Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A somewhat bigger fish to fry!!!

All this time I've been building paddles, pumps and various kayak-related paraphenalia. I've decided it's time to move onto something bigger and a lot more challenging - like a boat!!

While I really like my plastic boat - the Baffin by Borean Design

I think that I'm ready to move onto a glass one.  I've been sitting on the fence about whether to buy or make one. I think I've made my decision. 

And the winner is  . . . .

(clicky clicky on the link above)
As designed by Duane Strosaker. 

I'll be going with the Point Bennett 18 - which is 18' long by 21.5" wide. As with all plywood boats, she's got hard chines. My Baffin has chines as well and I've grown to like them!  I contacted Duane for some idea of the handling of the boat. Here's part of his response:

"I would describe the Point Bennett as feeling a lot like a Nigel Dennis Romany Explorer but a little faster and tippier, with a bit less volume and a stiffer stern, but they edge turn about the same. Without a skeg or rudder, I haven't paddled a better all around handling kayak. It is very well balanced for a variety of conditions, but of course, there are times I'm working harder on one side. I haven't felt a need to install a skeg in my Point Bennetts, but there are times when one would help."

That's good enough for me!!!

Now I have to start collecting materials. Kinda hard to believe that you can't buy marine grade plywood in St. John's. Looks like I'll have to order it in and, believe it or not, the best bet looks to be  from TORONTO!?!?!?  For those not familiar with these two cities - St. John's is a 500 year old seaport on an island that's long been connected to the sea. Toronto, on the other hand, is a huge metropolis and, while it is on Lake Ontario, is still in the middle of the country!!!!   Oh the irony!!!  Materials like glass, resin and such can be acquired locally - thank gawd!

I'm also starting to read up on the building process for stitch and glue boats. I just got back from the public library where I found a most useful book on that very topic!!  While I have pretty much all the tools I need, I'm keeping my out for those ones that may make the job a little easier.

I will be building in my attic - yes, I said "attic".  My attic is a 24x32 wide open room - thanks to a rafters and 12 on 12 peaked roof!! The starirs are situated just right so that an 18 foot boat can fit down them and right out the window on the second story. This will be well worth the sight to see - I'll have to make sure the cameras are rolling for this exercise!!

Not sure when I'll be starting but once I do, I'll make sure to keep up my blog entries.

Let the adventure begin!!!


  1. wow that is weird! No marine plywood in town!

    Have a look around the bay yet?

  2. I think you'd be more inclined to find thicker panels. I need 4mm and I'm guessing that's not a common size used around here for marine applications. I could probably find 1/2" but that would be one heavy @ss kayak!!

  3. Sean, I'll be sure to follow the building process on your blog and I wouldn't mind popping in now and then to actually see it at various stages. Also, I want to be there to help you birth this thing from the attic out into the world...

  4. Sure thing Dean! I just ordered the plywood from Noah's in TO. I guess it'll be here in a week or so but I've got a lot of preparation to do in the meantime!! I'm really looking forward to getting started.

  5. Looking forward to seeing the finished piece there Sean! I'm sure you'll have your long broken in before mine hits the water.