Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Handcrafted craft

Three built boats

A number of years ago I considered building a strip built kayak but I ended up buying a used plastic boat as my first kayak.

Even though I bought a kayak I still admire the skill it takes to build your own and I may have a go at it one day to see if I have the skill. There are three choices (left to right above): stitch and glue, skin on frame and strip built - each with their own degree of difficulty.

Maybe Sean, Dean and Derrick are comparing notes?


  1. Be interesting to see price comparisons of the three.I would imagine the strip boat being the most expensive and maybe the disko the cheapest?

    Be good to hear what each boat ran the maker.

  2. My Disko Bay (SOF) cost than 300.00.

    The Point Bennett (S&G) ran around 1500.00. This includes 300.00 for hatches. I also had a wicked deal on the glass and epxoy - less than
    350.00 for the lot. Plywood alone cost 400.00. Countless hours in the construction as well. Without the deal on expoxy and glass, I would be pushing 1800.00 for this boat.

    I seem to recall Derrick's stripper being in the 2000.00 range - including skeg and other hardware.

    In the past 30+ years I've built 5 kayaks - three SOF and two S&G. And while they are cheaper, it is a true joy watching them grow right before your eyes. Actually paddling them, and in real conditions, is the true icing on the cake.

    Same goes for paddles. Cheap to make but such a pleasure to make/use when they come out right!!

    Now, if I could only make a drysuit!! I've made handstitched canvas anoraks before with waxed seams but I'm thinking Goretex may be a slighlty different beast.


  3. Thanks sean. I may look at making a disko myself as a winter project. My attempts as greenland paddles have been ok and wouldnt mind tryin my hand at something like the disko.

    Check out the link IRT making your own drysuit sean. My wife has debated making one...I may get on her again now that winters set in.

  4. My Disko ran nearly 400... but 70 of that was for a purchased backband and angle/screws for the support/attachent of the floor boards...

  5. BTW if I added a couple hatches it would add about another 100 if I got them from the same place I got my polyester...

  6. Did you pick up the poly here in town dean?

  7. Lee:

    I ordered my 8oz poly from George Dyson in Washington. $2.00 a linear foot @ 5 feet wide. Total for enough to do two boats came to just over 100.00 all in, i.e., shipping included.

    Not sure if you can get it locally but George sells it specifically for SOFs so I knew it was what I needed.

    If you're half-way handy and have the space to do it, the Disko Bay is well within your grasp!! She's not the most nimble, i.e, quickest turning boat, but it's a joy to roll!!


  8. I got my poly, lashing, and backband from Jeff Horton at Kudza Craft (

  9. Guys, I think you should also factor in the cost of a couple of floatation bags to limit the amount of pumping you'll have to do if you swim.

    Also, I think if I build it I would glass in a compartment with day hatch to store lunch etc for day trips.

    Tony :-)

  10. Good on the boys for their skills. I’m sure Tony you’ll be getting back to that project one day.


  11. I simply bought swim noodles at Walmart for $1.00 a pop. Took about 10 to fill the front and aft. My foam seat actually works like a bulkhead and makes drainage pretty easy - not quite as good as a boat with a sealed cockpit but certainly manageable if you have another paddler to help dump your boat as per a regular rescue! Tried it a few times in the pool but not in the ocean yet!!

    Bulkheads and hatches are nice but they're a pain in the rump to install. Wouldn't it be just as easy to carry your stuff in a drybag packed under the hull somewhere?

    I'm thinking about building the Black Pearl sometime. It's a great play/rolling boat that the designer fits to your size. It's also a strip boat so you can fit hatches and bulkheads. Just Google Black Pearl kayak to see what I mean!!