kayak design for a new company

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by watuci13, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. watuci13
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    watuci13 Junior Member


    I've been working in the composite industry for ten years and i came to a decision to start my own company.
    Back in the day when i was preparing for my boat building school exam i was building a double wooden kayak, and that project had such an influence on me that ever since i was planing that one day i will make living out of building kayaks, even though i have never paddled one...

    So after these years i have gained experience and knowledge of in the composite industry and enough capitol to start my own, i decided to do some prep job before hitting the bank.

    at the moment i am working on my business plan and in the mean time i was sketching a kayak as well.
    Not having any experience with boats or kayaking i did loads of hours of research to find out what and how i could build and build differently to be able to squeeze myself in the market and be profitable.
    So i snipped some great features from different top brands and sketched something on paper.
    I had found an ex-colleague who became a naval architect who would be happy to take part in the project and make a design for me, but...

    I need to let him know of the scope of the job i want him to do, and this is where i am stuck.

    What i know is that i don't know anything about the hydrodynamics, how to make a 3D model, how to calculate the materials etc, i also don't know how to tweak the different properties to make it faster or more stable, how to change the shape to have equal primary and secondary stability or anything like that.
    All i know is that if i have some 1:1 ribs i can make a plug, pull off molds and laminate a kayak assemble it etc.

    So i was wondering if i could get some help in order to give him an answer which makes sense in designer language and gives me a result what i can use to build it.

    As well as an idea of what payment terms he or i could set for such a job, how much would be a fair deal etc?

    Any kind of observation, idea, information is highly appreciated.

    thanks and regards

  2. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Build a boat and start paddeling first.
    Its really hard to invent something useful when you don't have first hand experience.
    There are lots and lots of kayak designs, most do not succeed.

    Every Tom, Dick, and Harry can "design" a kayak nowdays with the software available - Kayak Foundry as an example.

    I just talked to an individual who has had some success. He had just cut up a kayak that he said was his first design - "it was terrible" - his own words.
    The construction was first class, but he said the shape didn't work well.
  3. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I think that's not your job but precisely the work of the naval architect who, he says, wants to help.
  4. watuci13
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    watuci13 Junior Member

    Thanks for the reply,
    I will give it a thought, although my approach is that you don't necessarily has to be an astronaut to build a spaceship...
    the first article would be a prototype anyways and before even making a cut with a jigsaw the design will go though a couple of hands who actually have interest in kayaking and experience in paddling, to get rid off some initial mistakes at the beginning...
  5. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    In that particular case you have to be at least an engineer... ;)
    In any case, you definitely need to know and understand what you are doing.

    In your case:
  6. CatrigCat
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    CatrigCat Junior Member

    It would be better if you became a kayak builder.

    If build quality is good, there are many people with ideas for kayaks and you can build them, money upfront.

    If you build your own, you will have a hard time selling it.
  7. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Too many people to pay for a very cheap, low profit product.
  8. Manfred.pech
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    Manfred.pech Senior Member

  9. DouglasEagleson
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    DouglasEagleson Junior Member

    Big freighters have a bow bulge that seems to be popular if not mandatory. So it is maybe allowable on small boats. A kayaker should know instantly if it is a true benefit. Buy a kayak and mount an electric motor and monitor motor current versus speed. Then put a bow bulge on and do another test run.

    If it is of benefit it would be a product distinguisher. Conceptually the normal ultra small, beam to length ratio kayaks have a very fine pointed bow. As the paddler increases speed the bow rises to begin the approach to planing. This means the length on water line decreases?? If so, a bow bulge should maintain this length with speed?

    This post is qualified as it is not professional advice.

    A product distinguisher is real nice to have. Even colors help. Put on Zebra stripes maybe.
  10. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    Astronauts don't build spaceships. Engineers do.;)
  11. watuci13
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    watuci13 Junior Member

    Wrong, craftsman build, engineers find out what to.
  12. watuci13
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    watuci13 Junior Member

    I think my initial msg was misunderstood.

    I wasn't asking for advice whether I should build sth I have never used before, as I know for fact that you can build good quality and profitable stuff without being an active user, and you can have good ideas on things you don't know inside out.

    I needed advice on what scope to give to a designer/ naval architect who I trust that he can turn my idea into a success by giving his knowledge into it and the advice of his connections of pro paddlers. And what is a fair price for it?
  13. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    If you are a smart entrepreneural person, you will identify your market very carefully before you even consider what kind of kayak to build.

    You can buy a roto- molded little boat for $200 or you can buy an elegant Kevlar or carbon kayak for two.... three thousand or more. You can build Sit on tops complete with fishing accessories, or you can build Sea Kayaks, or maybe wildeness trippers, or even whitewater boats. None of those have the same design characteristics so you need to identify the target market before you contemplate a design.
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Market research should be done before any designing. It makes no sense to build a kayak that nobody wants or is able to buy.

  15. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I second and third this suggestion.

    The "bleeding obvious" solution AFTER you have identified your market, is to locate the two top selling products in your chosen area and see what you can do to improve on existing designs.

    To start at the very beginning after hundreds of years of design and experimentation is a simplistic approach.

    For kayaks, it might not even be a performance issue.

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