AK, I need your advice on coaming design--- what shape is needed for a spray skirt to stay on, for example. Location: maine 33 lbs is a rough guess now with all the framing done--- 31 as you see it in the outdoor photo, with the foredeck frames but not the afterdeck frames.
I build canoes not kayaks (so far at least) so I am not an authority on coaming design and construction, but the following is about what I would do rather than what I've done.
There are several styles of coaming construction that I know of: 1) steamed solid wood 2) horizontal laminated stack of thick ply (or solid wood cutouts arranged cross-grained) and 3) several vertical laminations of thin bent ply.
Another suggestion: unless you are making the spray skirt it would be wise to buy one first so you can make sure the coaming fits it! I have looked at the construction of several Inuit kayaks at the Canadian Canoe Museum and the coaming appears to be attached to the skin more than than the frame. Yes, I've seen that SOF kayaks have holes in the coaming and the skin is drawn up into the inside and sewn to the coaming. Now get this: The outer hidden hoop is not glued together (the coaming, however, shows is scarfed and glued, or has a decorative joining piece).
The other (unseen) hoop isn't glued but is adjustable by means of an all stainless hose clamp that's cut and simply screwed to the two joining parts. Now this would be a problem if the shape isn't round or at least egg-shaped, since flat sides wouldn't allow tension against the outside, but I'm doing an egg shape.
Now the coaming is held in with tension alone, and some sealant, which also keeps it from coming loose.
I've found that virtually everyone out there building steamed rib kayaks is copying the Eskimo boat and probably often the builders don't bother to ask how some of the methods of yore could be done away with in favor of a much better method using modern materials.
Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada The coaming as you have described it makes a lot of sense. There is usually some emphasis on the flexibility of the frame when reading about SOF boats of all kinds. However, the use of glue for more robust frame members like gunnels is probably good as it would make for a boat that holds shape better.
I just came to this thread (been off the forum for a while) and I have a few observations and ideas to share. If I was going to make several exactly alike (no two of mine have been the same) as in a limited production I have considered the strong back and mold method you are using, which would likely save the most time on the next one (just make sure you have the hull shape you want first!).
I found using a router on a router table the fastest way to make clean mortises in the gunwales, I attach the ribs with wood dowels through the gunwales and glue them in place (some say the glue is unnecessary but I want them to stay in place).
I have used both Alaskan yellow cedar and white oak for ribs (and aluminum too, but I like the wood better), I have found boiling them works much better than steaming.
Also your frame weight seems a bit high, most of mine have completed weights around 20 lbs (8 oz nylon with 4+ layers polyurethane finish) including seat and deck rigging.
I am not sure you would gain anything by buying the books that shows you how to skin a kayak. A 22" wide kayak a couple of inches lower with lighter scantlings would be a lot lighter, maybe 10 lbs. I will take Petros word that the coaming can be strongly enough supported by a combination of fabric tension and minor framing support.
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The ends on the right will be glued to the ply bottom plank and some need to be trimmed, the ends on the left will be trimmed to the sheerline later.
Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada The bottom plank has been cut out and attached to a strongback, and the ribs have been added.
The temporary gunnel keeps the upper ends of the ribs in line and the stems on center during stripping; there was very little force required for that - only ounces - and I found that clothes pegs were enough to hold everthing in position. Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada Since inverting the hull I have been slowly adding WRC strips around the curve of the bilge. I am not using staples so I have to wait for the glue to set between each pair - arthritis in my hands makes it difficult to work much harder anyway I figure another week to complete the stripping - about 48 hours actual build time to that point. Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada The strips around the turn of the bilges have been completed and the hull is off its strongback and flipped over so I can clean the glue and sand the strips on the inside while they are easy to get at. The ribs radiate outwards across the edge of the bottom planks so they do not run at right-angles to the centerline as usual, however it does not show very much.
Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada The strips are glued to each other and to the ribs. Earlier I was considering covering the ribs with waxed paper and screwing them to the bottom plank so I could remove them to sand the inside of the planks.
The river rat's system is visually appealing and a very fast build for a stripper but it won't do a round bilge, which is part of this experiment.


