Email is a beautiful thing.





Q + A



  Hello, I was thinking of building the s+g kayak but I could not properly download and read the file.One came thru as all letters and numbers in some wrong format and the other I could not read after downloading to 3-1/2 in. floppy.I know it is probably my inexperience, if you can shed any light on my problem I would appreciate it.

 The plans are in a .zip archive. You need something to unzip the file, like Winzip for windows, or MacZip for Macintosh.

You should wind up with 9 files, I think. I just tested it to see if everything is there, and it worked ok for me.

The second file you refer to must be the .wrl, which is a VRML virtual world file. You need a VRML viewer enabled in your browsers to see it.

 I live in Key West and have been sea kayaking for 8 years. I am interested in a baidarka kit or full size plans but I don't want a set of downloaded plans.

Can you help me find a good set of plans for a baidarka? Thank you in advance for your help. I WANT SKIN!!!

  I know of at least two books which have baidarka plans and building instructions-- G. Dyson's 'Baidarka' and a newer one, "The Aleutian Kayak", by Wolfgang Brinck.

"The Aleutian Kayak" is an excellent book, and very strong on tradition construction. In fact, it doesn't use offsets per say, but rather dimensions which can be sized from the builder's own body measurements, just like the native boats were constructed! It's also very 'step by step'. I recommend it highly.

There are other resources available also, I think David Zimmerly has a book with plans in it.

Look in the back of 'Wooden Boat' for kits and workshops.

 My Resources Page includes more boatbuilding books.

 I was wondering if you know of relevant techniques/hardware to enable me to 'cut' my 16foot 'Gaia' canoe so that it could fold? I'm not frightened of the surgery on my trusty old canoe. It would make it much easier to use more frequently.

Would appreciate any suggestions - thanks - nigel

Yikes. I cringe to think of such a radical operation on an existing boat, but I'm sure it's been done before.

This is the (little) I know on the subject:

1) There is a US company 'South Shore Boatworks' which makes DIY kayak kit which can be constructed in sections. They may have hardware and info you can use. Sorry, I don't know their Address or phone#.

2) You can buy 'hull clamps', aluminum clamps with latch pins to hold the hull sections together. A two-piece canoe requires three-- one at each rubrail and one at the keel.

3) If I were to do it myself, I'd follow a procedure something like:

a) make a template by mounting a piece of cardboard in the hull at the point of division, trace the inside of hull using a compass with the arms locked. Transfer that profile to a piece of 1/2 inch (10 or 12mm?) plywood, making sure the compass is still locked to the previous setting.

b) Fit the bulkhead in place by hand. Once it fits, make a second plywood bulkhead identical to the first. The two bulkheads will be mounted face-to-face inside the hull.

c) glue the first bulkhead in place.

d) drill a few holes thru the hull from the inside to guide you when you cut the hull in half. If you install the forward bulkhead first, drill the holes just aft of that bulkhead. Try to make them emerge through the hull EXACTLY at the point between the the faces of the two bulkheads.

e) Cover the face of the installed bulkhead with waxed paper, then glue the second bulkhead in place hard up against that first (the waxed-paper) bulkhead.

f) Flip the hull upside down. Connect the dots between the drilled holes, then cut the hull in half with a sabre saw. Re-enforce the bulkheads by adding aluminum corner brackets inside of each hull section.

g) Fit the hull clamps in place to hold the sections together. (actually, you may want to do this BEFORE you cut the hull in half.)

h) Paint or varnish. Paddle.

 Hi my name is Shawn, and I am interested in kayak construction. Though new to kayaking, I would like to try my hand eventually at building a kayak.

I have never built a boat before and was wondering if you could recomend some books about the subject.

 My Resources Page includes a non-definitive list of books that I have found helpful.

 I am very interested building a canoe or a kayak, it seems like a nice relaxing hobby. I live in ohio and am not sure which would suit my needs and how to get started. I live alone near lake erie and other then that, I dont get to travel much.

I have been doing some research and it looks like i can build a wooden canoe for around 700 dollars, which i could handle.
I think, as a novice, a kit is something i could do. I really wanna try canoeing-- any ideas or sugestions? please help!


 Hi, Steve--

Do as much research as you can stand, for the type of boat you
want to build-- if you plan to build a strip-built canoe, read as much about
strip-building as you can find. There are some great books out there, but if
you spend all your time reading about dory construction and then try to
build a stitch+tape canoe, you're probably wasting your time.
Also, I think kits are a great way to build a boat, they save lots of
frustration, wasted time and wasted wood (and wood's getting expensive!). Even if you kit-build, doing your homework first can make a big difference.
And yeah, I find boat building really fun and relaxing.

Good luck, have fun and safe boating,