Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha


Dio vs Yak rnd 7 (part 1)

New coaming is coming along. Brian and I have had a running email conversation about it and his final analysis was for me to use 31.5″ for the internal length. Sadly, logistics kicked in and denied me that option. If I go that route, I have to bring down another tree and cut a new log the length I need. Not real keen on taking a tree for one dinky piece of wood. The one I have is a few inches too short to cleanly make a cockpit to those dimensions. I’ll make due with the 29″ cockpit “until the next boat”. Then I’ll have more need for more wood and will know I need a longer log to work with.

Rib stock cut, good n damp but not green. Cut an extra 10 pieces ‘just in case’.

Then I put them on the boat, numbered, measured, and cut them to length.

I then went through and made certain all the mortices on both sides, would accept the ribs as laid out. I had to clean up a couple but no big deal.

I’m ready to fire up the steam box and have a fast n furious session of wood bending. With my hand being injured, I am hesitating on that as there is a lot of torquing of the wood going on in bending and I am not sure that would be such a good thing just yet. With the weather being a northern blast riding in, it may be a good thing to hold off as well. I am doing this outside though under roof, a slightly warmer day will help. Fast cooling of the wood would likely muss me up, seeing how this is a first time run for me. I want some wiggle room so to speak.

Then again, I may just move everything inside for a few hours and torture injuries. I can be tenacious like that: ‘damn the torpedoes!’ ‘Retreat? Hell!’ Yada yada yada,,,


Gotta take a step or two back.

Did some talking with Brian at CFK. Started out asking about spray skirts, and he obligingly blew the wind outta my sails. Its not a bad thing, but have to make a couple of changes, and I truly appreciate his opinion and help.

I have to remake the cockpit coaming. Its 2″ short by his reckoning, and to be honest, I had some doubts about it myself. Even though I fit in it, there were a couple of tries, where I scraped skin around the knees. Just a wee too tight. Width-wise, its perfect for my narrow butt, not so much for my chicken legs. Ah well, I’ll hang on to it and use it for Granbehbies yak. She isn’t very big and could grow into it, at least until she grows out of it.

Due to that, I have to move either/both the deckbeam aft of the cockpit, or the masiq. Likely it will be the aft beam as that will be the simplest, as there are only two mortices involved vs two mortices, center deckbeam, and attendent other issues. To make the difference balance, I can shorten the bow cut water and lengthen the stern the same length, and since neither is in place as yet, no problema. (Brian may read this and just shake his head thinking ‘ it doesn’t work like that,,,’ but that is what I have to work with.)

As for the current mortices of that beam, a couple small wedges of its width, some gorilla glue or titebondIII, drift the wedges in opposingly, but don’t force ’em, put a dowel in from top to bottom, trim flush after setup. Ain’t purty but will be under skin and hard to see.

First kayak build and I’m learning in leaps n bounds. I knew things were going too smooth, in addition, I hadn’t shed any blood for it yet. Its always a bad sign when you have done so much and not nicked a knuckle or something to draw at least a little blood. (My old Fiat X-1/9 DEMANDED blood or she wouldn’t run; a truly bloodthirsty Italian b!@ch, and worth every drop for all the fun I had with her.)

Dio vs Yak rnd 6 (final)

Other than needing to ‘pin’ two deck beams, the deck is completed. I ran out of 1/4″ dowel and the store I get stuff like that from, was closed for the day.

That’ll take about 2 minutes. I planed the aft gunwales to be square with the deck beams and will round the outer edges when I am going through all the final steps. Its a minor detail, and one that is covered before oiling the frame, so I’ll leave it.

Ready for the ribs. I still need to cut all my rib stock, and will cut a half dozen more than I need. I fully expect a few to break. I need to cut the stock, number it cuz each one is a little different than the next one, and prepare for bending day. Steam bending the ribs, by all accounts, is fast and furious, because you have a very narrow window of “steamed enough” and “steamed way too much”. Steam ’em to long and they want to shred, snap, fight and basically make life not so enjoyable. That post will only have two pics; before and after.

Stay tuned.

A minor setback

Nothing major, and nothing 10 stitches didn’t take care of, but its slowed me up some.

I was at work yesterday and while cutting some steel stock, the cutting disc came apart, whipped around and bit me. Twice.

Two deep gouges on the back of my left hand and quite a bit of bleeding but no loss of function other than the usual swelling that accompany such injuries. Did get my tetanus shot updated so thats a plus in my book. (I’ve read too many horror accounts of lockjaw and its ilk. Nooooo thankyou, I don’t wanna go down that road.)

I’ll still be doing both yak work and paying work, I will just be a touch slower about it right now as I favor my left hand some.

