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As my kayak is not like most kayaks, being wider, it's more like a closed in canoe. I'm building it just for fun and maybe fishing in lakes too small to launch my bass boat. I'm nearly 70 years old, so I won't apologize for my poor excuse for a kayak. I'm not into sea or fast water kayaking. I just want to load it into my pickup and go to a lake or stream and paddle around or fish. This is my kayak build.


Dale, The Old Florida Cracker

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Hey that's pretty neat. What does it weigh?
It weighs about 85 lbs without the plastic seat in it. That's much heavier than a fiberglass kayak of the same size that you can buy. I have it on my utility trailer and it's very easy to ease it off into the water with just one hand.
That is cool. How does it paddle? Certainly looks like some kind of kayak/canoe/jon boat hybrid, with some of the best aspects of each.

One safety question? Are the ends sealed to provide flotation if you needed it? If not, I'd recommend getting some float bags for the ends.

You just never know! I almost sank a 16 foot sailboat once....
I do consider it a kayak/canoe hybrid. The seat mounted on the floor results in me sitting just above the water line. It felt a little "tippy" at first, but I became used to this quickly. I had a canoe and fished from it for several years. This feels different than the canoe of course, but I quickly became comfortable and felt secure in it.

I was able to stand up in it (very carefully) before pushing it away fron the shore, so it's fairly stable. It paddled well with very little "sway" from side to side and it tracks straight due to the keel strip I put on the bottom. You can see this in the part of my video shot from the front of the cockpit. I wasn't satisfied with the plywood paddle blades, so I made the fiberglass blades with the curved tips, but haven't tried them yet. It should paddle better with the new paddle.

There are 3 compartments fore and 3 aft of the cockpit. The ones just fore and aft of the cockpit are for storage. The other two at each end are filled with styrofoam for flotation. I really don't think the styrofoam was all that necessary as those four compartments are sealed watertight anyway with resin and spray in foam insuation at the joints, and I doubt that a kayak is going to experience a breach through plywood and fiberglass unless I'm run over by a power boat. If that happens, well, floation would be my lesser worry.
What is the draft? Also, have you banged it into rocks and other damaging things very much and if so, how well does it hold up to these things? I saw a home built sit-on-top at a tournament I fished a few months ago and I thought it was really neat. I'm thinking of building one someday.
I'd say that it draws about 6"-7" at the stern, as the keel is about 3 inches lower than the sides, and the bow is barely in the water as my weight is a little behind the center of the craft. The green waterline painted on is about 3" above the bottom of the sides in the center. You can see this in my video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs0RK_Zv_HU. Unfortunately, I was alone and the zoom is fixed at the widest angle. I would have liked closer shots of it on the water...maybe next time out I will get some closer shots and edit them into this video.

I haven't bumped into anything with it yet. I'll use it only in local lakes and a creek or two and there won't be any rocks to hit.
How's the homebuilt canoe/kayak holding up? It's been about 6 months since we've heard anything and I was just curious.
Like everything else that I build, a new project takes over and I don’t spend a lot of time using my already-built projects. I am working on a sail conversion for it. So far I have my outrigger floats partly taped and coated with cloth and resin. The dagger boards and rudder pieces are cut out and ready for epoxying. I have the sail booms (it will be a lateen sail) and yet to buy the wood to make a mast. I’ll use a vinyl tarp to make the sail.

I had it on my utility trailer, right side up, with a tarp over it, but the darned tarp didn’t keep water from getting in and settling in the bottom of the keel. When I uncovered it to show it to someone, I found the water inside. I had to turn it over, let it drain, and put it under a canopy to dry out as the plywood wasn’t coated well enough to withstand the water and was damp. That doesn't concern me as the bottom is fully fiberglassed outside with mat and resin. I learned the hard way…again…that it takes a good epoxy coating to keep water out of plywood. After it was dry, I recoated the bottom inside the cockpit and storage compartments and am ready to put the floor back in place. I plan on using it again pretty soon. I’ve only been out in it about 3 times so far.

My sail conversion is going slow as I am trying to get back to my RC plane flying with a new plane, my first electric model. Then, with a motor and battery available, I started designing and building an electric airboat. See, I can’t just stay on a project …I keep jumping around. But, time is what I have the most of and it’s keeping me busy so I won’t get bored.
Thats cool
I got back on my sail conversion project today. I finished putting fiberglass tape on the seams of the floats, sanding, and put fiberglass resin on all of the wood parts. I also started rigging my sail booms with eyebolts. During the week, I hope to getparts assembled, rig the mast, and get the sail cut and glue the edges with nylon cord reinforcing. I also plan to glue in squares of plastic from milk jugs where the grommets will go, for more reinforcing so the grommets won't tear out of the sail edges. I'm still building another airboat as I go and am waiting on servos and a receiver for it to finish it for testing. I still haven't flown the electric plane yet as the wind is too much. I should have finished the sail conversion is it's great sailing weather..
Sail conversion completed. I actually launched and sailed my kayak yesterday. It was my 2nd attampt. On the first attempt I couln't get away from shore as the winds were just too high to paddle it out where I could get the sail up. Yesterday, with lower wind speeds, I made it.

The first picture in the link below was taken after I got back in from trying it out. I had to paddle hard against 8-9 knot winds to get it out into water deep enough to put down the dagger boards. I secured the boards and the rudder in the down positions and by then had drifted back towards shore, so I paddled out again and pulled up the sail and secured it.

I was off...like a herd of turtles. At least, it seemed like it was slow, tacking into the wind, but I guess it looked like I might have been making 3-4 knots maybe. I didn't have my GPS to see the speed, which I will have next time out. The floats add a little more drag. Without them, it would go faster I'm sure. But what I'm not sure of is could I keep the boat upright without the floats. I may make a daggerboatd holder and try it without the floats just to see.

Getting used to a push/pull tiller wasn't hard at all. With the strong wind blowing toward the boat ramp, I tacked back and forth across that end of the lake and finally got about 400 to 500 yards out from the ramp after 30-40 minutes of tacking and by then, the wind was probably up to 10-11 knots. I was a little rusty at maintaining a good line for maximum speed, since I haven't done any sailing in over 25 years, except to sail my Nirvana RC sailboat. By the time I was ready to come in, I was doing better at maintaing headway and avoiding luffing the sail. On the return trip, I was running downwind and made better speed. It only took 3 or 4 minutes to sail back to the boat ramp.

I need a spray shield as I got lots of water splashed on me from waves hitting the sides and front of the floats. I should have made less blunt surface on the fronts and angled the sides inward. Maybe I can attach some coroplast fairings tp them to deflect the spray. That is something to consider.

Here is my sail conversion web page:

Very cool. Reminds me a little of this:

My wife and I borrowed one years ago, and had an incredible fun time sailing around.

Your boat looks fun.





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