Building a Skin-on-Frame Kayak - Part 7

Russ and I are both encouraged with the progress of the kayak. It’s exciting to see the kayak really start to take shape. In fact, we no longer have to explain to patrons what we are building, as it is rather obvious. This week we put in place both the bow and stern deck stringers. The deck stringers are the thin pieces of wood that run between the two deck beams behind the cockpit and from the knee brace to the deck beam ahead of the foot brace. We first needed to cut and shape the pieces that we selected to serve as our deck stringers.

Once complete, we secured the deck stringers in place with dowels and lashed them to the deck beams with artificial sinew. Again this process was time consuming as we wanted to make sure that the points at which the deck stringers and deck beams meet were flush.

The deck stringers work in compression and tension as the kayak flexes and moves in the water; therefore, the precision and accuracy of our work was essential. The deck stringers will also help distribute loads between the deck beams. For instance these loads can be the weight of gear strapped on the deck or simply your weight as you sit on the stern deck in the process of entering the kayak.

The deck stringers serve a number of functions and are an important part of the build. Next week we will shape both the stern and bow stem pieces.

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