My wooden kayak is a handmade cedar strip built kayak. I made it over the course of several years. Lots of reading, learning and trying new things made it possible.
Completely built of cedar wood strips, the kayak is the Great Auk design by Chesapeake Light Craft. The wooden kayak measures fourteen feet long and weighs thirty-five pounds.
I specifically selected the Great Auk design and length. This wooden kayak is ideally suited for lakes and rivers. It can easily be maneuvered in tight spaces, yet it has sufficient length to handle well over long distances. It also has enough stability to handle waves.
How to Make a Wooden Kayak
I started with constructing a form from the detailed blueprints provided by Chesapeake Light Craft.
1,048 linear feet of cedar strips were used to make the wooden kayak. Each piece of cedar wood is 3/4″ (18mm) wide and 1/4″ (6mm) thick. Yes, only 1/4″ thick!
Three different types of cedar were used to give the color patterns of the finished product. Each strip of wood used to make the kayak is about seven feet long.
Each wood strip was soaked in water and/or heated to the shape of the forms. The wood is beaded along one edge and a cove along the other. The individual strips are glued and fit together similar to a tongue and groove wood floor.
Only two strips can be glued and clamped in place at a time. That has to dry and the wood dry to the shape of the form before adding another strip. Lots of patience required – it is a slow process.
The top and the bottom were made separately. Then the two pieces were glued together and adjoined with fiberglass. The cockpit was cut out and small individual pieces of cedar form the rim around the cockpit.
Wooden Kayak Strength
The strength of the wooden kayak comes from the fiberglass applied to both the inside and outside. The thin wood between the two layers of fiberglass provided rigidity.
I then added some black bungee cord on the deck, adjustable foot-braces and a seat. These final projects finished my wooden kayak.
How I Carry My Kayak with Fifth Wheel RV
As I live and and travel full-time with with fifth wheel travel trailer, I needed a unique solution to carry my kayak with me. My homemade cedar strip built wooden kayak rides on top of my truck cab. It’s been up there well over 25,000 miles.
It is supported by one truck rack behind my cab and secured in front and back with ratchet tie-down straps. I also secure the kayak with a metal bracket, as a fail-safe in case one of the straps would fail.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, and civil rights activist.
Favorite Place to Paddle
I have had my wooden kayak in the water from South Dakota to Mississippi. I have paddled many lakes, streams and rivers.
My absolute favorite place to paddle is Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Incidentally, you may have seen Sylvan Lake on the big screen as National Treasure 2 was filmed there.
My Wooden Kayak Pics & Videos
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