shape so cutting the hole accurately is step one. Since that step the boat has been fiberglassed and the rough edges left over from that need to be cleaned up.

Carbon/Kevlar, Carbon Fiber and Glass on the Petrel Interior

You don't need to see more sanding, but that is what needs to happen before glassing the inside so I kept the sanding footage to a minimum in this video. Next I added a fillet in the chine. The Petrel has a hard chine aft of the cockpit, while it doesn't need a fillet adding one will strengthen the corner and make it easier to lay in the fabric.

Putting an Accent Strip on a Stained Hull

Like the feature line on the deck, I wanted to have a bright maple accent along the sheer line between the deck and hull. Since the feature on the deck was in the middle of a stained area I had to stain the accent strip and then scrape the stain off.

Applying Fill Coats - Light and Heavy

I'm applying two different sort of fill coats in this video. One is quite light and the other is heavier. The hull will eventually get another layer of fiberglass, after I have joined the deck in place.

Fiberglassing the Petrel Deck and Hull

At the start of the day I went into the shop and turned the heat up to 80° F (27° C) and made sure the lamp I keep on my epoxy to keep it warm was turned on. This assures the epoxy flows easily.

I rolled the cloth out on the boat about an hour before I started glassing. I could have done it earlier, but I did want to give it some time to warm up to room temperature.

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