Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Hi everyone!

I'm a 5'10 190lb wounded veteran looking for some upper body exercise and a little peace and escape from the post combat stresses in my life.  This route and company have been recommended by several other vets so I figured i'd give it a go.  I'm not interested in a canoe, the kayak just fits what i'm interested in a looking for for my first build.  My legs still work (although not well, thus the kayak interest) and i've completed a roll-over course in a kayak so I am capable of safely bailing from a kayak should the thing roll (little disclaimer before anyone poo-poo's the idea from the get go), but I'm looking for a boat with several caveats.  First, I have an 11' 5" shed to build this in.  Second, and the FAR AND ABOVE two most important aspects of my need are ease of build, and stability.  I also for the record have no wood working experience.  I do have above average common sense and have nothing but time given to guidance to take pride in this.  I couldn't possibily care less about speed or payload.  I won't be taking this monster on overnight trips so gear storage is a non issue and I won't be going anywhere with any waves or anything other than boat wakes.  After searching and searching and deep thought it seems the Wood Duck 10 would be the best place to start.  What is/are the main difference between the wood duck and the wood duck 10?Now my question for the experienced builders:  Is the wood duck the easiest to build/most stable boat that i'd have room to build?  Time and patience are not an issue, I just want to do this right.  I've read the literature and understand that "anyone can do it," I've just never talked to anyone that actually has done it and do speak boat so most what i've read about it jibberish to me.  I look forward to hearing everyones answers and respectfully and greatly appreciate any and all constructive advice anyone has to offer!

 Respectfully,

 Scott Carlson


14 replies:

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RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Hey Scott,

 

Most importantly, thanks for your service! 

 

The wood duck is an excellent option. Very stable, and as long as you have patience and this forum for getting answers, not that hard to build.

I have built a 10 and a 12, I like the 12 , but i am tipping 220lbs. I have paddled the 10 , and I sit a little to low for my liking. I think 190 is well within the design spec for the 10.

Take your time, ask questions , enjoy the build.

 

David 

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

I keep hearing the phrase "so long as you have patience" over and over again, and believe me, I have patience out the wazoo, I'm just wondering if you mean patience as in don't expect to be in the water in a week, or patience as in your parts won't fit together and you're going to have to do modifications.  I'm not trying to beat a dead horse here, I just don't want to get in over my head, as i've been able to find absolutley no comprehensive and "haven't been there done that" barney style step by step journals.  Thanks again everyone

 Scott Carlson

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Scott you picked a good boat to fill your needs

the kit goes together very well as with anything in life there are challanges, if you get stuck the manual is very well layed out, so you don't need to bang your head agenst the wall

any way if it gets to that point stop and drop us a line and one of us can walk you thru it.

slow down and injoy the build

Andrew 

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Andrew

 Thank you so much for your encouragement!  I've just never taken a project on like this and want something to be proud of, not just something i've completed.  I can't say anything about CLC or the quality of their workmanship but I sure can appreciate the help on this forum and others.  All I want to do is do this right and it go smoothly.  Time or patience is not this issue, but not having any wood working experience I just don't want to come across anything I have to half-ass or guess work.  I can't wait to get this process started and begin the build.  Truth be told its not the completed project i'm looking forward to, its the process and the satisfaction of knowing that i've completed something of quality and beauty with my hands.

 Respectfully,

 Scott Carlson

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

All,

 One question that was never answered is what exactly is the difference between the WD10 and the WD10 Hybrid?  Thanks all

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Hi Scott,

Before completing my Chesapeake 16LT, I had never built anything out of wood, but my kayak came out fine. I made a few errors along the way, but the guys and gals on this forum and CLC's technical support team were always willing to help me get to the next step.

I haven't seen the instruction book for the Wood Duck, but the book for the Chesapeake Kayak series was excellent. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow, with lots of helpful pictures. Something else that helped me was the CLC video "The Zen of Wooden Kayak Building." You watch John Harris complete almost every step of the building process. I typically would watch a segment of the video a few times, then go out to the garage and do the same thing on my project.

You can do this! And if you take your time and don't rush, I think'll be pleased with the end result. Good luck with your decision.

