PVC pipe as a SOF kayak frame material?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by mitchgrunes, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 1,313
    Likes: 64, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 152
    Location: United States

    Skyak Senior Member

    I am dumfounded how you continue to say plastic pipe is cheap and easy and that wood is hard and expensive -it is the opposite. Is $200 in materials for a 14-16ft kayak expensive? You don't need cheap wood, you need a little bit of good (right) wood. Find a 16ft piece of wood with straight grain an no knots and the store will even rip it down to your desired strips. You even have the design in the form of a physical example. You might even rebuild the SOF boat you have fixing the parts you don't like. I don't understand your recue issue -in the beginning, all kayaks were skin on frame. The traditional build is as strong and resilient as anything. There was a guy on these forums "Petro" that would build SOF boats out of any leftover wood he had -to de-stress. If you weren't so insistent on "cheap" I am sure there are similar artisans around that would make you the kayak you desire cheaper than production plastic.
     
  2. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 3,249
    Likes: 234, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 579
    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Mitch,

    You want to do this no matter what is said.
    Just do it.
    You can use saran wrap to make a temporary skin to see how the flexible boat feels.
    It won't last long (minutes) before it takes on water.
    But you can wrap it multiple times if you need more time without a lot of expense.
    I hope we seen one within a week.
    Seriously.
     
  3. mitchgrunes
    Joined: Jul 2020
    Posts: 105
    Likes: 17, Points: 18
    Location: Maryland

    mitchgrunes Senior Member

    I didn't say wood was expensive. It is somewhat more expensive and harder to use than plastic pipe - the frame could have been cut and put together in maybe 30-60 minutes, and would have been easy to modify. My original 1/2" PVC concept, which I have had to reject due to poor durability, would have cost maybe $30-$50 for the frame.

    There does not seem to be a "Petro" member of this forum. Nor have I so far managed to find anyone who makes them for a fee, except some distant shops that charge $3000 - $4000. There are some places that offer classes in SOF building, for about $1500 on up,- but from what I have found so far, they aren't custom boats - just boats that are too big and too hard to lean for me - and they don't complete the boat during the course - you have to take it home and complete it.

    There is a marine museum within a couple hours of where I live that has an "Apprentice for a day" program in large wooden boat building - but they are different types of boats, and it would take a lot of time to learn what they teach. I tried that program for a few weekends. They taught me how to use and sharpen a plane, and how to cut with a specific type of Japanese saw, how to feed a plank through a very expensive planar the size of a small room, and how to use a hole saw to make wooden pegs, and pound them into holes. Likewise, a club I belong to taught us how to make a crude Greenland paddle, also using a plane. They offer another workshop to make a neoprene spray skirt. But these aren't skills that allow me to make a complete SOF boat. I guess it is assumed that all wood-be boat builders already understand the basics of working with wood. I have found books on woodworking - but they are dealing with fine points, like how to measure the water content of wood, the properties of specific types of wood, etc., not the basics. They also assume you will create a large home shop with a few thousand dollars of tools.

    No store in my geographic area that I have found will rip thin wood strips (they say it is too dangerous), nor do they stock 16' boards. Maybe I just don't know where to look. I just bought myself a circular saw ($8 used), and I also have a jig saw ($5 used) - I may be able to figure out how to use them, though the circular saw looks scary.

    I want to try first with cheap wood, and cheap cloth (e.g., painted canvas), because I suspect I will mess up the first time.
     
  4. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 1,234
    Likes: 290, Points: 83
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Unlike you.
    The schools know that it will take years of practice to learn the skills used in woid boat building.
     
    mitchgrunes likes this.
  5. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 3,249
    Likes: 234, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 579
    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    There have been guys who cut the frame strips with either a skill saw or a jig saw. 3/4 x 3/4.
    The bulkheads can be cut with the jig saw. 1/2 ply.
    Frame strips can be and usually are spliced. The jig saw or a japanese hand saw works fine. Home Depot or Lowes 8' lumber (and not much).
    My first boat was Dyson supplied polyester cloth. Worked just fine.

    You are making too many excuses.
    The biggest attraction of SOF is that you can do one with minimal tools.

    You can either start somewhere or just keep talking.
     
    mitchgrunes likes this.
  6. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 1,313
    Likes: 64, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 152
    Location: United States

    Skyak Senior Member

    Petros | Boat Design Net

    He hasn't been around in a few years. He proposed a hardware store sailboat race class (a good thread to read) and I recall he frequently talked about making SOF prototypes like you are considering. He used canvas and old latex paint and reported 5yr+ life.

    I will look through my old links -I recall there was one dominant source for SOF kits that was not cheap. Home depot used to cut wood on a table saw on request. A circular saw with a guide can rip the stringers but the right tool is a table saw.

    The rare tool is the steaming box but you can make your own.
     
    mitchgrunes likes this.
  7. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 1,313
    Likes: 64, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 152
    Location: United States

    Skyak Senior Member

  8. mitchgrunes
    Joined: Jul 2020
    Posts: 105
    Likes: 17, Points: 18
    Location: Maryland

    mitchgrunes Senior Member

    Great info, everyone. :)

    I'm trying contact Petros through this board.

    A person I know who used to build also recommended Brian Schulz at Cape Falcon Kayak, and suggested the F1 model. Not cheap, for the boats, kits, or shipping. But at the least, I will look at the free video classes.

    Cape Falcon's videos show putting together pieces using a combination of stitch and glue, mortice (a new concept to me), and lashing. I'm trying to understand why lashing is used.

    Skin on frame boat building. Kayak and Ultralight boatbuilding https://www.christinedemerchant.com/boat-styles-skin-on-frame.html says

    Is lashing still the best and easiest way to build SOFs with modern tools, materials and techniques?

    My Home Depot and Lowes said cutting thin strips is too dangerous on their saws, and they don't sell 16' boards. But Cayuga Lumber in Ithaca, NY, near where I sometimes visit, says they might do it - at about $1/cut, and they sell 16' boards, though only in a few woods.
     

  9. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,514
    Likes: 1,049, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.