Location: WNY I was thinking in terms of doing the upper planking with the TX-strips since that portion is already developable. Originally Posted by LP I was thinking in terms of doing the upper planking with the TX-strips since that portion is already developable . I've got a strip built boat in mind for a future project, but I'm thinking about using epoxy to put it together so that by the time I get one strip done, the previous one on the other side will be dry. I used Titebond III because it sets faster than epoxy but with this method I found I could only hang one or two strips levels a day anyway, so I might as well have used epoxy, but if you plan to use glass and epoxy over the wood you can use virtually any glue betwen the strips. Location: Eustis, FL TiteBond III requires a minimum of 100 PSI clamping pressure and finely matched joints to work. Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada Strip to strip I doubt if I get anywhere near 100 psi clamping pressure, but good strip to rib pressure is easy to achieve and they are all good flat to flat surface fits.
The strip to rib joints can only get soaked from the inside at which point a leak is academic. However this is just an experiment to evaluate a combined design and construction technique, I didn't intend to build it when I proposed the idea. Dace - the wee sailboat - is stored outdoors in all seasons and is fine after 2 years and counting. Location: Bellingham WA I use Gorilla glue which is a polyurethane for most of my joints.
I'm not using any metal fasteners in my current build, so everything has been glued and pegged.
Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada An entire month has gone by with no progress on the boat. Thread Goals:This thread is a companion to the Marine Tanks and Work Methods threads close by on the Metal subdivision of the Boatbuilding Materials section of the Forum and there a plenty of details that will rely on posts in the other threads. To begin I'd offer opinions on some basics based on my experiences as references for your planning. The terms dog house, weather helm, pilot house, stand up cabin, and others are used referring to a group of shapes, not all identical but like the word 'dory', in boating language, different people use the term for different boats in different locations. Some of the sketches shown below in this post present various design suggestions that may help inspire your ideas as you work inside the design or planning box? I know that many owners who'd consider doing their own cabins will have their own way of dealing with the work flow of fabrication.
Thanks Dave, as always, the welcome and comments at Glen-L are generous.I'm not disappointed with the skiff, the nature of small boats and stand up weather helms- or cabins- is just what it is.
I didn't refer to any particular image file, but I do remember us discussing a house for my build, we had a rather long thread going.
We were at the discussion of the brow, and while you may feel this is too esoteric to spend time explaining or discussing (?? You have probably already researched these topics however, and may well know more than I at this stage. Since you're already into steaming the steamed wood approach may be most attractive to you.
However, that is likely to be a reflection of the limitations of their materials rather than recognition of some obscure design requirement.
I clamped the stems and ribs to the bottom initially so I could align them for fairing, but the hull came out fair first time!
They seem to be going on well, no assembly problems, but the time for cutting, scarfing, thickness planing, trimming, bevelling and gluing is more than I anticipated. It will probably be more evident when the boat is photographed on the ground or in the water.
I have never used nails and only rarely use screws, although I often use trenails - wooden dowels. The glue is very hard and I am now wishing I had done that, and glued the ribs on afterwards. If you go the conventional route and use ply station forms it will be rigid enough to permit use of stapling which will allow you to hang several rows of strips at a session. I have never had a TB-3 joint let go without the wood failing except when it was soaked well beforehand. So it's not a boat for which a long life is planned; once I've determined how it handles in the water I will be able to test and report the impact of the constant radius bilge design constraint on performance, then it will probably become either furniture or firewood - I need the space more than I need another canoe! Like my other canoes she was constructed with TB-3 on all joints that could be glued flat and easily clamped, epoxy was only used for joints directly exposed to water or that were difficult to fit and clamp well. At least my breathing has returned to normal and I am trying to just work through the rotator cuff injury and arthritis in the hands.
I'm showing one method I've used for decades because it has helped make cabin building faster with less crawling on the knees, something in which I may put too much importance? The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.
After I got home from a tour of Afghanistan, I was immediately put off by dealing with my plastic tarps covering my boat, I sent it out that same day to a fabricator and had a T-top installed. If I had more time, I would have used the lines in the post you put up last Saturday, that was in our thread of long time ago.But, when I got back from Afghanistan, I wanted a canvas top RIGHT NOW, and I went with a T-top from a local yard, and the custom canvas work along with it. I think that flexible joints between thin members like ribs and stringers allows the joint to give slightly so the load is shared with adjacent members. I have found sometimes if the wood is soaked it's grip can weaken, but it seems to be restored when the wood has dried out again.


As far as TiteBond III being waterproof, well, it just barely passes the type 1 WBP test and does soften with immersion. Strip to strip joints just need sealing on a ribbed boat, although mine are fairly decent fitting beveled joints.
