Builders' Forum Archives
Re: Plans vs. kit
Posted by Steve Miller on Sep 12, 2006
I built my daughters Mill Creek from plans. I am lucky to live in the Pacific NW (Portland) where all the needed stuff is locally available. Her Mill Creek ended up about $400. If you have to add shipping then its probably a toss up.
As far as accuracy I have to comment. While the CNC router accuracy is nice the plain fact is that stitch and glue is very forgiving. All that really matters is that the parts match on each side with fair curves. Cutting planks close to the line and then sanding or planing off to the line is very very accurate. If you do matching sides at the same time they will be exactly the same. Ever notice how many posts here talk about the fit of the bulkheads on the pre-cut kits? The stitching process alone creates variances and the way the wood bends affects it too.
For a first timer or for convienence the kits are a marvel and truely worth the $$. Sometime they can be less money too. Some don't have a full shop or the space. Whatever the reason you select a kit or plans you will have your own wood boat that you can smile at everytime someone asks you if you built her yourself!
Cutting panels on a table saw then cutting scarfs and so on only took me about 15 hours to create my own "kit" of parts and was fun to do. Note that it was not my first boat project but was my first S&G kayak.
Either way you are still building the boat. Cutting parts is really a very small % of the project - and certainly not the hardest part. Anyone who says building a CLC kit is somehow different than doing it from scratch has never built a boat imho.
In Response to: Re: Plans vs. kit by Alan Speakman on Sep 12, 2006