kayak hull design.

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by swampy87, May 30, 2015.

  1. swampy87
    Joined: May 2015
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    swampy87 New Member

    I've been kayaking & canoeing for years in 3 different boats they are all cheap garbage!

    My lovley ladyfriend and I are in a canoe or kayaks 3 days a week. We float the boardman on week nights a lot just because its only 5 min from our home and its easy. we always take our dogs. This stretch is a lot of work in a canoe. Its narrow tight and fairly fast. The two kayaks we have are $150 plastic garbage from Menard's. They do absolutely nothing well but are much easier than the canoe.


    We have been looking at kayak plans but are having trouble finding anything that fits our needs. Were not a fan of the plastic kayaks, I've got thhw skills, tools, , time and lumber to build.

    Needs:
    -open tops. (My 40lb collie/lab mix sits between my legs and her 10lb dog sits between her legs)
    - 300lb capacity for mine, 200lb for her. (These are our weights+loaded backpack+dog+25 lbs)
    - stable
    - light weight
    - cup holders!

    These do not need to be fast, they do not need to take a beating, they do need to be easy to manuver in a small river and draft very little water.

    I'm thinking a cross between a solo canoe and a kayak. It will be 9' long, 30" wide and about 10" deep. The front 2/3 will be open, rear 1/3 enclosed. strip build, painted&varnished bottom, varnished top, wooden seat with back rest.

    Suggestions on hull design? Traits of kayak that fit this bill?
     
  2. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    A nine foot kayak/canoe (canyak) is too short for 200 and 300 pounds of displacement. A short one will be slower too, or from another point of view it will need more effort to propel than a somewhat longer one.

    A 12 footer is somewhere at the upper limit of transport, loading, unloading ease for ordinary physiques and reasonable load capacity. A 14 footer would be a better performer but it is getting a little bit big for ease of land bound handling.

    Check out Canoe and Kayak magazine for lots of available plans.. Or consult Tom Hills well done book; Ultra Light Boat Building. There is a lovely little 11 ft 5 inch lap straker that he calls Charlotte. 25 pounds, similar to Rushtons Wee Lassie but not a stripper. Ted Moore's Book: Canoecraft is about as good as it gets if you want to do strippers. The offset tables for Rob Roy are in the book. 12 foot 11 inches about 35 pounds. You could easily add closed compartments to either end if you wish. You could do that with Charlotte too. The dogs will like either of those little boats. They are classics.
     
  4. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    An 18' stripper weighs ~45#.
    Easily loaded on a roof rack by 2.
    I can load it by myself with a little effort and I am 60+ fat boy.

    Don't penalize yourself with a short boat or a small/ narrow canoe.
    You and the dog will both be swimming as soon as he wants to move a little.

    A Wee Lass type canoe is about 24" wide.
    A Yost SeeBee 13' is 24" wide but has more stability due to the length (this is less than 30#).
    The Chuckanut 15 is 31.5" wide. 39#.

    Which is more likely to stay upright with a dog?
     
  5. swampy87
    Joined: May 2015
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    swampy87 New Member


    The dog is well behaved, he sits still 99% of the time. When he moves its rarely sudden, he's usually switching from one side to the other.

    The reason for the short length is to keep it nimble and easy to portage. There quite a few log jams that hang low or leave only 48" to sneak through. Doable but when you get into back to back hair pins littered with log jams a canoe requires a fair about of work to paddle through.

    The two cheesy kayaks I have now are 9'6" long, 30 inches wide and about 8" deep. They float just fine but get just a bit tight with a back pack and a dog.this is why I wanted the open top.


    I've been doing a lot of reading regarding canoe and kayak design and it seems a lot of the reason my Coleman is such a bear in the corners is because its dead straight bow to stern with a big 2" x2" keel on the bottom front to back. Most of the river canoe designs I look at have 2.5" of rocker front and rear with no keel & a flat bottom.

