Kurt’s F1 Build in Hillsboro, Oregon

I’m excited to share my F1 kayak build with all of you. I live in Hillsboro, Oregon which is a suburb of Portland. I’m a woodworker by hobby and a computer engineer by training. This summer I get to take a 2 month sabbatical from work and one of the first things I’ve been planning for that is this kayak build. Working with the Cape Falcon videos and plans has been great and so has Brian!


So a bit of history on how I get interested in building this kayak. 2 1/2 years ago the Varsity Scout Team I helped to lead decided they wanted to build kayaks and take a weeklong trip in them. We aligned on a design that one of our Scoutmasters had built when he was a youth.  We ended up building 17 kayaks in my garage shop and a barn belonging to a very kind woman from church. It was a a lot of work, but a lot of fun and the weeklong trip down the Williamette in something we had built ourselves was very satisfying.

Kayaks in Various Stages Being Built in the Kind Woman’s Barn (Not my Shop Unfortunately)
16 of the 17 Kayaks Being Displayed Somewhere On the Williamette River


We had to optimize that build for cost and speed and we were able to build the kayaks for less than $100 each and by the end we could finish a kayak in about 4 hours.  The frames were CDX plywood and stringers construction grade lumber.  The joinery is glue and deck screws. They were skinned in canvas and painted with latex paint.

At the time I was doing a lot of research into kayak building processes and techniques. Along reading all of the books we had in our local library on the subject I also started watching Youtube videos. This video convinced my that there was something better than canvas to use as a skin. And these two videos (1) (2) convinced me that skin on frame could be built to be as durable and tough as a store bought kayak (if not tougher).

I kept bumping into videos produced by Brian Schultz and I was impressed with his teaching style and the quality of his videos. As a woodworking I wanted to build a kayak using more elegant techniques than glue and screws and I kept seeing references to the Cape Falcon F1 as a really good design. So I decided to take the first couple of weeks of my sabbatical to build a kayak (between golf games). You are welcome to watch as I build.

Day 1

Day 1 is about making space to build a kayak.

Day 2

Building the jigs, and the lumber arrives.

14 foot cedar. Had to hit 2 places to find it.
Steam box knocked out from scrap plywood
Cockpit Coaming Jig Underway
Starting to cut the plys for the curved deck beams
A deck beam form

Day 3

I glued up all three of the curved deck beams. I made a jig capable of making all three at once, but only have enough clamps to do one at a time. It turned out to be good though, I didn’t drill the holes deeply enough in the jig and so I kept popping the dowels out. Fortunately this bottom set held up for all three deck beams.

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