Final Design – I think

After looking at many designs and ideas and settling on at least three or four over the past few months, I’ve been rethinking my design given the wood choices. I did some internet searches based on using primarily basswood and found mostly favorable responses. The biggest negative is that it will weigh more than cedar but most comments were estimating 4-6 additional pounds. Compared to the weight of the plastic kayaks I will still be substantially lighter so I think basswood will be my primary wood.

During my searches I found this conversation with the following image, while this is not of the kayak I am building, the lines, in general, are close enough that the pattern should translate across.

I really like the pattern on this and it would work well with basswood as the primary and limited amounts of spanish cedar and walnut. My interpretation of this design would result in:

From part line (where the deck (top) meets the hull (bottom)) going down:

  • 1/8” strip of walnut
  • 3/4” strip of basswood
  • 1/4” strip of spanish cedar
  • continue on down with basswood

(optional, I may stain the bottom half in which case the entire hull would be stained basswood)

From the center line out on the deck (front decorative panels):

  • 3/4” strip of basswood
  • 1/4” strip of walnut
  • spanish cedar filling as necessary
  • 1/8” strip of walnut
  • 1/4” strip of basswood
  • 1/8” strip of walnut
  • continue to part line with basswood

From the center line out on the deck (rear decorative panels):

  • 3/4” strip of basswood
  • 3/4” strip of basswood
  • (maybe a 3rd strip, probably not)
  • 1/4” strip of walnut
  • spanish cedar filling as necessary
  • 1/8” strip of walnut
  • continue to part line with basswood

Coaming:

vertical – basswood, lip – walnut and possible spanish cedar accents

I’ll spend a day or two to think about this but if I do stick with this design then the wood purchase will be coming up soon. I like the idea of the basswood which is very light and almost no visible grain which will make splicing boards together easy and the seam should all but disappear in the final product. It also minimizes the use of the cedar, to the point that a single board would be enough and it wouldn’t have to be overly long either. Walnut, while heavy, contributes less than a board foot with the decorative strips and just a small amount more for the coaming, again a negligible amount of weight gain.

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