Building a Skin-on-Frame Kayak - Part 6

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3Part 4 and Part 5. Now that our deck beams and masik are pegged into place we are ready to begin lashing them together.

The tension of the lashings will help maintain the flare of the gunwales and the sheer of the kayak. All lashing will be accomplished with the use of artificial sinew. Traditional sinew is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that usually connects muscle to bone and is capable of withstanding tension. Traditionally the Inuit would have harvested sinew from various animals, as it was an incredibly valuable resource. As a strong durable material, it was practical and could be used in myriad ways.

We will be using the artificial sinew to lash the deck beams to the gunwales; however, prior to lashing we needed to drill small holes on the underside of the gunwales in line with where the deck beams meet the gunwales. The actual process of lashing the deck beams to the gunwales was surprisingly simple. It didn’t even require the use of any complex knots.

After having lashed a few of the deck beams in place we progressed through the remaining ones with ease. As we worked, I couldn’t help but reflect on the simplicity and effectiveness of this building process. Using a limited resource of materials, harvested exclusively from their immediate environment, the Inuit built kayaks that have essentially remained unchanged for millennia.

This great book, Building Skin-on-Frame Boats is available here.

Next week we're installing the stringers...