boat building - Mountain Buzz

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-01-2004   #1
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 70
boat building

I recently began A boat project in my garage. The boat is for my 8 year old nephew that will be using it on nothing bigger than class II. heres the deal, I glued a pile of Styrofoam together that I acquired from work,made templates of top,and side of the kayak. cut the shape with a battery charger,and nichrome wire. right now hand working radius,edges,and so on with course sandpaper. One problem I ran into is shaping the edge around the bottom,I believe its called the secondary stability (the part that lets you stand on edge while side surfing. after all that is complete I plan to cover it with plastic,and a 1/8" coat of fiberglass filler epoxy (do you think it will hold up against class II rocks. make seat,thigh braces,and foot brace. has anyone here ever did,or tried this before, what are your thoughts,or ideas. thanks for reading marv[/quote]

marv is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 11-02-2004   #2
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 18
Hi Marv,

I am a Tinkerer, and I love to build things. However, I would not risk the life of my 8 year old nephew in an untested technology!

Build one for yourself first, test it in class IV and V, and then you can be fairly certain that the safety margins will not be exeeded by your nephew.

Otherwise there are alot of fine boats available, used, for a good price that would probably be cheaper than what you are building. Try an old Corsica, or I am sure others have good suggestions.

Whatever you do don't hurt your nephew. There are lots of boats, not so many nephews!

Peace, Tinkerntom, aka KnesisKnosis, Life, Live it!
KnesisKnosis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2004   #3
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 44

It sounds as if you are combining two different boatbuilding approaches.

Some builders of slalom fiberglass boats make a foam plug in the shape of the boat. Then they cover the plug with a releasing compound. You cover the whole deal with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin. After it sets, you cut it in half lengthwise, parallel with the water, to create a mold for the top deck and for the bottom hull. You then coat the inside of the mold, lay in fiberglass and resin, and let it cure. After you extract the formed top deck piece and the bottom hull piece, you clean them up and join the pieces using fiberglass strips and epoxy resin on the inside and outside of the seam. You'll probably need two layers along the seam for reinforcement. You should also put in pillars and/or bulkheads for structural integrity.

The other approach is to build your boat using some sort of rigid core such as okume plywood encased between layers of fiberglass and resin. Here you will also be building the deck separate from the hull. You'll need to cover the hull inside and out with fiberglass and epoxy and probably do the same for the deck. Again, you will need clean up the halves and join them using fiberglass strips and epoxy inside and out. Pillars and/or bulkheads are a good idea here too.

Fiberglass boats tend to be lighter than rotomolded plastic but they do not withstand hits from rocks nearly as well. They will hold up to some banging, but be ready for emergency repairs with duct tape at any moment.

There are many websites dealing with building your own boat. Having built a 17 foot fiberglass over okume sea kayak myself, I can tell you this is one heck of a lot of work to build a structurally sound boat. You may want to look at buying your nephew a used boat and get him in the water sooner.

Good luck.
dvc is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 11-02-2004   #4
thecraw's Avatar
Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 911
Send a message via Skype™ to thecraw
I have one Fun1 left from my demo fleet... I am totally stoked on your idea to build one, but just in case you end up getting REALLY frustrated know that the Fun1 is already perfectly outfitted and if he is 8 it should fit him perfectly, safely and comfortably... All of which are rather important when starting the sport.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
thecraw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2004   #5
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 70
I appreciate the concern for my nephews welfare,but he will get all the proper instruction before hand,and wont be kayaking anything bigger than what you would take a tube down. I initially looked at the Jacksonkayaks among others,but they are all above my budget,even used. the estimated cost of this boat will be $150.00. I found the epoxy on ebay cheep, its aerospace stock,and it is claimed to be the strongest in the world.I will put it through some stress testing. I'm not going to cut it in half ,and bond it back together. I believe I can dig the foam out through the cockpit little by little. I have photos of the foam mold that I wanted to share,but not sure how to attach them with this message. maybe someone can explain that one to me? It's basically 12"+22"+6',and shaped between a dagger GT/EZ/and a Jackson.all in all its a fun winter project,and if it works out i plan on building myself a spud boat.Peace
marv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2004   #6
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 44

I know of a guy who built his own bicycle frame using carbon fiber cloth and epoxy over foam. After it hardened, he dissolved the foam by pouring in gasoline. The gas ate the foam, but did not react with the resin.

