Finally getting around to posting this. T’s first paddle in her new skin-on-frame kayak designed by Dave Gentry.
Dave himself helped me build this boat. It weighs all of 25 pounds. Very easy for a small person to launch and paddle.
Added another coat of paint to deck and hull in the evenings earlier this week so it would dry by the weekend.
Friday night, I made a rough wishbone with marine ply from Dave, added some oak trim molding to beef up the edge, and joined the two sides with a riding “pommel” made of hardwood scrap from my shop. It was glued, parts clamped together, and the whole thing screwed in place, the pieces slightly oversize.
Saturday morning the glue was set well enough to trim off the excess wood and sand smooth, then varnish.
I’ve been trying out a water based polyurethane. I don’t know how well it will hold up, but it sure is easy to use. Dries to touch in a half hour, and can recoat in two. So while I worked on the rub rails I could take a break to give it a light sanding and another coat. By the end of the day it was done and ready to attach. Just screwed back in place.
The rub rails were pretty easy, just a lot of countersink drilling and screws. Pre-varnished before attaching. Straps help when you only have two hands.
By Saturday night, it was ready for a splash.
The only thing missing is a small piece of plywood coaming for the back of the cockpit. I must have left that over at Dave’s shop. I’ll see if he has a scrap I can use.
The folding canoe seats we already had seem to fit well. They strap down under the floorboards. Should be a welcome bit of padding for back and bottom. Maybe that and a life jacket will be enough for comfy recline.
I have material to add bungie gear straps to the fore and aft decks, but may wait until we try it out first.
#skinonframekayak #handmade #woodenboat #eyeinhand
Can you build a whole boat in two days?
Apparently you can. I had no idea.
Dave Gentry designs small skin-on-frame boats. There are lots of boat designers out there – some living, many not. Many beautiful boats out there, big and small. Most require a large investment in both time and money to bring into the world. But Dave has found a particular niche: His forte is to turn a small pile of wood and materials into a fun boat, with as little money and effort as possible. And he’s very good at it.
You can see all Dave’s designs on his website at:
His plans and kits can be ordered through Duckworks here:
Duckworks – Plans and Kits by Dave Gentry
A few weeks ago, we met Dave and his daughter over at the local reservoir to try out a couple of his paddling boats. T had shoulder surgery early in the summer, which put a crimp in our canoeing schedule. I knew one of Dave’s light weight designs might be a boat she could handle on her own until she gets her strength back. A form of physical and mental therapy, and way more fun than the exercises the doctor prescribed.