The following "frequently asked questions" section is designed with you, the customer, in mind; we hope you will find the information you need about our boat kits.
I have heard of a number of kit manufactures producing CNC cut boat kits; are you new?
No Waters Dancing Boat Kit Company has been established since the 1950s and is a family owned and run business. We’ve been making kayak kits since 1955. We believe we make the best kits available and have shipped our kits as far away as Japan, South Korea, Australia, Italy, Norway and Finland to mention a few.
The Waters Dancing Boat Kit Company has been successfully making kayak kits nearly twice as long as the two leading kayak kit companies combined - a total of over 53 years as of 2008.
Why haven’t I seen any of your ads until now?
Most of our advertising has been done by our customers!
Nothing gives us greater pleasure than referrals from satisfied customers, and repeat customers are also a source of pride; take the case of Harold, who told us "I built one of your kits 28 years ago and eventually sold it, I should never have done that; it was the best boat I ever had!" Harold has now built our Duet 16 kit.
How are your kits produced?
Since 1994, we have been producing our kayak kits with CNC router cutting technology. Over the years we have learned that this technology is not magic, the faster you cut and the thicker the material you cut the more accuracy you give up. We cut at a fraction of the machine's capability to ensure accuracy and to avoid chipping the wood during the cutting process. We want to be sure you have the best parts available and a positive building experience. Boat Models
Can anyone build a boat from a Waters Dancing kit?
Yes practically anyone can build one of out kits!
Over the years, people from all walks of life have successfully built boats from our kits. Most of them had no previous building experience (notice we didn't say boat-building experience) of any kind.
I recall three young women who bought our Explorer 16 canoe kit. They built it for a friend as a wedding present!
The women built it using our shop canoe building notes and the Lightning 17 building manual since the Explorer 16 manual wasn’t ready yet.
The boat impressed a neighbor so much that he just had to come down to see the rest of our boats/kits. See Customer’s Photos.
What kind of wood does Waters Dancing use to create your boat kits?
Our kits are cut from the finest mahogany plywood made.
We use British Standard (BS) 1088 Okoume marine plywood (an African mahogany registered with Lloyds of London.) Okoume mahogany is obtained from sustainable growth forests (tree farms).
We purchase our Okoume plywood by the container load direct from the manufacturer to keep costs as low as possible.
What kind of epoxy hardener do you use?
We use marine epoxy with a non blushing clear coating hardener. We use this resin hardener combination for its outstanding clarity, exceptional low blushing characteristics and superior flexibility with high bond strength. The pump set (included in the kit) takes all the guesswork (and mess) out of mixing epoxy. You can be secure knowing that you are building with the best!
How long will it take to build my kit?
Building times vary from person to person. In general the more time you allow, the better your boat will look! We list the approximate building time with each kit.
See Boat Models.
Are there strong fumes when using epoxy?
Our marine epoxy has no solvents, so the fumes are kept to a minimum. We recommend the use of a charcoal filter mask when using any chemicals including varnish. Epoxy is quite sticky, so you may want to wear old clothes or a smock. The 2015 flagship varnish included with the kit is smelly; grab your mask!
(For masks and other supplies see our Accessories / Price List.)
Are Waters Dancing boats as strong as fiberglass or plastic boats?
Yes! Okoume plywood/epoxy boats are as strong as and 30% lighter than fiberglass boats. Under impact, fiberglass shatters like a windshield. You may not even see some of the small cracks that need repairs in your fiberglass hull. This makes bringing the hull back to 100% strength almost impossible for the average “do it your self” person. If you do need to repair a fiberglass boat, fix it with our marine epoxy. It is ten times stronger than the polyester resin from which most fiberglass boats are made. Our marine epoxy is an adhesive and will not “let go” like polyesters and some other epoxies. We are in our fifth decade of repairing boats and helping people with the supplies and information they need to make repairs, on all types of boats, aircraft, motor homes and cars.
If you have built your own boat, you have worked with all the things you need and have the skills necessary to make a repair! Okoume plywood/epoxy boat sustain less damage than fiberglass from a similar accident. I have had my Lightning 17 for twelve years and have dragged it across gravel roads even when full of gear, landed on rocks in surf, banged down rocky rivers, and walked along its deck. It has not even been re-varnished yet. It sits in our showroom and when people see it there they invariably say "that boat is too pretty to put in the water" If they only knew!
