Baidarka Instruction Manual

Building the 6.6m and 5.28m

Dyson Baidarka

(Editor's Note: Craig nicely sent me a stack of photo's to scan in. In the interest of disc space I did not include all of them. For some I substituted pictures I already had for Tom Clark's article. Nick)

You are about to build one of the lightest, fastest, most comfortable and most seaworthy kayaks available. This 2000 year old design will be a delightful surprise on your maiden voyage.

What type of boat should I build?

My first skin boat was the 6.6 Meter 2 hatch design with rudder and sail. What a gorgeous craft..... I could not believe how well it paddled and sailed my first time out. Great primary stability, (so good that secondary stability has fortunately not yet been experienced). It handles well in rough seas and is quite speedy in calm water. Depending on crew -- expect 3.5 -- 4.5 knots average over all.

I included 1/2" X 3" ship's teak battens in my first kayak which ran the length of inside deck. These 4 strips definitely added to the appearance of the craft's interior, but after some time I found that the extra weight (15lb) was not worth the trade off in weight and foot room. I then removed these wood battens and found car top loading and unloading to be much easier.

The finished 6.6m Baidarka weighed 86lb with the wood battens and 71lb without the battens. This was with the 26 oz. skin. The construction time was approximately 200 hours. I would expect the same finish time from a first time builder with moderate mechanical ability.

The 6.6m Baidarka also paddles reasonably well solo from the rear seat. Be sure to put a cover over the front hatch. Paddling the 6.6 by yourself is a good work out. It is not difficult to make above 3 knots.

Sailing the 6.6m Baidarka is exhilirating. The sail rig (for down wind sailing only) can be made for about $30 to $50 but I decided to have the mast made for the Baidarka on a large wooden lathe at a cost of $47.00. The sail was made by a local sail maker for $150. I later put windows in the sail as this helps the pilot see where he is going. Of course a wind at your back is best as there is no center or side board to keep you from slipping side ways. Experimenting with different wind directions is a lot of fun. But be very careful as a strong side wind will capsize you. I also attached cleats (need picture??) and reinforced them with stainless steel braces running forward and attached to station #4. Be careful not to position anything on deck where it might interfere with your paddling stroke or bang up your knuckles.

For the rudder system I used the designed set up and attached "Necke" steering pedals to aluminum sheet metal brackets sewn to the stringers. Cabling was easily run through plastic tubing and affixed with plastic wire ties (see pic 1). To draw and lower the rudder I tried many different approaches and found that the rigging (see pic ??) worked best. The rudder sometimes needs a tap from your paddle if you have pulled it to the full up position. This is especially true if there is sand in the mechanism.

The 5.28m (17.32 ft.) is also a wonderful craft. It weighs less (38lb) with the 14 oz skin, is a single and doesn't have a sail. Also, at George's urging I am trying this Baidarka without a rudder and find it very stable and tracks well.

I am very pleased with the 5.28m Baidarka's performance in calm water as well as a rough confused sea. It is wonderful to be able to toss this boat on your shoulder and just walk down to the shore. As opposed to needing a set of wheels or a strong partner (see pic ??) which are necessary with the 6.6m Baidarka.

Construction time of the 5.28m Baidarka is less than 100 hours depending on your experience. I purchased the tubing already bent for this craft and saved at least 15 hours work. Bending tubing can be difficult and wasteful the first time around as it takes a "special touch" to get it right. Although it is fun to learn this technique.


Tubing Bender
Assorted Tools
Modified Gloves

I understand that it is possible to mount the station supports on a shop wall and build outward instead of upward. Good Luck


Materials from the kit


At first one might be a bit over taken by the massive number of holes (6.6 m = 1,730 and 5.28m = 1,300) that must be drilled but I have found with proper center punching they go rather quickly.

The burnished combing

First of all, don't bother laying everything out with dye and scribing cutting lines. It is faster and much cleaner to cut out the part patterns from the blueprints and then glue them in place with rubber cement, wall paper glue or double sided tape. Be sure to leave 1/2 inch border around the cutting lines. This way you have a better view of where you are cutting.

