Wooden Kayak Kits

I am looking in to building a wooden kayak from a kit I have been researching several different companies, materials & etc.

I am leaning toward the Pygmy boats (Osprey Standard).

I am fortunate enough to have a friend that has built both brands the Osprey Standard & Chesapeake LT16 which both of them or nice kayaks.

I tried both, the Osprey seem to be faster and it fit me the best the Chesapeake maneuvered better and it was a little slower then Osprey but this kayak was much heavier then what the specks had said it would be after the finish product and I could not lift it up on to my car top.

The Pygmy was around 38 Lb the Chesapeake weighed 50 Lbs or more this is my big concern.

I have ran across a company in Canada that sales kits I was hoping that someone has heard about them, the kits are put together a little different then the pygmy but they use the same quality of wood as pygmy.

This company web site is www.watersdancing.com I do like there design.

Does anyone have any suggestion on my dilemma?

Thanks for all the help.



– Last Updated: Apr-28-04 1:32 PM EST –

Weight of the hull has a lot to do with the skill of the builder. Find out which your friend built first. Chances are he built the heavier one first.

Looks like they both use 4mm Okuome and 6 ounce cloth. You could get some minor epoxy usage variances from denser weave fibergalss, but nothing that would equate to 12+ lbs.

Look at how each is outfitted. That will make a difference too.

As far as which model you like, give the company a call and tell them which you're considering from Pygmy or CLC. They'll tell you which is comparable. You'll get the sales pitch. But at least you'll have something to do some research with.

I haven't personally paddled the Osprey, but a customer of mine liked the design so much he paid for a custom Kruger/Osprey hybrid design I'm working on for him.

Hope that helps a little.

Pygmy’s tend to come out lighter,
due to shear line building technique. I have never paddled or seen a Pygmy or CLC that was not a good boat for it’s designed pupposes. Watch for high volume boats though.

The seats in the water dancer boats scare me. What does that say about their design stance?

Check out…
I would definitely take a look at the Merganser…Eric Schade’s great design…he sells kits.


You can also check out the kits at:




sure, go for it

– Last Updated: Apr-29-04 10:10 AM EST –

I've built a CLCPatuxent17, Pygmy GE13, CLCMillCreek13, Chesapeake16,CLCNorthbay,Pygmy Coho,my own s&g18'x21 design based on the CLC construction technique, Pax20prototype, Chesapeake18, and a Shearwater Merganser16 and a couple of pirough like canoes. Feel free to e-mail me.
Get LOTS of nytryle gloves (a bit tougher than latex),,there's lots of advice out there that's good, get a respirator,,get squeeze bottles with vinegar for cleaning skin, alcohol for wiping epoxy drips (better than acetone,safer than lacquer thinner). A constant temperature shop space is worthwhile. Play with small quantities of epoxy and wood to get an idea of how the stuff works. The process of building will open up a lot of possibilities. I was willing to make hatches and bulkheads on my Mariner Express ,"cut into a new boat?", after building an s&g,,making a custom glass seat was something that made sense,,and I still have in that Mariner. The other fun part is that repairing is the same as building,,which makes the whole concept of damage less traumatic,,not that your kayak will need it any more than a glass boat but there's a freedom to taking your wood boat through some rough use and not worrying about a crack or ding because you know what it means as opposed to the person who spent $3000 for their glass boat and has to believe the shop owner that gelcoat cracks aren't a big deal, which they aren't.

Roy Folland

You could try this guy. He used to teach classes and then he started selling kits. I can’t find his Web address, but I could find his mailing address and phone number:

Folland, Roy

130 Como Gdns

Hudson, QC J0P 1H0

(450) 458-0152

He was in our local paper a few years ago, and the boats looked great.

wooden kayaks
i have and built a couple with the help of my dad when i was a kid… now since i moved to Brenham (originally from up north) i had to sell the both of them… fun hobby got to have lots of time and space.


Thanks for the info!

A must have is the CLC The Zen of Wooden Kayak Building. I built the CLC 17LT before this video came out and after seeing the video I would of been more confident of the building process. Presently building the Merganser 16 s&g by Shearwater boats. Alot better looking kayak then my CLC. My wife tells me so…thats how I know.

Have you checked out www.kayakforum.com ?

That is the premier kayak building site…just phenomenal!!


The Zen of Wooden Kayak Building
I have just received this video tonight,with the advice of my good friend Ill be watching it tonight, I am so excited about building my kayak I am researching and talking to ever resource that I can come up with…

Thanks, so much


waters dancing
They are supposed to be pretty good. Some of the folks on the kayakforum.com website that was mentioned above have built their kits and have been pretty happy with them. Here’s the bboard:


The Pygmy, CLC, and Shearwater stitch&glue kits that were mentioned all have good reputations as well.

Check out Shearwater Boats
I just finished building my first stitch and glue kit, a Shearwater Bluefin. I was also considering Pygmy vs. CLC but then someone steered me to Shearwater. Their kits are very high quality with several features that will improve the quality of your results: puzzle jointed panels, pre-drilled stitch holes, recessed deck fittings, and knob-closed hatches. With the pre-drilled holes, you insure that the panels are aligned properly and the bulkheads in the correct position. The construction is also easier than the shear clamps and deck beams used on CLC boats. I suggest you give Shearwater a look, I’m glad I did.


Some lighter than others… Zen…

– Last Updated: Apr-29-04 9:53 AM EST –

A CLC or a Pygmy or a Guillemot... All will be light stiff boats if you watch your building technique. Study up on the process. Pick Lee's brain. Check out the tons of anecdotal information via personal websites and building articles and forums. Go easy on the epoxy! Use micro ballons (filler) whenever possible. When it starts to feel like a chore then stop and have a favorite beverage. Revisit it another day. Personally speaking, there is no better feeling than setting a craft you built yourself down into the water and watching life breathe into her.

How do you like it?

words of wisdom
"when it feels like a chore"…it’s one fun problem solving process,one of the best parts is sipping a cup of tea watching epoxy cure.

Wooden boats…
Do attract a lot of attention that I can personally attest to!




Acetone user, huh?
Time for a respirator there Andrew… (grin)

Roy Folland’s website is:

Be careful judging by weight
First of all, as someone else alluded, builder technique makes a weight difference. Newbies (such as myself) tend to use too much epoxy, and epoxy is THE heaviest material in a wood boat. I estimate that my boat weighs about 5 to 6 pounds more than it would have if I had known what I was doing when I started. (But it’s still 9 lbs lighter than my similar-size plastic yak!)

Second, check the kit instructions for specifics on what gets glassed and what doesn’t. Some kits call for no glass on the deck either inside or out, others call for full glass outside the whole boat but only taped seams inside, etc. I added weight by putting on a second layer of glass on the entire hull, plus I added full glass on the inside over the taped seams (which made a messy epoxy job–I don’t recommend doing it the way I did). The glass cloth itself is not heavy but the extra epoxy to wet it out and fill it is.