Stitch and glue Kayak?

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Blog entry by Mark Edmondson posted 03-17-2010 03:26 AM 5678 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I found a Web site that has software to design a stitch and glue kayak. Once your design is complete, you send the file to the company, which charges you to render the plan into a template, then sends you an image file to print off.

Here is the link:

Has anyone done this? Because I want to , but I’m interested in seeing some detail pictures of the seams before I commit to building a boat this way.


5 comments so far

View sras's profile


5199 posts in 3639 days

#1 posted 03-17-2010 03:44 AM

Here are a couple web sites with a good deal of information about stich and glue kayaks

I have built a stich and glue kayak (before I had a digital camera). Have you done kayak design before? There are a lot of subtle details in hull shape that affect stability and performance. Something to think about…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Mark Edmondson's profile

Mark Edmondson

40 posts in 3712 days

#2 posted 03-17-2010 04:02 AM

Thanks. I appreciate the links. Now I have some homework to do!

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3507 days

#3 posted 03-17-2010 06:06 AM

I have no experience with this particular program but there are free programs available to do the same thing. Free!Ship, and Hulls are examples. There are more but I don’t know much about them.

Them sending back a image file sounds pretty lame and a good way to introduce error into the process. Getting a service company to print out will end up costing as much or more than a set of commercial plans. Without a large scale plotter, you are back to doing it by hand anyway. It really isn’t hard to mark out the pieces. A few nails and a flexible stick (batten) and a pencil and you are good. It’s not rocket science. In fact it is quite fun.

Warren Messer has a really good tutorial on Youtube (redbarnboats) on stitch and glue building and the design process as well although he is building sailboats rather than kayaks. Same thing, just thinner ply.

Hulls and FreeShip both do plate development (Rendering the parts in 2D for cutting) Hulls does the nesting pretty well also. FreeShip is a bit funky until you get used to it. Working with 3D curves with a mouse or even a tablet is problematic on its own.

There are also free designs available. JEM watercraft has a free one.

A few are also floating around the web. There are some available in books as well. Remember, you can check things out from a library too if you don’t want to buy or want to read first.

That said, until you have built one (several actually), I don’t advise designing your own. Focus on one skill at a time. Get one and build it. You might get hooked and build more or you will be happy with the one.

Enough for now. If you want more info, let me know.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4391 days

#4 posted 03-17-2010 03:17 PM

I built a stitch canoe years ago from CLCboats as mentioned above. They will sell kits or just plans. They also are a source for good plywood. It was a lot of fun.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Mark Edmondson's profile

Mark Edmondson

40 posts in 3712 days

#5 posted 03-17-2010 08:59 PM

Thanks for the info everyone. The consensus seems to be that I should go with an existing design or buy a kit rather than drown myself in my first hand-built kayak. Much like a person shouldn’t make his own parachute without some knowledge on the subject, I think I’ll listen to your advice. Thanks!

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