Hole drilling started with an automatic or self loading spring type center punch. I have found it best to center punch all the holes after taping the blueprints to the aluminum. This way if your pattern moves while you are working you can realign easily on the center punch marks.

Drill the 1/2" and 3/4" holes, in the bulkhead pieces, which end up being cut in half when you band saw the outside of the pieces. If you don't drill these holes first you will have to hand file them later.

An adjustable hole cutting bit "fly cutter" is the only economical way of cutting the large diameter holes. Be very careful to hold the metal tightly in place and use the right speed on the drill press. Look out for the spinning arbor it is a real knuckle buster. Be sure to use a wood backing plate when cutting these holes. A good tip when using the "fly cutter" is to cut half way through the metal and turn it over and finish your cut from the other side. Somehow this just works better.

Some have used a saber saw to cut the larger holes.

Most of the sheet metal cutting is done with a band saw or saber saw. (stop picture) Practice with scrap to be sure you have the right blade. I use a 1/4" 16 TPI blade for this. Some suggest 18 TPI, 3/8-1/2 inch blade.

After all the cuts are finished file and deburr the edges. The deburring tool pictured (pic #) is a wonderful and cheap tool for this operation. Otherwise you can simply use a hand file.

Drill the small lacing holes and use a single flute counter sink on both sides of the hole. Be sure to visually re-inspect each hole for a clean counter sink otherwise you will end up breaking your lashings. This inspection can be done also by feel. Running your fingers over the holes. The ideal counter sink would be as follows.

Insert picture of counter sink

Clean all pieces with Acetone, solvent or soap and water. This is done so that later the epoxy will stick to the lashings and aluminum. You might also burnish these flat parts to make them look better. Scotch Brite works well.


Bow of Tom Clark's Baidarka

Note: discuss types of thread etc. I have no input on this....

Lacing all the pieces to together is a simple task but takes a bit of time and concentration. Use steel wire or electrical ties and bind all pieces together in place. Use a single length of the nylon thread and a straight needle.

George sells good needles, straight and bent, but you can get all kinds of other sizes and shapes at your local sewing shop.

The stern top piece is called out to be pre-bent in between the center line of holes. I have done this and the bend tends to follow either one set of holes or the other and thus becomes off center. So be careful. I have also just pulled this piece in place and lashed it down. This works well.

Start your lashing wherever you please but be sure to hide any knots so you can't see them.

Also, be sure to position knots where the skin won't later touch them and create a lump.

TIP: It is best to use thread length of no more than twice the width of your arm span otherwise you will spend a lot of time untangling unwanted knots and snarls.


Corrosion is a problem when using any type of metal for construction. The most important thing to consider is not to have more than one type of metal in contact with another, i.e. aluminum tube with a brass plug or stainless steel bolts. This combination will create a very accelerated corrosion situation. Many thoughts have been considered regardin the frame corrosion problem including anodizing and coating the frame parts. Both solutions have their own adverse effects. For example, anodizing makes the metal more brittle and will wear off in areas of friction. This will then concentrate any corrosion. Another problem is that coatings and anodizing will crack when flexed. As this craft is built to flex the problem of cracking is obvious.

The best solution so far is to simply use the tubing and sheet aluminmum as supplied and keep your kayak well flushed with fresh water.

After a time you will notic some corrosion but don't be too concerned as it will eventually cover itself with a white film and thus slow down it's sewn progress. Eventually, your frame will become structually impaired but this happen to all types of craft as well as our own bodies. How you take care of your craft and body dictates how long it will last.


A Hi-Tech vise

I have found that cutting tubing with a band saw leaves a cleaner edge then a tube cutter. This is important when you are using tube splices. Be sure to have a square cut so the butt joints match well. If this cannot be done on the band saw then use a tube cutter.

Tubing can be purchased in three different configurations. The best is full lengths, but UPS does not ship packages over nine feet. Therefore you can either pick up full lengths or pay for extra shipping.

I have found that splicing the tubing after it has been cut to 9 ft. lengths is satisfactory but be careful to have the splices fully inserted into each piece.

