building a kayak

I am looking to build a wood kayak - stitch and glue. I am looking for something at least 18’ long, 21" beam or less and soft chine.

There seems to be no shortage of plans for that size but with hard chines. I like the feel of rounded V hulls.

Anyone have any suggestions? Or is there a design principle that I don’t know that makes shallow V hulls necessary for these dimensions?

Why don’t you mosey on…
over to

Many builders there capable of giving you excellent input and advice. You’ll find boat builders a very friendly crowd.


Stitch and glue
S&G construction lends itself to hard chine hulls much better than soft chines.

If you want a soft chine you will have more options if you consider a strip built boat.

you could go somewhat soft
with a S & G. But if you want rounded, then strip is the way to go.

Eric Schade’s multi-chine Bluefin…

I agree with the others, though if you really want to build an sng, you might want to consider Eric Schade’s Bluefin. I paddled his prototype and really liked the way it handled. BTW…the measurements are 18’ x 21".

Eric Schade’s Bluefin: a multi-chine sng

Eric has wonderful designs, his Merganser series is also now sold by CLC as the Shearwater Series.

Do a search on or raise some questions like Holmes suggested…a great group of builders who will share if you ask.

AND…enjoy! Building my hyrbrid (sng hull and strip deck) and my sof have been a fantastic experience…already planning for my next one.


clc west river multi chine boats
are one way to go but I’ve never paddled one. A multi chine boat is very close to a soft chine boat

Strip boats are a lot more work but the ultimate in performance.

Maybe I’m missing you point

– Last Updated: Aug-25-06 5:40 PM EST –

Not sure of the heck a round v is... I do see a lot of shalow V and find them a nice balance. Cines are another matter - often overblown in regards to sea/touring hulls.

For softer chine boats - strip building definitely. Lots of choices. At 21" beam or less it (pardon the pun) does narrow things down a bit. Have a look at these:

Outer Island 18' x 21"

Njord 18' 4" x x20"

Night Herron 18' x 20" (Strip and S&G options)

CVN, got your email … please
send over a phone # or call me anytime about all this stuff … too much to write.