This will be my third Cape Falcon build, but my first kayak. I built a 15’3″ solo canoe and then a 12’6″ pack canoe last year. The first build was fun, but stressful because every step was brand new to me. I made lots of mistakes, although I absolutely love the result. I paddle that boat all the time. The second boat was to prove to myself that I could do it without all the mistakes, and it was a rousing success- it only took me 18 days to finish that one. The steam bending had definitely been the hardest part of the first boat, but I had truly excellent bending stock for the second boat, and I knew what I was doing, both of which made a huge difference.
I joined a paddling club in Seattle and have been going on trips with them nearly every week, even through the winter. I’m still loving my flatwater canoeing, but I’m also branching out, getting into whitewater kayaking, and doing some easy coastal paddles. I’ve been dreaming of getting into sea kayaking, so I started looking at Brian’s kayak designs and landed on the LPB. It looks amazing- I can’t wait to get started.
Lots to do first, though! Sourcing the wood: the cedar should be easy- there’s a fabulous cedar place near me where I got the western red cedar I used for my first two boats. It’s pricey, but worth it. The oak for the ribs…I’ll probably end up driving down to Oregon again- I got the wood for the first boat directly from the sawmill and the wood for the second boat directly from Brian in Portland, as he had some extra. Hopefully I can find great bending stock again.
I also need to build all the forms and jigs and such and set up 16′ of workbenches in my workshop.
Updates, March 9, 2023
I’ve finished building two 2×8 workbenches out of plywood and sawhorses. They’re sturdy and heavy enough I don’t think they’ll move on me, but they can be taken apart, which is good since my shop is pretty small (and mostly full of boats). I used cheap plywood, but screwed together two layers, so it’s very solid.
I’ve also built most of my jigs. I still have to work on the angled mortise jig. And I bought the coaming from Brian, so I don’t need that jig. I don’t use my scrollsaw much these days, but it was very helpful for cutting out the interior of the capture frames and the hole in the 8×8 router plate.
I made a new steambox, as my old one (for my canoes) was starting to fall apart and is now being used as a shim to keep a set of shelves straight. 😀 The new steambox is narrower than Brian’s recommendation, just because it was wood I had on hand, and for my canoes, I was much happier steaming just a few ribs at a time, rather than trying to do the whole boat in 1-minute increments. Hopefully I don’t regret this decision. I can always build a bigger box later, if need be.
I think I have a relatively local source for wood. Edensaw in Port Townsend, WA supposedly has green bending oak and clear VTG red cedar in 16′ lengths. It’s either a 2-hour drive or a couple of ferry rides to get out there. I’m thinking of bringing one of my canoes along and doing a paddle while I’m there.
Lastly, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a shop dog to keep you company while you work. They should be consulted on any particularly tricky building issues. (and they should be kept away from loud power-tool noises and sawdust)