Cedar strip construction
Because Okoume mahogany plywood is built with three laminations, the hull takes impact much better than a cedar strip hull, which is more likely to crack.
What about maintenance?
The maintenance required for the Okoume/epoxy boat is similar to that needed with a fiberglass or plastic boat. Epoxy requires protection from long term exposure to ultra-violet sunlight. We supply 2015 flagship single component polyurethane varnish in our kits, which is the best money can buy! It has six times the UV protection compared to the next leading varnish.
It is recommended that the boat be scuff sanded and re-varnished every three to seven years, depending on the amount of exposure to the sun.
Note: Fiberglass and polyethylene plastic boat have no UV protection added during their manufacturing process, so keeping them out of the sun is crucial to the life of the boat. As the main supplier of boat repair supplies in this area, we receive calls about repairs to these supposedly "indestructible" polyethylene plastic boats regularly.
Left in the sun you will require a new plastic boat every seven years or so. Plastic boats are not in my opinion a high quality craft. They are too heavy, and when the hull flexes, the water pressure forces the bottom of the boat up in the middle so it’s like paddling a suction cup through the water.
Wood/epoxy on the other hand is very stiff and holds its shape better than either plastic or fiberglass. This makes for better glide and consequently less effort is required to cover the same distance. The lighter (by 15-25 lbs.) wood/epoxy boat means that much more gear or supplies can be carried.
More about Okoume plywood/epoxy boats
On the bottom at the bow and stern we apply five layers of fiberglass cloth and two coats of epoxy/graphite. While this adds a few ounces of weight, it provides more abrasion resistance than a sheet of steel! Once in a while (usually at the end of the season or when its required) you can mix some resin/hardener and add a small amount of graphite powder, smear it on the narrow ends (bow /stern) of the boat and you’re good to go!
Unlike cedar strip/wood strip construction the Okoume plywood/epoxy boats do not require a strongback or staions. The stongback and staions add to the building time and cost of the project. It takes approximately three times longer to build a cedar strip boat than a boat from our stitch and glue kit.
How do your kits compare to others?
We design each boat with care to give you the best performance, handling, and comfort available anywhere. We select the most aesthetically pleasing sheets of Okoume for our decks since they are the most visible and are the showpiece of the boat. As stated earlier, we have been cutting our kits using CNC technology since 1994. Our kit parts have a repeatable accuracy of several thousandths of an inch, (our hair is about six thousandths of an inch) to ensure the parts fit perfectly.
Our kits come complete and are of very high quality. We include many more components than our competitors.
When you are comparing prices keep in mind that the other guys charge extra for the things listed below that are included in our kit.
hatches, permanent bulkheads, hatch seals, deck hardware, bow and stern handles, varnish, graphite for the bottom, we supply a clear coating U.V. stabilized hardener that will keep the finish clear for the life of the boat (others charge extra for this feature) epoxy/hardener metering pumps, a contoured adjustable seat, we have the QuickLock connector joints that aligns the hull and deck panels, the QuickLock joints are stronger than the butt joints and do not leave flat spots at the joint.
Our joints do not allow you to connect the parts incorrectly and it's also much faster to join them. Ours joints can all be completed, for example on the Solace 16XL, in an hour whereas theirs will require two days to complete. Their manual is only 26 pages compared to ours which is 160 pages, and we also allow unlimited phone support.
Compare us with the others; we think you will agree that Waters Dancing kits are the most complete available on the market.
I have seen several types of decks offered by kit suppliers, what's the difference? And why do you choose the decks you have?
We have chosen our deck configuration, which offers significant advantages, for a number of reasons.
In most cases we use a deck with three longitudinal joints (see Boat Models for examples) for examples.
Each time you put a joint in a panel the deflection is decreased and the strength of that particular panel is increased. We also do this to control the shape of the deck at every inch along the length of the boat. The reason for controlling the decks shape is that water gets funneled off the deck as quickly as possible. We start with the bow raised, dropping it as it runs back roughly half way to the cockpit, lifting it again towards the cockpit. The raised bow reduces the amount of water able to run up on to the deck. Any water up there is then brought down due to the drop in the deck and is quickly funneled off when the vee'ed deck line rises to the cockpit. This results in a much drier boat than the one-piece curved deck. This one-piece deck limits the amount of shaping that can be done because plywood will bend in one direction only, resulting in a deck that in the side view is straight. This means that, with a one-piece deck, water is able to roll along the length of the deck constantly washing over the paddler; our deck shape eliminates this.
