Skin On Frame Recovery Kayak

I purchased Building Skin-On-Frame Boats, by Robert Morris and decided to try and build a skin-on-frame Recovery Kayak

Looks like I forgot to take photos again, so there are some steps missing. I made the keel setting the height using blocks. Bad news is that the Alder is very brittle, I thinned the keel to get it to bend to the shape I wanted, then laminated a 1/4" strip on the keel to reinforce it. I am convinced that the laminations will hold up better than solid sections of Alder

I departed from the method recommended by Mr. Morris to shape the ribs. Instead I used a section of Romex wire (house wiring) and used it to mimic the shape of the rib I wanted, then straightened it out and used that length cut the individual rib. That process was repeated for each rib. This method wasn't my idea, but since I can't remember whose it was, I can't give credit where credit is due. Oh yea, I think this is more time consuming than Mr. Morris's method.
Bending the ribs wasn't straight forward even with soaking and steaming, I never successfully bent a 1/4" rib. So I made 1/8" ribs and laminated them together. The 1/8' ribs bent easily. Gluing them up was kind of a hassle. Like the saying goes, You can never have too many clamps when you are building boats.

I tired of using the larger clamps, so after this I only used the small C clamps.

To keep any sand and debris that might find it's way to the bottom of the kayak from abrading the lashing, I drilled and countersunk holes in the keel. Then let the lashing begin. Mr. Morris recommends doing a running lash. He says that you can use single lashes to connect the ribs to the keel, but that doing so takes a lot of time and effort.
He is right.

I forgot to mark the center of the ribs so that I could align them with the centerline of the keel, so using a sewing tape measure that has millimeter markings, I measured each side of the ribs to make sure each rib was centered on the keel.
In this photo you can just barely see on the gunwales, where rib retaining pins are.

I used a large slightly bent upholstery needle to do the lashing.

Here is the keel all lashed up.
I was going to take a photo along the longitudnal axis, but the individual ribs don't look very "fair" from that view, probably as a result of using the romex method. The chine runners are stiff enough to give a "fair" shape when lashed up, If any of the ribs are shy of the chine runners, I'll make up gap with spacers.

Next: Chines


I'll post more as the work progresses.

If you give me money, I'll try to spend it.


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