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Cedar Strip Kayak

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Project by Don posted 10-07-2016 03:29 AM 2011 views 9 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last May I decided to build a kayak after building a ice boat over the winter and then finding that one needs good knees and an ability to push the ice boat and jump in, neither of which I can do any longer. A kayak sounded more sedate and would also be a challenge to build. It was a challenge, but a fun one, but I was wrong about the sedate part. It needs outriggers! Pretty tippy, but I’ve heard that gets better.
I bought the plans for a North Star Kayak from Laughing Loon Kayaks. The plans were quite complete and if I had a question, the owner Rob was willing to take the time to talk on the phone. It is made of 3/16×3/4” strips I cut from non kiln dried local cedar. There were a number of strips that had to be bent and it was done using a heat gun. The non kiln dried wood bends much easier than dried wood does. There’s fiberglass cloth, at least one layer, on all inside and out surfaces and the final weight is about 40 pounds. It’s 18 ft, 4 inches long. It took a couple of months of pretty much full time work to complete it, but I’m ready to start another for my wife. She was thinking she’d get this one because I wouldn’t like the on the water part, but I surprised her – it’s great. The lake is Flathead in NW Montana, where we call home.





13 comments so far

View Andre's profile (online now)

Andre

1022 posts in 1267 days


#1 posted 10-07-2016 05:39 AM

Beautiful looking Boat, Is it real tippy for dose it just fell like it? Have been trying to decide to build a Cedar strip Canoe or a Kayak?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

804 posts in 1366 days


#2 posted 10-07-2016 11:45 AM

Nicely done. Great pictures, too!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Don's profile

Don

18 posts in 1331 days


#3 posted 10-07-2016 12:45 PM



Beautiful looking Boat, Is it real tippy for dose it just fell like it? Have been trying to decide to build a Cedar strip Canoe or a Kayak?

- Andre


It is somewhat tippy by design, but also quite fast. This is a quote from the designer: “The baidarka hull is”fish form”(the widest part of the hull is forward of center) said to be the most efficient design for speed. North Star has moderate primary stability. The high volume of the hull produces incredibly high secondary stability, especially in rough water conditions!”
So, he’s saying “Moderate primary stability.” So, if I were to describe it as Low, Moderate, or High Stability, I’d say in the middle. Keeps you on your toes, but I think it will become easier all the time.

View PaulDoug's profile (online now)

PaulDoug

1091 posts in 1165 days


#4 posted 10-07-2016 01:58 PM

That is certainly a beautiful kayak. Well done. You had trouble with the ice boat, I built a kayak and only got to use it once. My back will not take sitting in the position required in a kayak. I had to be lifted out of the boat after about 15 minutes.

Mine is a skin over frame type, no where near as pretty as yours.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

1350 posts in 1744 days


#5 posted 10-07-2016 02:10 PM

Nice kayak and the most beautiful job, Being able to complete it in a couple months is a credit to your dedication and craftsmanship. I had wanted to build one but felt I didn’t have the time to build one in cedar strip as I had helped people build a cedar strip canoe. By looking at the picture I modeled one of my own design and construction method. I like it very much, thinking about building another one and documenting the process, cant be easily completed in two weeks. You may have seen it as it was the last project I posted.
Yours is a real treasure and an eye catcher. Well done.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View JimYoung's profile

JimYoung

224 posts in 1048 days


#6 posted 10-07-2016 04:09 PM

Very nice.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

-- -Jim, "Society is well governed when its people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law." -- Solon

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23142 posts in 2328 days


#7 posted 10-07-2016 05:02 PM

It’s a lovely vessel and so beautifully done.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View pottz's profile

pottz

900 posts in 446 days


#8 posted 10-07-2016 05:50 PM

a work of art-5 stars.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View BB1's profile

BB1

483 posts in 309 days


#9 posted 10-08-2016 01:23 AM

Wow – beautiful kayak. Would really be interested in seeing the inside and how the seat is positioned. Also, great location to paddle (having kayaked at Flathead a couple of times when vacationing)!

View Don's profile

Don

18 posts in 1331 days


#10 posted 10-08-2016 03:07 AM



Wow – beautiful kayak. Would really be interested in seeing the inside and how the seat is positioned. Also, great location to paddle (having kayaked at Flathead a couple of times when vacationing)!

- BB1


Finding a comfortable seat is still a work in progress. I made a seat out of dense or closed cell foam and covered it with neoprene and used a pricey seat back from a kayak/sporting goods store. Didn’t like that set up so I currently am using one of those fabric type stadium seats. It’s more comfortable and gets me down a few inches lower to lower the center of gravity even more. I’m not sure what I’ll end up with. I installed foot braces but haven’t been comfortable enough to use them yet.
There is a bulk head directly behind the seat and one about 4 1/2 feet in front of the cockpit. They provide two water tight compartments under the hatches in the deck. I covered the bulk head behind the seat with a total of 3 layers of fiberglass cloth because I thought I’d want additional strength in that area, where I put the palms of my hands to lift myself out of the cockpit. Seems to have plenty of rigidity and strength.
Thanks for the comments – Flathead is beautiful, we live towards the northwest end of the lake and daily marvel at the beauty.

View Don's profile

Don

18 posts in 1331 days


#11 posted 10-09-2016 01:37 AM


Nice kayak and the most beautiful job, Being able to complete it in a couple months is a credit to your dedication and craftsmanship. I had wanted to build one but felt I didn t have the time to build one in cedar strip as I had helped people build a cedar strip canoe. By looking at the picture I modeled one of my own design and construction method. I like it very much, thinking about building another one and documenting the process, cant be easily completed in two weeks. You may have seen it as it was the last project I posted.
Yours is a real treasure and an eye catcher. Well done.

- bushmaster


Thank you for mentioning the one you made – it’s also a Baidarka I see. I think yours is much lighter. I’ve found that building a boat gives me much personal satisfaction and because of the hours one puts into the construction, you become very close to it. Certainly not like a person, but about as close to a “thing” as I want to get. (Not sure that makes sense. ;) )

View BB1's profile

BB1

483 posts in 309 days


#12 posted 10-09-2016 02:59 AM

Thanks for the addition info and pictures. This is now on my list of “future when I have gained more wood working skills” projects that look to be really rewarding to build.

View rogerxue's profile

rogerxue

17 posts in 784 days


#13 posted 10-10-2016 05:40 PM

I also made a canoe from Laughing Loon Kayaks’ plan, great shape and design, I think I’ll definitely build the kayak some day :)

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