To build or not ?

I am seriously considering buying the Petrel strip kit. Wood working is not my best suit. This is a beautiful kayak and I do not want to waste over a thousand dollars due to my inability to build it correctly. My question to you folks that have experience: Is the Petrel a boat that me, with limited skills, would be able be able to build, or is it better to start with a stitch and glue boat. I suppose my greatest fear is I am going to invest a lot of time end money and don‘t want my efforts to result in disappointment. Just looking for advise about how much actual expertise is required for any of the boats CLC offers. I will say that wood projects I have done in the past have turned out ok provided I take my time and double check everything.

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RE: To build or not ?

The answer to you question is within this book.  My suggestion is that you get a copy, digest it front to back, then decide if you think your skill is up to it.  I'll be they are.  Any large project like this needs a good knowledge base to develop skills from.  Knowledge is gotten from others, skills develop by doing and practice.  We all started in boats somewhere and Nick's book is where I started. Another, maybe more important, question you need to answer for yourself is are your kayaking skills up to handling a performance boat like the Petrel?  Best of luck to you. 

The Strip-Built Sea Kayak: Three Rugged, Beautiful Boats You Can Build (Paperback)

by Nick Schade (Author) 

RE: To build or not ?

I have worked construction all my life, and build custom furniture on commission.  I just finished the "Expedition Single" strip by using Nicks book.  It was sooo easy and made total sense all the way.  A beginner with desire will have no problems.

S&G yaks scare the beegees out of me!  Making plywood conform to curves, bends, and shapes is against all structural logic.  So if a S&G seems easy to you, then a strip will be a piece of cake.

I agree the "Petral" is an awesome yak, to bad I am to big to paddle it

RE: To build or not ?

Thank you for your responses. I think the most important thing is that I have the confidence to proceed with the project. I have been kayaking for several years Jerry and wnated to let you know that. I am ready for the challange of a performance boat. This is a great forum. When I get started on building my Peteral I know I can count on this site for expert advice !

RE: To build or not ?

go with s&g first build ive done 2 and they both come out well and been pretty simple to put together i havent done a strip boat but many of the ones ive seen dont look that great ive only seen one that looked right

RE: To build or not ?

The Shearwater stich and glue has such smooth and sensuous lines it's hard to believe it's formed with plywood sheets.  It's also a lot faster and easier to build than a strip boat.

RE: To build or not ?

Thanks, I have been doing a lot of thinking about it and read Nick Schades The Strip-Built Sea Kayak. At some point I would like to build a strip boat but I beleive I will start with the Shearwater 17.What I am tring to decide now is if I should build it with the S & G for the entire boat or try my hand at a strip deck with the Hybird option. I am going to order my kit next month and will be working in my shop under my house which is not heated. I will need to wait for warmer weather before applying varnish, etc. How far can you proceed in the building process and keep the boat in waiting so to speak. I live in Arkansas and it is not unusula for us to have temps in the upper 70's near the end of February. I should have a window then.

RE: To build or not ?

Epoxy seems to be easiest to use at 70 dry degrees, but gets iffy below 60 and doesn't like high humidity.  You can trick it, though, by hanging incandescent light bulbs over it to heat the air while it's curing.  Be sure to measure your doses carefully (don't rely on those useless pumps that come with the kit) and mixing very thoroughly.  If you don't, you might spend an extra day or two, as I did, scraping off uncured epoxy.  Not a pleasant job!

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