Feasability study

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Papacliff, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    I'm looking for some assistance.

    I built an Arctic Tern three years ago, with significant help from the members of this forum. I'm now thinking of starting another build (probably a strip boat), but I have some things I need to consider. The first being that I haven't decided what boat I'm looking for.

    My plans for the future include retiring in 3-5 years, and living full time in an RV. This makes transporting a kayak difficult. I've been mulling it over, and had decided that a new boat build would have to be either postponed or canceled outright.

    Now here is where I need help from the builders and engineers among you. I have an idea where I build a boat, then cut it in thirds at the bulkhead locations.I would then put a reinforced bulkhead in each section, and use 6-8 bolts to pull the bulkheads together. Think of the way two pipe flanges are bolted together, but with the bolts on the inside. What are the structural issues with doing this? I don't stress my boat significantly, I paddle mostly flat water or protected bays.

    I'm hoping that we could brainstorm this and figure out whether it will work or not.
     
  2. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    i would seriously consider rather than negatively engineering a strip kayak, positively engineering a rack system that would allow you to load the kayak on the side of the RV and roll it up and over top on rails. just my opinion but i don't like boats made in pieces.
     
  3. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Have been in that position as well. After long analises decided on this type of craft:






    Mine are double Klondike and single K-I expedition, but Kahuna is an overall perfect kayak to travel with. Very light and easy to assemble, strong and fast, seaworthy and very elegant. Check this for details:

    http://feathercraft.com/kayaks/traditio ... /index.php

    Of course, there are other folding kayaks on the market, however Feathercraft kayaks will provide user with the closest to rigid kayak paddling experience.

    A good place to discuss folding kayaks is here:

    http://foldingkayaks.org/
     

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  4. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Yes, I have considered both an alternative rack/transport system, and "folding" kayaks. Both of those options are still viable. What they don't do is build a boat. I want to be able to make a kayak that I won't have to try and sell a year later.

    The idea behind this exercise (even if that's all it is) is to figure out if this idea can/will work. I know there will be trade offs, there are many way to skin this cat.

    When I first bought my kit from Pygmy, it was mostly for economics. I wanted a light boat that I could afford. By the time I finished, I fell in love with the process. I want to recreate the process, and be able to paddle the result. Having my cake and eating it too, if you will.

    I intend to keep my AT14, and figure out a way to transport it. I want to build a strip boat, but don't think I can travel with both outside the vehicle. I could build a boat, then hope to sell it at some fair value, but that would be unlikely, and emotionally excruciating.

    So, having said all that, does anybody think this could work?
     
  5. Kudzu

    Kudzu Paddler

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    To add to your options have you considered a Skin on Frame? A fuselage framed boat can weight anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds depending on the size of the boat and the skin you use. That is not much weight to load, store or move around and they can be built pretty quickly.
     
  6. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Jeff,

    The problem is not the weight, it's the overall size.

    I don't want to increase the overall height of the vehicle, especially with a valuable, fragile kayak, and there is nowhere else to put a 15' long object of any kind.

    At this point, I'm not asking for other options, as I have considered most of them. I'm curious as to whether a three piece wooden boat could be one of the options.
     
  7. eriktheviking

    eriktheviking Paddler

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    Waters Dancing has a 12' take-apart kayak that breaks into 3 sections <http://www.watersdancing.com/Lightning-12.shtml>- so it is definitely feasible. I am not sure if this boat (really a lake cabin cruiser) is suitable for your intended paddling, but the same principle could apply to other boats. I am sure I saw a web page where someone described taking another S&G plywood boat and doing exactly what you described- but I can't remember where I saw it.
     
  8. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    A 3 piece strip kayak is a straight-forward option that only requires a few extra steps. It has been documented online for fibreglas only, s&g as well as strippers. Put in 2 bulkheads at each location during the build, separated by a kerfthickness and cut apart after glassing. Use 6 or 8 glassed in carriage bolts spread around the perimeter. Andreas here, used suitcase bolts - and i've seen a commercial kayak using the same approach recently. The basic approach can be done to any strip build kayak and the shape won't change as it has been predefined by the shaped surface and fixed (and waterproofed) in cross section by the bulkheads.

    Another attractive and really compact ubuild option is a folding kayak as documented at http://yostwerks.com/

    Is storing the kayak the problem? Would you store a full sizer on the RV roof if it was easyish to get up there or had an effective hoisting system?

    another thread here with info:
    http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2626
    another:
    http://marcusdemuth.com/3piece.aspx
     
  9. Alana

    Alana Wave Seeker

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    Have you considered building a folding kayak? Yostwerks provides free plans for a range of boats from an 18" wide Greenland style kayak, to a more recreational style. They are constructed with an aluminum frame and high density plastic cross sections. I would love to build one of these some day for traveling :D

    http://yostwerks.com/MainMenu.html
     
  10. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    Building a 3 piece boat should not be that difficult. A plywood boat would be the structurally the best, because plywood strength is unidirectional. Fiberglass on a strip boat adds this unidirectionality. With a strip boat I would add small triangular gussets from the hull to the bulkheads. This would the spread shear load over more fiber glass. There are probably many more creative ways to improve the joint strength without adding weight.
    Consider some kind of indexing system between sections.

    If you really want to save space, figure out how to nest all three (or 2) sections. Use float bags like a skin boat.
    Instead of bulkheads you could use laminated rings and bolts like used to pull counter tops together.
    http://woodworker.com/flipbolt-countert ... 28-351.asp
    If you cut the wood thin enough you can laminate just about any shape.

