Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

Hi All,

This is a call for help :)

I am a total beginner and I would love to build a kit. I would love to learn the craftmanship with someone who has already built.

Please please please, contact me if you can offer me some help. It would be greatly appreciated!

Fred.


13 replies:

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RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

You are going to love doing this.  While you are waiting for somebody local, the forum is a huge help.  Also be sure to check out the "Tips for Boatbuilders" tabbed at the top of CLC's Web page.

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

Hey Fred,

Just order a kit and build it -- I did.  The one tip I would suggest is don't fret about varnishing on your 1st build -- just paint.  You are not going to do museum quality work the first time out.  Accept that it will have imperfections.  Do you best and enjoy the results.  It will float and any CLC design is attactive enough to be eye-candy.  Others will envy your results.

 

Al

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

Hi Fred,

I totally agree with first comment.  Instructions for most kits are fairly good and this site is excellent.  I built two kayaks kits off supplied instructions.  Also I loved the finished wood appearance on both boats which still amazing me whenever I look at them.  I did paint the hull of my shearwater just because I liked the color and wanted to try something different and I like that as well.  San Rafael is a great place to kayak. 

I live in lafayette across the bay if you're ever out my way we can discuss.  From time to time I'm in San Rafael as well

Goodluck

Brad

artic tern:http://www.flickr.com/photos/greyskies/sets/72157616380889704/

shearwater :http://www.flickr.com/photos/greyskies/sets/72157625896454156/

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

First to Fred- I built my first boat this past winter (Annapolis Wherry).  It really is pretty much a solo affair- just go slow, read the instructions and spend lots of time reading topics on this forum.  Ask questions, experiment on spare wood, learn by trial and error, and you will be pleased as the project unfolds.  Thats my two cents.  I was in your neighborhood 2 weeks ago- you got to try a new Italian place in Mill Valley- La Genistra.  Excellent!

And Brad-  thanks for the flickrs.  Lafayette is very nice, had breakfast at Milly's 4 days in a row.  That Lafayette reservoir is great- do you paddle there?  I saw your comments about the Shearwater tippyness- for that same reason I'm going to build the Sh Sport hybrid next.

Cheers,

Hickory, in Seattle

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

Thanks all for your answers.

I am really really tempted. I'll continue to watch and read to make sure I pick the right first kit to build.

Any idea of what would be a good start for a total beginner?

 

f.

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

Brad, great pictures!!!

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

Hello Fred,

        I live in Livermore CA so not too far from you. I built a Chesapeake-16 in 2001 and love the boat. I just refinished the paint and varnish. I would be glad to share boatbuilding and kayak experience. I painted the bottom bright yellow and varnishied the deck. It looks great. 

      Check out Bay Area Sea Kayakers (BASK). It is a great way to meet other kayakers, find paddling companions, learn new skills. 

      Feel free to contact me directly: dickryon@comcast.net

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

This forum rocks!

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

Hickory,

thanks for comment on kayak.  interesting I never kayak at Lafayette reservior, I prefer to get away from people when I can but the reservior is visited by bald eagles in the winter.  Thanks for advace on more stable kayak as well.  I'm sure interested in a kayak that I can be more confident in the bay on less calm conditions.  Although my confidence is improving on my shearwater, it's super nice on calm conditions.

bc

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

Fred

Let us know what kit you decide and keep us posted.  If you ever get stuck on the project I can come by to provide input.  I'm no expert but have two under my belt and learned a thing or two.  I loved working on my kayaks.  I would work a little before work and after work, started to get up earlier and stay awake later, lots of fun

brad

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

I am not far away, in San Anselmo.  I recently completed a northeaster dory from plans - but still have the sail components to finish and install.  I did 99% of it solo, getting help to flip it when needed.  There were several times where extra hands would have helped but i found ways to make it work.  I am working now on converting an old trailer to carry her.

Barry

RE: Looking for help in the San Rafael, CA area

I agree with the others: just start. You'll learn as you go. Even with a kit (as opposed to plans) and good instructions from CLC, you're actually teaching yourelf to build a boat.  Which means you don't already know how to build a boat. The process of learning about working with epoxy and mahogany plywood and sandpaper is creative and technical at once. In the large sense I don't think it can be taught to you (even at boatbuilding school)--you teach yourself.  Can anyone teach you to play the violin?

The Internet, this forum, Youtube --the whole Googleworld--provides an ongoing master class in boatbuilding these days. And the CLC kits are very forgiving--you wind up going back and fixing your own early mistakes after you actually develop skills.

I built the Eastport pram because I needed a tender. Here's a time-lapse video of the process: https://vimeo.com/48492165

Good luck, you'll enjoy every moment.

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