Kaholo 14 build material, is it possible/crazy?

Hi guys, I'm impatiently waiting for my plans and manual to arrive, trying to source materials locally - marine ply, cedar etc - and I had a crazy thought. Can I build a Kaholo 14 out of Plexiglass or luan? Has ANYONE done this? Or thought of it? Am I in need of psychiatric help? Not very good at this patience thing...........obviously! Christo

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RE: Kaholo 14 build material, is it possible/crazy?

I built my Kaholo out of Luan, the cheap stuff and the frames were cut from 1/4 fir plywood, fifty years old drawer bottoms.  The shear clamp was from a floor joist of an old house, clear, first growth fir.  It turned out beautiful.  Luan really is pretty but not very strong.  I used 7 oz glass.  The fabric on the deck was from the thrift store.  It became a game of how I inexpensively I could build it.

I do not regret it but for all the time it takes try to get Okume.  3 mm Okume is available in Los Angeles for $47/sheet.  I really saved only about $100 by using cheap plywood.  Luan has lots of wrong things about it that you will find in the CLC builders tips.  Some of the pieces snapped in two when moving them.  I had to put in stitches 3 inches apart to get all of the ripples out of the edges.

Is my board good looking and paddles well...Yes. Would I use Luan again...No

One other note.  I wanted a 12.5 board and could only get plans for the 14.  So, I scaled it to 12.5 feet.  

RE: Kaholo 14 build material, is it possible/crazy?

plexiglass??? Okay, plexi or lexan is certainly strong enough, but costs a bundle and last time I tested a piece it sank like a rock. Wood floats.

Go with 3mm Okoume. You 3 sheets. Scarf two together and you can cut the deck and both sides out. You can fit the rear bottom and both front bottom pieces on the 3rd sheet, and looking at my cutoff pile you could probably laminate 3mm to get 6mm for all the frames. Still need deck stringers buit again checking my cutoff pile I believe you you could squeeze those out as well.  I cut all my panels with a Japanese (Dozuki) pull saw and I could keep the cut lines very tight = lots of leftovers. 


RE: Kaholo 14 build material, is it possible/crazy?

Actually, unless you built it out of 1/4" plexi/lexan, I would be scared it would shatter under any stress. Heavy (1/4") material is just that.... heavy!! Stick with wood, you'll be happier.

RE: Kaholo 14 build material, is it possible/crazy?

Yah, My plans arrived!! Oh happy days!! I will be building out of marine ply, unfortunately not okoume and not 3 mm, it's 4 mm. I spoke to Larry he said the 4mm will work, that's all I can get here on the island. The plexiglas thing was just a thought, maybe build a scaled down version out of it as a decorative piece for the house at a later date. I am really, really REALLY excited to get started building but I have a trip to take to Puerto Rico, taking the wife shopping to forgive the many long hours in the future I'm going to spend in the workshop! Oh HAPPY HAPPY DAYS!!

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