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How long will it take to build a kayak?


The amount of time you take to build a small boat will depend on you previous experience, willingness to push forward, and your attitude. It is possible to pump out in 60 hours, or if you are being a perfectionist, you may end up putting 400 hours into it before you christen the finished boat. As mentioned in the previous page a stitch-and-glue boat will generally go together faster than a strip-built boat. Depending on the design, it is usually about half the time for a stitch and glue design vs a stripper.

I teach a kayak building class where in one week first-time builders create a nearly finished stitch and glue kayak from a kit. This is about 50 hours of work, with another 10 hours required at home. So in controlled and supervised conditions, the project can go quite quickly, but at home, on your own, you should figure on 100 to 120 hours.

A stripper can be banged out that quickly as well, but inexperienced builds should count on 200 to 250 hours. Since there are a lot more possibilities for individual expression on a stripper, some of the more compulsive builders may take longer yet.

A kit will save time: maybe 20 to 30 hours on a stitch and glue boat and about 30 to 50 hours on a strip-built design.