Sea Rider - tom Yost

Currently building the Sea Rider by Tom Yost…a non traditional build for a skin on frame.


He designs folders in aluminum but if you look at the kayak designs page and scroll down, you will see both a baidarka and a skin on frame in wood. They both have clear skins so it is really easy to see the construction and his on line manual is excellent.

So I built the strongback, drew out the offsets and yesterday I cut them out of 1/2 plywood. Today or tomorrow, heading to the lumber yard to get 16 foot pine for the gunwales, chines and stringers.


It’s all Greyaks fault. I want to see what all the hoopla is about building your own boat. Not costing me much at all…maybe 100 bucks all told as I already have some skin material (15 gauge ballistic nylon)

Of course I do know that there are a bunch of first boats out there that are collecting dust in someone’s back yard. that is why I am going for a designed and proven boat that I know will at least work.

the next one will be a traditional one with ribs etc. (If there is a next one)

I need to win the lotto.


Tom Yost Is Da Man!!!
when it comes to building folding Greenland inspired boats. Love what the guy is doing and sharing.


you’re already ahead of me!
I started building a sea rover this past winter but failed miserably at it. By failing I mean I never found enough time that I wanted to spend in my basement (I was teaching or practicing kayaking in pools 3 times a week, snowboarding, etc.) Heck I didn’t even get around to building a strong back! I did manage to draw out and start cutting out the HDPE forms but I think that project will have to wait until fall for me to really take another try at.

Good for you!
Let us know what it feels like to build your own boat…see the shape emerge as you build…and then paddle your OWN boat.

I am working on my second boat, a sof. I have discovered that building a boat takes me places as does paddling, places that replenish my spirit.

Keep us posted…


yeah but you were


rider versus rover
Hi Paul, Why did you decide on the wood version and pick the sea rider rather than the sea rover? I’ve been toying with the latter–those pics of mark and becky are very compelling. BTW, am going to spend a few hours with Becky week after next–am in Boca for a meeting–and hope to recover my butterfly roll and get some first hand experience with the sea rover. Best, John

let me know

– Last Updated: Jun-02-06 11:41 AM EST –

when you are up there. maybe I will take the next hour or two...

I got a rolling boat. Love it.

Ask Becky and Mark about the rover. Not sure it lived up to their expectations.


Sea Glider! NM

obsessed with length
yes you are Kris!

I got a rolling boat and an exercise boat…I want a light wooden tempest! Or something like that.

Actually I just wanted to build a boat. It is only 1 and a half inches taller on the back deck than my sof. but that should give me just the volume I am looking for for some day tripping.


L/W ratios - not just length!
I do like the way a bit longer hull works chop - and don’t paddle in any places where a little more length interferes.

In general I’d rather gain stability by lengthening the waterplane area than widening it - unless there’s a compelling reason for more beam. Glide over corkiness. Longer does make you look at things like weatherhelm, trim, and general maneuverability a bit closer. I seem to have gotten a decent balance with the SOF, but length can magnify any issues that a shorter hull might mask.

I am clearly biased - looking at this image comparing the two I’m definitely drawn to the Glider:

Fortunately I don’t need/want one. I was looking at the offsets and the Sea Glider is a bit boxy compared to my SOF. It’s 7/8" narrower at the gunwales, but it’s chines are 1" wider. More room for my fat rear - but more stability than I need. I’m really liking the way the less boxy hull handles chop and wakes. SG is also shorter overall with longer overhangs, and more rocker…

Anyway, the construction methods are cool. If I built something like that I’d have to tinker with the lines and change everything of course. A folder would be nice to have, but maybe with carbon/foam core frame components - with some way to tension the skin - and sized between somewhere in-between these two…

Another project that is unlikely to ever happen.

and here I thought
you were just compensating L


This boat does not appear to be much bigger than my SOF looking at the forms. We will see. I gotta remember that the chines, gunwales and keel fit around these forms so that will give it a lot more volume.

Took a break yesterday and took out the SOF, the OI and the Scupper Pro. boy am I sore today. I had been fighting a bad cold for the last two weeks and it obviously took it’s toll on me…


Paul, a favor
please please photo document every step you take…i thought with the FC Wisper I would be satisfied with a SOF but i’m itching to build one, my mind says NO (no time, rather paddle,rather hike) but its got to be a cool thing what you’re goind and what greyak and others have done.

right now I have a few pics of the strong back and the drawn offsets and the cut forms.

I will be more diligent in recording the steps.

So far it is a little intimidating as I have absolutely no woodworking skills. I guess it won’t really hit home until I bring the 16 foot pieces of pine home and set positions 1 and 8 on the strongback (already drawn but not placed yet)

I wrote Tom Yost and he is sending me a new offset for form # 3 as I gave him my dimensions (distance from back to balls of feet) so that I can move it forward to be able to scoot up to roll. I will be putting foam as a backband to facilitate rolling also so this will adjust for that.

Otherwise, (ignorance is bliss) it appears as if it may come together pretty well.


shoot me an e-mail and I will send you whta I have periodically.


Paul/Greyak–some questions
I think I like the Sea Glider or Rover (at 189 pounds I’m pushing the envelope on the Glider)…but I dont need it to be take-apart…doesnt this negate the need for the HDPE ‘snap-on’ ribs? Or would you use them anyway for a non take-apart? Seems that if you know you dont want a take-apart (my case) then aluminum ribs would be much lighter,but it also seems like HDPE ribs are much easier to make than aluminum ones ???

I do like the belief that once the frame is complete you can change skins whenever you are in the mood for a new material (and have the time to do it).

Use wood for a non-folder
Check out some of the Sea Pups and Sea Raiders on Tom’s site for several kayaks built as non-folders. The usual method is to use wood frames and stringers and the usual Coverlight skin. Tom’s boats are already cheap to make, but the wood non-folders are dirt cheap!

i dont want wood! nothing that requires that much maint. How hard would it be to make the ribs out of aluminum? or better yet who wants to make a completed frame Sea Glider for me and let me skin it?

What maintenance? I don’t even rinse off my SOF. Salt’s good for it.

Pine and oak are pretty rot resistant. Plywood for a Yost should be OK too if it has exterior/marine glue. Frames spend a lot more time dry than wet.

what skin did you use?

i hate even talking about this,next thing you know i’ll be a hermit with a sander in one hand and a drill in the other :slight_smile:

but here is the reality…i was on the verge of planning a trip to Japan to get the WaterField qaanaq…the Yost Sea Glider’s dimensions are as good if not better for my intended use…and after the Wisper experience i truly love skinned boats (dont like the skin change it)…so wood for a non-folder eh?

i will be at the yost site frequently doing it in my mind first :slight_smile: