This boat started when a friend asked about building a kayak.
Now I have seen some kayaks so beautiful that they should hang
on a wall as a piece of art and never be sullied by the touch
of brackish water. While I love to admire and sneak a touch at
these beauties, I know they are out of my league. I need a quick
fix in days and weeks not years of fine craftsmanship.
I build from Walmart and Lowes or Home Depot not the fine glued
strips of cedar. I sand with heavy 80 grit not the smooth finish
of emery cloth. I accept imperfection if I can hit the water that
much quicker. As one of my mentors has stated "from 10 feet
most boats look pretty good". I looked at 400 plans for small
kayaks and thoroughly confused I started building my kayak. I
am not limber so I need a sturdy cockpit large enough to ease
my climb in and out. It must weigh 40 pounds or less for me to
lift and carry.
I wanted lightness in weight and Lowes still has doorskin in
1/8 thickness, this was used for the sides of this boat. The sides
are 10 1/2 inches high and 120 inches long at the top and 106
at the bottom. In making up each side I used three sections with
butt blocks to give some added strength to the doorskin.
||The seat from an old chair.
My bride who loves speedy powerboats took one look at the thin
sides and stated "it looks kinda flimzee" and 'flimzee'
was its name.
I bent the sides around a temporary frame, 31 inches wide at
the top and 28 inches at the bottom. The overall shape seems to
work. There is room for a nice sized opening, 25 inches by 40
inches to accommodate my aging buttocks. The ends went together
nicely and the boat has a very symmetrical appearance. I chose
a cameo paint job out of my left over paint and added to my brides
negative thoughts about this latest creation.
||My Boat Show
On trash day a neighbor put out a perfectly good plastic chair,
I immediately flashed back to a story in 'duckworks' about creating
a boat seat by cutting the legs off a plastic chair. It works.
As soon as the paint dryed 'flimzee' was in the water. Climbing
in and out was easy, 'flimzee' was smooth and light handling and
tracked as well as any short kayak.
||One of the locals
My latest double paddle is from two furring strips and luan
plywood, it is a beauty. The local heron tried to ignore me hoping
I would float away. I already have a list of add ons that will
probable mess up my nice 'flimzee' kayak but it sure is fun.