Barracuda kayaks?

SZihn

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Jul 1, 2021
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155
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Shoshoni Wyoming
Well yes, Sofstu I have thought about building one. 3 in fact.

But it's got to be in the future, probably a few years. I have a 3-1/2 year long back-log on my work now and I have a small shop. So if and when I make a kayak (or kayaks) I have to do it outdoors and when I start such a build I'd need to get it done pretty quickly, which means (as john pointed out) that my regular job would have to stop 100% until I had the kayaks done. As of now, with folks waiting years to get one of my rifles, I can't justify doing that.

And lastly when I look at the cost of a kit, or just starting with some plans and obtaining the correct wood (very costly to bring all the way to the middle of Wyoming) the cost is as high or higher then buying new, and far higher then buying used. I'd have the joy of making one for myself, my wife and my brother, but from the standpoint of getting them kayaks to go out on the waters with, buying used ones and haunting the pages of the classified sections for 2-3 years would probably be about 1/4 the cost per boat.Maybe that math is not 100% correct but as of now it seems to be pretty close.

I am barely able to use this computer. My wife on the other hand is very good at using them. She uses a program called "Solid Works" and does design work for her job. If they have a program for kayak design we could probably make our own plans and blueprints. If that is the case I am pretty sure I could do all the rest myself.

I do have 1/2 a century of experience making thing with my hands, and for many years I did restoration work on antiques, so hand fitting as well as steam bending are not new to me. So.............someday I think I'll make a few kayaks, if the economy survives the coming problems and if I live that long.
But for now, I like plastic kayaks and I'll watch the ads to see what I can get used. I don't buy those that don't work for me or for Anna or my brother Clay. What doesn't work when we look at used kayaks is usually how the seat fits (can be changes in many cases) or the foot clearance (can't be changed in any case) and that's the reason I have become keenly aware of that "failing' in many kayak designs made today. In fact at least 1/2 of the ones I see for sale are for sale BECAUSE they don't fit the owner and many of them are too small in the foot area.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
For would-be kayak builders: If making a wood strip kayak (wood-core composite) from purchased plans, it's reasonably easy to 'raise the deck' by adding height at the sheer (side seam). The important additional step is to build a mock-up of the foot area before cutting the molds.
I don't understand why I didn't do that when I built a 'tripping version' of the Frej; thus the 'bump' added later to accommodate larger footwear.
Modifying the deck profile (and even shape) is quite 'low-risk' compared to designing a hull 'from scratch'.
 

sofstu

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Jun 14, 2021
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Kootenays BC
Sorry, I keep on forgetting, most people have regular jobs.
I honestly couldn't handle that again and now work my butt off for 6 months but relax and do my artwork the rest of the year.

I still have more money than when I worked year round for 70 hours a week and had a high maintenance girlfriend.

Oh Mick, it looks like an interesting boat.
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,384
well . . . little kayaks are typically unstable, so maybe it's - 'dumbty humpty dumpty' I guess.
however, ichthyosaur snarled when I said it:

ww-ichthyosaur-c.jpg
 

Mac50L

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Aug 18, 2014
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334
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South Island, New Zealand
I've built a bunch of boats and it is lots of fun, but it doesn't make any sort of economic sense.
For me, designing my own boat is in the same category as doing surgery on myself, or acting as my own lawyer. :)
The cost of materials is way under half, possibly a quarter of buying commercially designed and built kayaks and gear. As for time doing it, some people pay to be entertained and it is far better than watching TV so obviously a plus there.

As for gear, I can depend on it because I designed and built it and have spares which never get used except if used for another item.

If I'd bought the kayaks I have, probably something near $10,000+ there, especially if you include the gear. Actual outlay? Maybe $2000 over 4 decades.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
The cost of materials is way under half, possibly a quarter of buying commercially designed and built kayaks and gear. As for time doing it, some people pay to be entertained and it is far better than watching TV so obviously a plus there.
That was my point. It doesn't make sense for an artisan craftsman to take time 'off' from his work to build a kayak.
For a hobbyist, time on a building project doesn't have the same (or any) monetary value. This truth is usually brought home when the builder tries to sell one of the boats they have built. :)
 

SZihn

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Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
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Location
Shoshoni Wyoming
You are correct John.

I will buy used for the purpose of getting kayaks for loaners and for friends.

Building (if I ever do ) will be for the fun of building. Not because I think I could make something better then I can buy. I don't think I could! The price of building one for myself or my wife and then seeing the cost be higher then I can buy a better one for less money is what will cause me to never try ------ if any reason does.



But if I do, it is going to be down the road. I am too busy now to spare any time to do that kind of work and with a small shop that I can't put a kayak into, I'd be forced to build 100% outside. That means I'd want to start the build and go clear through until it's done. So having the time to do it, in weather that allows it is also a consideration for me.


