One Ocean Kayak’s "Cirrus SLT"

The weather has finally turned for the warmer. We’ll get to sail UNA again in the next week or so in the company of a few buddies. Life is looking up. Winter did droned on here, but some boat projects did allow dreaming of new adventures. Too cold for much of anything, the dinghy “Gigi” was hung in the shed to wait for paint, her spot in the garage was taken up by a different build. This one is a stitch and glue kayak for my youngest boy. Perhaps as a set of rolled plans, it was a bit too abstract to qualify as a birthday gift for an 11 year old at the end of last summer. Though I hadn’t, and still don’t, plan on documenting this project much, yesterday I was struck by some beautiful lines and decided to take a few pics. This little pretty is a 14.5′ boat from One Ocean Kayaks. Gigi is more lapstrake in build than stitch and glue. This new addition is a true edge-to -edge s&g boat. The designer, Vaclav Stejskal, has perhaps the best site I’ve seen sharing detailed performance numbers on kayaks. Much of it is beyond my patience to understand, but I’m glad he has taken the time. His designs are an obvious passion. Honestly, I saw a sweet little boat that appeared well thought out and bought the plans. Vaclav uses his boats, no doubt went through several prototypes, and that care shows in the precision of the full size templates. I frankly was amazed the panel joints could be so tight. 

Stern with hull and moulds.

Half of the fun is figuring out the right method to approach craftsmanship. Jig saw cuts to within 1/32″ of the panel cut lines followed by a light pass of a hand plane delivered much better results than aiming to hit the line precisely. Also, mastering how to snake 18 ga. copper wires between deck panels as you close it up took several “fails” before discovering a crisp fish hook shape or “J” was easiest to knit close panels with needle nose pliers. We’re now ready to glue the seams and order some glass.

Stern with deck.
Fine lines of the bow.

The hull is made of 4mm okoume ply. The deck is a lighter 3mm. In order to keep the 3mm aligned I used hot melt glue that will be scrapped off after the first pass of epoxy gluing the joints. I’m continually surprised at the shapes one can get from flat plywood.

Wires and hot glue dabs

I’m looking forward to tripping up the James River or down the Appomattox for and overnighter with my boy.

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