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Kayak Building

   

One of the most popular types of recreational boats is the kayak. Known for their stability and ease of use, kayaks are popular for ocean, lake, and river use. For those with the ability, kayak building is one option for acquiring a kayak. Originally, a kayak was built by the person who was going to use it. Kayaks were used by the native peoples of arctic waters, who needed a stable, sturdy boat for hunting. Their boats had to withstand a sudden storm if need be and protect them in the frigid waters they hunted in. Today, kayaks of course are mass produced and available in sporting goods stores. While many people choose to buy their kayaks, there are those who believe in owning all parts of the life of a thing, creating their possessions from the raw materials whenever possible. For these people, there are a number of choices in kayak building.

The first choice a person has to make is what type of kayak to build. Kayaks were originally made from seal skin stretched over whale bone and secured with seal ligaments. Obviously, these are not politically correct or practical materials for modern kayak building. You can, however, construct a kayak in a traditional way using modern materials. Instead of using whale bones, wood or aluminum is used for a frame and covered with canvas or nylon in place of seal skin. These kayaks look similar to original kayaks, making them popular with purists who want an authentic looking kayak. Another popular type of kayak building is called strip building, so named because the kayak is made of strips of wood fitted together. The kayak builder glues the edges of strips of wood together, then covers them with a fiberglass and epoxy finish. Using different colors of wood, a kayak builder can create a design in the kayak that will be unique. This method also allows the kayak builder to shape the boat to their needs. A similar method uses wood pieces cut into shapes, secured with wires, then glued together.

The most common type of commercial kayak building is fiberglass kayak building. Fiberglass, kevlar, or carbon fiber is pored into a mold and allowed to set. Because of the equipment needed, this method is rare in non-commercial kayak building.

Enthusiasts who want to build their own kayak have a number of choices to make and quite a bit of work ahead of them. But many would argue that they will enjoy their kayak infinitely more than someone who bought one at a store. Because for some people, it is not important to have the latest fashion kayak, but one they have built with their own hands.