Kayak building kit S &G ease of building

shoes,too many
the deck glass does a good job making the surface harder and protecting a dinged sheer/deck endgrain from developing waterstains but on the CLC kayak constructions it’s not bonding the deck to the hull. That’s all taken up by the sheer clamp.

You don’t have to use a syringe
I built a Merganser 16, which is filleted and taped along the interior deck-hull seam. For tacking between the wires (which I cut out before filleting and taping), I put small gobs of the wood-flour-epoxy goo on the end of a long stick, then plopped them into place between the wires. These blobs do not have to be perfect–they just need to penetrate the joint so that they can hold the deck and hull together when you cut the wires. They should not be huge, because you are going to cover them with the fillets.

After letting those tacked blobs cure about 3 days, I cut the wires, then applied a slightly thicker goo for the fillets, this time all along the seam instead of just between wires. I used the same long stick to do this (in the hard to reach areas, that is; in the easy-access places in the cockpit I didn’t need the long stick). I let the fillets start to set up (about half an hour to an hour at room temperature), then placed the glass tape that I had pre-soaked with plain epoxy on top of the fillets, using the same long stick. In the difficult bow and stern ends, I used two sections of tape instead of one, because they were easier to lay down than a single long piece. I then used a foam roller to gently adhere the tape to the filleted seams. The roller worked well, because it helped squeegee out bubbles without moving the tape, and because it caused the still-soft fillets to flatten slightly and form a nice curve in the seam.

I was able to get the fillets and tape to about a foot from each end, as the kit instructions recommended. The angled end pours filled the rest of the way.

Like others have stated, I too feel that one should choose a kit based on the kayak’s described characteristics, not on whether it is the easiest to build. You are going to paddle it, not hang it on a wall, right?

"And by Lee’s own admission Pygmy’s advertising claims were developed in direct competition to CLC’s claim on a large portion of the market."

I was refering to BOTH companies engaging in educating folks towards their specific design in a tit for tat years back. Pygmy made a gross marketing error targeting CLC with negative advertising way back when given the positive and enthusiastic “can do” attitude ChrisK started in The Kayak Shop, and subsequent books.

Except contained within that “can do” education in The Kayak Shop Book were fairly specific negatives describing the method of deck/hull seam joining that the majority of buiders use in making kayaks,strip, or production glass composite. The self-referential experience (very little interaction with paddlers or other designs) in kayak building at CLC started a tortured set of arguments that eventually steered CLC into cul de sacs of design and “catch-up” under duress for later models as energies were devoted to marketing instead of market/model testing. Which resulted in “retiring” or “upgrades” while customers finished the prototying process on their own dollar. I’d be surprised if CLC has the same “claim” on the market it had 5yrs ago. Other s&g kit companies/designs have entered the field that weren’t there five years ago putting those companies under pressure to compete in price or design.

so,to the deck/hull “thang”. Structurally the glued/glassed seam is the same as the chine joint on a Chesapeake. I’ve built 8 sheer clamp construction kayaks and three glued seam kayak. It takes more time to finish a sheer clamp construction WELL than to finish a glued seam well.

oh,a small part of that claim of the market was do in part to CLC releasing the West River series in '97that were dimensional copies of Pygmys Golden Eye and Osprey Hp. The Osprey Hp is a straight keeled 18’x22" multichine kayak. The Golden Eye is a straight keeled 16’x24" multichine kayak. The WR180 is a straightkeeled 18’x22" multichine kayak and the “retired” WR164 is a straightkeel 16’x24" multichined kayak.

Ease of building
I feel (and it is just a feeling) that the Pygmy’s way to build the deck is easier than the CLC’s. The syringe/wooden stick looks still pretty weird and ackward method for me, particularly in the case of a no-hatch kayak : Just think about a Queen Charlotte 19’.

