Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Time to admit defeat, my newest kayak building project has ended in grand failure.
When trying to join the hull and deck of my surf kayak, the discrepancy was so great that even with the help of clamps, as shown in the building manual, I could not get the two halves to meet properly, and eventually the pieces of wood began to crack under the strain .

At this point I decided that  the project was not going to finish well and decided to call it a day.
Luckily I had an axe handy for the final moment.

Reasons for failure.
I think the main reason was the incorrect type of plywood. In the instructions Nick mentions marine BS1088-grade okoume plywood and urges not to use anything else. Unfortunately this type and grade is not available here in Israel and I tried to use  whatever I could. This was the major cause of failure as  the shape didnt work out as planned as warned in the manual.
I think that it would be better to buy the wood cut out as a kit as this will be much more accurately cut than can be done by hand after tracing the plans onto the plywood sheets. Because of the  sharp curves and tight angles in the boat the accuracy here seems a critical point and I could not be as accurate as needed.
How do I feel about this failure, well it was an interesting experiment, I lost a bit of time and a number of hours of work and the cost of the materials, but all in all I had fun until the last moment , and at least I have my Petrel which is a great kayak and wonderful in the waves too.
Post a Comment