Bobby’s F1 build, Seneca, SC

I’ve been kayaking for 5 years and recently had upgraded to a P&H Cetus HV sea kayak. I really love the kayak but wish it was a few pounds lighter. I joined the “Greenland Inspired Kayaking” FB group and started following Kymberly Byers build of a LPB. I was intrigued by the process and decided to check out Cape Falcons Kayak. Being an avid RC airplane builder, I decided if I can build something that files, I can build something that floats. Next thing I knew I had ordered the plans for an F1 and building course. So now begins the adventure of building my F1 named “Tim”.

Jan. 20, 2022

I’ve been working on my F1 and got a lot done today. Still have 1 more deck beam to make and mortises for the deck beams. Let the fun begin.

Jan 23, 2022

Today was a productive day on the F1 as compared to yesterday. I got hung up on symmetry and why I could get my ends to meet evenly. After a text or two with Brian, he got me straightened out, I was able to kerf the ends, lash them, and then peg them. Making progress.

Jan 28, 2022

Yesterday was a learning experience in building my F1. Seems like it was two steps forward and at least 5 steps back. It also pays to review the process on making your deck beam tendons before you start. I managed to place deck beam 1 with a beam I should have used for beam 2 or 3. I used my special stick 1 incorrectly, measured to the outside instead of the inside, resulting in deck beams 1 and 2 being 3/8″ too wide. I did manage to force them in place so I could discover my mistake. A few texts later with Brian, he suggested in a nice way what I may have done wrong, and I was back in business. Final results, deck beams 1 and 2 correctly installed and I had to make a new deck beam 3 for later installation. My advice, watch the videos again on how to make the mortises and tendons before you start to work. It sure would have saved me a day’s worth of work.

Jan 31, 2022

I got some work done on my F1 whom I’ve named “Tim”. Tim was a good friend of mine who we recently lost to illness. Tim was the driving force behind “King’s Witness” which spread the Gospel through 5 simple symbols. I wanted to honor his work and try to carry on with his legacy. So, today I got all the deck beams pegged in place. It may not seem like much, but with that done I was able to remove all forms and straps. Looks a lot more like a kayak now. Tomorrow it’s on to planing the gunwales and getting ready for the ribs.

Feb 1, 2022

Got the ends planed and the steam box built for the ribs. I had some spare MDX laying around and is used it for the top and bottom. I used a vinyl tablecloth as a protective layer for the MDX. I ripped a 2×6 for the spacer wood.

The other day someone posted on “Skin-on-Frame Kayak Builders” FB page about Wally and Beaver Cleaver building a skin-on-frame kayak. I found the episode and thought Brian may get a kick out of seeing it. To stay true to the original design you must use tablecloths for your covering.

Feb 2, 2022

Today I was able to round the primary and secondary stringers and keel of my F1. I used a “Slickplane” to round them. It’s a great little device. I also cut the rolling bevels on the primary stringers using my power planer. It was a learning experience and thanks to Brian for showing us how on his videos. I was also able to capture “Tim” hanging out in the garage while I was working.

Feb 12, 2022

Back on my F1 build today. We spent most of this week at Universal Studios in Fla and visited Moes Tavern while there. I got my white oak ribs from J.W. Swan and Sons, and they are very nice. I measured the ribs to fit the size of the kayak I’m building and then rounded the edges slightly. I then cut the ribs to length, thinned the ends, and rounded the ends slightly. It’s starting to look more and more like a kayak every day. Next will be steam bending the ribs.

Feb 13, 2022

As they say, “It’s the little things that count”. I spent part of the day modifying my steam box and making my winding sticks for lashing the keel and stringers with artificial sinew. I setup my steam box bending area and took the steam box apart and coated the inside top with Kilz to make it waterproof, the bottom is covered with an old vinyl tablecloth. I also trimmed the midway support dowel down some so it would be easier to get the ribs in and out. I’m using an old clothes/curtain steamer for my steam generator and did a test run, and it works great. I’ve got to do a test run with it to see how long to steam my ribs to make them bendable. Brian suggests 7 minutes. We’ll see.

UPDATE: The Kilz and the steam didn’t like each other. The Kilz got sticky, so I took the top off and flipped it over and did a test run. Much better now. I’m not sure how long the MDX will stand up to the steam, but I’m hoping long enough to get 20 ribs bent. I did steam a test rib and it looks like 7 minutes will work. Hope to start bending Weds or Thursday.

Feb 17, 2022

Today was a very productive day working on my F1. I got all the ribs bent and in place. I only crack one and had to make a replacement for it. I then pegged a couple of them in place as recommended. Next, I lashed the keel to the ribs and the stems to the keel and the gunwales. To close the day, I clamped the stringers in place. I ran out of steam, I was pooped, and will get back to lashing the stringers on the ribs and stems tomorrow.

Feb 19, 2022

I didn’t get much done today because we went to Sierra Nevada’s Taproom near Asheville, NC to visit with our daughter and granddaughter. I was able to peg the bow and stern stems and make shims for where my stringers and ribs weren’t meeting in a few places. Brain suggests making them a little loose, so you won’t pass the distortion on to the next rib. I hope to get the stingers lashed on tomorrow after church.

Feb 20, 2022

This build has been such fun for me! I used to build RC airplanes from kits and scratch, but that all changed when they started making premade kits. Basically, you just assembled them. This has brought back the passion I had when I was building. Would I build another one, in a minute! Already thinking about what to build next.

