A Skin on Frame Boat

Hi Chuck,
I decided to take a break from the Yakoos and do someth'n different!  Lot's of folks have been asking me "why" would I want to build a skin and frame boat when I got all those other boats that do a good job!  Well.....  dat's easy to answer.  "Well.... cause I ain't never built one before..that's why!"  And besides it's fun building something that someone else designed...and I have real plans too!  That's a bonus!  You know me, I normally just start cutting and see what I come up with!  The skin on frame boat has turned out so far to be a lot of fun and is very easy to build. 

The cost is minimal!  I got my canvas at JoAnn's Fabric store on sale at $5.24 a yard and it comes in colors too!  The boat shown is the 14 footer that'll weigh around 35 pounds.  I'm also building a 12 footer too!  Don't ask me why!  I did do some modifications ...par for the course with me!  I altered the keel from a totally flat, slightly v'd bottom and put a little rocker in it! Should make her turn easier. 

The cockpit is supposed to be rectangular in shape.  I didn't like that at all so I come up with this idea of a removable panel, and I think it will work just fine, and give the kayak a more appealing to the eye.  It weighs very little cause most of the wood is removed in the hole!  Since I paddle and fish during the winter, I don't like paddle splash or water from wind and waves getting me soaked!  Anyway, I'm still working on that idea and it could change, but as it stands it's working out fine.

Jack Loganbill has a wonderful kayak page that shows detailed construction, and the plans are only 12 bucks from Leo Monson in Sandy, Utah.  I don't have his street address right on hand at the moment.  They are called the M-Plans.  You can build either the 12 or 14 footer from the easy to read plans that also include full size patterns.  The frames are pine shelving material.  It's recommended that you use some clear stuff for the keel and stringers which I did.  An electric staple gun is almost a must!  Saves the arthritic hands for another day! 

She will be sealed with 3 coats of latex paint.  Now the frame needs to be sprayed after assembly or it's impossible to reach in a get all the spots to seal the wood.  Latex primer or paint is used for that too!  My cockpit thingy will be fastened down with ss screws and finishing washers.  Floor boards of 3/8ths plywood are just fastened to the keel with 2 screws in each panel end.  Like I said, it's fun and simple!....and very different! 

Skin boats have a lot of history and were used in severe Artic conditions and in open ocean, so when you think about it they must have been pretty doggone durable!  There are many skin boat plans available, but this is the cheapest and easiest that I've found.  It also makes an excellent project to research since you can devote a lot of time to Eskimo culture and the various styles of skin boats used in different parts of the world.  The word "kayak" means hunting boat in their language.  Guess I'll have to build a harpoon next!  Hold that thought!  My wife just informed me that we don't have a seal or walrus season around here!  Damn!   Oh well.....  I'll send some pics in the water when I get around to finishing her.  Can hardly wait to take her fishing! 

Richard Frye