I did add a center deck beam and footrest to the front of the yak yesterday afternoon,

but could tell cutting tenons for the back deckbeams would be too much of an issue for my abused paw so soon. To many complicated little angles and chisel work that require both hands for control. Maybe tomorrow, may be a couple more days as things shrink back up.

Dio vs Yak rnd 6

So, I kinda had a working weekend. Too cold to get out on the water, rained most of the weekend, and when it wasn’t raining, the wind was playing merry hob with things. In fact, one of my gages I had made for this build took flight at one point. Found it near the treeline of the yard, 60 feet from the house.

Yup, working weekend, and gained ground.

A lot flew by and I realized I hadn’t taken any pictures, so I stopped and snapped a few. I thought about mounting a camera on the porch and programming it to take time delayed sets, but that was about 8 hours too late today.

But, here goes.

First up. Gunwales laid up getting ready to cut and tenon deckbeams.

Second: front deckbeams installed.

(This was where I stopped for the day.) Note the compound curve of the forward end. I want this boat to cut the water and that curve will help shape the bow for such.

Some side shots showing details of layout.

It looks like the cockpit is too far forward, and I know it, but I checked three times and my ‘seat’ is aft of center. Maybe after the bow and stern boards are in place, it will look ‘right’. There is also the lack of ribs to define the shape, and that may have some bearing on appearance right now. The sheerline is always shallower in the rear, “balancing the look” its also wider back there so displacement is a touch higher.

Some numbers to play with. With my weight, projected weight of boat and some miscellaneous gear, I need to displace 29 gallons of water for good buoyancy. At current build status, that will put my waterline 2-2 1/2 inches below the top of the gunwale at the lowest cockpit area. I can increase the volume of the boat by making the ribs longer, but that will increase the tippiness of her also. I can’t change the width now, not much anyway. I can add another chine at the bottom part of the gunwale, and that will add some secondary stability, by extending the beam a touch, and I may do that. It would also increase the side angles some, raising the volume of the boat.

And I may yet do that. Its easy enough to add a 1/2″x1/2″ strip there, and it won’t look odd after the skin is in place. And it doesn’t really “add” to the beam from the cockpit view, so won’t effect my paddling.

More later. I’ll have the deckbeams done in the next couple days, but I still have to go out and chase that fithy lucre called “income”. LOL. I’ll be cutting the rib stock later this week to, and I’ll play some with the below deck shape in the meantime. I have some whiteoak cut super thin that works for experimenting, as you can see near the bow and midships at the cockpit. Bends like taffy but not strong enough for actual duty. Both of those pieces were cut to the gage standard as describe in Chris’ book, and they might work for a full blown greenland boat, but I want a different shape, so they will change. Its late, i have to work in the AM, and I havent exactly ‘rested’ tthis weekend. Though; work like this stuff tends to energize me more than “work”. In fact, I’ll have to be careful at work to keep my mind on “work”, and not daydreaming about whats sitting on my porch, waiting to be finished.

Recap on Round 5


Lotsa holes!!! Been drilling some, cutting zero as yet. IE: round holes have to become squared up holes, and I’ll be doing that with chisels later.

But thats later.

18 mortices at 3/8″x 1 1/8″, using a3/8″ Forstner bit and a jig. Thats 54 holes that need drilled. Easy peasy.

Then the rib mortices.

1/4″x 1 1/4″x 3/4″ deep blind mortice. Times 50, times 5 because I am using a 1/4 bradpoint drill bit. 250 itty bitty holes that need drilled pretty accurately.

This calls for some time investment to make a PROPER jig.

Enter the new tool in my arsenal.

I had that 1″x4″ lexan just laying around. Stuff like that tends to collect in the corners near me, ” cuz ya jest ne’er know.” Well, now I know. And I still have a few feet of it for other jigs etc. I like this jig because I can see the surface of my project through it and make sure things are spot on. And that stuff is tough.

So, new jig, proper drill bit, a drill stop and a clamp and a go/no-go gage, and I am ready, physically anyways, to drill 250 dinky holes in groups of 5 spaced 6″ apart.

Note I said physically. I’m still motivating myself to sit in the cold on the porch/workshop to drill said holes.


One down, one to go, gunwale that is. Still many holes 🙄

Yup, it warmed up enough that my cold blooded lizard-like self could get outside. LOL

Dio vs Yak rnd 5 (cont)

Gunwales matched, laid up things to get a feel for it, and adjust beam positions. Made lotsa little marks all over it, x-ing this position, shift that one, etc.

Then pulled it all back apart so I can start cutting mortices. 9 deck beams ans 25 ribs. Thats 68 holes that need cut and cleaned up before I can start assembly. And before that assembly will be cutting the tenons on the deck beams, but it has to be racked back up and some other fiddly stuff done.


Lotsa holes in my future😞

Prolly not my favorite part of the build so far, but I can now SEE the yak at the end of the work.