Guillemot S

My first Guillemot kayak is such a pleasure to paddle that I decided to a make a slightly smaller version.  This kayak is 16 feet long and 20 inches wide.  This is a good boat for me on casual day trips, and nice boat to lend to smaller paddling friends.  It is a very playful boat.  Here are a few photos showing some of this kayak's features:  

[ Click any photo to see a larger image. ]  

Marshall_Creek_GS3.jpg (290317 bytes)

The Finished Boat
After nearly 5 months of building in my garage, this Guillemot S makes its maiden voyage on November 7, 2004.  

John Guillemot_S1.jpg (420332 bytes)

My weight is a little over the optimal paddler weight of 140 pounds, but it performs fine.  Very playful.  

John Guillemot_S2.jpg (352312 bytes)

The only modification I made to the hull design was to add a little more pinched keel, or fixed skeg, to the stern to improve tracking.  Just a little bit, and I am very pleased with the result.          

John Guillemot_S3.jpg (319551 bytes)

A few days earlier, I took this kayak to a heated indoor pool to test the hatch seals and position the seat.  It rolls as easy as I expected.      


Bow_view1s.jpg (105331 bytes)  

All of the wood on the deck is western red cedar.  I select lumber that has the colors I want, and keep the strips from each board together to achieve good color matching.

The wood strips are slightly under 1/4 inch (Approx. 0.22).  This makes it a little lighter, and the coves on the strips are less fragile when using a 1/4" diameter cove router bit.

The wood is sheathed inside and out with 6 ounce fiberglass e-cloth, with an extra 4 ounce layer on the hull and abrasion patches on the stern and bow stems.  The final weight of this kayak is 35 pounds. 

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The cockpit rim is mahogany, unlike a few of my earlier boats where I built carbon-epoxy rims.  The carbon rims are nice, but I thought that a wood rim on this boat would look more consistent with the rest of the deck colors.  

The shape of the cockpit opening and hatches were borrowed from Redfish Kayaks' Spring Run kayak.  I prefer the Redfish cockpit shape because it achieves a very good sprayskirt fit due to  being well-rounded at every part of the rim.

My hatch opening shape is also borrowed from the Redfish Spring Run.  Its egg shape is very practical.

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Deck Rigging
The rigging in front of the cockpit consists of two pairs of 1/4" shock cords.  This is perfect for holding a map  or a water bottle.  I find shock cords straight across the deck more practical than a crossing pattern.

The idea for this deck design comes from a photo of a boat I saw on the internet.

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Cockpit Recess
The cockpit is recessed down enough that the coaming rim is nearly on the same plane as the rear deck.   This makes reentry easier when sliding one's body forward from the rear deck.

The cockpit rear was also extended one inch farther towards the stern to allow better laybacks on the rear deck during rolls.  A cockpit recess also provides a firm place immediately behind the rim for a paddle shaft to help stabilize the boat.

I almost never use the shock cords behind the cockpit.  My spare paddle fits inside the stern hatch on day trips.

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This simple pattern on the bottom allowed me to use only two boards for the entire hull.


Hatch2s.jpg (70361 bytes)     Hatch3s.jpg (77375 bytes)

Flush-mounted hatches produce no deck spray when paddling into winds, and I find them visually appealing.

A pull-tab allows for easier opening than a finger divot at the edge of the cover.

 3/16 inch Shock cords hold the hatch in place.  The covers are always securely attached tot the boat, so they won't be lost on a highway.   The shock cords may not seem like much of a hold-down to keep a water-tight seal, but they are surprisingly water-tight.

The hooks that hold the shock cord also serve as a hatch stiffener, to prevent any warping of the hatch cover. 

Inside_cockpits.jpg (90032 bytes)

The underside of the deck  is outfitted with two pairs of shock cords.  These are used to secure a hand-pump, paddle-float or small day bag.

The footbrace rails are attached to the hull with surfaced-mounted studs.

The bulkheads are 3mm plywood, fiberglassed with 4 ounce e-glass on the hatch side. 

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Stripping the Stern
My preference for a well-performing Guillemot is to strip the hull with a few strips down the keel line, to produce a well-defined pinched keel.  The strips conform to the shape of the hull better than if continuing stripping parallel to the shear.

Stripping_skegs.jpg (85964 bytes)

This photo shows how I stripped the pinched keel, or fixed skeg.  The keel line was extended approximately 3/4 inch deeper (up, in this photo) than the plans indicated towards the stern to improve tracking.   Care was taken to ensure a fair curve along the hull. 

I am a big fan of using masking tape for stapleless construction.  I also use hot melt glue, drywall screws through little blocks of plywood (see photo) and occasionally a heat gun to get the strips to conform.  Whatever it takes! 

Stern1.jpg (76363 bytes)

The finished stern profile maintains the pretty lines of the Guillemot. 

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To achieve good color-matching for 'cheater strips' at the bow and stern, I run a strip a few feet past the end of the boat, then use the run-off piece to make the cheater.  

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Paddle Park
This paddle park is a simple convenience. 


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The backrest attachments consist of a single webbing band connected to each hip plate, a shock cord connecting the bottom of the backrest to the rear of the coaming, and a nylon cord connecting the top of the backrest to the coaming.

There is enough room behind the backrest for a water bottle and a mesh bag that contains a few items such as sunscreen.

SpongeHolder.jpg (58810 bytes)

A loop of 3/16 shock cord provides a convenient place to store a sponge.  It even holds it going down a highway at fast speeds with an open cockpit!

HipPad.jpg (86186 bytes)

The hip plates have a horizontal brace attachment to the hull.  This adds strength and also creates a hollow area that a cable can pass through to secure the boat.

Marshall_Creek_GS2.jpg (343119 bytes)


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The cars still fit inside the garage after this project, but it's getting to be a tighter fit!

Thank you for allowing me to share these photos of my kayak.   A special thanks to Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks for the beautiful design, and Vaclav Stejskal of One Ocean Kayaks for all the wonderful building building ideas on his website.  

Most of my building materials were purchased at these places:

Jamestown Distributors - MAS epoxy at a good price, Z-Spar 1015 Captains varnish.
John R Sweet
- Fiberglass and epoxy supplies.  The fiberglass rolls from Sweet have a nice little sticker every 5 yards marked with the yard number, so it is easy to tell how much is left on a roll.
Redfish Kayaks - The seat bottom blank.

See you on the water!

Sincerely, John Caldeira

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Created November 8, 2004