FAQ - Kits/General

What is included in a kit?

Here is an example.....

The Canoe Kit contains: Plan sheet and layout sheet, Stripbuilding Notes, and a CD of Construction Pictures. Coved and Beaded 6' to 10' Northern White Cedar Strips, About 30% Full Length Western Red Cedar Strips, Solid, pre-milled Ash Outwales, Scuppered Ash Inwales, Ash Thwart or Yoke, Natural Cane/Ash Seat(s), Ash Seat Hangers, Seat Hardware, Stem Laminations, Deck Material, Fiberglass, Slow Cure, Low Viscosity, Non-Blushing Epoxy, Epoxy Application Supplies, and Varnish. Mold Forms for canoes are included and have Clamping Grooves for Stapleless Construction. Call us or e-mail with your complete address and we will quote shipping and packaging costs.

This same description can be found for Rowboats, Plywood Kayaks, Hybrid Kayaks, and Strip Kayaks at the appropriate kit pricing pages.

What else will I need?

You will need a workshop long enough to work around your boat, a long plywood box called a "strongback", clamps, random orbit sander, block plane, spokeshave, sharpening stone, and shop vacuum if you get a kit. If you haven't built a 'stripper' before it is very helpful to get our "Pre-Kit" specific to the type of boat you want to build (canoe, kayak or rowboat). If we are shipping a kit to you, the plywood shipping box can become your strongback. You will need to pay for packaging and shipping anyway.

Are plans included in the "Pre-Kit"?

No, the Pre-Kits are generic to the type of boat you will be building, canoe, kayak or rowboat. You can order Plans on line for any of our designs but if you eventually get a kit the plans are included. The Pre-Kit is a great way to get started because you can read a book and watch the two videos (DVD format) that we produced and decide if this is the project you want to tackle.

Do I have to buy a complete kit all at once?

No, you can purchase the Pre-Kit and plans for your chosen design, make the strongback and mold forms, rip, cove and bead strips and then see us for epoxy, cloth, seats, etc. You can build your boat by just purchasing what you need as you need it. However, this works best if you are within driving distance as multiple shipping events will increase your costs significantly. In general, we will work with you to help you through the process. Note that if you do purchase a kit there is a discount on what you will pay versus buying things piece meal. If you already have some great woodworking equipment and want to make all the wood parts, we can help with anything else you might need.

How does a kit ship?

Most kits have to ship by truck because of the lengths of strips, gunwales, and keels. The exception is the plywood kayak kits that can be shipped by FedEx Ground because we can package in under 8' length boxes. Strip and Hybrid kayak kits can be shipped by FedEx also as long as you are willing to use 8' strips.

How long does it take to get a kit?

Our lead time is typically 2 to 3 weeks but can stretch out a bit when we get really busy. We will advise you of the approximate shipping date when you place your order.

Can I get all full length strips?

Yes you can get all full length strips in western red cedar. We can provide 12' to 20' lengths in this species.

Our kits are priced with 30% full length western red cedar and 70% northern white cedar in 6-8' lengths. The western red is more expensive so this helps keep the cost of the kit a little lower. Also, the combination of red and white cedar allows you more flexibility in aesthetics. If you look at most of the pictures on our website you will see that we like the look of western red cedar upper and northern white cedar for the lower parts of the hull.

Why do you use cedar? Will other wood species work?

We use western red and northern white cedar because they are lightweight, flexible and easy to fair (plane/sand to make a smooth hull). We have tried other species, specifically poplar, basswood, Spanish cedar, pine, and cypress but keep coming back to the cedar. Milling a an accurate cove and bead in soft hardwood will be more of a challenge than milling cedar.

The flexible part is important when you are trying to install the strips in places where they have to go from almost vertical to horizontal in the space of 36" or so.

Can I use wider strips, say 1" instead of 3/4" so I won't need so many?

Yes, you certainly could and this would work OK on the hull of a larger boat without tight chines. In the case of our canoes, kayaks, and rowboats, wider strips will require much more work in fairing, especially on the inside of the hull. We tried 7/8" strips at one time but went back to 3/4" because of the major fairing exertion that was necessary on the inside of the hull.

Can I use 3/16" strips instead of 3/4" strips to save weight?

Yes, you can and this is done on kayaks fairly frequently. I would not recommend 3/16" strips on tandem canoes or rowboats as you need the strength of that extra thickness. Even so, when using 3/16" strips on a kayak you should use 6 oz cloth on both sides of deck and hull. When we build a strip kayak from 1/4" strips, we use 6 oz cloth on both sides of the hull and 4 oz cloth on both sides of the deck in order to save a little weight.

Even though 3/16" strips have 25% less material than 1/4" strips, you won't save 25% on the weight of the boat because the epoxy and fiberglass, seat, footbraces, and hardware make up more than half the overall weight of the hull. Everything counts; shave off ounces and eventually you will save pounds.


Cedar Strip Building Newsletter

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Newsletter recipients will also be privy to special pricing on kits, tools and materials.

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