A Kayak for the wife - also a cedar strip boat

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Project by Don posted 08-10-2017 04:07 AM 4554 views 3 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last September I finished a kayak that I built to use, even though I’d never been in one. (check my last project I posted) After numerous outings trying to do simple things like getting into it, my wife and I took a Kayaking class at the local college. It then started being fun and I had told my wife that I’d build her one if we both enjoyed it – so beginning about the first of March I started a build quite similar to the first one and finished it by Memorial Day. Every thing about it was a bit smaller. It is 16.5 feet long versus the one I made last fall which is 18.5 feet. It also turned out lighter weight, which is to be expected, about 35-40 pounds. It tracks very nicely, something she commented on. I guess that means that the front end doesn’t move laterally much with each stroke of the paddle.
There are two bulk heads in each of the boats that are glassed on both sides and sealed in. The hatches are held in place with 16 rare earth magnets and there is some gasket material on the undersides of the hatches so that a water tight compartment is created fore and aft – in the event you are upside down and fill the cockpit with water. Overall the boats are quite rigid and strong. All wood surfaces are covered with at least one layer of 4 or 6 oz fiberglass cloth and then enough resin to create a smooth glass like finish. Except for the interior – it only has one or two coats of resin over the cloth to both reduce weight and make a finish that isn’t too slippery when wet.
I’m actually thinking about making another this winter. I found the second one went much quicker than the first and turned out with fewer “whoops”.
We’re fortunate to be able to live on Flathead Lake in NW Montana so the boats are getting plenty of use. Even though they are subjected to being dragged across gravel, the resin and varnish finish is holding up moderately well. I’ll probably have to refinish the bottoms this winter.
The plans came from Laughing Loon Kayaks and is the Shooting Star model. In addition to the cedar, there are small amounts of Maple, Mahogany and Sapele in the boat for contrast. The cedar had been kiln dried – it’s much easier to bend with heat if it hasn’t been dried but that was all that was available last February at the local mill. I’d like to find some Western Red Cedar but I’ve been told I would need to drive out to the coast to get some.

23 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8340 posts in 3248 days

#1 posted 08-10-2017 05:22 AM

Very nice. Any day that sees a new wooden boat hit the water is a good day.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View rossinator's profile


46 posts in 2088 days

#2 posted 08-10-2017 10:43 AM


View Dutchy's profile


3406 posts in 2618 days

#3 posted 08-10-2017 10:55 AM

This is such a beauty. Well done and thanks for sharing.


View GerardoArg1's profile


993 posts in 2443 days

#4 posted 08-10-2017 11:18 AM

Awesome, beatiful, lovely, and all another words for explain about that excelent job. Like kayak too and this is a dream!. Congratulations!

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22996 posts in 3555 days

#5 posted 08-10-2017 11:48 AM

Excellent kayak!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View doubleG469's profile


848 posts in 894 days

#6 posted 08-10-2017 12:07 PM

That is greatness, what a fun looking project

-- I refuse to edit the photo orientation for this website any longer. It’s an issue they should address and correct. Gary, Texas

View oldrivers's profile


1769 posts in 2016 days

#7 posted 08-10-2017 12:34 PM

That is a beautiful kayak. Well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Softshell's profile


39 posts in 1106 days

#8 posted 08-10-2017 01:11 PM

Absolutely gorgeous! Excellent work!

View johnstoneb's profile


3123 posts in 2622 days

#9 posted 08-10-2017 03:23 PM

You live on Flathead Lake and can’t find western red cedar? That wood definitely looks like western red cedar. That is native wood all over western Montana thru Idaho and Washington to the coast.

What kind of cedar did you think you used?

Great looking kayak.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View BB1's profile


1409 posts in 1298 days

#10 posted 08-10-2017 05:13 PM

Very nice! I’ve kayaked at Flathead Lake while on vacation and know how beautiful it is. How great to paddle that lake in beautiful kayaks that you built!

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4547 days

#11 posted 08-10-2017 05:27 PM

So beautiful.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Upgrayedd's profile


120 posts in 1632 days

#12 posted 08-10-2017 06:44 PM

how many hours you think it took to build?

-- Upgrayedd - spelled thusly, with two Ds, for a double dose of this pimping.

View ralbuck's profile


6094 posts in 2716 days

#13 posted 08-10-2017 07:35 PM

Very pretty, almost too pretty to get wet!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View English's profile


677 posts in 1927 days

#14 posted 08-10-2017 10:15 PM

Very Nice Work!! Great attention to detail.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View Jacksdad's profile


237 posts in 874 days

#15 posted 08-11-2017 01:01 AM

Nice job, I’d love to make a kayak and a runabout like an old Chris Kraft.

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