Re: Tips on Building a Ka

Posted by Alex on Nov 8, 2006

There are different ways of doing things and these are the differences between the CLC modified way and the methods I recommend builders of the Mac50 to use. They are both S&G designs. Where ever possible I like to recommend a method that does not require accuracy, hence the decks not being cut to the finished size and also the sides are cut longer and cut back to the correct length when fitted. The Mac50 is becoming a popular design in New Zealand.

> 3. When assembling the bottom panels to the sides, including the tightening of the wires, rather than suspending the hull upright as shown in the manual,

I always recommend making a building platform or two forms to mount on saw-horses. The bottom panels are screwed to these and providing they are parallel, nothing can twist.

> 4. Before initial assembly of the kayak, I knocked off the sharp inside edge of adjacent panels where they meet.

I recommend rounding the mating edges. This allows good mating even as the adjacent meeting angles change throughout the length of the hull.

> 5. After aligning the panels and tightening the wires, I placed a small dab of thickened epoxy between each wire on the inside of the hull…… dowels resulting in no copper showing on the outside of the hull.

I also do short lengths of glue and never leave wires in the hull even if I need to use a hot-air gun to soften the epoxy to get them out.

> 6. I postponed permanently installing the bulkheads until later in the assembly process.

It does allow one continuous run along the keel if the bulkheads are mounted after the keel is done. Remember, for me, the building frame has set the bottom angles so bulkheads are not needed until after the bottom panels are glued.

> 9. Rather than install the foot braces with the screws provided, I instead, made a wood plate,…..

I don’t recommend foot braces if a rudder is to be fitted (usual) and mount an aluminium bar above, along, the keelson for the pedal mount to slide on the the required 'leg-length' position. A wooden block holds it at the forward end and a nylon bolt epoxied in for the aft end of the bar. This means the entire rudder pedal system is removable by undoing one nylon nut. NOTE – NOT sliding pedals for steering.

10. I found that installing the deck would be problematic when trying to get a uniform curvature and a close fit at the sheer clamps…….

> 11. Before attaching the deck, it is a very good idea to do a dry run first. Position the decking carefully and clearly mark its final location…… I used the tourniquet method for tightening the webbing……. When tightening, push down on the deck at the deckbeam and bulkhead locations to be sure there is contact……

I fit four deckbeams permanently and small blocks the top of each bulkhead. The deck is screwed to each of these on the centre line. The deck is cut about ½” wider than the hull. No accuracy needed. The screws along the centre line stop “over bulging” when the deck is pulled down to the sheer clamps. The excess deck width is easily cut off after the glue is dry. Webbing tie-downs can be additionally tensioned by pushing wedges under them at the deck edge.

> One more point, don't put epoxy on the tops of the bulkheads or deckbeams at this point.

The tops of the bulkheads and deckbeams most definitely have glue on them.

> 2. For the end pours, to reduce weight,….

End pours? The bow has a tapered piece of wood fitted between the sides at the bow join and this allows a less sharp bow above the waterline. It also allows a rounded bow at deck level making the vessel less lethal in surf. The stern has a small transom for mounting the rudder gudgeon on to. No end pours necessary.


In Response to: Tips on Building a Kayak by Frank Grimaldi on Nov 6, 2006



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