Maiden voyage

Submitted byKyle T onTue, 05/07/2019 - 10:28

Never again!  I can't tell you how many times those words came out of my mouth when working on this boat.  This one is pretty special in the fact that it took over twelve years to complete and how close it came to scrap many times over those years. 

I helped a friend start this build and got him through construction of the plywood hull, making forms and gluing them in.  I was building a similar kayak for myself at the time so I showed him how to start with the shear strip and all about beveling the rest.  He installed the shear strips as far back as the cockpit and then started on the front deck enough to define the pattern.  There he stalled out.  Ten years later his work forced him to change states and he asked me if I wanted the project.  My wife was ill and I was staying home a lot so we agreed that I needed something to keep me occupied.  That is when I started with the 'never again'.

Some of the forms had come unglued and the rest seemed to want to detach at the most inopportune moments causing some issues in keeping the build fair.  He had not really understood the transition in the area between the front and rear deck so he had left the strips overhanging the front of the cockpit without a starting any type of transition.  When I finally managed to come to terms with these issues I found that the strips were wildly over beveled and I was sanding into open spaces when I was using the fairing board and the deck just started coming unglued.

My friend had purchased the glass and epoxy but the resin was now very dark and I didn’t realize the glass wasn’t going to wet out until I was well into covering the deck.  After buying new glass and epoxy I got the deck glass on and found that I had lots of filler work on the inside where he had over beveled the strips. 

I should have given up then because after filling and sanding the inside of the deck I found that it had grown several inched in width and would no longer fit on the hull.

About this time my wife got much worse and I had to shelve the project myself.  After I lost her I didn’t take it up again for over a year. 

I did finally feel like I needed to do something so I started back on the build.  The results were quite a surprise after all the extra recovery efforts that went into this built. 

And yes, it does have my Moby Latch System on the flush hatches.

Kyle T


Finally finished

After that story I am kinda at a loss for words - - a beautiful kayak built under extreme duress - - you the man Kyle !

I hope you have forgotten that phrase -  -  -  -  "never again."  -  -  -  Can't wait to see your next masterpiece.

I am assuming you built the paddle too . . . . . . I have a long way to go to equal that :(


Kyle T

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 13:19

In reply to by Randy

I fully intend to build more boats but I will never again take on someones unfinished project.  I am sure I could have started from scratch and built the same boat in half the effort this one took. 

And yes, I did build that paddle.  It has a hollow shaft and I copied the blade shape from a Werner Kaliste that was given me as a gift.  I really like the Werner but wanted a wooden paddle.  It is both lightweight and quiet just like my carbon Kaliste. 




The hull is almost entirely a Night Heron.  My friend bought plans from Nick but I just had to make changes.  Not because it needed changing mind you but because I have to be different.  We lowered the back end to almost flat as opposed to the rise Nick put in for surfing.  My friend wanted it flat because he really thought he would be putting on a rudder but this kayak certainly doesn't need that.  The original NH has a crown in the deck that doesn't appeal to me so we rounded of the entire length of the deck. 

The Moby Latch System?  An alternative to bungie hold downs the I developed about 15 years ago.  A little complicated but much easier to work the flush hatch.  Search the forums and internet.  Several builders tried them.

Kyle T



...and it reminds me that I need to do a strip job. I got the forms cut for a Night Heron about 15 years ago, drug them around with me during various life changes, they're sitting there waiting.