Mistakes and learning


Its frustrating and dis heartening when creating something for the first time and something goes wrong.

When hand sanding out globs of dryed epoxy on my deck I unknowingly used a sanding pad that broke through the sandpaper and left invisable black stains in the wood that only became apperent when the next coat of epoxy was applied. I wanted a varnished deck so it wasnt anything I could paint over.

I decided to live with it and not compromise on the varnishing but it still bothers me too look at.

I´m a house carpenter and whilst I´m used to working with wood, epoxy and finish was totally new to me. So this boat is my prototype. I want to start a buisness building stitch and glue / strip built kayaks so in a way it was essential I made the mistakes so I could learn and not compromise a boat a customer would be paying for.

This wasnt my only mistake, infact theres alot of things i´ll do second, third time round but I thought I´d post a note to those people trying it for the first time. Dont give up. Have a go. You´ll get there in the end.



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RE: Mistakes and learning

I nted your comment about wanting to start a business building stitch & glue boats.  I would be interested in seeing your business plan.  It appears to me that the market for these boats might support the cost of materials, but rarely leaves anything for labor.  It's lots of fun building these guys, but it's not the way to make money.  I often look at the minor flaws in my own boats, which really do not bother me, and think: "this would not be acceptable if someone was payinig me to build this boat"

I don't mean to throw cold water on a dream, just trying to inject a bit of reality.  If you can make it work, more power to you.

Paul G

RE: Mistakes and learning

You are correct Paul G.  The idea has come up on this forum many times by those who have taken a liking to this process but I don't believe it possible to make a go of it.  You simply can't get enough money for these things to make it a viable business.  I review business plans and finance commercial projects for a living and I've not seen anyone propose a plan that would make it worth while. 

 The hours it takes for even a highly trained builder to produce these boats would leave you working for way less than you could make doing anything at all. 

 Nice hobby but I can't see it turning into a business.


RE: Mistakes and learning


There is actually a market for these boats in Europe where people are willing to pay alot more than in the states. I have estimated the import costs of a kit minus epoxy and then added an hourly wage to the amount of time it takes to complete a boat. The final sales price of the boat ( compared to similar prices in Scandinavia ) actually gives a good return. The positive side of building these things is that apaart from the initial kit price there are almost no other expences except of course ones time.

I will start my small buisness as a side hobby and have already drummed up a bit of interest over here in Denmark where I live. My designs are primarily from clc with one or two exceptions and I have already permission to use some of the pictures from this site so my non english speaking customers are able to see the kayaks at my web site www.customkayaks.dk which should be up and running a couple of weeks.

I appreciate the above interest and comments and realise building a kayak is a labour intensive job but due to prices on the  ´the other side of the pond ` it could and hopefuly will be a good little buisness...


Thanks Rigby


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