Building a Skin-on-Frame Kayak - Part 4

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Day 4 Feb 19th, 2012

Before proceeding to building the flat deck beams, Russ and I had another look at the sheer of the gunwales and determined that a slight hump was still noticeable near the bow of the kayak. A few quick passes with the plane removed the hump and we were ready to move on.

Although we are following guidelines and standardized instructions for the construction of this kayak, an equally important element is the process of modifying and judging the progress of our work by “eye.” The organic process of building this kayak is best reflected in moments where Russ and I take a step back and assess our progress with a little common sense. This is what enabled us to notice the “hump” near the bow and correct it. Because the boat's size is established by anthropomorphic measurements no two kayaks are the same therefore standardized instructions can only be used up to a certain point.

Our next step was to install the flat deck beams, which supply strength across the width of the kayak. In total we had 8 deck beams to shape and secure to the gunwales. Shaping the deck beams was a tedious task as it required us to continually verify that the angle joining the gunwales to the deck beams were consistent and accurate.

Once we had established a desired fit between the deck beams and the gunwales we proceeded to drill and peg them together with dowels (the same way we had fastened the tips of the gunwales together last week).

Now that the desired shape of the gunwales were locked into place with permanent deck beams, some of our temporary braces were no longer needed and could be removed. The two end braces at the bow and stern will remain until next week when we replace the support they provide with lashings.

Check out the next "Building a Skin-on-Frame Kayak" blog to see how we shape the masik.