Need SOF skinning tips.

The Sea Flea is about ready for skinning. This will be a one-piece nylon skin. Any tips or lessons learned will be appreciated.

skinning tips

This shows Harvey Golden, the master of Greenland kayak replica making, building a frame and skinning it.

For better step-by-step instructions, go to

This is Brian Shultz’s site.

Both of these guys lace up the skin before they sew it up. That’s traditional but might not look cool to some. All of the books – by Morris, Starr, and Chris Cunningham – show different ways of dealing with skinning.

Some of it depends on the skin you’re going to use, whether canvas, nylon, or polyester.

I’ve done one boat in a class and it kind of went by in a blur. Check out those web sites (you may have to look around Brian’s to find skinning tips as they’re back in time) and also take a look at any of the books by the three guys who’ve written SOF books.

Oh yeah, and there’s now a site called Instructables that has instruction in kayak building (which would include skinning) by a guy who builds in Calif.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

G in NC

Watch the videos from Skin Boat School. I like their methods, have not tried the other one (yet).

Brian’s method

– Last Updated: May-12-09 11:44 PM EST –

Here's Brian's page on skinning a kayak:

Personally I like the look of the black lacing under the skin - although someone told me it looked like my kayak had been given an autopsy (eww). It can certainly be removed after the stitching is done. Here's mine:

Skinning SOF kayak
Go to It’s the Skinboat School. He has very good articles and videos (free) that will nicely show the whole process.

No stiches
Two piece method. Staple the nylon that covers the hull to the top of the gunwhales. Staple the nylon that covers the deck to the sides of the gunwhales with the edge folded under. Glue seam material all around the gunwhales to cover the seam.

Skin it yet?

What are you using to skin your boat?

I holed my SOF at Tybee last fall and need to do a small repair. I would trade some slightly experienced hands on help for a small patch of nylon and a dab of Poly to stick it with.