Strip building

Am looking at building kayaks for my wife and myself over the winter. (Well, maybe at least one for her.) Any comments on the Caspian Sea design by John Winters or the Great Auk by Nick Schade before the garage turns into a sawdust and epoxy storm?

Try this site…

– Last Updated: Oct-14-07 3:39 PM EST –

I think you should post your question on the Kayak Building Bulletin Board. It's a great source of information for all types of kayak building. Here's the link:
Once you start building, you can post any questions you have and you'll get some good advice on how to solve any problems. Good luck and welcome to strip building.

Pedro Almeida

Caspian Sea Design
is made in composite by Swift (Caspian Sea) and QCC (QCC400X), so look for revies/comments on these models.


Strip-built Caspian Sea
Here’s plans for a strip-built Caspian Sea

And a photo series showing one being built

Your two choices are also boats I’m considering building someday - good luck and hurry up, will ya, so I can find out how hard it is. Seriously, though, the Caspian is a really nice boat. I paddled a Swift fiberglass version on a full day tour and liked it. It did well in 25 mph winds and swell at the end of a long day, and I was a real rookie at the time. The Great Auk looks good to me too, particularly for the open ocean, but I’ve never paddled one.

Cheers, Carl

Caspian/Auk comments
Thanks for the responses. I’ve visited the links and am looking for more commentary on the boats themselves from “standard” type paddlers. Carl’s description was great: he paddled in challenging conditions (for a beginner) for a whole day and enjoyed the boat. Didn’t worry about the conditions. That is the sort of reassurance about the design that I’m looking for. Jim (the guitar builder) says similar things about the Caspian Sea design in a number of threads, too. He seems a bit more experienced though, and has built several other kayaks besides. He may even be too good a kayaker for me to go by. He might be experienced enough to make a problem design perform better than it would for my wife or me. That is why I’m looking for as much input as possible. Thanks to all again for your help. Kayakers are a fun bunch of people who know how to pull together.

Nothing for a review - -
but from a building standpoint, I like these two sites

Both have a wealth of info regarding building and even design.

Outer Island built by a friend for
another person, shows the process. Its a beautiful kayak. Gerald, the builder also designs and builds marathon boats and river fishing kayaks:

Filtering reviews is a good idea. The Q400 is sort of famously reassuring for novices, which I definitely was at the time. Be sure to read the reviews on p-net:

It’s too bad there’s no reviews of the Great Auk. You could always email Nick Schade, I bet he would be willing to explain the pros and cons of the Great Auk for your skill level and paddling location. The 3 ft. difference in boat length is significant, with the longer boat being more appropriate for big conditions.