And, yes kayak kits manufacturers claim their boats and building methods are the best and that’s why these forums exist. The poor customers and happy paddlers that we are, contribute to awareness.

for a beginning builder
neither method will be easy,if it was easy it wouldn’t be fun. Check out www.oneoceankayaks.com then go to www.shearwater-boats.com

there’s more than one way to make an omelet.

I agree
I have decks on a couple of my designs. You can do things like beveling the wood to create a channel for the glue/filleting material, create a consistent gap with some popsicle sticks, mask off the back of the seam, and apply you glue/filleting material (make sure it’s plenty thick like peanut butter).

Works well, no “hard spots” so loads are distributed evenly, easy to do.

kayaks is a great website! I learned a lot there. He clued me into how to put an emblem and the boat name on my Osprey double. I laid it up under the glass so it will always be there.


After reading this thread…
I went out and dusted off my Tern 14 that I haven’t used since I bought my last two boats. It was my first SINK and now I know why I was spoiled right at the start. It’s handling was a pure joy, but alas I’m outgrowing it (not skill wise but weight wise). I will always keep it for those short fun paddles… and my smaller friends love it…

Thanks for the memories… GH

easy build
I built a couple of pygmy boats and would recomend their hard chined hulls for your first boat. Its easier to glass the inside of the hull.

interior glassing
just out of curiosity how is the interior glassing done? Is it 6oz cloth on the entire interior or cloth only over the bottom panel and side/bottom panel joints. Where and what kind of tape is used on the interior?

my experience
How easy a given kit is probably depends on the builder and what is easiest for him/her. My first kit was a CLC Chesapeake 16LT that I built for my wife. The advice that I was given beforehand was to have lots of disposable gloves on hand, to be glad that I would be fiberglassing the inside of the boat first because the inevitable mistakes would not be visible and that I would have things worked out by the time I got to the outside, and that there were very few, if any, mistakes that could not be corrected. You will epoxy sections together to make the full length hull panels. You will then wire the hull panels together. Next is usually glassing the hull on either the inside or the outside, followed by glassing it on the other side. The deck is a separate step. Sometimes it is done after the hull, but sometimes it is stitched together and glassed before the hull. It doesn’t really matter because it is a separate step. So, basically you will construct the hull as one piece, then you will construct the deck, after which you will join the two. There are different construction methods, but all of them work. What is easiest will depend on the individual builder. One thing that I would emphasize is that you should assume that you will need to ask for help/advice at various points in the building process. Just plan on it.

Having said that, the one thing that I really detest is the CLC scarf joints. Most folks have absolutely no problem lining them up correctly, but a couple of mine were misaligned slightly. If I were to do another kit, I’d probably choose something that has the “puzzle joint” type connection like the Shearwater and Roy Folland kits because they are really easy to line up. The most important thing is to choose a boat that you are pretty sure that you will enjoy. There will be points where you may well curse yourself for ever considering building your own boat, but in the end, you will be happy with the result.

it’s a funny thing about the scarf joints,if you’ve done them a few times and have a quick means for making them,like a table with a router set up just more making scarf joints,then it’s a quick and easy set-up as long as you know the scarf itself is not a reference for correct orientation of the panel piece when it’s glued together.

With the wide hull panels the puzzle joints are mindlessly easy but it’ll require a little sanding in preparation to laying down the glass over the joint. The narrower deck panels on the Merganser were a little looser and it would have been nice to have an offset but the whole thing went together fine without them.

The butted panels on the Coho went together with glass reinforcement but honestly I would have been just as happy putting down butt blocks.

On the Tern 14 the one butt joint meets under the seat. In addition to the original joint tape, three layers of cloth is layed across them and then the entire inside of the hull is glassed with 6oz. When all is said and done there is eight layers of glass and tape at the keel line of the butt joint (counting the three layers on the outside).

Under the deck it is only seam taped except the rear cockpit recess which has two layers of cloth. The deck butt joint is at the narrowest point and is renforced by the combing.

If memory serves me…

It’s too bad all the boats aren’t built with one joint, it looks so much better… GH