The third way to purchase the tubing is to have it cut and bent by George. Pre-bent tubing is well worth the added cost. You might be able to purchase lengths locally but I have not had much success finding the right wall thickness. I think the local salespeople put it to those of us who only purchase small amounts at a time.

Note: That lengths in cm on the plans are for finished lengths.

Do not cut your rib tubing exactly to length before bending. It is best to leave 2-4 inches on each side of the tube so that you can cut to length, matching the blueprint, after the bend is done. You will see the wisdom in this after you do your first bend. Installing splices to connect the tubing is a little tricky. I have experimented with different ways of inserting splices including heating the tubing (not recommended). The best way is to mark the center of each splice for reference as to how much splice goes into each tube. Without this reference you may end up with a short piece of splice in the tube, thus creating a weak spot.

Note: Be sure that all the ends of the tubing are cut flush.

Be sure ther are no burrs on the ends of the tubing or else the splices will gall (bind). Next compress the splices with vice grips or a vice and slide the splice into the tubing as far as possible do the same on the other end of the splice. At this poing you must hold one piece of the tubing in a jig or some other type of contraption. I simply held the tubing flat and secure by screwing a piece of wood to my work bench with the tubing in between. This holds the tubing streight and secure. I then hammer the two pieces together using a piece of wood to protect the end of the tubing. Keep an eye on the center of the splice. If one side is going in to the tube too fast use vice grips to hold it in place until the other end catches up. If a splice is lose expand it by putting a screw driver blade into the slot and twist.

Note: The cut and bent tubing that George sells come with a set of plans and markers on each cut tubing. Be sure to follow this direction.

I used 2 sheets of 3/4" pressed board (ply-wood is better) screwed together as my jig for bending. I then used 2" X 3/8" aluminum doweling for positioning pegs. You will be well served to look carefully at the pictures and read the text in the book Baidarka regarding tube bending.

Note: You will only need to purchase a 1/2" tube bender as sends the 3/4" tubing already bent and slotted.

Be sure to practice a few bends before you work with the final parts.

The blue prints have pivot points plotted where you place the tube bender alignment dowel. As with the flat metal parts, glue, tape or paste the blueprints to the jig board, and work from the print. You may use the same board for different tubes. I got a bit mixed up with drilling all those holes in one board. It may be better to can flip the board over and start again on the back side. Be sure that any subsequent hole layouts do not come near previously drilled holes, otherwise your new hole might drift into another hole used on a previous bend. I used a hand drill for most of the holes.

I used a dowel jig attachment on a hand drill to make my holes were perpendicular to the flat surface of the board. The size of the hatch coaming can be changed to accommodate different sized paddlers. It can be made wider or longer depending on your needs. If you have long legs you may want to make this part longer. If you have a large bum you may want to make this part wider. I would suggest going to your local kayak shop and trying different size hatches then build yours to fit your needs. A spacer in the hatch coaming sheet metal part should make up for any added length due to your modification. SHOW PICTURE FOR LOCATION

In bending the hatch coaming tubing... I made it match the drawing which was pasted to a bending jig. The upward bend of the tubing was done by putting plywood over the coaming ring and having my son stand on it, then slowly bending it upward a little at a time till it met the drawing....

As for bending the hatchway tube, there are no bending centers on the drawing because it is an incremental bend, you just walk the bender around the tubing following over the pattern. A symmetrical job is possible by starting in the middle of the tube, (clamp the beginning solidly to your table) and bend one half of the coaming, then flip it over and bend the same half again (same goes for ribs). This way you are infinitely more likely to end up with two halves that mirror each other than trying to bend the whole thing from one end to the other. Getting a good hatchway on the first try is tricky but not impossible. Take your time...


The most critical part of this operation is to have the frame supports cut out and precisely placed on the strong-back (work bench)

I built a work bench (see Pic) out of 3/4" pressed board and 2X4's. This made a nice flat surface on which to work. My frame supports were made from 3/4" pressed board and were attached to the bench with dry wall screws. (see pic). Any old scrap from 1/4" on up will make good frame supports.

