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Stories about boat building

So You Want to Build and Sell Boats

Building Kayaks for Cash

I get a lot of calls from people with questions about going into business bulding boats. It can be hard to be realistic about the business while your head is stuck in the boat. Here are some of the questions and some long winded responses.

Stitch and Glue Petrel Prototype Build Started

S&G Petrel Prototypes


This build is not going to go too fast as I need to take photographs along the way so we can work up instruction manuals for each of the boats. So far this has involved taking an average of 100 photographs a day. I must say it is a lot faster to build a boat if you don't have to set up a camera and lights every few minutes.

Milling Cedar Strips for a Bookmatched Petrel

Cutting strips is always a little tedious. It is primarily a matter of feeding the wood through the saw. When you intend to bookmatch the strips on the boat you also need to keep the strips in order.

Making Forms for a Wood Strip Kayak

I've started building a Petrel for a customer. I'll be using 3/16" western red cedar, book matching and building without staples. In this video I'm doing one of the first steps necessary to build a strip-planked boat from scratch.

Custom Fit Kayak Cover

I need to ship out a boat and decided it would be good protection to have a fabric kayak cover defending it from scratches. For these purposes I do not need a weatherproof fabric so I went to the local fabric store and picked up some knit jersey material.


Drape and mark the fabric



There is a whole community of people out in cyberspace who are into kayaks and other small boats, either building them or using them or even just admiring them. Below are some links to a few places where you can get to know some of these people.

Stitch and Glue Kits from Chesapeake Light Craft

I was talking to John Harris at Chesapeake Light Craft last fall. As the conversation wandered around various boats and projects we were working on, it became apparent that we each had some issues that we might be able help each other with. I had some designs that I had not had the time to develop usable plans and instructions for, and he had a demand for some boats that he didn't have time to develop designs for.

WoodenBoat School Class still has room

My S&G Night Heron Class at the WoodenBoat School in September still has spaces available. This is a fun class in a great location. Everyone seems to enjoy it and you go home with your own nearly-completed kayak.

What is Parking Lot Syndrome?

If you strap a wooden boat to your roof and drive to a put in for a paddle, you will need to learn to deal with the inevitable delays that occur when people gather around your car to ask about your boat. "Where did you get it?", "How much did it cost?", "You didn't build that.", and on and on. This is the Parking Lot Syndrome or PLS. It is the burden you will take on when you have a wooden boat on your car.

You will need to plan on leaving a little earlier for the launch so you have time to deal with the admiration. If you pull in on a beach for lunch, be prepared to be interrupted while eating your sandwich. When you paddle with unfamiliar paddlers, don't be surprised if one of them moves in beside you as you paddle to ask a few questions.

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