Newbie to wooden boats

  What would be a good boat to start off with . I have good skills in wood working . I would like to build a boat about 14ft long . I already paddle a plastic pig . Liquid Logic ( cross over ) I love the boat , I also love the looks of a wooden boat . Any information would be great .

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RE: Newbie to wooden boats

Hi and Welcome to the most adictive hobby!

 If you navigate around the site you'll see all the CLC craft and their specs.

Depending on what you want to do, your size and weight etc. There will be a boat for you.

They all require about the same amount of skill, and the CLC staff offer amazing support - as does this forum.

Check it out and let us know which way you're headed.



RE: Newbie to wooden boats

I would love try a stich and glue ,then maybe a strip boat . I was wondering how hard is to haul an move around 17 ft or 18ft boats around ? I have never been in any wooden boats . Many years ago my father would tell me that there is no better riding boat on the water then a wooden boat .

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

As a "newbie" to wooden boats I built an Annapolis Wherry which turned out to be a a fairly forgiving project, particularly if you aready have good wood-working skills.  I think you will find that many the wooden boats are actually lighter than plastic ones and are pretty easy to move about. 

You might also want to consider a Kaholo SUP , I built one last spring and found it was fast enough to keep up with friends in plastic kayaks - and a lot more fun to paddle.



RE: Newbie to wooden boats

I'm looking forward to getting started . Thanks for the input . I'm already looking for my second boat build is a double strip kayak for me and my wife . She paddles our plastic boats around the lakes, and really enjoys the quietness of the water . If you know what I mean .I,m sure I'll be back to do some show an tell , shortly . Thanks again .   

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

I had never built a boat but like you, have woodwork skills.

I started with the Mill Creek 16.5 Hybrid. Turned out great for my wife and myself. 70lbs.

This spring I built the Shearwater 17 Hybrid single. 40 lbs. This is one fantastic boat.

The HB is a combonation of stitch and glue hull and strip plank topside. The best of both worlds.

CLC will give you the best support you could ask fore.

Good Luck



RE: Newbie to wooden boats

Quote..."I would love try a stitch and glue ,then maybe a strip boat "


If you want a strip, build a strip.  I built 3 S&Gs and am now on a strip build.  I think I should have started on a stripper at first.  I was afraid of the extra work and it being too hard. 


RE: Newbie to wooden boats

Hahahaha, I am on my 4th Stripper because S&G's scare me to death.  Working construction all my life, plywood is not suppose to bend the way these guys make it work. but I have seen some awesum S&G yaks here.


RE: Newbie to wooden boats


You wouldn't BELIEVE how BS1088 okoume will bend! It often takes two workers to bend it and hold it in place while, tape, straps, screws, nails, clamps or whatever are applied to hold it in place.

 I've completed four yaks of various designs, some rather radical, with nary a creak or a groan. From the wood that is - I groan a lot lately.

 Some builders are amazed that we don't have to steam the panels.

Fear not!.

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

I think the the strip boats are down right beauitful . My biggest concerns are trying to keep everything even an keep an straight so the glue can dry .Without having a twisted up boat . Or I'm missing something ? I watch a guy on you tube building a strip boat the other day . Looks pretty cool !

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

Hahahaha, Hey Mac, I think I will stick with the Strippers... someday I will tell you about the day I tried making Pepper Mills. LOL  Patience is not a virtue I pocess.

John, It is all about taking the right steps.  Buy Nick Schades book on stripping and pick your yak.  A bunch of us have blogs out there on our builds and here is mine and if you go to my links page you will find more.

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

Beauitful boat . I agree , I would need a few extra picutres of it . Now here's a quick question for you. Do you need a lot of specaility tools or just your basic would work ? Or can you build with all hand tools . I buddy that is looking at same project to build .. Thanks again .

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

If you buy a kit with strongback, forms, and milled strips, then ONLY hand tools.  I use a Japanese pull saw, low angle block plane, staple gun (T-50 type) and I made my own faring sander.

