How long it's taking me to build a kayak

New builders.  Just wanted to share a little building info with you.
I wanted to know how efficient I was building my West River 180 (ca. 2003)  I think I'm not.  example:  anyone else glassing the hull could have done it in half the time, even tho I've built 3 boats before this one (all stitch & glue incl 2 from that Washington state kit maker).  I included preparation & clean up time.  The weight of the fiberglassed hull with bulkheads and deck beam is about 30 #.  

The beauty of the boat will not be surpassed by any plastic or fiberglass tub.

Here's a link to the sheet I use to record times, etc.

5 replies:

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RE: How long it's taking me to build a kayak

Its hard to judge "how long" a build should take. I found that I had some time to do small jobs every day, but I also had to delay some time-consuming tasks that had to be done "all at once', such as glassing the hull, until I had "all day" to work on it. I have a job.

RE: How long it's taking me to build a kayak

Hello ...  I'd like to point out three things.   First, when epoxy is involved, most everything comes to a halt while waiting during the curing time...   Second, creating any boat yourself is it's own reward.  Just read in these posts the number of people who are so taken by the build, they are already thinking about the second boat and further on down the line. 

 Finally, the most true point of all...  Adding up the time you spend listening to others compliment your kayak(s) each time you use them will ALWAYS exceed the time it took to build, prep, mistakes AND clean up combined...



RE: How long it's taking me to build a kayak

I second Bruce's comment. No matter how many boats you build, building can be a forced march with all the attendant stresses or it can be a slow, contemplative experience, with time to get creative, do truly satisfying problem-solving where necessary, and just enjoy the whole process. I've tried the former and I prefer the latter by a long shot.


RE: How long it's taking me to build a kayak

I think if your time is limited, with only have a few months available, then it is helpful to know the build time otherwise I agree with a long process. I am building my second boat a NY hybrid and I am on my eighth month nearing completion. I made some really bad errors during the build but have come up with what I beleive are some pretty good solutions to cover my mistakes. It is coming along better than I expected and I get a lot of pleasure seeing it all come togeather. I have invested a little more money than planned and the only way I will be satisfied, at least for me, is if I take a lot of time to do it right. It is enjoable seeing time and patience pay off.


RE: How long it's taking me to build a kayak

Time really does fly by fast!

I bought my Chesapeak 16LT kit in Spring of 2009 just before my husband asked me to marry him.  As you can imagine time passes quickly with planning a wedding, honeymoon, buying a house...  This summer I have finally given myself the time to finish my kayak and I'm almost there with a goal to get it in the water end of October!

But I love the process.  I have learned so much about pushing through what I thought were my limitations.  And I'm not just talking about time or having a job.  I started building this in my tiny apartment, then on my uncovered driveway...  Now I finally have a garage, but still no woodshop, and not to mention NO prior woodworking skills!  Looking back through my pictures I've come so far. (I'll post soon)  

I know that if I can do this, anyone can!  I am so proud to be acomplishing this and I can't wait to start paddling...  or even start a new project too!

- Tara

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