Good luck.

dvc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2004   #7
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2
Boat building - Styrofoam/epoxy

I have been researching the same thing for my 6 year old kayaking grandson. I can't imagine a safer boat than a fiberglass-covered solid styrofoam block. I got basic plan for 11' kayak from Tom Yost and would forward links if you like. (I built one of his folding kayaks last year).
Only reasonable source for styrofoam I've found is 2"x2'x8' Home Depot sheets. Am told can laminate blank with them and white glue or yellow. I plan to laminate blank, then carve kayak, fiberglass (marine epoxy I am told is best) whole thing, then carve out cockpit.
Happened across this group with Google search trying to find out best kind of fabric, number of layers reasonable (I'd like to keep weight down). Two thin layers fabric or one thick??? Extra layers bottom and corners, etc.
Checked out TAP plastics here near where I live (Berkeley) for prices, information and already got one bit of misinformation - was told that epoxy would dissolve styrofoam, but numerous search results all confirm that is not true.
Would appreciate tips and will answer questions (by email as appropriate).
smitty8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2004   #8
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 70
The only reasonable source for styrofoam I found was at work "FREE". Maybe you can find some scrap styrofoam at factories in your area.The way I 'm building the yak mold is by making templates of side view,and top view from hard board and cutting that shape out of the foam with nichrome wire,and A battery charger. Round corners,add chines with course sandpaper.DO a Search on foam cutting. The cockpit is several layers of 1/2" styrofoam sheets glued one on top of other (the shape of the cockpit).then glued top of kayak mold.Some epoxy resins will dissolve styrofoam some wont,try A scrap piece first if it dissolves cover your foam mold with plastic or aluminum foil,and duct tape. The price of the epoxy was the big showstopper for me until I ran across A seller on Ebay. search Ebay for fiberglass resin or epoxy. His name is orionspiramid,and he sells A 3 gallon kit of fiber filled epoxy (wont wet matting) but he claims it's the strongest out there. For the price I'm willing to give it A shot. I'm guessing that you want to build him a recreation boat,and not necessarily a river boat so I would think that the design and balance of the boat is not a big issue so I wont get into design.Oh yeah I used expansion foam spray to glue the foam together,but Elmer's should work fine. I have had a tad bit of experience patching canoes,and fiberglass fenders back in the day,but this will be my first ever boat. Now I'm waiting for the UPS guy to park some epoxy in my mail box,and epoxy spreading I will go. If you have any more question or ideas just post them here as I check this forum daily,or you can email me.
marv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2004   #9
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 168
Wow, make sure you use a respirator. A guy could loose a lot of brain cells with that sort of stuff. I have a Cerro with a crack in the bottom you can have if you want. If you glue a patch on the inside it can be class II seaworthy
bigboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2004   #10
Parker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 31
Send a message via Yahoo to wcrocket
Economics vs the desire to build something

I think building a boat is a great project. It sound like a lot of fun. I also think it can be done fairly easily and suspect that many older guys that boated in the 70's have built glass boats and used them in class IV or V.

However, I do not think you will get a good return on the investment. You can buy a good perception JIB for around $350 and resell it for around $350.00. That is a safe plastic boat that will fit your 8 year old if he is under 100 lbs. It can handle class IV - V. I have 3 sons and all 3 learned in used Jib's that I bought used and sold, when they out grew them, for about the same price that I bought them for.
wcrocket is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Possible Beach-Building Flows in GC Next Year richp Whitewater Kayaking 5 12-08-2006 11:52 AM
The Source has left the building! tboner Whitewater Kayaking 1 06-29-2005 11:55 AM
boat Q: 140lb 5/9" female wants fast boat she can throw River_Wench Kayaking | Gear Talk 3 04-25-2005 09:11 AM
building a seat?!! redbeard Whitewater Kayaking 11 04-15-2005 03:02 PM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.