Building a Skin-on-Frame Kayak - Part 8

Our first task today was to shape both the bow and stern stem pieces. The stem pieces form the sharp edges at the bow and stern ends of the hull and position the ends of the keel stringer in relation to the ends of the gunwales. There are a variety of different designs for stem pieces that we could have selected; however, we chose to follow the design suggested in our guide book – Building Skin-on-Frame Boats (available in the CCM gift shop).

After drawing out the design for the stem pieces we proceeded to cut them out on the band saw.

Next, using a block plane we shaped the underside of the gunwales to be a smooth rather then a grooved surface. The flat surface required on the underside of the gunwales will enable the stem pieces to join to the gunwales effectively.

Shaping both the stem pieces and the gunwales to form a smooth joint can be a bit time consuming, as we had to continually make minor adjustments in order to ensure the smoothest joint possible.  Once the desired fit was established we proceeded to lash the stem pieces to the gunwales in the same way as we had lashed the bow and deck stringers.

Stepping back to evaluate our work, Russ and I were pleased with the ‘lines’ of the kayak. It’s amazing how much the stem pieces add to the aesthetic appeal of the boat.

Next week we will proceed to install the keel stringer and begin shaping the ribs!