I got physio and massage therapy but the problems just came back however lots of work in the garden seems to be helping things to loosen up . To put on the top we'll need to hold it in shape and do some fitting before we can install a top. The early canoes are just made by just Free Canoe Plans To Experience The Joy Of Canoe Building. I don't plan to use glass, but it will be stroed indoors and dried out between trips so it would be OK. Both the creep and just barely waterproof issues have the manufacture hedging their bets and declaring it a non-structural adhesive and not for immersion.
The canvas guy worked with the t-top guy and a custom canvas cover was done at the same time. Though I do use a couple or three temp blocks to hold the keel in place to control rocker and depth (and indirectly the curve of the bilge).
I've not noticed any creep problem, but any joint that has a lot of constant stress (due to construction) gets dowelled on my boats, which may explain why I get away with it. This thread does not offer plans; it explores designs and methods to build the shapes in the design concepts shown. So if the glass panels raked forward they'd be more or less parallel to the impact instead of leaned aft where the impacting water would be more at 90degs to that panel.
As soon as I got it outside the building, I saw the 'lines' that I was talking about in the thread. Before epoxy, building wooden boats took considerable skill, and wooden and teaches courses in stitch-and-glue kayak building and design.
I was only working every other day so it has taken a while; things would have been much faster with the ladder jig but I got the curve wrong on that and didn't feel like rebuilding it, so I just built a 4-station jig on a piece of ply. This means the radius of the camber's cylinder is big and the center may be fifty feet from the cambered deck? Plumb windscreens are in between the two but considered in this rationalization as more toward the 'take-it-on-the-chin' kind of design than 'go with the flow' forward raking windscreen. A brow is will come out of the surface of the larger (left side) cylinder and meet the cabin top along the line where the top is 'sticking out' of in this sketch.By making the brow cylinder 'see through' again we can see how these two sets of surfaces intersect. Not very easy to layout a camber if the compass needs to be 25 or 50' long.IN the accompanying Work Methods thread we've already explored the idea of expanding a circle so that work method would be used here- to make the cabin top's temporary formers. These can be wood with tack strips on the edges but many times the cabin top can be marked without any tacking to the sides.How does this fit into the cabin top? First both temporary frames shown below will need to be 'projected' onto the wind screen's forward panel top edge, as a curve, and then to the same framing element at the aft end of the cabin- if one is used.
This is one of the main challenges in my view of trying to make a skiff look good with a helm. Few more difficult design projects exist in my experience drawing small boats than to make a stand alone or walk around cabin look well integrated to the boat. They could be less than 90 and therefore have a better single edge-weld seam while not including a close metal to metal space to promote crevice corrosion sites.)These following images are just offered to show the flexibility of this method of design then construction of the cabin. Can you take a look with a keen eye look at the lines Im speaking of here, the canted sides, maybe we can convolute a new idea here. That doesn't mean you can't draw something more imaginative or with more attractive proportions for your own boat, its just the sad truth of most of my work. The cabin can be left on this jig or removed if a few tie bars are laid along the lower edges to hold shape in both directions until the cabin can be tacked to the deck.Next we'll go back to some design ideas and discuss one of the least appreciated pieces of the cabin- the brow. Mark the overhangs if there will be one, mark a brow radius if there will be one, and mark the aft overhang to your plans from the 'design box' in the first few posts.A trammel bar, radius bar, wooden compass bar- whatever term you call this piece of wood or metal with a couple holes is shown located at the after edge of the top and then striking off a curve along the forward edge of the overhanging cabin top. The distance of overhang is up to you, some like them wider or farther fore and aft, others tighter to the windscreen. This usually results in a large bulge on the outside call 'print through' and also contracts the entire panel surface causing wrinkles or waves.
This can be cold formed with minimal effort using a few wood braces and some tack strips and is easily built - but could be rolled by a shop with a pyramid rolls as well. Some brow arcs may need to be laid out like a camber or expanded circle and not drawn with a trammel bar.This sketch, from a discusion kens and I had about his cabin design on Double Eagle (??
These cabin surfaces are more simplified, the shapes are all much smaller due to the size of the boat. In these images I try to color different parts different colors so the parts are not all shades of gray.
This thread is intended to give a proposed method to make welded aluminum pilot house for those who are at that stage of their build or modifications.



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