wanted to build a kayak with a hull shape similar to some of the smaller maneuverable
British-style boats such as the Nigel Dennis Romany or Valley Kayak's
Avocet. A suitable design for strip building was not found, so I started my own
design by recorded measurements from a few commercially-
I am careful to respect the intellectual property
rights of boat designers, but every new boat design borrows from existing
craft. Starting with proven designs reduces the risk of creating a
The first step was to mark reference point on the
kayak every foot, so the deck and hull measurements would be taken at the same
contour gage was made from leftover cedar strips. This contour gage
records heights every 5/8".
The strips in the contour gage had bead and cove edges, so they fit
together nicely. They are held firmly in place with a strip of foam, so
they can be locked in position when taking measurements.
sheer point was recorded at each station using a pointed strip.
The position of each form relative to the others
is essential, so the hull rocker was carefully measured at each station using a
string line. As a double check, the distance from the floor to the highest
point of the overturned hull provided confirmation.
The cockpit position was also recorded.
point measurements from the boats were transferred to easel paper.
To draw curves from the points, the paper was
folded in half to achieve exact symmetry, with the dots 'averaged' so
create a fair curve..
The hull and deck measurements were recorded
separately, and later joined together.
form dimensions were transferred to plywood forms with carbon paper.
Below the waterline, I was careful to make only relatively
minor changes to length & width. Above the water line, I lowered and
flattened the decks to produce a lower-volume kayak suggestive of traditional
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Created July 15, 2006