how to build a seakayak / PART 1


Here we are, starting the blog section of the site.


In this section we’ll write mainly about boatbuilding experiences based on our plans , in order to give a strong feedback to all those who are considering the option of building their own boat using our projects.


We’ll dedicate our starting episodes to how to build a seakayak, our Bette 500 HV plan, following the assembly step by step as it has been  happening in my own garage in the last weeks.

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This will be a thread especially focused on beginners of boatbuilding, so it will quite long and detailed; maybe even too detailed for anyone with a decent boatbuilding experience.

I’ll try to give the details of each step of the building in terms of materials and working hours needed


let’s start from materials

1- materials

 this is most of what we need to built our own kayak  (ok, the resin can is just one of the four needed   :)   )

  • marine grade plywood: I choose tre sheets of 4 mm thickness okume marine plywood, each sheet is 3,10 x 1,50 mters long ; 4 mm of thickness is the ideal compromise between a light kayak and a sturdy boat

cost: 148 € + 25 € for home delivery (my small Honda Jazz was not so happy to travel with a 3 meters long flexible board on the top)

  • 1:1 scale templates: I spent 45 € to print the paper templates for hull and deck panels, to have the best accuracy in lofting panels on plywood and place them in the best way to reduce plywood waste
  • epoxy resin and additives (silica and cellulose fibers) : I bought a 5 kg  (resin + hardener) can of epoxy resin suited for boat building with slow hardener ; the total expense was about  210 € for resin , additives and glass tape and fabrics
  • light glass fabric : good quality with a very compact weft , quite light (166 g/m2) , easy to laminate ; I took a 1×6 square meters patch; it’s enough to laminate all the bottom of the hull and use the clippings cut into 5cm wide strips to laminate all the joinings among panels in the inner side of hull and deck
  • light glass tape: same weight as fabric , I bought it to laminate the panels’ joining on the outer side, mainly for aesthetic purposes, since it’s more regular than fabric strips; the tape is little bit more visible than the fabric and tougher to soak properly with resin
  • electrician cable ties : the smallest ones available , 2,5 mm wide , they will be useful to assembly all parts of hull and deck together ; I personally found them much more easy to use than coopper wire ; I think 5 packs (each one 100 ties) are the quantity needed
  • consumables: we’ll need sandpaper, small plastic glasses, syringes and cups, latex gloves and some other disposable stuffs, I’ll detail them as soon as we’ll need them going on in the building stages

 

tools for building

 

  • electric Jigsaw :

    a cheap one is quite enough, 4mm plywood is really easy to cut; it’s important to choose the right blade, since a wrong one will chunk the plywood instead of doing a clean cut, that is wht we need; I personally choose acutting blade suited for laminated wood, with small and very sharp teeth

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  • electrical or battery powered drill:

any decent drill is suitable, drill holes in thin plywood is not an hard task; use drill bits suited for wood


 

  • handheld sander:

not strictly unavoidable but useful to speed the annoying sanding operations, go for a small ones, avoid too powerful tools (belt sanders) as they litterally shred plywood to dust in few seconds

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  • other tools: clamps, pliers, scissors, knives with disposable blades, and some other basic tools