My new "Squirt Boat"
- I just posted 8 pictures of the test run of my new boat. Some of
you know that I have been studying skin-on-frame kayaks, which were
the historical origins of our modern kayaks. I based the kayak that I
just built (very loosely) on the offsets (measurements of the hull) of
a museum specimen of a boat known as a "retrieval kayak". This is a
short kayak that was used after the introduction of firearms for
hunting seals and caribou. After the prey was shot, it would be tied
to the boat and pulled through the water to retrieve it.
I modified the design in several ways - this is not a
"traditional" design. The bow and stern are blunted, rather than the
pointed ends in the traditional boat, making it similar to the "squirt
boats" that you see in many kayaking magazines these days. The
overall length is just over 10', and the beam is 23", with a high
amount of "rocker", for quick turns. I'm hoping that it will be a
Another way that I modified the design, was to make it in such a
way, that it would be a very easy kayak for anyone to build. Instead
of using the traditional steamed and bent ribs to form the
cross-sectional shape of the boat, I designed plywood "stations" that
I could produce on my Shopbot (a computer numerically controlled
woodworking machine). All of the pieces fit together like a very
simple jigsaw puzzle. A lot of gluing and clamping, some drilling,
sanding, and varnishing, and that's basically all that's involved in
building the frame. There's a couple of different options for
"skinning" the boat, and yes, the skin should be more than strong
enough to handle our local oyster beds.
Check out the pictures here, in our photo section, and come try
it out at Lover's Key.
- I neglected to mention, in my previous post - the test run of my
new boat was done with a "temporary skin", made with a cheap plastic
sheet and a whole roll of duct tape. For now, I'm calling it the
"duct tape wonder", but I am thinking of naming it "Toibotoibote". As
soon as I finish this post, I am visiting the local fabric stores,
looking for a suitable skin. This will be a test of my sewing skills,
as much as my designing and woodworking skills.