Inspiration for first -time builders

Two years ago I built my first boat - a Wood Duck 10 hybrid.  It was challenging to say the least, and I must admit there were times I wasn't sure I should have started in the first place.  But I hung in there and finished a far from perfect boat.

However, the responses from people who see my "flawed effort." have been remarkable and have made me happy that I persereved.

Here are a few of hundreds:

That's the Cadillac of kayaks, man.

Is that Italian made?

That's an oldie but goodie.

After being pulled over in a police road stop and fearing the worst, the cop said:  "Nice boat!"

Where can I buy that?

It's a work of art.

That's a treasure.

That's the most beautiful boat I've ever seen.

So, to all you prospective builders or those in the process of their first build, believe me: it will all be worth it!

8 replies:

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RE: Inspiration for first -time builders

....And if you are in a hurry dont stop for gas with the boat on your roof rack or youll be late!!!

RE: Inspiration for first -time builders

ditto!  We were on the ferry crossing the Sageunay and from the upper deck I watched as several people closely inspected my work with what I can only describe as a look of approval!

Great Post Rich!

RE: Inspiration for first -time builders

What amazes me is that as I slog towards completion (a pair of WD10s) I spend alot of my drive time rubbernecking every yak atop every car I see and even though I live in Greater Boston, a Boatie place if ever there was one, and travel to Maine (where my parents live), wood yaks are incredibly rare. It's a weird realization, considering how much time I spend on here reading testimonials and builders posts: I get the idea that stitch and glue kayaks must be everywhere, but that is just not the case. 

We had new neighbors move in directly across the street from the garage/cave where I'm working on the ducks. For months (I'm going to convert CLC's "80 hour" build time to dog time for my own peace of mind) these young, clean cut, well-off looking kids have been coming and going and nervously trying to ignore the glue smeared, powder covered guy in the murky depths of the garage bopping his head to the music on the earbuds as he grinds away with the R.O sander hooked up to the shop vac. I watch them load their rotomolded kayaks onto their SUV. They seem like nice young people. As I watch I'm making Darth Vader noises through my respirator; I'm not just looking across a street, I'm looking across some kind of aesthetic/cultural divide!

Holy rollers appeared the other day, saving my neighborhood door-to-door. A couple of very nicely turned-out young men advanced cautiously on the garage as I attacked some pesky airbubbles with a razor knife, a pot of hot epoxy, and some nitrile gloves. I had a foam brush in my mouth. One of them said "did you build that?" Happily I said yes. Even more happily, they left me some literature and literally backed away.

In a serious aside -and I just love the story about being pulled over by the cops- I'm curious what people do about security when it comes to cartopped kayaks? I'm desperately afraid I won't ever be comfortable parking in a parking lot with the ducks aboard. I'm fitting them with holes through the bow pieces for handropes, and considering some sort of cable locks to secure them when I can't avoid having to leave them for some time. What do people do?

RE: Inspiration for first -time builders

It is true that it takes longer to launch and retrieve a hand-built kayak because of the admirers. My favorite, though, was a young girl - about five or six - fishing with her Dad, who said "nice boat mister" when I paddled by.

As for securing the boat while traveling, I use a heavy cable bike lock fed behind the hip brace and under the roof rack.


RE: Inspiration for first -time builders

You can expect compliments nearly every launch! This weekend was a first-driving to lake champlain, I actually got complements from other drivers on the road-people pointing to the 'yak, and making a "thumbs up" or "ok" gesture!

RE: Inspiration for first -time builders

I too get lots of compliments on my boats.  I have to mention though that we did the maiden voyage on the Wood Duck 10 on Saturday and out of the 8 kayaks near the launch, 6 were wood boats.  Several Pygmy designs (we live in the Seattle area) and a One Ocean Kayak.  I guess it was the day for wooden boats!

As far as security, I'm thinking of installing some type of home-made fiberglass loop or eye somewhere inside the cockpit to thread a cable through since I don't have wooden hip braces (Redfish seat).  Still working out the ideal design though.  Would be more of something to deter the casual "hey, let's grab this cool boat, it's not locked" type of thief since anyone serious could cut most cables like they do with bikes. 

RE: Inspiration for first -time builders

I have never worried about security on day trips.  The boat and car are never left alone for that long.  I have taken a couple of 5000 mile road trips where the car and boats were left in motel parking lots.  The fist trip I just trusted and all was fine.  The second trip I got CLC canvas kayak covers.  They only increase security by the fact that it is harder to locate the actual tie-downs, but they also keep what is underneath out of direct view.  Makes the boats less of an attention grabber.  Also some protection from rocks, grit, and sun.  Don't know how much it helps, but so far so good.


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