What do I need beside a kit?

Ok,

I came, I saw, I fell in love. That was last summer. Since then I've managed to save up about a thosand dollars, and my soon coming tax refund should put me over the top, and let me finally buy the Stitch and Glue Night Heron kit. :) 

In the meantime, I've acquired a random orbital sander (the nice dewalt one)  built a bookshelf, and played a little with very basic woodworking.

 I know I'm going to need a paddle, lifevest, and probably one of those saftey kits. Since I kayak exclusively in the ocean (currently on rented sit on tops) I'm presuming I'll want a spray skirt for this boat. All of those are external to the yak itself though. 

 However, many people talk about modifying their kayaks. Almost everyone seems to replace the open cell foam with closed cell foam, and a lot of people talk about needing a little more epoxy than comes with the kits, so...

What else should I buy at the same time I buy the kit? 

Beyond that, how does one chose a paddle? Is the hot tip to find a local store which will allow me to test them out (I'm left coast) or have you guys had good luck ordering online site unseen? I trust CLC implicitly, but I'm not sure how much personal preference goes into these things, and how important playing with them hands on is. I'm also not sure if I should buy these when I get the kit, or just wait, and see about picking them up the next time CLC is on the left coast. Hopefully the kit will be done by then. 

I'm excited, but also a bit aprehenisve. I'm not sure about the paddling equipment, but I know I want the kayak itself to be as ocean-friendly as possible, so aside from the closed cell foam, what other modifications do I want to make right off the bat to make the best s&g night heron possible?

Thanks :) 

-- James 


15 replies:

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RE: What do I need beside a kit?

James,

You should budget about $200 for materials that are not included in the kit. These include sandpaper, varnish, mixing cups, mixing sticks, plastic squeegees, (4) syringes, about 75 feet more copper wire than comes with the kit, a box of nitrile gloves, a respirator, foam brushes and rollers, roller pans and frames, chip brushes, and something to cover the floor of your shop. A shop vac is pretty much essential and about 20 cheap 2" spring clamps. Several rolls of paper towels and quart of white vinegar or denatured alcohol help with clean-up. You will also need a pair of pliers and a drill with some small drill bits. Harbor Freight is a good source of many of these things at prices that even Home Depot can't touch. If you mix the epoxy in small batches and keep your fillets small you may not need extra epoxy. At $100+ per gallon, that's a biggie.

Paddle size is a function of your size and the width of your boat. Start with an inexpensive 220cm plastic paddle that will become a spare after you've paddled for a season and blown a wad on a fancy carbon fiber job. My first paddle is adjustable from 210-240 cm and any angle. It now makes a perfect guest paddle.

Hope this helps. Lots more hints and errors on my website at www.twofootartist.com

-Wes

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

P.S. As a former Coast Guard officer, I also suggest you buy a compass, learn marine rules of the "road" and take a class in wet exit and reentry.

-Wes

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

TFA,

 

Thanks. Wow, lots of stuff. I forgot to mention that I also got a top notch respirator (about 1/4 of the way through sanding my bookshelf project, ;) ) It looks like a shop vac is the only big thing left, so I'll pick one up shortly. I read over your page at the time I first found out about this, but now that I'm approaching time to roll, I think I'll reread it and a few of the others who have taken the time and energy to let me learn from their experience. Thanks :)

I'm also an ASA certified sailor, (not that that means much) and have spent a lot of time on the sea. I always obey the rules of the road, and spend enough time navigating really crowded harbors and bays (Newport Harbor in California anyone?) to realize how important it is, and how many people don't. 

Also, thanks for your service :) 

 

-- James

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

don't forget the rack to carry and a cover to protect from uv rays

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

As far as Maritime laws of the sea, please use more common sense than the law.  By Law, a kayak has the right of way over a motorized boat, but as that frieghter is bearing down on you, you must realise it can neither see you, nor does it have brakes to stop.

Next take a couple of simple lessons to get a good forward stoke, learn bracing, and re-entry.  You can do all of this with a cheap paddle, then while you are out, I have never met anyone that wouldn't let me try thier paddle to see what it was like.  The bad news if you are like me then the paddle you decide you want runs $450. LOL

As far as S&Gs, Other will have to tell you what extras you need, I build Strippers.

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

It sonds like you are on the right path James.  I am just starting my first build, Matunuck.  I have taken a class at Half Moon Bay, just south of SF.  It was very informative.  although i like to think i have good common sense, i still want more information from people that have been there.  i will go back and take other classes to gain more knowledge.  my best suggestions to you is to find a place that has the classes for kayaks and take as many as you can that fit your desires of knowledge.  and this forum here is a great place for build info and more.  even researching the past posts is informative.  good luck and have fun.  just don't get excited and get in a rush. take the time needed.  

Dave

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

I built as Chesapeake 17LT as my first kit boat. Beside what is said, I had almost a gallon of "West system" epoxy on a shelf. I used a good deal of it in addition to the MAS that came with the boat.  

Have a great time, it is a fun project.  I am almost ready to finish mine.