    I prefer the canoe over the kayak, I grew up casting a fly rod for baas standing in the back of an aluminum canoe. I'm well versed in handling a canoe in many situations but all of the canoes I have had were pretty much the same. 16-18' no rocker, slight vto the bottom and a long keel front to back.

    I have 110 cedar 1x6x 10s laying in my basement, I'm going to start with a 16' river canoe, printed plans just and hour ago For the north west river model. 16 long by 35 wide with 2.5" of rocker front and rear. I've got a hand full of laminated beams laying around to use as a strong back. I'll build a kayak of my own design out of curiosity.
     
  6. swampy87
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    swampy87 New Member

    For the record, I'm A 27 years old mason that weighs 220 @ 5'11tall. I've been slinging the old Coleman up on top of my ladder rack with no issue for years. When I speak of portaging I'm thinking of damns and low bridge. Leave everything in the yaks and carry them instead of the unload and haul everything seperatly. my only reason for looking at kayaks is that my Coleman is such a slug in the river. I'll try a canoe with the appropriate design before the kayaks.
     
  7. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Glad you made a decision.
    Looking forward to your design and the build.
    And the dog as a crew report!
     
  8. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    a short fat kayak feels like pushing a shoe box through the water. Length does not imply maneuverability, hull design and paddler skill has more do do with control than length. I suggest go out and test paddle as many kayaks as you can before you settle on a design.

    I would not build a kayak less than about 15 ft long, for an adult male, 16 ft would be a better length. the only disadvantage with the extra lenght is putting it on the roof of a small care, other wise the lengths gives you more stability and a much better glide. Personally I do not care for kayaks that are wider than about 21 inches, it interpheres with good paddling techniques when you have a big fat hull to paddle around.

    Those factory "tupper ware" plastic sit-on-tops they call kayaks are a joke, if that is all you used than you have not really paddled a kayak. They are fat and slow, poor directional stability, and not a good example to decided on what you want in a kayak. I have built some 12 or more kayaks (over 20 small boats total), paddled perhaps 100 different types of kayaks and canoes, and have paddled extensively in both.

    find a hill design you like and than you can built it with a large cockpit to accomodate your needs. I like building skin-on-frame, it is light and inexpensive, and comes together faster than a "hard shell" design. The 15 ft x 19" kayak I built for my wife only weighes 19 lbs, a slightly smaller skin on frame I built for my daughter only weighes 16 lbs, and both are as durable as any hard shell kayak, and far lighter.

    one way to maintain comfortable stability without the fat beam width is to but your seat right down on the floor of the hull. Your butt should be right down on the keel. I like about 4" of rocker, and a fairly flat bottom, Greenland type because it has fewer frame parts (but I alter it to have nearly vertical bow and stern...the extra length of the pointy greenland type hull does nothing as far as performance, only adds length and weight).

    You can build a nice large skin on frame, say 16 ft x 22 in, from retail purchased materials for about $200, a large cockpit would accommodate your needs and light wood slat floor for most of the length of the cockpit would protect the frame and and skin from cargo, your dog, etc. I can build a kayak like that in about 40 hours or less of time, your first one might take twice that. It does not need to use any fiberglass, use nylon or polyester skin, 5 coats of polyurethane floor finish as sealant, and frame made from wood you select from the stack at the big box store and rip down on a table saw yourself.

    go out to some gatherings of people that build their own kayaks and give them a try to find something you like. and than either develop your own plans, or have someone at the gathering help you develop your own design. also, the booklet "The Greenland kayak" by Chris Cunningham is an excellent starter book, there are others as well, but I like Chris' book the best. not sure it is still available.

    Good luck
     

  9. tmark
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    tmark Junior Member

    If a canoe remains a consideration, you may wish consider something like this ... if built to the designers spec it comes in under 30 lbs and suits a dog just fine.

    http://ashesstillwaterboats.com/the-revel-day/

    [​IMG]

    oops ... just realized you've printed plans ... good luck!
     
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