Skin-on-frame Kayak

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Project by mtalley posted 07-05-2016 11:45 PM 1538 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built a skin-on-frame kayak (called a baidarka) with my son. No nails or screws were used. Just a little wood (red & yellow cedar and ash for the cockpit ring), LOTS of knots, and nylon.

We started on a cold Saturday morning and 8.5 long days later, my hand built and custom sized boat was done and in the water. The interim was spend learning a GREAT deal, tying 2000+ knots, bending frame ribs, using 3 different spoke shaves, introducing my son to the magic of a SHARP Japanese plane, improvising a small lathe to round the cedar stringers, listening to way too much zydeco music (long story), sewing, saying dirty words, removing stitches, resewing, and loving the time spent with my son. Just because, I did a little wood burning on the floorboards to add a little flair.

-- Matt at:

7 comments so far

View NaFianna's profile


521 posts in 3025 days

#1 posted 07-06-2016 12:37 AM

very very cool. Well done

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2692 days

#2 posted 07-06-2016 02:25 AM

8.5 long days that’s pretty good time. I’ve built stick and skin with my Boy Scouts and a stitch and glue on my own and I’ve figured about 100 hours per boat. Nice job!

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View fivecodys's profile


1000 posts in 1635 days

#3 posted 07-06-2016 11:38 PM

That is really cool!
Something to be proud of for sure.

-- There' are two theories to arguin' with a woman. Neither one works.

View bushmaster's profile


3068 posts in 2281 days

#4 posted 07-07-2016 02:52 AM

That’s what I call a number one project. Well done. One of the next projects I am going to post is a baidarka kayak that I built a number of years ago. I great kayak and very fast. What kind of fabric did you use, I used two layers of heavy weight aircraft material. No sewing, a double sided tape.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View hoss12992's profile


4041 posts in 1892 days

#5 posted 07-07-2016 03:45 AM

That is really cool. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View mtalley's profile


103 posts in 1474 days

#6 posted 07-12-2016 09:19 AM

Hi Bushmaster,

I used a Jr. Ballistic Nylon – holes and tears will not spread or migrate due to weave construction. I covered it in a two-part rubberized polyurethane and added a mineral pigment to tint. both the cloth and the poly are available at the store.

-- Matt at:

View tyvekboy's profile


1752 posts in 3012 days

#7 posted 07-13-2016 04:07 AM

Nice job on Baidarka. See PM.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

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