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Skin on Frame

Boats built with an open frame consisting of cross sections and longitudinal pieces, all covered with waterproofed fabric

Willow Ribs

Submitted by John VanBuren on Sun, 12/30/2018 - 06:39


   Has anyone tried using willow or red dogwood shoots on a SOF kayak? Hillary Russell shows them in his book on building SOF Double Paddle Canoes. The technique interests me since I have seen some red dogwood growing along our local roads here in Greene County, NY.

John VB

Tom Yost Multi chine Skin on Frame - Sea Pup Build Log

Submitted by Myrl Tanton on Fri, 12/21/2018 - 12:43

Hi guys, 

It has been a while...Hope everyone is doing well for the upcoming Christmas.  

Here is a copy of my experience building the Multi-Chine Skin on frame (wood and PVC cloth) Sea Pup.

Fast and stable flat-bottomed kayaks

Submitted by Rick.T on Wed, 11/21/2018 - 22:10

So, I’m about to start a new skin on frame kayak build, and I’m really fascinated with the Mackenzie River delta kayaks that the Inuvialuit built. I’ve never built one because money has been tight and I wasn’t sure if they would be a particularly useful rec boat. Then, I found a review of the Rockpool Taran 16, which seems to have a similar hull:

Thread for SOF

Submitted by frankp on Sun, 09/30/2018 - 23:15

I built a SOF kayak a while back that I skinned with a PVC skin.  Turns out that the way the skin fit the frame didn't allow me to get a good seal on all the seams and it took on a lot of water.  I was bilging every 15 minutes.  So, I've decided to reskin it with a nylon/polyester (not sure which) skin.  The skin is already treated and is incredibly light, I would say 6 or 7 ounces at most.  

Skin on frame: doubts about the fabric and lashing line

Submitted by Pfolha on Tue, 08/28/2018 - 21:07

Hello everybody,

I'm Brazilian and only found info to build a SOF in English and Spanish, I am facing difficulties in finding the recommended material, sometimes because no one sells locally, other times because I am lost in translation. So I have two questions:

  1. I only found ballistic nylon pre-coated with PVC, PU or Acrylic resin, which one should I choose? 
  2. What is "artificial sinew"? Is it a nylon line?

Thanks in advance, 


Sea Rover LC - too small for me?

Submitted by Lowcountry on Mon, 07/23/2018 - 16:24

Hi folks -

I'm building my first SOF and need some help with design selection.  I do have some (plastic) sea and whitewater kayak experience and a solid roll.  I currently mainly paddleboard on a generic 11 footer and usually go out and paddleboard 4-4.5mph for up to an hour.  Home waters are tidal rivers and inlets in the southeast, so currents and winds are a factor but no plans for big waves or beach surfing.  I want a beautiful fast sportscar of a kayak for fitness/touring paddling, generally 6-10 mile jaunts.  No plans to camp/overnight.

skin and cross section shape

Submitted by brillythekid on Mon, 05/14/2018 - 14:39

Hi Everyone, 

Building a folder, for the most part according to Tom Yost (Yoswerks) instructions.  On the site PVC is recommended for the skin; and the cross-sections/stations are somewhat concaved (1/2"-3/4"). 

I have nylon material available to me, so my question is this: I understand nylon expands\loosens in water, so would it make sense to leave the cross-sections straight without concaving them or concaving them less than with a PVC skin, or are the concaves in the cross sections advisable also with a nylon skin? 


What to do with an old boat frame

Submitted by Paul Montgomery on Sun, 05/06/2018 - 00:43

This week I combined boating and gardening by planting an old boat frame in my garden. In it's next life, it will become a bean trellis. I put together a video of stills that I took while making the boat and put it on the build pages.


unloaded Aleutian

Submitted by brillythekid on Fri, 05/04/2018 - 07:56

Hi Everyone, 

Intending to build an Aleutian type - I'd like the kayak for expedition use, but would also like it for day fun at the beach.  I'm too skinny (~5'10'', 135lbs) - would that be a contraindication for unloaded use of an Aleutian type for me? If so, any suggestions on building modifications or other suggestions, or not necessary? 

Thank you! 



plans?/feedback on Yoswerks kayaks?

Submitted by brillythekid on Sun, 04/29/2018 - 11:43

Hi everyone,

I'm intending to build my first folder (SOF), probably an Aleutian type for expedition use. The Aleutian kayak on page 17 from David Zimmerly's book "Qayaq - kayaks from Alaska and Siberia" looks very nice. This is my first time attempting to build a kayak from plans, and I don't understand how to interpret the offsets to "stations" - in other words, the offsets seem somewhat random (every 50cm) and not where the main stations are. Especially important is that the offsets seem not to be in sync with the cockpit. Any advice?