Alignment of the frame supports is done by running a piece of nylon thread through each frame support and then centering the supports on the thread. Attaching the top portion of each station is done by sewing in place a gussett or knee. You will find that there are three different types knee design for this area.


1. The insert design.
Where the knee is inserted into a slot made in the tubing. This is the strongest support but is time consuming to do and some think it is over engineered for the strength needed. 2. The bent tab design
This design is very strong but incorporates two pieces for each joint. It too is a bit over engineered. 3. The simple design
The simple design is the one that comes with the plans as of today. It is very easily cut out and installed but does not provide rigidity until the ridge beam is installed.

I have used all three types of installation and found each to be acceptable. I will stick with the simple design as it takes less time.

Once the knees have been cut out and holes drilled, assembly takes place in a large vice or calmping device (pic). The two pieces of tubing must be held flat and in place while the knee is sewen in place. A tight lashing does the trick. Don't forget to put plugs in the ends of the tubing.

Putting the frame together is a matter of simply starting at the bow and working aft. Be sure to check and double check alignment of each station as well as being sure that all ribs are vertical. George suggests marking each rib from the blue print as to where each stringer goes later on.

Don't forget to file the 3/4" groove in each station before attempting to put the frame together.

As each part goes into place, tie it with either wire or plastic ties. Then remove them as you do your lashing.


Lashings will show through the skin so don't be concerned. Knots tied in the wrong place will also show. You might want to put a small piece of fabric over the lashings and inside the outer skin to protect against chaffing in the stem and stern areas where the gunwale terminates.

Note: You might want to put a piece of fabric over the lashings which attach the gunwales to the stem and stern. These areas are somewhat sharp. This application will prevent the skin from chaffing.

I have also found that there are only two basic knows used in lashing the kayak together. The overhand loop and the half hitch. The overhand loop (see pictures) is used to start or anchor the lashing and the half hitch is used for finishing the lashing. In the case where you run out of thread, I do not try to attach two lengths together, instead I simply start again with another knot.

Lashing the tubing is simple but tedious. Be sure to use the half hitch tie off method in the diagram. This will pull the lashing tight and hold it in place. It is also a good idea to melt the ends of the lashings with your Bic lighter. An alternative is to leave the lashings ends long and burn them off later with a soldering iron.

You will want to use a net needle (see Pic) for this operation as well as have your hand or hands covered with leather gloves with all but the little fingers removed.

You might turn the frame upside down for tying the lower lashings. This makes it easier on your back. the frame regains its shape when reattached to the frame.


After the frame is lashed together and aligned leave it attached to the frame supports. This will keep it in shape during the epoxy.

I have used West Systems epoxy and found it to be very easy to work with. Any "laminating or coating" epoxy will do. The thinner the better. INSERT CANANDIAN BRAND OF EPOXY

Be sure to read and understand the instructions on the epoxy. Otherwise you may end up with a coating that doesn't dry properly.

Clean all surfaces with Acetone.

Lightly brush on a coat of epoxy to all lashings. Look out for drips and do not try to do the under side of the lashings. Reinspect for drips frequently.

After the first coat dries (per the instructions) remove the frame from the supports and turn it over. Now coat the bottom of the lashings. A second coat may be applied over the first coat.

This operation will increase the stiffness of the frame.


You'll probably be so excited at this point that you will want to rush. DON'T... This is a very important phase of construction and should be done with care to provide a pleasing look. It also doesn't take that long, so take your time. Mistakes made here can be irreversable. You may want to install carrying handles prior to attaching the skin. I used 1/4 inch nylon rope with 3/4 inch PVC handles. Attaching these in the vicinity of the aluminum sheet stations is a good idea as this is a very strong area. (see picture)

I would suggest that you use the 14 or 15 oz skin for most applications. For the double 15oz X 72" wide skin is OK. I used the 26 oz skin on my 6.6 and found it to be nice looking, easy to work with, but very heavy and overkill as to puncture resistance. The 24 oz skin also soaks up a lot of Hyplon. On the 6.6, I would have saved about 12 pounds if I had used the lighter skin.

