The dramatic growth in the popularity of kayaks is perhaps not surprising in a world of pricey, obnoxiously loud personal water-craft. As a low impact way to explore wilderness or to paddle through cottage country, these elegant, easy to transport craft are hard to beat.
The availability of kits with pre-cut plywood components has given a growing number of paddlers the freedom to build a strong lightweight kayak to their specifications and at a reasonable price. The common building methods used are stitch-and-glue or tack-and-tape. A typical stitch and glue kayak kit contains pre-cut plywood planks, epoxy and hardware.
To assemble the hull, holes are drilled along each plank's edge and the plank is temporarily wired or ‘stitched’ to the adjoining plank. The seams are then glued and covered with epoxy and fibreglass cloth. This simple construction process demands neither special skills nor a woodworking shop. All that is necessary is the desire to build it right.
255 pages, 450 colour photographs.
Full of thoughtful, helpful advice… With this excellent guide in hand, building a unique, custom kayak is within reach… the next best thing to the authors' personal instruction.
Diana Mumford, Wave Length Magazine
Does double duty as an inspiration to build beautiful kayaks and as a shop manual for their construction… The authors put a consistent emphasis on doing good work by the most efficient means and their approach is gratifyingly holistic… Its value is in giving prospective kit buyers a clear picture of what the project involves. It also sets a first-time builder up with a level of workmanship to shoot for. The generous helping of color photographs, especially the close-ups, is quite valuable in this regard.
Christopher Cunningham, Sea Kayaker
A well-illustrated, step-by-step guide that practically anybody, with the right tools, can follow… the writing is lucid, good-humored and easy to follow. The book's glossy color photographs are tasteful and accurate to the instructions… methodical and straightforward.
Dana Wilde, Bangor Daily News
Details rarely covered in other texts, such as finishing varnishes, deck fittings, rudders and steering gear… little gems of information.
Patricia Coppard, Victoria Times Colonist
This book should be required reading for those thinking of building their own kayak. Recommended for comprehensive public library collections.