This page is targeted at the beginner, and perhaps intermediate Canoe or Kayak builder. It is broken down into several parts:

  1. Motivation: Pictures of canoes and kayaks build by others
  2. building process overviews for Strip and Stitch and Glue Kayak building techniques
  3. 2 cent TIPS: Small tips that other builders have 'discovered' while building their boats.
  4. Building Diaries
  5. Other Resources

This page is not intended to be a building instruction manual, just to help out with some 'extras' that may or may not be in the book you have. This page only deals with Strip built constuction, Stich and Glue construction, and hybrids of the two.

I've currently only put up information that I've personally generated to date, to make this an actually useful page, if you have information that you would like to see on this page, please feel free to send it to me at you are welcome to send information that would fit in any of the sections, I'm especially interested in filling in the Tips section. If you have a diary, but no web host, zip it up and send it, If I have room I'll put it up for you. It may take some time if I need to convert If you have it on the Web, then feel free to let me know the link.

Motivation for starting

There are lots of other kayak and canoe builders out there. Below is some of the work that has been done, often by first time builders. for larger pictures just click on the image.
Picture #1 Picture #2 Picture #3 Builder Location Description
Myrl Tanton, Calgary Canada My Frist attempt at building a boat, it is the Huron Cruiser from the book Canoe Craft. It is a 'plane jane' stripper. The gunwhales are Ash, the scuppers are cherry, the deck and yolk is cherry. The seats were meant to be temporary, they are ash, with the weaving from 30lb Fishing line.
Myrl Tanton My 2nd attempt at building a boat, it is A Hybrid, based on the free stitch and glue plans from Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks. The hull is stitch and Glue, the deck has a pattern build into it with the cedar strips. One of my favorite things about this boat, is the deck was build from left over fence boards.
Pete Notmam, New Zeland Pete, finished up his guillemot stitch and glue just as I was trying to deside which I would build. Pete's kayak helped me make my decision. Check out the 'tatoo' of the guillemot, and the use of paua (sp?) shell along the shear line.

Building overview - Cedar Strip

  1. build the strong back, the frame that supports the boat whilst it is being built
  2. Build the mold: cut stations that are placed along the stong back, spaced often at an interval of 12 inches
  3. Cut strips of wood, that will run the length of the boat.
  4. Staple or clamp the strips to the mold, Each successive stip is glued to the edge of the previous strip
  5. Sand the surface of the boat
  6. Fiberglass/Epoxy the out side.
  7. Repeat the sand and fiberglass on the inside. (for kayak this is done for the hull and deck)
  8. For a kayak, join the Hull and deck.
  9. Build and Install the desired trim:
  10. Sand and Varnishi (3 coats minimum)
  11. Finally Enjoy

The following books, that I've read Describe the process in detail (there are others):

Building overview - Stitch and Glue

  1. Cut and build the panels used to create your boat
  2. Drill holles along the sides of each pannel (they must align to the holes on the next panel
  3. Twist wrap the wire to 'stich' the pannels together, to create the Hull (and for a kayak, the deck)
  4. Run a bead of thickened epoxy along the seams between the panels, and smooth over to a nice radius.
  5. The remaining steps are the same as the Stripper from Sanding on.

"The New Kayak Shop, More Elegant Wodden Kayaks Anyone Can Build", by Chris Kulczycki provides details on the Stich and Glue building technique.

Building overview - Hybrids

Techincally a hybrid kayak could be a combination of any two building techniques, for the purposes of this site, this is currently limited to the stitch and glue hull, and the strip deck.

2 Cent Tips for Canoe and Kayak building

Some of the tips are worth a lot more than 2c. These are short tips that builders have 'discovered' and want to share. These should only be one or two paragraphs. (Please send in your tips, and I'll put them up)

Builders Logs

kayak and canoe builders seem to be a gargarious bunch. Many put up web pages showing progress, explaining steps and providing lots of information that would be of interest to a new builder.

Other Resources

Online forums

forums where the building community meets online. Ask questions, answer questions, show off you boat, etc. I find these very usefull, and entertaining. See you there.