Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aleut Kayak - Frame

So I got the frame finalized for my new Kayak. This project was started last year, though all I got done was drilling the gunwales for the ribs. Now that I am at the Banff Centre I realized that I now have access to a full woodshop, which is a nice improvement over hand tools and a drill press.

I got the idea to build the Kayak from my friend Don Garder, he was looking at my Porcupine sculpture and commenting on how much it was built like a Kayak. I started doing a bunch of research, reading books at the Glenbow, and looking through a lot of websites, a bunch of which I am including at the bottom of this post. The plans I got from Wolfgang Brinck's page, where he has some loose drawings of a 14' baidarka that intrigued me.

The materials used are regular mystery spruce for the gunwales (pulled out of a lumberyard as a 16 foot 2x4 after 3 hours of searching) and deck beams. Willow for the ribs (gathered from a swamp, I am making a note to wear rubber boots next time). Fir for the keel stringer and hull stringers. And a really nice hunk of sitka spruce for the bow and stern blocks that was probably originally destined for a life as a guitar. The whole thing is lashed together with 90# polyester sail-makers twine, which I was able to order from a nice local yacht shop. The cockpit rim was laminated from strips of fir using an obscene amount of pl premium construction adhesive.

The whole thing went together fairly smoothly, that is once I finally understood that I was building my first boat, and that I was going to make a lot of mistakes, but that those mistakes were okay. Its a bit of a letting go process for someone trained as a Jeweller, where you meticulously plan everything before starting.

Useful sites:
Kayak Building Bulletin Board - Tons of posts and a huge archive of almost every problem that comes up.
Greenland Kayaking Forum - The name says it all
Baidarka Mailing List - Now defunct, the traffic has gone to the kayak building board, but still maintained as an archive.
Artic Kayaks - David Zimmerly's page, has some great historical photographs and lines of museum kayaks.
Traditional Kayaks - Harvey Golden's page, has a large selection of photographs of various replicas he has built.
Yostworks - Information on various folding kayak designs
Skinboats - The company where I ordered my skin and urethane from, has tons of helpful video tutorials on sewing and coating.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Who took that photo of you? Did Dad?