Don't let the "sea" in "sea kayak" intimidate you. Kayaks designed to work on saltwater will work just fine on fresh water.
These plans are product of Nick's years of boating experience and extensive research into what makes boats work. Each design starts out as an idea spawned on the water. Time out in boats will suggest how a boat could be tailored to perform better in specific conditions.
One of the biggest benefits to building a small boat with narrow strips is how accessible it is. While it looks intimidating, taking a bundle of small strips and wrapping them around a set of forms really is a matter of patience and not one of specialized skills.
Building a kayak using either the strip-built or stitch-and-glue method is within the means of most people who want to do it. Neither method is particularly difficult for anyone who is willing to take the time required.
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.
With all the modern materials available to make boat, why would you want to choose wood? There are several reasons. The first is that working with wood is well within the means of most people. It doesn't take a lot of time, the material is relatively easy to obtain and it is not too expensive.
"Strip-Building" is the art of bending many, small, thin strips of wood around forms to create a boat shape. The wood is covered with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin then removed from the forms and the inside is fiberglassed.
Yes, on most of my boats, the hatches are flush and the hatch covers are just the pieces of wood cut out of the deck to create the hatch hole. This means that the hatch virtually disappears on the deck.