Matunuck build in progress

Just a note to let folks know there's one in progress. Building from plans, bought two sheets of Okuome, busily cutting out all the pieces. At least one has my blood soaked into the plywood. For tracking down a lost boat, of course.


Feel free to toss suggestions. I've got two S&Gs and a stripper kayak under my belt already.

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RE: Matunuck build in progress

   Boat sat to the side for many months while life took other turns. I am at the point of glassing the exterior hull. Some thoughts:

Bought the plywood, building from plans. Having gone through the process of marking and cutting out the pieces from plywood, I highly recommend just buying the CNC-cut kit. Due to the angles of the design, the geometry is finicky and sensitive to error, with small cutting errors leading to large-ish geometry deviations. Nothing that a mixture of epoxy and wood flour can't cure, mind you, but it is a lot of extrat work to cut it from scratch to get to what will ultimately be a not as nice of an assembly process. This design is why the good lord invented CNC.

Mating the top and bottom was an adventure. Ended up throwing in a few wire stitches, temporarily nailing some blocks on the back to give clamps purchase (double-sided tape and hot melt glue didn't cut it) and using a ton of clamps and packing tape on the snout. Yet it all came together and now I have a hull!

Glueing on the block for the snout tonight, sand/grind it to shape tomorrow, hopefully glass the hull this coming weekend.

RE: Matunuck build in progress

Hi Mike,

I remember seeing your name in the "builder's directory" when looking for other builder's near me- I'm in Bellefonte. Did you find a local source for your plywood? And will you be taking the surf kayak out on Spring Creek?!

Agree that the geometry of that kayak is calling for the infinitely steady hand of CNC.



RE: Matunuck build in progress


i just ordered plywood and had it shipped. I'll likely take it on Spring Creek. Should be fun!

RE: Matunuck build in progress

   Keep us posted on the Spring Creek experience- especially if you hit up the paddling park. I've no experience with it myself but was never thrilled with the thought of buying a plastic boat just for that purpose. I'd much rather build a plywood number but had assumed (again- 100% ignorant here) that it wouldn't stand up to it.

Good luck,


RE: Matunuck build in progress

   I have an Arctic Tern 14 (Pygmy Kayak design) that I've taken down Spring Creek and Bald Eagle Creek already, so the boat will hold up. You'll get some dings and scratches, but nothing a quick lick of epoxy doesn't cure. As long as you think of your boat as a boat and not an art object. :)

Last weekend I actually paddled my Tern 14 up Bald Eagle Creek from Bullitt Run. Had to portage a couple/three times where the riffles were a little to hard to paddle up, but it was a good and fun workout. No guilt in coasting back down.

RE: Matunuck build in progress

   So the boat is finished and I had it in the surf at the outer Banks of NC. Two days of hard riding in 2-4 foot seas. No fin. Surfs wonderfully, easy to jump on waves and to keep the bow pointed downhill. Edges easily with a stern rudder. Loving it. For sizing info, I am 6'3", 215 LBs, wear size 13 shoes. This is me above the recommended size, but it works fine. The stern is partially submerged when paddling, but I've had no problem punching through breaking waves and getting outside. OK, I went over backwards once, but it was the worst possible position. Use some white water float bags at, and I cut sheets of pink Styrofoam from Lowes and crammed then up into the bow on edge to provide flotation and act as a bulkhead for the feet. Works great fit both. My feet position in a duck stance in the boat, and there is plenty of room. Haven't rolled it yet, only because I haven't managed to invert it, other than the pitch pole, where I tried my first we exit. Painted it with exterior house paint in gaudy colors, will post pic.

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