TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By RealBigReel
Starting a new kayak. 15'X28". This one will be strip built, mostly balsa and fiberglass. Pine or Western Red Cedar on the chines and fir trim. It will have pedals. Steering both sides.


The strong back beam is drawn inside.
Got started on the tooling.


Tailblock is sitting on the near end
Last edited by RealBigReel on Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
By RealBigReel
Looked over my shop and could not find any decent pine for this project. Went down to McCoys. Thought I'd check the Cedar first. Found a really nice piece of Western Red cedar. Nice straight grain and no knots in a good chunk of it. Setup up the table saw and cut a bunch of strips.

Found out my CAD model was off. Had to make a bunch of corrections as I set up my false buckheads. Picture is from tailblock forward. Runs the length of my shop with just a few inches to spare.



By RealBigReel
Both my composites and my Balsa order have arrived. $299.78 for Balsa and $310.12 for composites. If it had been all Western Red Cedar it would have been more than the balsa.
By RealBigReel
Lots of fill and sanding. Mixed glass microballoons with phenolic for filling on the sides. The bottom, below the Cedar chine, will be all graphite powder black but the sides and top will be natural wood finish.

Bought another 1"X8"X8' piece of dark color Western Red Cedar today. This will be cut into strips for the front deck and mixed with balsa for lightness and color differentiation. Think I have the pattern worked out. Keeping it simple.

Glassed the bottom yesterday afternoon. Used slow (2:1) epoxy/hardener. Not totally cured yet. Sands gummy.
Several bad spots, where the glass pulled away, bubbled or the epoxy got sucked up. Nothing that can't be fixed.
Tooks 21 oz of epoxy.


Later I epoxied the Kevlar on the nose and bonded the tube for the rudder mount.



Had to put Glad Wrap on the rudder mount because the piece of fiberglass was only 3 inches wide and it did not want to lay down.

Lessons learned so far:
Balsa does not cause splinters, Cedar does.
Fiberglass needs to be stretched both ways to prevent bubbling.
Need to be careful not to pull fabric away from concave surfaces when glassing.
Planking does not work as well as strips even with balsa. 4" wide is too wide to compound bend properly. Even 2" is too much.
I'll think of some more here.
By RealBigReel
Did a bunch of sanding
Removed the forms


Did a bunch more sanding were the glue seeped through to the inside.
By RealBigReel
Got the inside sanded, filled and glassed.
Installed the forward bulkhead.
Glassed the aft side of the bulkhead and a couple of patches both sides of each end.

By RealBigReel
Got the Tumblehome and the Foredeck striped. Popped a joint a couple of times so I painted it with epoxy to close up all the joints before getting to some serious sanding. Most of this epoxy will end up as sawdust.

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By Fishtolive
That's a piece of art.
I wish to have your talent to build such beauty ....
Great job.
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