Nylon shrinks. This is very important as you do not want to make your initial fitting too tight. One's tendency is to pull the skin too tight. I found while constructing my second boat that you can leave the skin fairly wrinkled and still end up with a tight fit after shrinking is complete.

Notes on shrinking:

  1. Even a heavy fog in the air will shrink your boat's skin noticeably.
  2. It only necessary to use a fine mist from a spray bottle.
  3. Don't bother putting your boat in the sun to dry, it will shrink
  4. in the shade.
  5. Nylon shrinks 10%, hence, so you will see a tighter fit around the midsection of the boat as there is more material in this area. Leave this area really loose.
  6. Even 6 months after you boat is finished you will still notice shrinkage and expansion due to water inside your boat and the ambient temperature.

What we are trying to do is find a middle ground on the tightness issue. The stringers and gunwales of my 6.6 Baidarka bend and release due to temperature even after 2 years.

How lose is too lose before you shrink? Be able to easily put your thumb in between the fabric and deck stringer. DO NOT USE A HEAT GUN TO SHRINK THE FABRIC except in very small defined areas such as around the hatch coaming or to take out specific wrinkles.

The first step is to turn your frame upside down and rest it on a few of the station supports. Snap a center line on the cloth and center the cloth on the keel.

Be sure to ask George to ship you 1 foot of extra cloth if this is your first boat. You'll find out why later. I held my material in place with easy clamps. 3 or 4 should do the job nicely. Now stitch a single running stitch along the gunwales to hold the fabric in place.

Use a large curved needle and don't be afraid to make this a tight stitch. 3" upholstry needles work well also.

Turn the boat over and cut away all fabric not needed with a hot knife. Be sure to leave an over lap of at least 2 inches on the deck stringers. Do not cut fabric away from the stem, stern or hatch coaming yet.

Now start in the middle of the kayak and work outward fore or aft. Run a basting stitch (single line with curved needle) along the deck stringer. This will hold the fabric in place while you sew and cut the final seam.

I have in the past cut through the deck stringer lashing with the hot knife during this operation. In subsequent cutting and sewing operations I have taken a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe and cut it in half on the band saw. I then place this over the deck stringer and use it to back up my hot knife cuts. When finished with the cutting and sewing I simply remove this spacer. In addition, this extra spacer allows for a loser fabric.

I use two needles to sew this deck seam. I start by marking each side of the fabric with sewing marks (1cm apart) and then proceed by using a cross stitch.

IXIXIXIXIXIXIXIXIXIXI (X on top I under the skin)

Use a single thread. Cut away about 6 inches of the fabric then sew with one needle and then the other. Be sure to keep the seam straight. Use a hot knife to smooth rough edges on the fabric before you sew. When finished this seam is extremely strong. Don't be concerned about the seam unraveling as Hyplon seals this area well.

Once you have reached the stem area be sure to baste enough extra fabric in the (inside mouth area) of the jaw.

Start sewing along the top of the stem, up around and into the mouth area. Continue sewing and cutting fabric until the end of the mouth area is reached then start going forward toward the Horn or Prow area. Stop about 3 inches before the top of the prow. Now turn the kayak upside down and make your bottom cut starting at the point where the fabric begins to be lose. Cut away excess fabric and start sewing up the prow and stop about 3 inches before the top of the prow.

The top of the prow is finished at your own discretion. I have done a (dart) type of inverted peace sign and also a (cap) type of seam. (see Pics). As discussed previously, practice will reward you with a better job.

The stern area is also a little tricky in that as you approach the narrow stern the seam tends to pull off center. In order to reduce this tendency, alternate from side to side every 2 inches or so. Camp the opposing side as you go aft.

The vertical stern stitching is done after folding the fabric inside of itself about 1/2 inch then working up and down the vertical stern sewing holes.

The fabric around the aft keel area must be lashed and sewn to make a water tight seal.

Attaching the skin to the hatch coaming is not tricky although it is a bit time consuming.

First, sew the lower part of the skin to the bottom of the hatch coaming. When sewing a long seam like the hatchway circumference, you can save time (and a knot or two) by starting with (about) 3 circumferences of twine, use half the length going clockwise, then the other half counterclockwise, you'll meet back where you started. The two stitches are out of phase, so combined they give a very neat stitch. Hide any knots under the tubing on the inside.

