Ideas needed

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by dyt937, May 28, 2014.

  1. dyt937
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: Ohio

    dyt937 New Member

    Im looking to build a skin on frame kayak. shooting for 14-16 ft, and it needs to be able to hold camping gear. Any input as far as plans or references go would be appreciated. I've taken a look the F1 design by Brian at Cape Falcon Kayaks and really like it. I'm just looking for some wisdom from more experienced builders.

    Also... the freer the better :)
    Thanks!
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Check "The bark canoes and skin boats of North America". It is relatively easy to use the design of a skin covered kayak to a synthetic fabric.
     
  3. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Free can get very expensive.

    yostwerks.com has lots of free kayak designs. Just not anything I know of that can take camping gear. This is because skin on frame has no natural bouyancy. you need to add flotation bags to insure the boat will not sink, which takes up all the free space.

    However, for a small fee you can get a proven design from gentrycustomboats.com Take a look at the Cuckanut 15. This is a larger volume boat with an open cockpit allowing you to store your stuff. This is supposed to be a double, but one person and their camping gear should work out well. It also needs flotation bags to be unsinkable. but you might have enough room. If you go to the site, send Dave Gentry your question and see what he says, he is very open to helping. His prices are cheap also.
    You might also look at his open rowing boats.

    Have you see the recent SOF thread on a canoe? Might be better.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of "helpful" boat people. I might suggest many of us are quite opinionated so be prepared. Everyone except me of course :D
     
  4. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    I have built some 12 or more skin-on-frame kayaks and canoes, and perhaps ten other skin-on-frame dingys or small sail boats.

    Yostworks is a good place to start, and Harvy Golden's site: http://www.traditionalkayaks.com/
    also see this forum for excellent posts and referance: http://www.qajaqusa.org/

    15 to 16 ft is a bit small for a cargo hauler, that would be about right if you are smaller in size for a day kayak. You might consider building a Aleut style Biadarka, they are larger and designed as cargo haulers. though they tend to have a lot more parts and are more complicated as compared to a west Greenland type. I would not go for anything smaller than about 17 ft, and no wider than about 22-23 inches or your paddling is not very efficient.

    If you intend to haul camping gear in a traditional "native" style skin-on-frame kayak, think more like a back packer (strip your gear down to 40 to 50 lbs) and not do the stupid "modern" thing and bring 90 to 100 lbs of gear in a massive kayak-like boat that is not really a kayak at all.

    Traditional sizing is just your hips plus your two fists max beam, two and a have arms plus hand spans (out stretched hands) for length (about 17 ft typically). when you steam bend your ribs I use about 1/4" thick ribs and plane or rip the last 6-8" down to 0.2" down in thickness so you get a flatter bottom. If not it will be too round and tippy (of course I like my kayaks only about 20-22" wide). You can use either water tight gear bags, or I have also made "fabric" bulk heads to create water tight forward and aft compartments. You just have to make sure the place where the bulkhead seals against the skin is flexible so it does not leak (I have used caulked foam weather stripping with plywood bulkheads). this adds weight an complexity, you will also need water tight hatches too. Do not use a "sea sock" to prevent hull flooding, too risky in you can get tangled up in them (very bad idea).

    I think the best approach is to use a small gear bag in front of your feet, one behind you, and than a small deck bag in front of you for gear you will need during the day, and some means of strapping another gear bag on the deck behind you. this distributes the gear and allows for a smaller, lower profile greenland type hull (easier to build, lighter and much fewer parts). You particularly want the aft deck fairly low (perhaps only 5 or 6" above the keel) so you can lean back for doing rolls, and to make it easier to get in it, either in the water or on the beach.

    Best place for fabric is George Dyson, Biadarka and Co. In Bellingham WA. I like 9 oz nylon, it stretches a bit and allows to get a smooth and tight skin without puckers or wrinkles better than polyester fabric (I put it on with the nylon dampened with a spary bottle, it relaxes the nylon, and than let it dry overnight under severl heat lamps for a very tight skin). He also sells polyester lacing cord at a good price for lashing the hull together. Lashing is the best way, strong, flexible and not prone to rust or splitting the wood the way a fasten might. Us only polyester lacing cord, not nylong, for lashing the frame. Lashing is also just as fast as using any other means (I have tried just about every way to hold a frame together, lashing is the best).

    I usually select wood from the lumber pile at the hardware store, find several fairly clear 16 or 18 ft 2x6 or a single 2x10 and than rip my own gunwales and stringers from it. Doug fir makes a good stringer wood, ceder is also nice to work with but is not as strong so should be slightly larger stringers.

