In the spring of 2016 Sue and I built a skin-on-frame kayak for her
use. It was based upon Brian Schulz's F1 design though it was built
using frames and stringers vs. steam-bent ribs. You can check out the
building of that boat
The Mobjack Bay
was designed by Dave Gentry as a smaller Greenland-style kayak for
lighter paddlers. The photo above is of Dave's prototype. It is
definitely a low volume boat intended for day trips as opposed to
camping or expeditions. There is not much storage space in this boat but
I think it will suit the kind of paddling we do just fine. So, here we
The project began with cutting out the seven frames using full sized
patterns provided with the plans. I was able to slightly modify the
gunwales, keel and stringers I had prepared last year when building
Sue's kayak. In the photo above you can see the basic frame layout. All
those clamps at the bow are 'redirecting' the split gunwales to create
the swoop of the shear of the bow.
Here is a closer look at that process. The gunwales were split (sawn)
54" back from their tips then bent upward to create the desired
'laminated' curve at the bow. The pine wood we're using is pretty stiff,
even at only 5/8" thickness, but this did work as the plans
indicated it would with only about an inch or so of spring-back when the
epoxy had cured.
- March 5, 2017
The gunwales and chines are permanently screwed and glued to the
stems and frames. I am in the process of adding risers to fill the space
between the tops of the gunwales and the top of the bow stem. This is
according to the plans and should produce a nice even sweep at the bow.
The boat project is on hold awaiting warmer weather. It takes a lot of
firewood to bring the shop temperature up from low single digits that
are forecast for the next week. The rivers are still pretty hard so
that's OK. - March 10, 2017
Today it finally warmed up enough (28 deg F.) to fire up the stove in
the shop and epoxy the risers to the bow. Lots of clamps (21). Looking
As an aside, that red object under the saw horse is an inverted large,
re-purposed plastic bucket that I use as a step-stool or seat. It is
very handy since you can slide it into position with a gentle kick and
it is super sturdy.
- March 15, 2017
After the epoxy holding the risers had cured I cut a recess for a small
plywood bow plate. This piece is shaped to form a continuous curve with
the tops of the risers and gives the bow its shape.
I decided that it might be a good idea to have at least a little
accessible storage space for things like a jacket, gloves, water bottle
and lunch so I designed this hatch system to replace the aft deck beams.
I added an additional cross piece and then screwed and glued the hatch
plate (above) between the two frames behind the cockpit.
The covering fabric will go over the hatch plate and be sandwiched
between the plate and the rim shown at left. The lid rests on a 5/8" lip
inside the rim and will be held in place by a simple lip under the aft
edge and by three large rare-earth magnets along the front edge. A small
lift loop at the forward edge of the lid will allow it to be opened but
shouldn't be in the way of a wet re-entry. By the way, this is not a
water-tight compartment; dry-bags will protect my stuff.
- March 18, 2017
This assembly is made from 1/4" Baltic birch plywood and adds 28 oz. to
the weight of the boat.
Today's project was to complete the floor (seat). I deviated somewhat
from the plans here by choosing to fasten the floor slats into two
panels and then fasten them to the frames with simple hidden fasteners.
Here's another view of the floor showing Tom Yost-style mounting backup
plates. With the floors in I was able to get into the boat for a test
fit. For a couple of reasons I decided to go with a larger, more modern
style coaming. Most important was that I had a hard time
getting into the boat. With the traditional, round coaming you enter the
boat by sitting on the back deck and sliding forward until you plop down
into the seat. The clearance on the masic was too tight for comfort.
Also, I felt that I would have a hard time doing a wet exit through the
So, here is the coaming laminating form from Sue's kayak sitting in
position - it fits perfectly! I left remnants of the masic to at least
temporarily stabilize the coming.
- March 20, 2017