Dan 

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

If you are careful with the epoxy you should have easily enough to finish, same with the copper wire.  Start saving yogurt cups and popsicle sticks and the like and you won't have to buy any of that either.  The cheapest paddle available is a fir 2X4 carved into a West Greenland style paddle, that takes about $4 and a few hours. 

Bottom line - you can spend as much or as little as you want/have to build your kit.

 Good Luck, enjoy, see you on the water soon.

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

Thanks for all the great feedback.

The lessons are an issue. Everywhere around here uses Sit-on-top's, and while I've had quite a bit of time to work on my forward stroke, and some of the skulling strokes (I picked up "Performance Sea Kayaking" along with "The Zen of Wooden Kayak Building" a while back while trying to decide if this was something I wanted to do, and I get out at least a few times a month to work on technique, and have gotten a lot better, use my whole body, don't bang the paddle into the side of the boat, etc, but a lot of the things I want to work on just don't translate to SOT's and so I need to find a place to learn in sit-in kayaks.

Anyone know of Sit IN kayak lessons around the LA area?

As far as common sense, definitely, although I feel obliged to point out that rule 7a pretty much states "screw the rules, do anything you can to avoid collision" ;) So there's actually a level of common sense built in. One thing I was taught, but can't find in colreg, is "Gross Tonnage always has the right of way", and despite the fact that they take MILES to stop, apparently tankers don't count as a "vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver". Bizarre. 

Either way, being in a 20" wide vessel that half the other boats on the water can't even SEE is a good motivation to be especially courteous and attentive ;)

Jae,

Awesome, now I've got another project while I'm waiting for my tax refund. Time to build myself a greenland paddle, and bring it up to the harbor and try it out with one of these cheap little SOT's. :)

-- James

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

Thanks for all the great feedback.

The lessons are an issue. Everywhere around here uses Sit-on-top's, and while I've had quite a bit of time to work on my forward stroke, and some of the skulling strokes (I picked up "Performance Sea Kayaking" along with "The Zen of Wooden Kayak Building" a while back while trying to decide if this was something I wanted to do, and I get out at least a few times a month to work on technique, and have gotten a lot better, use my whole body, don't bang the paddle into the side of the boat, etc, but a lot of the things I want to work on just don't translate to SOT's and so I need to find a place to learn in sit-in kayaks.

Anyone know of Sit IN kayak lessons around the LA area?

As far as common sense, definitely, although I feel obliged to point out that rule 7a pretty much states "screw the rules, do anything you can to avoid collision" ;) So there's actually a level of common sense built in. One thing I was taught, but can't find in colreg, is "Gross Tonnage always has the right of way", and despite the fact that they take MILES to stop, apparently tankers don't count as a "vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver". Bizarre.  

Either way, being in a 20" wide vessel that half the other boats on the water can't even SEE is a good motivation to be especially courteous and attentive ;)

Jae,

Awesome, now I've got another project while I'm waiting for my tax refund. Time to build myself a greenland paddle, and bring it up to the harbor and try it out with one of these cheap little SOT's. :)

 

Thanks again for everything. :)

 

-- James

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

James,

Regarding lessons, do a Google search for local Kayak clubs.  I know the Valley Wide Kayak Club in Hemet gives several levels of lessons on Lake Perris.  Depending on what part of LA you are in, that may be a possibility.  There is also a club up in Ventura.  Last spring lessons were given at the Southwest Coast Kayak Symposium held on Mission Bay in San Diego.  Have not checked to see if that event is scheduled again for this year.  Check the web for that one also.

 

I have boated all my life, and currently row a Mill Creek 16.5, but believe me, when my Shearwater 17 Hybrid is completed, I will be taking some kayak specific classes.

Good Luck,

Paul G. - Palm Desert

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

Thanks. I actually live closer to Ventura, but don't expect people to know where that is. I rent my sot's from Channel Islands Kayak, and they're cool people, but just sit on top. I didn't think to check for clubs. I have since hunted down and emailed California Kayak Friends, and hopefully they'll get back to me soon.

Thanks :) 

 

-- James

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

Paul. I'd love to chat with you sometime about your Shearwater 17. I'm building one too. Drop me a note at danielthaler@gmail.com

RE: What do I need beside a kit?

James,

I know where your at.  I'm in Thousand Oaks, and my Shearwater 17 Hybrid kit is currently in Los Angeles in the hands of the shipping company.  Hopefully to be delivered any day now.  I've been watching the California Kayak Friends website as well.  If you dig into some of their past events/posts there are mentions of lessons available in Santa Barbara and Marina del Rey.

One thing to add to your list of items is a wet or dry suit.  Our water in this area is too cold to spend any time in!  It looked like all the CKF paddlers had dry suits this Sunday at their get together at Channel Islands Harbor. 

I'd be interested to see your Night Heron kit when you get it.  I almost ordered that one, but decided to go with the Shearwater in order to build the strip deck of the hybrid.

my email is fordke_32@yahoo.com.

Ken

 

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