Canvas Sea Kayak

Some people are building the Stitch and Glue Guillemot as a Skin on Frame Guillemot.

Igor Ravbar <> of Slovenia built the above take apart version.

Julio MacWilliams <> decided to build my Stitch&Glue Guillemot as a wood and canvas. He sent me some pictures of his progress:


Julio wrote:

I am building a wood-canvas kayak out of the forms that I used to start building your stitch and glue kayak.

As I told you before, the forms are a lot smaller than what comes up after stitching the plywood frames together.

I did not want to waste the forms, and the idea of a narrow kayak was very appealing to me.

Then I read some books on baidarkas, and wood and canvas kayak building,(George Dyson "baidarka",Wolfgang Brink "The Aleutian Kayak", Putz"wood and canvas kayak building") and an article in "Sea Kayaker" on building a greenland kayak; and then I was hooked into frame and canvaskayak building.

So, I made rings out of the forms, and cut them so that they hold the battens that go lengthwise.

And this is what I came up with (photo #1).

The first thing I did was the keel. I glued to battens (sp?) together and let them dry while forced to the appropriate curvature, according to the form offsets (keel points).

Photo #2 is a front upper view.
Photo #3 is a rear upper view.

The next photograph, #4 is a detail of the coaming. I decided to learn how to bend wood, and this is the result. This coaming I made with a 1 3/4 x 1/2 inch x 8 feet piece of oak that I left for six days inside a PVC tube full of water. Then, I bent it to shape by pouring boiling water on it as I bent it around a plywood "egg", previously cut with the shape I wanted.

A flat coaming is only good for baidarkas, so I attached the coaming to the kayak with C clamps so that it would dry out with the kayak shape, (kind of a "horse saddle" shape).

The next photo, #5 shows a view from inside the frame. Notice the excess of Gorilla glue. It was easy to remove afterwards. Also notice the pine strips to distribute the paddlers weight across many forms. This idea came from Putz's book.

The next photo #6 is a front view. Forms #0, #20, #40 clearly show up in this one.

On #7 you can see forms #160, #140, and #120. I did not use the rear-most one, #180, because it was too small.

The beautiful model in photos #8 and #9 is my wife. And the guy with glasses on #10 is me. Notice the state-of-the-art saw horses (garbage cans).

Now that the frame is complete, I am thinking how I would make a second one. I would probably use the bow and stern pieces that are used to make the Coastal. I guess I would use the Coastal forms as well.

It would be nice to have had the forms for the fore and aft sides of the cockpit. I had to make an interior form, not as nice as the others,to give strength to the cockpit. That is something to consider when doing the CAD design.

The next step is to coat the whole thing with epoxy and marine varnish and sew the canvas. Then complete the coaming and attach another wood strip to the keel for protection.

I am planning to varnish the canvas with aircraft dope.

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