    Do it, and have fun!

    Roy
     
  11. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Papacliff,

    You're getting lots of good ideas to choose from in your quest for a storage-compact craft. If Andreas will come up and contribute, I suspect you will get some explicit, highly qualified assistance on building a three-piece boat, albeit in glass.

    I built a 7'-6" LOA nesting pram dinghy, partly of my own design, based on stitch and glue offsets from a boatbuilder. And, I learned a lot about the limitations of dimensioned wood (in contrast to plywood) for the areas near the bulkheads. See this photo, and next 8-10 photos for details: http://www.pbase.com/bartenderdave/image/110012021
    In the case of a 16-17 ft LOA sea kayak of 23-25 inch beam, you won't have the same stresses on the exterior panels at the bulkhead seam, but gussets installed and securely glued in place at the sheer line (both deck and hull) will ensure that the lines remain fair on re-assembly. In the case of the nesting pram, the lines do not, because of the more aggressive curvature at the sheer in my craft.

    In addition, the bolts which join the pram halves require a lot of torque to pull the bulkheads together, out near the sheers and the chines.

    Finally, to make one "half" nest inside the other portion, I had to pre-plan the interior layout very carefully. With a traditional closed cockpit boat, nesting is impossible for you, anyway.
     
  12. xplorz

    xplorz Paddler

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    I have a tall 5th wheel toyhauler that I can haul two 17'6" kayaks inside, but it is a pain in the ass as they are constantly in the way. So up top they went. My minimum clearance was 13' to the top of the a/c. The kayaks do not stick up higher then that so I have lost no clearance. [​IMG]

    Closer shot
    [​IMG]

    I move them to the truck when we need to travel. Here we are set up at Waterton Lake and heading off to paddle Cameron Lake.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Kheyashunka

    Kheyashunka Paddler

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  14. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Thank you all for the help. Since I now know that this is a reasonable idea, I will continue to look into it. I still have plenty of time and flexibility, as this is a few years out.

    I'm still in the initial planning stages of everything right now, I need to choose a truck and trailer to live in, and tailor my kayaking needs to that. Unfortunately, my wife is not a paddler, so I must concede to how we live together over my individual desires.

    Again, my thanks to go out to this board. I have learned a lot over the past three years or so from this forum.

    Cliff
     
  15. xplorz

    xplorz Paddler

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    Papacliff, I decided to take this from PM back to the forum only because I seached the 'net for information on kayaks/RV's and found very little information.

    To answer the first question, it is the angle of the photo. All of the kayak is at or below the level of the air conditioning unit. When I load them bow forward, the bow tips are about 3" above the a/c.

    For roof tie downs I went with these chest handles. I installed four for each kayak in the location you can see in the picture by where the tiedown straps are. You can click the picture to get to a full size image for a better view. Also there is one each of the chest handles for the stern tiedown next to the a/c. I used liberal amounts of silicone caulking under the chest handles and even filled my pre-drilled screw holes with it. Despite 40 new holes through my rubber roof, I do not expect any leaks. For the bow tiedowns I installed two eye bolts in the rear door frame. My 5th wheel has the "luggage rack" around the rear so I built a roller for loading each kayak by splitting some pvc pipe, putting it around the bars, wrapping that with pipe insulation and then duct taping that all together. If you look at the full size pic, you can see by rear most tiedown handles, the kayaks are sitting on those minicell foam blocks made for cross rails. looking forward past the next set of tiedowns, you can see a 1" thick, 12" x 16" minicell pad. No portion of the kayak hits the roof, only the foam.

    [​IMG]

    Papacliff referenced this picture:

    [​IMG]

    Sorry, this photo is very confusing. The truck in the picture is NOT hooked to the trailer. The kayaks will NOT fit on the Yakima racks on the roof of the truck while hooked to the trailer. Once "camp" is set up I can move the kayaks from the top of the trailer to the truck in order to reach other paddling locations.

    I also gave lots of thoughts to 3-piece kayaks as a solution until I realised that the six sections of two kayaks would still take up a tremendous amount of room inside the rv.

    One other idea I entertained before this solution was a rack that went from the front bumper of the truck to the front of the bed of the truck, but a 17 foot kayak would have still been over 7 feet past the front bumper in order to keep them away from the 5th wheel. Ugh!
     
  16. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    xplorz,

    Thanks for the clarification. I have thought about the roof mount, and haven't ruled it out yet, but it is also a long way up to the roof, and I'm short.

    I only need to mount one boat at a time, as my wife doesn't paddle. My current roof rack is set up for one kayak and two bikes. My only significant dilemma is what to do with my current boat. I'm not sure I could sell it, and I don't see retrofitting it for taking apart.

    Cliff
     
  17. sushiy

    sushiy Paddler

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    Why not? Didn't we see the cut up plywood boat ( I think that was Betzy Bay kayak) DIY project on Seakayaker Magazine a few years back?
     
  18. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Papacliff, perhaps this would solve your futuristic problem:





    A very practical and elegant solution. Suitable for a shorter kayak, like a 14' Arctic Tern, or would require a truck with long box and sliding hitch.
     

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  19. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Sushiy,

    I suppose it is possible, it would just take a lot of work. I'd have to add second bulkheads fore and aft, and reinforce the ones there now without removing them. It's a bit more than I want to tackle now.

    gregn,

    That is a possibility. I'm not sure about the mounting to the bumper, but it is something to think about.