father son project

Hi all, 

I'm new to the forum and have a question for you.

My 9 year old son has been watching me build my cedar strip canoe and has asked if we can build a kayak together when I am done.  He has shown interest in helping me strip my canoe, but there have been too many things I am not ready for him to do (routing the strips / epoxy work / etc.).

I love the idea of a father / son build project, but I don't want it to be "dad builds the boat - boy sweeps the floor." I think that would be bad for both of us.  


I am thinking about a wood duck kit. For those of you that have built from a kit, is this a reasonable project?  Is there one that might work better for us?  



Ann Arbor, MI 

3 replies:

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RE: father son project

Hi John,

I just finished my first Wood Duck (getting ready to start a second) and it is a fairly easy build.  There are several steps that are best done with two helping hands which might work out in the Father Son aspect.

My wife assisted me with a good portion and I was very thankful for the extra help.

On a side note... I'm not that far from you, I live in Brighton (Hamburg Twp) right on Ore Lake and Huron River

RE: father son project

Sadly I do not have a child to share my project, so borrowed a couple (nephews).  As a boy, my older brother (5 years older) introduced me to boat building and I wanted to do the same.  The two newphews are 15 & 16 and are really loving it.  I had chosen a 17' Skin on Frame design and started before discovering the CLC website.  I have plans to build a WD12 and Chesy 18... and a trailer ;)

We are building from scratch, no problem, I have been teaching them how to do the various tasks, keeping my boat a couple steps ahead so they can see where they are going.  Other than the logistics of getting them here, it has been going great.  I think the kit will greatly help with age issue.  The one issue that I have run into is an attention span thing.  All the sanding gets a little boring for a young mind so I have tried to stagger things a little as well as a couple of excursions rentals to help keep the finish in sight.

Enjoy, it is a great thing you are doing for a young mind!

RE: father son project

My 7 year old daughter and 10 year old son are assisting with my Skerry build. I like the "assist" model because if they lose interest for a day Dad can carry on and they can catch up later.

If this goes well I would like to try building Chesapeake Kayaks as a boy scout project where they alternate fund raising with working. I think building from plans and buying bulk may shave some of the costs - but I am speaking from a position of inexperience. I'd choose a sea kayak with the intent that the experience cumulate with an overnighter.


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