Tools that will make it easier is a sabre saw, sander (random orbit suggested), and a drill

If you only buy the forms & plans as I do, then you will need a fair shop just to make your strips.  Some even build steam boxes but I have not found the need for one yet.

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

Basics such as jig saw or band saw, table saw, miter saw is nice to have, Clamps and more clamps.  I started out and bought 25 two inch c clamps.  Added about a dozen spring clamps, 2" and 4".  Added 6 Irwin quick grip 6" bar clamps and a couple 12".  Pull saw.   If you want to make a paddle to go with the yak get a spokeshave.


RE: Newbie to wooden boats

Yes, I did forget about clamps, but you can make a bunch from a hunk of PVC pipe cheaply.  I have never used a mitre saw on my yaks and a jig saw will go further than a band saw.

But the tool I used the most is Nick Schades book "The Strip Built Kayak"  I am on my 4th stripper and still refer to it. That and this forum and the one on

And yes, if you look at the pics of my builds you see every tool one could want, but they were not aquired for yaks, it is how I make a living.

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

 Wow ,You are all full of great information . So you guys think stripper are just as easy to build than as S&G boats . I've been looking at stripper from CLC boats . .Do you guys recommend buying a kit boat ? Or do you guys make everything yourself after you built a couple ? Thanks Again . 

 Hey do you guys ever get toghter to paddle or live to far away from each other?





RE: Newbie to wooden boats

I dont think one is any harder to build than the other, so if you want a Stripper, build a Stripper.  If you want a solid veneer look then build a S&G.  Both can be beautiful yaks.

If you have limited tools, then buy a kit,  If you have a full shop full of tools (table saw, router table, bandsaw, etc) then build how you want.  Personally, I order forms and plans.

The hardest thing about building a yak is finding the perfect yak, because there are so many GREAT yaks out there.

I tried to hook up with Mr. Ogata a year ago when he was down here in FL, but weather and timing didn't allow it to happen.  And if anyone is down here for the Holidays, I will be camping / Kayaking on the Estero River (Koreshan State Park) from the 23rd till the 3rd.

So Merry Christmas to all

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

Hey John,

I guess I should also tell you that I have seen S&G yaks built in a week here in the classes CLC does, and a Stripper will take 200-300 man hours to make

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

A kit or not also depends on wood you want to use.  If you have a supply of wood to make your own strips or want to use wood that is not offered by the kit you may want to go with plans and manual. I wanted to try paulownia so I got out my 15 yr. old router (xmas present) I never used and made my own strips. 

As a first build, nothing wrong with getting the kit.

Been told there is a great get together each spring...



RE: Newbie to wooden boats

After two CK Lt , a 16 adn a 17, am now building a petrel from kit.

With the stitch and glue you get a very exact manual and follow directions.  The stripper reqires more thinking, the directions are not quite as explicit although good.  If you have done woodworking and like a little problem solving do not be detered from a stripper.  What I like is that I am adding one strip a night to allow the glue to dry so I disappear into the basement for an 45 minutes or so each night.  It's a nice escape, no body bothers me etc.  Aslo not so long the lady gets upset.  

A shearwater hybrid would be a really good intro and combines ease and the beauty / personalization possible with a stripped deck.  I hear its a great boat to paddle.  The petrel is a good bit more work but having built two stitch and glue I wanted to try something different.





RE: Newbie to wooden boats

I have minamal wood wooking skills

stated my first build and picked a Petrel

stated building in aug of this year  the boat looks great and is almost done I have to sand the coaming and re-epoxy and sand the deck, do end pour and varnish.  holes are all drilled and filled hatches are all cut and recesses glassed.  instructions have a lot to be desirerd but there is so much avalible on line and in books

and best of all the strip boat is more personal because you control the patterens

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

I think you guys have got me talk into a strip boat .I like the looks of Guillemot plans ,I think thats the boat for me . I may live to regreet that statement . But here it goes , I will take as many pictures as possible.

Thanks again . I hope everything works out . 

RE: Newbie to wooden boats

trying to add a photo of the boat in progressfirst coat og glass

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