Next cut the fabric at the top of the hatch coaming with a hot knife. Make it level with the top of the coaming. (some people fold it over to the inside of the coaming and sew it there). I cut it at the top and then attach the rope around he hatch coaming with a barber poll type stitch using the top holes of the coaming and putting the fabric in between the metal and rope. Be sure to stretch the fabric as you go in order to take the wrinkles out.

The butt joint of the hatch coaming rope can either be sewn in place or covered with a piece of fabric. I have found that this section looks more finished with a cover piece sewn in place. You might try to leave enough fabric (from the verticle covering of the hatch coaming) in place to pull over this joint.

When the skin is in place and finished take a misting type spray bottle and mist the outside of the skin and let it dry. Be sure to keep the seams straight as this process proceeds. A properly tight skin should feel less taught than a bongo drum and tighter than a well maid bed. Kind of like the skin on your forehead. Try to take additional small wrinkles out with more misting.


The keel wear strip is very critical to long term use of your Baidarka, especially in the areas of the bow and stern. These areas are exposed to a great deal of wear.

After the skin in installed and shrunk into place cut the wear strip to length and round the edges at each end. Rounding the edges will help keep the strip from coaming loose. Use contact cement to attach the strip to the skin. I have found a solvent based product such as DAP Weldwood to work effectively.

I tried a water based cement and found that it did not hold well. Use at least 2 coats on each surface for a tight bond. Be sure to center the strip and run it from the stern all the way up the stem (front).

Do not mask off the area to be cemented as it will leave an ugly line where the glue is not in contact with the wear strip.

After attaching the strip iron it down with a roller device such as a wall paper seam roller.

Note: The material sold by George adheres to the curved section of the Prow well on the 6.6 but wrinkles a bit on the 5.28. You might want to make a few small cuts in this area to make the strip lay down.

Any 1.5 inch webing should also work for this application but it should be flexible enough to mold to the keel. Some have used additional (left over) nylon material but this is difficult to cut straight.


As you might already know, many kayakers of old were able to make repairs while in the water. This was done by rafting a few boats together and flipping the injured craft upside and making the repair right on the spot. How novel.

The only repair I have had to make so far was when I split the seam on between the two hatches on my 6.6 meter Baidarka. I did this because the skin was too tight and was bending the stringers. I had to release the tension. The repair process in this case was as follows:

Remove all frayed or bulky material with a soldering gun cutting tip. Use a double length of nylon line and a very long needle or curved needle depending on the type of blind sewing needed. Make pilot holes with a hot nail for each stitch opening. This is necessary on the thick fabric but might not be needed on the 14 oz fabric. Sew up the "wound" as well as possible making sure that locking stitches are used so that the seam will not unravel if one stitch gives way.

Next, glue a piece of fabric over the stitches and coat with Hyplon. Minimum of 3 coats. This will hold very well and look fairly good if done with care and attention to detail.

Note: Should the hull of your craft need replacing for any reason, think about cutting a line at the gunwale and removing the old hull. Then sew a new piece of fabric to the hull and cover the seam with webbing. This will save a lot of work, fabric and Hyplon.


Deck attachments should be firmly sewn to the ridge beams or deck stringers. A rule of thumb should be that the empty kayak should be able to be supported by a single attachment.

I have used nylon washers purchased at the hardware store. These washers are 1/16 inch thick and are 1/2 inch O.D. X 3/8 inch I.D.. George uses a PVC tubing ? X ?. One of the problems is that it is hard to blind stitch these pieces in place. George uses a curved needle for this purpose. I have used a small person inside the kayak to feed the needle back and forth.

Three or four stitches will hold the rings in place and the knot is terminated by using a double half hitch. I mask the rings and then apply Hyplon around the area covering the stitching.


Hyplon is a brain burner so be sure to wear OSHA approved breathing mask otherwise you will have problems with mentation during the final stages of the project.

Xylene is the only thinner to use with Hyplon.

DO NOT USE Xylene SUBSTITUTES as they do not mix.

