This manual contains all of the information necessary to make your boat building process enjoyable and successful. These step-by-step assembly instructions will help you to build your kayak using the “stitch and glue” technique.
To be of any value, you will need to read, yes read, the manual. We urge you to read this manual from cover to cover before you start building. Then, as you build, carefully re-read each step to make sure you understand it completely. We also recommend that you read the understanding epoxy Manual, included with your kit, before you begin working with epoxy.
A large number of photos and diagrams add to the usefulness of your manual. Watch for the following:
This manual gives you recommended techniques. Experienced builders may find shortcuts or prefer other ways to approach a step. Each section begins with the following quick reference chart:
Beginners may find Appendix 2 to be a helpful reference for standard building techniques and tools.
1.2 Prepare Your Working Space, Tools and Equipment
An ideal working space will be a workshop, garage or other clear space of at least 10 ft x 20ft. (Your boat can be built in less space, but it is not as pleasant an experience.)
You will need the following tools and equipment at various steps in your boat building process.
Throughout this manual, measurements are given in inches, however metric units are used to describe the thickness of some wood. See conversion chart in Appendix 3, if you are not used to operating in both measurement systems.
PLEASE SEE SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS IN APPENDIX 4 AT THE BACK OF THIS MANUAL.
Seat D1 1 inner seat panel 3 mm (1/8” ) okoume plywood
D2 1 second seat panel 3 mm (1/8” ) okoume plywood
D3 1 third seat panel 3 mm (1/8” ) okoume plywood
D4 1 outer seat panel 3 mm (1/8” ) okoume plywood
D5 1 front seat panel 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
D6 2 hip brace panel 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
D6A 2 hip brace hanger 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
D7 1 seat back panel 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
D8 1 seat back brace 12 mm (1/2”) okoume plywood
D9 2 seat-front hold down tab 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
Hull and Deck
1A 2 first hull panel – bow 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
1B 2 first hull panel – stern 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
2A 2 second hull panel – bow end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
2B 2 second hull panel – stern end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
3A 2 third hull panel – bow end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
3B 2 third hull panel – stern end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
4A 2 fourth hull panel – bow end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
4B 2 fourth hull panel – stern end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
5A 2 fifth hull panel – bow end (side) 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
5B 2 fifth hull panel – stern end (side) 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
6A 2 deck edge panel – bow end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
6B 2 deck edge panel – stern end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
7A 2 deck top panel – bow end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
7B 2 deck top panel – stern end 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
7C 2 foot brace backing (optional) 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
B1 1 bow (temporary) 3 mm (1/8” ) plywood
B2 1 bow (temporary) 3 mm (1/8” ) plywood
B3 1 front of front hatch (temporary) 3 mm (1/8” ) plywood
B4 1 rear of front hatch (permanent) 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
B5 1 behind cockpit (permanent) 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
B6 1 behind rear hatch (temporary) 3 mm (1/8” ) plywood
B7 1 behind rear hatch – top rib 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
B8 1 stern (temporary) 3 mm (1/8” ) plywood
B9 1 stern (temporary) 3 mm (1/8” ) plywood
Sheer End Forms
F1 1 bow tip (temporary) 3 mm (1/8” ) plywood
F2 1 stern tip (temporary) 3 mm (1/8” ) plywood
C1A 2 top coaming (bow end) 5 mm (3/16”) okoume plywood
C1B 2 top coaming (stern end) 5 mm (3/16”) okoume plywood
C2A 2 base coaming (bow end) 18 mm (3/4”) okoume plywood
C2B 2 base coaming (stern end) 18 mm (3/4”) okoume plywood
HIA 1 front hatch bottom strip (bow) 6 mm (1/4”) okoume plywood
HIB 1 front hatch bottom strip (stern) 6 mm (1/4”) okoume plywood
H2A 1 rear hatch bottom strip (bow) 6 mm (1/4”) okoume plywood
H2B 1 rear hatch bottom strip (stern) 6 mm (1/4”) okoume plywood
H3 2 front hatch cover 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
H3A 1 front hatch positioning bar 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
H4 2 rear hatch cover 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
H4A 1 rear hatch positioning bar 4 mm (5/32”) okoume plywood
SECTION 2 SURFACE PREPARATION OF YOUR PARTS
2.1 Part Numbering
Part numbers are pre-stamped to indicate the interior surface of each piece (these stamps will eventually be hidden on the interior of the kayak).
If you prefer the grain pattern on the stamped side, feel free to use this side as your exterior (visible outer) surface.
· first, (in pencil) mark the part number on the side you want as your interior surface;
· then, (using 150-180 grit sandpaper) gently sand off the pre-stamped part number from the side that will now be your exterior surface.
2.2 Cutting Nubs and Marking Tabs
See the Diagram 1 on the next page, to understand the difference between cutting nubs and bulkhead marking tabs.
Each small “cutting nub” will need to be sanded off the raw wood pieces, in the upcoming steps.
DO NOT CONFUSE the cutting nubs with the “marking tabs”. The TABS are 5/32” (4mm) wide; they indicate the position of bulkheads and the seat riser (D5).
Note: Disregard the marking tabs (2 of them) on part D4. These must be sanded off.
For each piece with a marking TAB (except D4 noted above):
· Use a pencil to draw two parallel lines 1½” long on the panel. The lines must be on the interior surface. These little pairs of lines will mark where the bulkheads are to be installed.
· Once your pencil lines are made, the marking TABS will need to be sanded off the raw wood pieces.
2.3 Sanding the Raw Seat Panels
Begin with the seat, to gain practice for more visible parts to come later.
SECTION 3 JOINING THE PANELS
3.1 Prepare Your Work Surface
· If you haven’t already done so, cover your work surface with plastic now.
Before you start mixing epoxy, you will need to gather the following items that are not provided in the kit:
@ one strip of heavy plastic film for each puzzle joint, large enough to completely cover each joint; (page protectors for 3-ring binders work well)
@ one piece of wood per joint (plywood is recommended) large enough to cover the joint completely
@ one or two bricks (or other similar weight) per joint, to compress the joint
@ electrical tape
@ (*optional*) wood clamps to hold the panels securely on your work surface
Low cost, effective wood clamps can be made from black 2.5” ABS pipe:
(See Appendix 3 for details.)
4.2 Shape Sanding Hull and Deck Panels
In order to get the hull and deck ready for stitching, you must do some beveling to a number of panels.
Panel 5 and Panel 6 – Longest Edges of Each
When they are joined, the longest edge on Deck Panel 6 and the longest edge of Hull Panel 5 become the connecting line between the deck and the hull. The interior sides of these two edges require beveling, so that when they are joined, the seam will be tight and even.
· With 40–60 grit sandpaper, sand the bevel, removing no more than two laminations on this interior edge, up to the pencil line. (Sanding slightly past the line you made is okay, as it will result in a more “open” joint, which will later be filled with epoxy.)
STANDARD BUILDING TECHNIQUES
Making Low Cost Wood Clamps
Low cost, effective wood clamps can be made from black 2” ID. ABS pipe. They are ideal for a number of uses during your kayak building process.
To make lager clamps use larger diameter pipe.