Our deck also eliminates the necessity for sheer longitudinals; these, if improperly installed can allow gaps that can reduce the strength of the hull and collect water which can cause damage.
The installation of the deck using sheer longitudinals requires screws or nails to secure it, while the epoxy cures. Testing has proven that fasteners reduce the strength of joints by concentrating the stress at the fastener. This squeezes the epoxy out, again reducing the strength of the hull. Fasteners create condensation, which over time, causes rot in a wooden hull.
The curved deck typically leaves a sharp angular corner at the sheer line. These corners can cause considerable discomfort when wet cold knuckles unexpectedly make contact! On our decks with the double sheer or softer angled shoulder, the impact is considerably lessened when inadvertently hit. The double sheer allows water to run off the deck more quickly. It also effectively reduces the height of the sides of the hull thus reducing the effect of wind on the boat. Additionally, a deck joined with fillets and tapes rather than sheer longitudinals provides a much cleaner inside hull. With our pre-cut hatch openings, it is possible to reach to the end of the hull to apply the tapes with relative ease. For those not wanting bulkheads and hatches once the boat is built, the bulkheads can be left out and the hatch covers can be glued in position.
What are the "Quicklock Connector System" joints?
The "Quicklock Connector System" is very much like a puzzle joint so it makes building a Waters Dancing kit a snap! Yes, you snap the part together end to end!
This joint has a number of advantages over scarf and butt joints.
What makes them important to me as a kit builder?
The "Quicklock Connector System" does a number of positive things for a kit builder:
Are your kayak hatches waterproof?
Our hatches have a thick neoprene rubber seal so they are as close to waterproof as they can be! The air temperature is generally warmer than the water temperature so as the air inside the hatches cools, it creates a vacuum inside the hatch. When the hatch lid is removed it sounds a little like opening a can of pop. Most kayak hatches do let in an ounce or two of water after a day out in rough seas. It is advisable to put any gear in dry bags of some kind no mater what type of kayak you have.
Some kits are built with fewer bulkheads than others; do you need all the temporary bulkheads?
Yes, and no. No you don’t absolutely need all the temporary bulkheads installed in your boat to build it, but in order to achieve and maintain the hull shape and integrity of the design it is necessary to install them.
Some kit providers don't give you the chance to get the best out of the hull design. Our Solace series hulls have the same shaping as a cedar strip or a fiberglass hull. At Waters Dancing, nothing but the best will do!
Why do you fiberglass the entire hull inside and out?
We don't always fiberglass the entire hull inside and out. In fact we are currently working on the design of a boat that can be joined with fiberglass tapes over the inside and can either be fiberglassed throughout or be fiberglass taped only on the chine joints outside. This type of construction reduces the cost and weight of the boat, but it also significantly reduces the strength of the hull. The same is true of a hull that is fiberglass taped on the inside and fiberglassed covered only on the outside. Generally, we do fiberglass the inside and outside of the hull with six ounce fiberglass cloth. Fiberglassing the hull inside and out with six ounce cloth increases the strength of the plywood X 4. When the deck is installed, the strength of the joints is increased X 16. On impact, if the inside of the hull is left un-fiberglassed, the wood on the inside will splinter. On a hull fiberglassed on both sides, the same level of impact will not cause damage. When building your boat you must decide whether strength or weight is more important.
Can I come to Waters Dancing and pick up a kit?
Yes we would like to meet you and answer any questions you may have. Please call two days ahead if you want to buy a kit so we can have it ready for you.
What will I get in my kit? (Please compare)
You will get everything you need for a ready-to-paddle boat:
Supplies with kit
When I buy a kit, what else will I need?
Waters Dancing kits include all the parts and materials required to build the boat: pre-cut wood parts, (all Okoume mahogany) epoxy, fiberglass cloth and tape, varnish; deck hardware, footbraces and construction manual.
You will need:
(Remember to leave space to get the boat out.)
Some other things you will want when your boat is finished.
See our Accessories/Price List section
If you have other questions or would like more detailed information,
please call us at (780) 437-4919 or visit us at our shop at.
Waters Dancing Boat Kit Company
6316 106 St.