Today I got the stringers lashed on to the ribs and stern and bow stems. Next is secondary stringers and other miscellaneous items.

Feb 21, 2022

A few more items off the build list today. I added blocks to the stern and bow stems. They will later be shaped to give some nice lines to the bow and stern when covered with fabric. I also got the secondary stringers glued on and some supports put in place for the rear deck beams. They will come out after the boat is covered.

Feb 22, 2022

Got the pocket mortise cut for the top deck stringer, shaped the bow and stern stems, and lashed the top deck stringer down. Looking more and more like a kayak every day.

Feb 23, 2022

So close to the end, next is to clean up the frame and then apply oil to it. I was able to reenforce the keel at the bow and stern. Attach the SLIDELOCK foot brace tracks, shape and peg the aft deck beam stringers and repair a knot hole in the frame. The stringers were made of oak that I cut down to the proper size. I next used my planer to remove material and then shaped them with my handy Dremel tool. All and all a good day. Tomorrow will either be the oil day or a kayak trip. Kinda leaning towards kayaking.

Feb 24, 2022

Got the deck line holes drilled and the kayak oiled with Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil. Waiting for the fabric which won’t be here until next week unfortunately.

March 6, 2022

My 840 X-TRA Tuff Ballistic Nylon fabric and coating arrived Friday while I was out of town. Yesterday I went to a Clemson Womens softball game. Today after church, I spent a few minutes finding center of the fabric and draped it over the frame. Tomorrow I’ll start the sewing process. I included a photo of my memorial to my friend Tim Roberson who I named the kayak after.

March 7, 2022

Today I learned to sew! Before I sewed the fabric on, I weighed the frame. It came in at 22 lbs. I got the fabric sown on the bow and stern. To make cutting the fabric easier, I bought a hot knife. It was money well spent. Make the cuts easy and gives you a nice straight cut and smooth edges to work with. No loose strings to deal with. After sowing the stern, you pull the fabric forward and then sow the bow and make a pocket. Next you pull the fabric back and stretch it over the frame. Makes it nice and tight. I then pinned the fabric down the keel so it can be flipped over and so I can begin lacing the top and then sew it. New skills are great!

March 8, 2022

Today’s report! I cut the fabric to fit the top of the kayak and then laced it up to remove any slack in the fabric. I was amazed how tight you could pull the fabric without tearing a stitch out. My next task will be sewing the top of the fabric tomorrow. I took a few pictures of the inside of the kayak before sewing it up to show the beauty of the frame.

March 9 ,2022

Got the fabric all stitched in place today. I first had to trim some excess fabric before I could start. again, hot knife to the rescue. I first stitched the stern and then moved to the bow. Tomorrow, I hope to get the coaming stitched on. Frame and fabric weighed in at 25 lbs. Fabric added 3 lbs.

March 10, 2022

Got the coaming stitched on today. I needed a 1 1/2″ overlap to sow the coaming on with, so I made a jig to mark with, thanks to Brian for showing us how. Once the fabric was cut, it was time to sew the coaming on. 26 lbs. Next up, dyeing the fabric. The weather is supposed to be colder, so I may have to wait a day or two.

March 11, 2022

Got the F1 stained/colored today. I went with the acid stain dye. I watched Brian’s video about the different acid dye colors and how UV affects them and decided on the “Sweet Potato” color for its looks and longevity. Biggest problem I have with it, is all I can smell is vinegar. LOL

March 12, 2022

Today was prep day to get ready to apply the polyurethane coating. I watched Brian’s videos several times and made my notes and gathered all my supplies. Next, I masked off the deck to prevent runs on it while coating the bottom. Hopefully I’ll get to start the coating tomorrow. Prince duck even showed up to check out his new ride.

March 13, 2022

Today I coated the F1 with the urethane coating. I have worked with resins and multicomponent paints for years, so I really wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. Biggest challenge I faced was flipping the kayak over so I could also do the deck. I placed 3 sheetrock screws in the bottom and flipped it over to sit it on. I put 3 coats on the bottom and 2 coats on the deck. Took 5 hrs to complete. Now to sit here and watch it dry. LOL

March 14, 2022

I added the liquid keel strip today after talking with Brian. It was easy to do but has its challenges. To do it you mix 1 part A and 2 parts B, then you allow it to sit and thicken slightly. My room temp was 66 and it took 38 minutes for it to thicken up. I checked the goop’s temp when it started thickening and it was 93. Working quickly, I applied the goop and had a keel strip. UPDATE: I weighed the kayak and with 3 coats top and bottom and the keel strip, it weighs 29 lbs.

March 16, 2022

Worked on the deck lines today while it was raining. I took yesterday off and went kayaking with some friends on Lake Jocassee in Upstate SC. First thing I did was pull the leather strips thru 1/4″ hole and then a 3/16″ hole. It helps stretch the leather and narrow it down a little. Then I located my predrilled holes in the gunwales and used a large nail to burn holes in the fabric. It was a bit of a stressful time to do that to my kayak, but it worked out well. I then pulled the leather thru the gunwales and the deck toggles. I secured the lines with knots and moved on to the bow and stern grab loops. Next up will be fitting the backband and seat. I’m so close I can smell the ocean.