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Strip-Built


Fine Strip-Planked Boat Construction at WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine

Jul 8 2012 8:00 am
Jul 14 2012 12:00 pm

A guide to building canoes and kayaks with wood strips and epoxy.

Making the Coaming Recess for a Strip Kayak

Cutting Out the Cockpit

I made a paper pattern to define the size and shape of the cockpit recess area. The one I used here shows what remains on the deck, where I could have a paper pattern that constitutes the shape of the recess. Either way works.

Removing Staples from a Strip Built Boat

The Staple Remover

There are lots of ways to remove the staples from a strip-built boat.

Stripping the deck of the Night Heron kayak using Cove and Bead cedar strips

Sheer Strips

Like the hull, I used strips taped to the bottom of a bench plane to make consistent width strips with the bead removed.

Cove and Bead Strips on a Night Heron

Starting a New Build

I'm starting on a Night Heron. This one is being made with 3/16" western red cedar strip. I'm using cove and bead strips this time to help make the build go a little faster. I'm not bothering to book match and I am stapling.

Building the Petrel Sea Kayak Videos

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.

Strip Planked Boat Material and Weight Calculator

If you need a quick check on what materials you will need for your build, check out my Bill of Materials table. Use the calculator below for more precise calculations, to estimate weight, and for designs not listed on the BOM table.

Canoe Stems

I want a canoe. I love kayaks and the Nymph canoe is great fun, but there are time when my wife Robin and I want to hop into a boat after dinner and go for a relaxing paddle. And for a simple no-nonsense paddle there is really nothing like a canoe. A canoe lets you slide the boat in, pull on a life jacket and get going. A kayak or double paddle canoe will usually involve a certain expectation of getting wet, if only from the paddle dripping on your lap so it usually involves a little more pre and fuss.

Refiberglassing my Petrel

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.

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.

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