Mark

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Jennifer,

The Wood Duck 10 has a plywood hull and a plywood deck. The Wood Duck 10 Hybrid has a plywood hull, but the deck is made from thin wood strips.

Some kayaks have the hull and deck made entirely from thin wood strips. Strip-built kayaks take longer to build than plywood kayaks, but you can make some really interesting patterns with the strips of wood.

With a hybrid kayak, you save time by making the hull from plywood, but you can still have an interesting pattern on the deck because the deck is made from wood strips. It's the best of both, which is why they call it a hybrid.

Mark

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Hey Scott,  1st off, if you never worked with wood before, you will find your self coming back to this forum more often then someone who has worked with wood, the shed size you have to build in, should be good for a 10 footer, if you chose a hybrid, you need to anticipate more time and fitting of the strips, steam work,and alot more sanding along the way, although a preetier boat, and the ability to make your deck unique to you likeing, (design). If you chose the non hybrid I would assume a quicker build and less fitting and sanding, as the plywood is only 4mm thick and fairs well to curves, hope this helps,I am building the woodduck 12 hybrid, so if you go that path...give me a yell if you need anything... thank you for your service to all of us, we really appreciate all you have done to keep us here and safe...happy building.....Ocean

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Couple thoughts.  If you are unsure about a boatbuilding project, build a CLC Cradle Boat first.  You'll use many of the techniques needed for a Wood Duck and your shed will be large enough.  That brings up another point.  You said your shed is 11' 5" long.  Is that the clear inside dimension, or the outside length?  Most people suggest a shop that is two feet longer at each end and two feet wider on each side of a boat being built inside as maneuvering space.  And that doesn't include a workbench, storage space, or room for a thinking chair.  Some builders get around this by placing the boat diagonally across the shop (from corner to opposite corner), putting the boat on a dolly so they can move it around, having a large door that can be opened to allow more building room, building and/or storing stuff inside the house, and lots of other creative ways (e.g., crawling under boat to work on the other side, every time that is needed).

 

If you are really space limited, consider building a mobile workbench you can build your Wood Duck on and store tools and supplies under.  And get some wood working experience along the way.  Take a 4' x 8' sheet of 3/4" plywood, cut into two rectangular pieces, one 8' long by ~26" wide, the other 8' long by ~22" wide.  Build a 2x4 base, full width,  underneath the narrower piece of ply and mount lockable caster wheels (3-4" dia.) on the bottom.  Build a similar base under the other ply piece, about the same width, leaving a few inches of the 3/4" ply sticking out over each side (useful to clamp parts with while working on them or gluing them together).  Use some 2x4s or 2x6s to raise the wider ply structure up over the smaller one so the top is 26-28" over floor height (look at CLC sawhorse designs for an idea of a comfortable height).  Brace the between-plys structure so you won't push it over while working.  It doesn't need to carry too much weight, the Wood Duck 10 isn't heavy.  The bottom platform can hold parts, tools, supplies, etc.  The narrower bottom keeps you from smashing your insteps too much as you are working.  Move the workbench around as needed to gain access or space to work.  Lock the wheels when working.

 

You can buy just the manual to look over before you make a final decision.  CLC will deduct the manual's price from the kit's price if you order the kit later.  Also, check out the Wood Duck building blogs.

 

And as noted above, thank you for going in harm's way to help ensure our freedom.  Appreciate how you know how you have the patience needed to build a boat.  Come back with any questions.  We will help.

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

OOTDB,

 What a brilliant suggestion!  Building a couple of cradles is a great way to both get motivated and to get a little experience with the tools of the trades, not to mention a useful tool along the way.  It just so happens I have a few 2x4's and some plywood laying around. 

Failure with this boat is not an option.  Thats not to say its not a serious possibility, but its not an option.  EOD's motto is initial success or total failure, and thats the case with this kayak.  If I don't do it right, I'll sink that bitch to the bottom, ride it all the way down, and have no regrets, but one way or another this will get built.  Who ever mentioned the DVDs earlier the idea is also greatly appreciated, all the help I can get will be invaluable.