Before you put your first coat on be sure to burn off all fuzz balls on the fabric. this is done with a blow torch or lighter. Without this procedure those little fuzz balls will look like golf balls when filled with Hyplon

Hyplon is very forgiving as it dries out. I was very disappointed with drips and runs during my first boat. But later found that as the material dries out that drips and runs seem to shrink.

My experience with coats of Hyplon has been best with the following formula. First coat mix 50/50 and re-thin during initial application if necessary. Second coat 40% thinner 60% Hyplon Subsequent coats 30% thinner 70% Hyplon

Always thin as you apply to keep an easy flowing coat.

Be sure to build a well padded support platform for both the top and bottom of the kayak. Or use foam blocks (see pic) I tried using clearwrap over foam blocks and found that even the clearwrap left wrinkles in the skin. Be very careful in this respect as wrinkles cannot be removed.

I have tied down my boat after more than a month of cure time and found that the tie-down straps left marks in the skin. During each application I would suggest that you start at one end or the other and proceed toward the other end switching sides each 2 feet.

My suggestion regarding coats would be to apply 2 or 3 coats in one day, allow to dry, flip the boat over and do 2 or 3 coats and so on. Try to feather the coats at the gunwales.


A drain plug

Seats are a very personal accouterment of the finished craft. I have tried every conceivable type of seat from regular open cell upholstery foam to Spenco jelly (used on bicycle seats). I have found a closed cell, molded seat sold by Southwind Kayak (So. California) to be very comfortable on the bum during long trips. I also carry along two self inflating camping pillows for comfort. One for my back and one for under my knees. I also pad the knee braces on the 5.26 meter, which are built into the hatch coaming, with 1/2 inch closed cell foam.

Regarding foot peddles, I suggest using rigid peddles in the front cockpit on the 6.6 meter Baidarka and steerable foot peddles on the rear seat. My preference is the fixed pedals be supplied by George and Necke adjustable peddles for the rudder system.

In the single 5.28 meter I have installed Necke adjustable peddles and have tied them off to keep them stable. I may need them later if I decide to install a rudder.

Floatation is also a consideration. I am using beach balls currently but would suggest investing in a good set of puncture resistant floats. Floats are necessary in case your boat fills with water. Be sure to have floats in both ends of your kayak, otherwise it may end up looking like a channel buoy.

Regarding foot peddles, I suggest using rigid peddles in the front cockpit on the 6.6 meter Baidarka and steerable foot peddles on the rear seat. My preference is the fixed pedals supplied by George (Yakima made by North West Design works) and the Necke adjustable peddles for the rudder system.

In the single 5.28 meter I have installed Necke adjustable peddals and have tied them off to keep them stable. I may use them later if I decide to install a rudder.

Floatation is also a consideration. I am currently using a good set of puncture resistant floats. Floats are necessary in case you flip and your boat fills with water. Unless you have a good amount of boyancy you will not be able keep ahead of water sloshing over the hatch coaming. This is a very real senario. Be sure to have floats in both ends of your kayak, otherwise it may end up looking like a channel buoy.

I had my foot pedals poke holes in on of my float bags so be careful not to pinch the bag when adjusting the pedals.

GENERAL NOTES: Most hull damage is encountered while transporting the kayak. Roof racks come in many different configurations (see Pic) but it is very important to support the bow of the kayak. A flag on the rear is also important to attract the attention of other dirvers and to remid you of your rear backing limit.

Be careful not to bend your boat when it is filled with water.


Hull modifications are possible but not desirable below the waterline as changes in length or width will greatly change the craft's performance.

It is also possible to change the height of the foredeck (for more leg room). This is accomplished by increasing the height of the deck stringer supports.

One of the most popular changes of the design is to either lengthen or widen the cockpit opening to accommodate wider and taller people. This is done by simply changing the size and shape of the hatch coaming tubing, the coaming flatware and rope. Be sure to order more material if you are contemplating a change.



©1996 Craig Kelford Please do not repost, publish, or put this item on ftp or web sites without Craig's permission Craig Kelford II

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High Performance Wooden Sea Kayak Designs
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