Hi, my name is Markus, I am located near Salzburg in Austria.
Western red cedar is not available in Austria without spending a fortune. Instead I used one 2,5×0,3m board of white oak and one giant 5,5m x 0,6m board of fir. The boards were found at small local saw mills at a very resonable price (in total 21 Euros). Having to pay a small weight penalty is okay for me and the idea of using localy grown material reduces the CO2 footprint of this project a little bit. In order to get the long board in to my van I had to split it longitudianal and cut the ends off.
Since I dont have a thikness planer I used my small table saw to cut my boards to the apropriete dimensions. I had put the saw in the doorway of two rooms in the basement in order to have enough space for the feed out table. Opting for the stubby version of the F1 should make it easier to handle in the basement.
The mortises for the ribs were made with a drill press instead of a router and I made a jig for the press to tilt the gunwales to drill the angled deck beam mortises.
Building the curved deck beams using all my smaller clamps.
After finishing the deck I realized, that my gunwals are not absolutely symmetrical although I cut the gunwals out of one board (but I think, I should not have flipped them two times?)! I try to not freak out and hope that this will level out to some extend in the ongoing process when putting the ribs and stringers on!
I tried to find all necessary materials within the European Union or the UK (befor 2021) in order to avoid taxes and high shipping fees. Some items are very hard to locate in Europe and Tarred Twine No. 9 was purchased via Amazon from the US and shipping took over a month!
Artificial sinew was found at:
This weekend I managed to put the ribs in. This took me one full day, since I was not so well prepared. At first I had to rebuild my steam box two times because of choosing wrong materials (do not use EPS insulation foam!) and then I had a lot of cracking ribs. I used air dried oak but not all ribs had a straight grain. Due to the delay in the process I was not able to put the keelson and the stringers on before the night. Instead I klamped a slat down and the stringers on to keep the shape of the ribs over the night.
After putting the keelson on I realised that the asymmetry of the beginning did not level out but pulled the deck into a paralellogram shape. I decided to cut the pegs in the bow and stern in order to slide the gunwals 3mm against each other until I was happy again with the shape. Than I drilled out the old pegs and replaced them with oversized new ones and glued them in. This worked out good and the deck looks now mostly symmetrical!
Lashing on the bow and the stern. Before I finaly attached the stringers to the ribs I cut of the keelson again and replaced rib number 4, which turned out to be a little bit too short.
Watching Brians video about adding the rubstrip made clear that I accidently roundet the wrong corner of the stern plate. I replaced the stern by a new board with an edged corner at the end of the keel.
This weekend I shaped the bow and the stern. A quick symmetry check showed that the center of the front deck stringer is about 4mm off to one side. Hope this will not affect the properties of the kayak in the water . After that I put the deck stringers and the secondary stringers on.
Instead of using ash for the aft deck stringers I desided to use my ordinary fir wood and double it up by glueing some rib stock to the underside of the beams. This should make them strong enough to support my weight.
After putting the stringers on I realised that my boat still was not symmetrical and the bow was poiting to the left. I was thinking about making new gunwals but then I decided to give it another try to pull the gunwals straight. This time I also cut the pegs conecting the deck beams and moved the starboard gunwal about 5mm forward to bring the bow to the right. This led to a slight shift of the deck beams but improved the symmetry of the gunwals.
In the meantime:
While waiting for some materials to arrive I applied oil to the frame and carved my greenland paddles out of some left over wood.
The bending of the coaming was done already in october before I startet do mesure the deck.
Bending the coaming went prettty smooth and I made two in order to choose the better one. Little cracks were glued with PU wood glue.
Bending the coaming lip was more difficult and my not so straight grained oak cracked every time at the narrow bend at the front. Instead of using one piece of oak I decided to form the lip out of two narrow ones. This was significantly easier to do!
To finish the coaming lip I had to do a long search for the bronce ring nails (Gripfast Nails 14x 3/4″) and finaly found them in the UK at the Classic Marine Online Chandlery.
Last weekend I finaly started to sew the fabric and to put the color on.
I used a white nylon thread (Nylon-Polyamid-Netzgarn 210/04, ca. 0,4 mm) for the sewing:
After some advice from Franz from Bavaria, who has used the same fabric, I did not wet the cloth during the sewing.
I was a little bit worried not to follow Brians advice in this point but learned that Berend from the Netherlands used the same approach building his LPB!
The fabric is easy to strech but I had trubles to pull it over the stern after sewing the bow a little bit too short (shortening 7cm was too much!). I carefully removed some wood with a handplaner at the stern until I was able to pull the fabric over.
I also was cutting the overlap in the aft deck a little bit too narrow so that I had a hard time pulling the seam close without getting big holes from the stitches. After having a better outcome in the front I decided to give it an other try at the back.
Sewing the coaming went smooth on one side but I endet up with some wrinkels on the other side and redoing the sewing of the coaming the next day this did not improve significantly so I was hoping for the shrinking!
Shrinking: Coloring the boat with the hot acid dye already shrinked the fabric a lot and ironing the hull increased the tension further so that all wrinkles disapeard and the hull is like a drum.
Colorwise I opted for what Brian calls “bootlether” and added a tiny bit more chestnut. The acid dye was purchased in germany at:
So all went good but it would not be me if I would not find a way to screw something up: Turning the hull upside down showed me a little white spot at the keel and I had the idea that adding a little bit of dye would fill this up. Since the hull was already dry this was not my best idea and it ended up with an ugly spot with a dark border. So sad!
Yesterday the hull was coated. To my suprise none of my tapes were sticking to the nylon surface so I had to be careful not to apply too much at the edges.
The coating I used (Lechler 2 component 29140 and 29340 PU-coating) is the same one that Franz the Bavarian recomands and was purchased from:
I followed Brians coating instructions but used the 270ml batches that Franz recomands in his building blog. Bubbles from the roller easily disapeard after a gentle stroke with a brush. Using a small spatula to remove excess PU has left some streaks. The PU coating on the coaming was uneven at first but that evened out over the night.
Burned the holes in the hull with a soldering gun. Pulling the deck lines was a good workout. For an European equivalent to latigo I found a product called “Fettleder” this can be ordered in any lengh and width and is commonly used for dog leashes. I ordered 7 meters with 10mm width and now ther is about 0,5 meters left over.
HDPE was found at:
Foot brace identical to the Wilderness System:
Unfortunatly there is no european source for the backrest system that Brian uses. Maybe I have to take a closer look to what Franz the Bavarian has shown in his blog.
Checked the weigth for the first time: 14,6 Kg including the foot braces and deck lines. Not quite ultralight but not too bad (for using fir) I hope!
First iceberg today 😉
Next time on the water! Have to install a roof rack on to my van first…
To my surprise the lake was frozen but we found a small area that was ice free so I had the chance to do some first paddle strokes today.