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I'm a first time builder... which design?


First time builders with no woodworking experience have built just about all of the designs you will find here. But some designs are easier than others. What makes a strip-built design easy to build will be smooth, gentle curves, and a sectional shape with the smallest hollow or concave regions.

The Great Auk family of designs has simple curves and a straight forward shape which minimizes the complication of building.

Within this group of designs you will find a variety of kayaks suitable for different paddling desires. If you want a small recreation kayak or a longer sea kayak, this family probably has something to fit your needs.

If you are looking for a more high performance sea kayak, the Night Heron family is fairly straight forward. The hardest part of this design is the transition from the foredeck to the aft deck around the cockpit. Here the strips need quite a bit of twist which can be difficult.

I have limited this discussion to strip-built designs so far, stitch and glue designs can be easier, especially if you are building from a kit. A stitch and glue kit eliminates much of the woodworking by pre-cutting all the plywood panels. This saves a lot of time and bypasses the potentially tricky task of precisely sawing out the parts. For many people the quicker construction of the stitch and glue design makes it easier to complete because it is easier to fit the project into a tight schedule.

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