The shed is 11' 5" straight across.  Space will be a huge issue but is overcomeable.  It has huge doors and will for sure be a tight squeeze, but its what I have to work with so I'm considering 11' 5" a blessing, because to be honest if it was 10.0000000001' i'd still be doing this ;-) 

The one thing I can't make a decsion about is the WD10 vs the WD10H.  I like the looks of the hybrid 1000% more personally, but my wife likes the non-hybrid herself.  If I was to go with the hybrid, how do all of the individual strips fit together?  Easily?  Are we talking the difference of 200 hours vs 400 hours of work (knowing it changes person to person), or is it just a minor setback?  I'm not trying to do anything custom, and at least on this first one i'll be following the plans verbatim.  Basically I'm just asking if the hybrid is exponentially more work or just a little more time comsuming and sanding.  Also, someone in an earlier post had mentioned steaming wood.  Not to waste y'alls time but is "wood steamer" or whatever you want to call it a tool i'll have to buy?  I'm just wondering about extraneous charges i'm not expecting in terms of tools and unexpected costs.  How much can I expect to spend on things like clamps and wood steamers and sand paper and the little extras they don't tell you about?

 Sorry for the long post, I just can't even sleep at night i'm so excited about this project.  I've wanted to do it for 10 years now and its all finally coming to fruition!!!  I can't thank you all enough for your help, advice, and especially encouragement. 

 Respectfully,

Scott Carlson 

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Scott:  First of all, thanks so much for your service and sacrifice.   

As for the question about hybrid or not, I am not a woodworker, but I opted for the hybrid Wood Duck 12 because I like the looks of the stripping.  I'm about half way through the stipping now and I have to tell you that there is hardly anything so satisfying as cutting and shaping the strips and having them actually fit!  With each strip, I get better at it.  Just laid out four more this morning before church.  After the perimeter strips, the process I'm using is:  Cut a piece of cedar that is about two inches longer than you need.  Then line up the piece with the bow or stern (depending on which end you're working on) and pencil mark the angle you will need.  Then carefully cut the angle and then plane the flat side to match the 1/2 round side on the rest of the strip.  Test fit the angled end being careful to make sure it is lined up properly.  Once you have the angled end properly fit, then, and only then, measure the other end by lining it up with the cockpit edge (the WD12 has a cockpit skirt), cut it and test fit again.  Once it fits properly, then glue and secure in place.  Don't try to force it.  If the strip is not going in pretty easily, you have some shaping to do.  It looks great, even with all the glue residue.

You are likely to screw up a strip or two (I cut one way too short) and that's part of the fun.  You can fix anything on these boats.

Having more fun than a guy should!

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

The WD10 hybrid shouldn't need a steamer, but if you wanted a bit of help bending or twisting a strip, use a steam iron.  You mentioned a wife's likes.  Be advised:  this boat building is addictive to many of us.  You might want to discuss with your wife if you are going to build hers first, or yours.  You also need to remember that the Wood Ducks are meant to be paddled.  Paddling leads to a few scratches eventually.  If you build it, you know how to fix it.  The kayak doesn't have to be perfect, it really just needs to float without taking on too much water (there's a large, open hole on top, remember).  Good luck with your decision.

RE: Wounded Veteran Looking for the Right Fit

Scott, first, thanks for your service and sacrifice.

I built my WD12 evenings and weekends from plans.  Started in mid-February and launched mid-June.  You do need a little patience when something does not work quite right… that is when you take a break, post your question and wait for an answer.  If you have the time to dedicate, you can go from box to water fairly quickly.  I have very little wood working experience, took a couple classes in high school and had no problem building from plans.  The Kits are even easier/quicker.  The advice to slow down and enjoy the build is good advice and [I think] is more about taking time to enjoy the experience, before you know it you will have a boat that is ready for paddling.  I think this part of the reason that most of us cannot build only one boat, it is just a lot of fun building.  I have three boats hanging from the ceiling, a fourth started and the plans/materials for a fifth in the barn. 

here is a good picture blog of building a WD12 http://www.morocz.com/BoatBuilding/DuckBuild.htm

You will make mistakes but no boat is perfect, don’t sweat it, I have yet to have anyone point out a single mistake as I lift my boats down from the car, so far 100% “nice boat” type comments.  And what a great feeling being out on the water in a custom built craft that you built.  Enjoy!

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