Building an Arctic Tern 14

There’s been a lot of discussion on this board about building kayaks so I thought that a few people here might find this interesting. One of the guys who helps out with, is building a Pygmy Arctic Tern and has decided to do a day-to-day journal of his progress. This is his first attempt at building a kayak.

If you’re intested in watching Mark’s progress as he builds his new kayak, you can see it here:

He’s just completed his 3rd day of the build.

I hope that you find this interesting.


I’ve got my kit sitting in the garage waiting to be started. I should have a little time in a couple of months to get it done. Like Coach said on Cheers, “You don’t have to draw me a picture…but it helps.”

nothing like pictures
and seeing how it’s done to help others,of course the sense of discovery I got making a Patuxent 17 10yrs ago with it’s 7page manual was fun.

He’s got nerve…
I built two 14s but I still wouldn’t want anyone watching day to day…

Good luck on a wonderful boat…

Gratifying work
The photo’s remind me of when I built my CLC 17. Wish I had taken more photo’s. What I really regret is not having filmed my reaction when I realized I had started to cut the hatch openings in the wrong place. Didn’t realize it until I started cutting through a bulkhead. Man was I pissed! I had measured where to cut (32") from front of cockpit. Wife calls me in the house. I come back out and cut 22" from the cockpit.

Most people don’t even notice my “patch” some have and I go into this same explanation. Done that many times.

look behind front hatch for patch

Good luck with the Arctic Tern! You won’t regret it. Nothing like building and then paddling your creation. Be ready to attract a lot of attention and answer lots of questions.


He has no shame
Well, actually he does have shame, but Mark decided that he’d document the build each day and if something goes wrong, he’ll document that as well.

The reality is that we all run into little problems as we build our boats and some of the fun is figuring out how to correct those little problems – it’s all part of the build. Certainly nothing to be embarassed about. Mark decided that if he shows everything about the build, that it may assist someone down the road who may run into the same problems. Then again, Mark’s build may go without a hitch.

Pretending that problems don’t happen, is just, well… pretending. :wink:


7 whole pages???
Gee. Did it leave you space to freestyle it?


with pictures
It left a lot to interpretation.