sea kayak cedar strip vs fiberglass,

would like some experienced opinions, pros and cons different preferences etc…

thanks and maybe some good cedar strip company names.

Both Are Actually Fiberglass
The difference is that the strip boat has a wooden strip core separating two layers of FG cloth. Cored construction and the use of appropriate weight FG cloth can make a very strong but relatively light boat…

Straight FG kayaks are perfectly fine boats, assuming they’ve been well built.

I’ve been thinking about building a strip boat, as I’ve had a fair bit of experience with S&G construction and recently helped a friend with a 16’ strip canoe. Once you get the hang of it, strip building isn’t difficult, but it is labour intensive - hence, buying a finished strip-built involves paying for lots of hours of skilled work. A kit can cut the time, but still costs money.

If I do build, it’s likely going to be Bryan Hansel’s Siskiwit Bay…sweet looking kayak…

so I didn’t realize the whole boat was ecased in fiberglass, so they are pretty durable? I checked out that link, indeed a beutiful kayak i wonder about storage capacity, as I love camping out of my kayak.

any other suggestions for strip kayaks?

thanks again Rob.

just saw the cargo capacity pic pretty darn good

A few to check out…

Durability Isn’t a Problrem…
…if the kayak is used with some respect for it’s construction. I wouldn’t choose a cedar-strip - or straight FG, or S&G, for that matter - if I planned to do a lot of rock-bashing - that’s where plastic boats shine…

As far as the wood itself lasting, it will, provided you completely encapsulate all wood in epoxy resin and cloth, and then protect it against UV deterioration. If the wood is sealed so that moisture cannot penetrate, it won’t rot or otherwise deteriorate.

I did my first stitch and glue kayak in 2001, and there has been absolutely no deterioration of the plywood - and it isn’t sheathed in FG cloth, just multiple coats of epoxy resin with FG tape on the seams. I do tend to any breaks in the epoxy layers at the first opportunity; epoxy seals water in just as effectively as it seals it out, so you don’t want to let any damage go. But hey, if you built it, you can fix it…


Building or buying
It’s not clear if you are considering building your own ceder strip boat, or buying one from a builder.

Not that it matters I suppose.

One of the great advantages of ceder strip is the total control of build. It can be built as strong as you want, or super light. Both at the same time is of course a challenge.

id buld my own for sure
as I am an avid kayaker and a carpenter. I have a prijon yukon expedition now that I run rivers with and can treat roughly but would also like a dedicated flatwater kayak that is a little stiffer and faster how is cedar strip as far a being rigid and fast?

thanks Rrob.

who paddles it :wink:

Nick Schade designer had his boats in Blackburn challenge. Not sure it says anything, but some folks considered them worthy to race.

I’ve been thinking about one of …

They have other good looking designs if the baidarka doesn’t do it for you.

read this book
I recommend that you read this

It will answer questions that you don’t even know to ask yet.

You’ll also find an excellent builders forum on that site.

Wooden Boats…

– Last Updated: Feb-07-12 9:17 PM EST –

......There are many great choices and, depending on your paddling aspirations they may or may not be great long-term solutions. Having built two wonderful stitch and glues I will attest to the strength and the lightness. Depending on the design you chose they can be tight little day boats or carry huge amounts of gear for your adventures. After building a boat you will be fearless about doing fiberglass repairs and alterations. You will emerge a different person.

Here's the thing though.......After building a boat you will be very attached to it. Hard not to stare at them, right? Your labors are reflected on every square inch of it. You will know every imperfection and every perfect place. Everyone will be drawn to it for it's beauty. Paddlers and non-paddlers will have to look and feel. You will be the center of attention in every parking lot and put-in. That boat will become a part of who you are.

"You know rtw73? He/she is the man/woman who built that beautiful wooden boat", and everyone will nod. That can all be good if you have picked the right design to build.

Because of all of the above the wrong design can be very hard to part with. You may build a boat that is gorgeous to look at, is loved by your paddling friends, has huge parking lot appeal, makes you popular with the people you work with but totally does not support your desired direction in paddling and you may not know it for a while. If you read the commentary about manufactured boats you will see recommendations about doing a lot of demoing of various designs before ever buying one. You don’t see so much of that around kit boats. It’s harder to do and there is something else.

I would suggest that any paddler thinking about building a boat first paddle lots of manufactured boats. Take lessons in manufactured boats. Define your direction. Figure out what you want to learn and what skills are important to you. Do lots and lots of research. Who designs wooden boats that fit your needs? Paddle them. Do they really do what you want? Not available? Then don’t buy it. Buy one that you think will work. Build it. Revel in the experience (it’s wonderful). Paddle it. If it doesn’t work out be prepared to move it before getting trapped by paragraph #2 above.

Know that whatever you build will be a pleasure but may not be what you really want or need. You may not know that for a while. If you come to that place be willing to sell, donate, will it to others and move on. Don’t get trapped in the wrong boat just because it’s pretty and you built it unless you want to be.


cedar strip isn’t rigid and fast
fast paddlers are fast, cedar strip is a construction material in conjunction with cloth and epoxy.

True that…

Good points
I built a wooden canoe without paddling that specific model. It’s not exactly what I wanted, but it’d be hard to get rid of, for many reasons.

Many kit/plan manufacturers will give you contact information for builders in your area. Some have demo models and travel to shows. The kayak building board is a great resource for finding folks with the boat you’re considering.

is a cedar strip kayak
typically as rigid as an all fb kayak