I can and I do build nice muzzle-loading guns. I have a very good reputation for them in the USA and also in various other countries. It may just be wiser to build them, and trade or sell them to just pay for the kayaks I want in the future.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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SZihn- That all seems pretty sensible to me.
Also, if and when you do decide to build a boat for fun, you'll know a lot more about how a kayak should be set up and rigged.
My first kayak build was pretty much a disaster zone by my present standards. :)
 

chodups

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Nov 2, 2005
Messages
1,159
SZihn- That all seems pretty sensible to me.
Also, if and when you do decide to build a boat for fun, you'll know a lot more about how a kayak should be set up and rigged.
You'll also have a better idea what you really want in a kayak. It is easy, for a number of reasons, to get attached to a boat that you built when it isn't a design that really suits your needs and could be holding you back in developing skills or achieving goals. It is easier to get rid of a boat and move on to something else when you bought it instead of built it.
 

sofstu

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Jun 14, 2021
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Kootenays BC
You wouldn't get very far building kayaks today with $2000, using epoxy-glass wood core composite construction.
SOF can be more affordable.

I do have a good source for fresh cut Larch and Red Cedar back at home.
So my present boat cost about $80 in wood.
$30 for fabric on sale.
$60 for thread and sinue.
$100 for paint.
So less than $300 if you don't count my fuel and a few basic hand tools I bought.

The 6 weeks time.
Most of it was just an hour here and there.
However I had 2 or 3 intensive days towards the end, where I just wanted to get it done

However, when I restored one a year earlier, I didn't have any sources for wood or anything else until the end.
So you are right, it cost me double the money for a boat that was never as tough.
 

Mac50L

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Aug 18, 2014
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South Island, New Zealand
You wouldn't get very far building kayaks today with $2000, using epoxy-glass wood core composite construction.
Are you gold plating it?

A quick rundown of prices here and I come to about $700 on today's prices.
As for my first two kayaks, near 4 decades ago, one is still paddled sometimes and I don't know what happened to the other one. The first did a few years worth of trips before being replaced by a little bit bigger one, also on the rack at the bay and used. The double which circumnavigated Vanua Levu, Fiji is up for a refit. The other two usually used ones, it depends whether we take the latest (about 2010) with us or go across to the bay where the tortured ply (about 1999) one lives. The last two were a bit lighter.

As for glass and resin, if you insist on glassing everything the weight and cost go up dramatically. I've never used glass anywhere except on the joins, chines, deck to side and keel.

Things such as rudder pedals, pumps and seats cost nothing and rudders cost little. The first rudders would not have cost anything and the latest, a bit of aluminium for the blade and some nuts & bolts.
 

sofstu

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Jun 14, 2021
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Location
Kootenays BC
Impressive! $30 CAD including shipping for enough dacron or nylon to skin a kayak?
6 yards of a woven then coated polyester fabric, from a local fabric store.
List price is $25 per yard, it's always $5 a yard when I have looked.
I was looking for neoprene when I discovered they stock this stuff.
Sorry, when I asked they didn't have the exact name or even the weight.
Although they did have several thicknesses in stock.

The only issue is there is very little stretch to this stuff, so you just sew it on as tight as possible and the iron shrinks it a little.
Mine appears to have tightened up a little more over the summer.

They say Nylon sags when it gets wet.
So although several people use it most people don't recommend it.
I have never had that issue.
 

sofstu

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Jun 14, 2021
Messages
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Kootenays BC
For me it was just time lost if it didn't work out John,
Like I said earlier, my job (s) aren't normal.
Giving me plenty of spare time in the spring and fall.

Whenever we meet, you are more than welcome to try my kayak, if you can fit in it.
You would probably love how light and playful it feels, but hate the lack of comfortm
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
For me it was just time lost if it didn't work out John,
Here's a story:
On Tuesday I was paddling with friends in my Frej-wood-core glass epoxy- 6 oz glass on the hull outside, with fill coats of silica-thickened epoxy, then 2K industrial paint. Conditions were glassy calm, zero-swell. Southbound, the sun was reflecting off the water. Near Gordon Head (Victoria) I paddled at 'full tilt' on to a barnacle-encrusted rock about 50m from shore. Boat screeched to a halt - literally. By rocking/edging the boat and pushing with my paddle I managed to pivot the boat and get away after perhaps 30 seconds. No big deal - this sort of thing happens pretty often in my paddling waters unless I'm paddling headland-to-headland, which my companions don't enjoy.
Once I got home I rolled the boat over to examine the damage. There was a 3' long 'scratch' about 1/16" deep and an inch wide about 3" to one side of the keel line. At the end of that gouge was a chip and more scratches where I pivoted the boat and pushed off the rock. None of the damage penetrated the glass or fractured glass fibers, but the chip exposed a coin-sized patch of glass. A quick wash and dry, then more thickened tinted epoxy and the boat is ready to 'fight another day'.

In a SOF with heavy 'ballistic' fabric and urethane goop, I might have been OK. Coated packcloth (?) would have been ripped wide open and I would have been in for a swim. With flotation bags, it still would have been an epic paddling a half-full boat. The shore in that location is quite 'cliff-y' so landing would have been difficult.

As I said, you are braver than me!!
:thumbsup:
 
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