Stripped Duckling?


I recently finished a Kaholo using what I’ve heard called a “strip stich and glue” method. Basically, gluing strips together in flat mats, then cutting out the pieces from those mats, and finally stitching them together just as you would plywood. No, I didn’t save money doing it this way; yes, it added many hours to the build; yes, the result is a bit heavier; yes, I’d do it again!

I was unsure how the modestly thicker stripped parts would bend, being that the design was created with thinner plywood in mind, but it proved not to be a problem. The wicked twist in the nose was the only area that required much coercion, and I think to another time I could approach this better.

Now my question. Next on the docket is a Wood Duckling (or two) for the kids. Any thoughts/guesses on using the same method for this design? Not having examined the plans, it seemed the pieces are “tortured” a good deal more than with the Kaholo, but again- I was surprised at how flexible the stripped pieces were. Failing that, what about just a stripped deck (created either in situ or with a stripped, precut piece)?

Just thinking,


7 replies:

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RE: Stripped Duckling?

My first build was a Duckling. It was a real wrestle to pull the bow panels in - I really wouldn't fancy doing this with a stripped panel.

My second was a Shearwater Hybrid. I think the duckling deck could be planked up the same way. 

If I was to make another Duckling (and I might!) I would do it in ply, but laminate in some fantastic fabric of the little paddlers choosing, as really it's their boat.

RE: Stripped Duckling?

Hmm- that bend on the bow panels looks very similar to that of the Kaholo. If that was the worst of it I could be tempted to try. I had guessed the worst would be the foredeck that does that funky compound bend (convex left to right near the coaming, then concave front to back closer to the bow). Maybe that just looks more severe in pictures?

I'll have to investigate the hybrid offerings on the site- thanks for the tip.



RE: Stripped Duckling?

Patrick, The bottom is nearly flat (slight V) at the center of the boat and nearly vertical at the ends. So that's almost a 90-degree bend in a 4-ft length - at the same time that the ends are curving up from the center to the ends. If you have enough of your stripped material to make a 4-ft by 1-ft plank, you could secure one end onto a workbench and try twisting the other end 90 degrees and see if it breaks. It's probably doable with thin enough strips and soaking/steaming the plank. If you try, post pictures. Laszlo

RE: Stripped Duckling?

That twist sounds similar to the Kaholo. And really, it's not the gentle bend over several feet but the dramatic twist in the last 6-8" that was a bear! I took a tip from another poster (Mike in Canada) and planed the material down to just over 1/8" one foot from the ends and it wasn't too bad. Looks like the big difference here is there are two of those buggers on each boat!

If it takes me as long to get my ducks in a row with this build (pun intended) as with the Kaholo it will be a while, but if I give it a go I will certainly post pix.




So I did some testing and some more thinking. The tight bend at each end of the hull? Not fun, but doable. The bigger problem looks now to be the relatively gentle arching of the deck. Basically, I can bend the stripped panels quite a bit along the length of the strips, but not across them- they just pop open at the glue lines.

The solution I'm considering is stripping the deck in situ as though it was a "hybrid." The problem here is that the pattern won't include as many temporary deck forms as a "legit" hybrid kit.

So here's my question. The Duckling is pretty short, and the deck shape is pretty simple. I feel pretty confident that I could fabricate enough temporary deck forms to fill in the gaps between the provided forms, therby facilitating stripping, but obviously they won't be exact matches to the original design. Does this seem terribly problematic? Any tips for smoother sailing on this admittedly tedious route? 

Thanks for entertaining my crazy questions, all.


RE: Stripped Duckling?

I'm working on a strip stitch and glue Shearwater. I was worried about my panels blowing apart when twisted in the bow and stern especially since the strips I'm using are 1/8 inch thick. The solution I've come up with is to fiberglass the inside surface with 4 oz glass. I've done some test pieces and it seems to work fine. I've haven't done the real hull panels yet so the jury is still out, but I'm fairly confident that it will work.


RE: Stripped Duckling?


So are you using the hybrid Shearwater plans, or do you think the temporary deck forms with the standard plans will be adequate with your method?

Especially with this being a kid's kayak I imagine I'll stay with 1/4" strips and suspect I'd have a hard time bending a stripped panel over the deck forms.

Keep us updated with your progress- pictures would be great!



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