    I have found that good quality oil based one-part polyurethane floor finish is the best cost and durability you can get. there are costly two part polyurethane sealants, but I have not found them to be worth the extra cost. I have also used laytex (cheap but not very durable, but easy to touch up, non-toxic), and hypalon paint (toxic and not easy to use or clean up). I have also used oil based paint but I think if you want a solid color kayak put 5 to 6 coats of the polyurethane floor finish and than put 2 or 3 coats of oil based color paint. that is how I finished my wife's kayak below:
    [​IMG]

    this kayak BTW is a kind of hybrid of a greenland style hull but with more plumb bow and stern like a biadarka to keep the length down. Also notice the low rear deck, this kayak is easy to roll back upright in. It weighs about 19 lbs complete (red cedar stringers and gunwales, and alaska yellow cedar ribs, 9 oz nylon skin).

    The best book on the subject is "Building the Greenland style kayak" by Chris Cunningham, get it here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Building-Greenland-Kayak-Manual-Contruction/dp/0071392378
    it is the best on the subject, all the others make you build a kayak too big and too heavy (and I think all the others are a waste of money...I own them all). the only issue I have with Chris's book is his method of rib sizing is no good, they are too long and make the hull too deep. the best way is to set your gunwales and deck beams to get your plan-form shape, than temp mount the keel stringer in place with blocks where you want the depth, and than I use two flexible plastic strips clamped together, adjusting the length for the right length rib for each location. Each end of the plastic strip goes into the mortice on the gunwale at each end, use the clamp to adjust the length by sliding the two strips out or in to get the right length. Mark that length on your rip stock, numbering each one and cutting it to length for each specific mortice in the gunwales. I can not recall the name of the guy that taught me that at a wooden kayak meeting, he called it "intuitive rib length", since you adjust the rib length to the hull size you want, rather than cut the lengths by some formula, and just accept the hull size as it comes.

    Good luck with your build.
     
  5. KJL38
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Tasmania

    KJL38 Junior Member

    I think your kayak choice should depend on the intended use and your paddling skill set.

    When you camp how much gear do you take? Do you think like a backpacker?
    What conditions are you paddling in? Flatwater rivers and lakes or exposed ocean?
    Are you an experienced paddler in rough conditions with a bombproof roll?

    The F1 would be great for a skilled paddler in rough conditions who packs light. Have you seen Brians video of packing at http://www.capefalconkayaks.com/blog/new-video-kayak-camping-tips

    If you don't roll and are paddling in protected areas perhaps something shaped more like the Kleppers and Folbots being more stable and having a large cockpit. Some of the Percy Blandford plans may be worth a look.
     
  6. latestarter
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Location: N.W. England

    latestarter Senior Member

    Looks very good value.

    A very similarly named book "Building a Greenland Kayak" by Mark Starr starts at $127.78 used, $627 new.

    Previously I had looked in to buying "Building Skin-On-Frame Boats" by Robert Morris but thought it overpriced at $88.90 used, $154.62 new.

    Strange you can build a boat for less than the cost of the book. :confused:
     
  7. dyt937
    Joined: May 2014
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    dyt937 New Member

    this is great! thanks for everyone's input. Looks like I've got a bit more research to do.
    more info on my side however: Mainly paddling in relatively still rivers. Also as far as packing goes, I do pack like a backpacker and my base weight is usually ~30# give or take.
     
  8. dyt937
    Joined: May 2014
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    dyt937 New Member

    I got the "Building Skin-on-Frame Boats" from my library. I was pretty happy to see it there.
     
  9. dyt937
    Joined: May 2014
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    dyt937 New Member

    do you have any images of said bulkheads?
     
  10. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    I looked, no I can not find any. I might be able to get some off a frame I have hanging in the garage over the weekend.

    It just uses a plywood bulk head that leaves a gap between the stringers, and heavy weather stripping is in stalled in these gaps so it is close to flush where the skin would be. than after it is skinned and sealed, you go from both sides of the bulk head and seal it with silicone caulk against the skin and to the stringers. You will have to reseal these bulkheads every few years, no big deal.

    I did it because someone on a skin-on-frame kayak forum said you can not put bulkheads in a skin-on-frame kayak. I thought about it and thought "yes you can!", and went and did it rather than argue about it. You just have to make sure the seal against the skin is flexible like the skin, to allow it move rather than break the seal. One of the advantages of the skin-on-frame design is it can flex, making for a more controllable ride in rough water (like the suspension on a car, allows better control on rough surface). So much so I really now hate to paddle "hard shell" kayaks in rough water.

    I have also built folding skin-on-frame kayaks, and a non-folding skin on frame that can be taken apart in water tight segments. the idea is to break the kayak down in to 4 or 5 ft lengths so it can be tossed into the back of a Subaru or in an apartment closet. It only takes about 2 or 3 min to clamp together and go paddling, it can even stay "packed" with gear>
     

  11. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    here are pictures of the "take apart" kayak I did for a friend. he loves it, has been using it for years now. he lives on an apartment right on the water and the condo rules do not even allow him to keep a kayak on the roof of his car in the locked parking garage. It effectively has water tight bulkheads, and has to have water tight "hatches" for access, and to lock the keel latches.
     

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