Self-built yakkers: How are you finding them?

Here's where you get your hands dirty, so to speak. So if you like to build or customize things for the yak, this is your forum
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MikeAqua
Posts: 3258
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:23 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish 400
VHF Call Sign: ZMT-7387
Location: Nelson

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:29 am

A few people on here have built stitch and glue fishing kayaks. I'm wondering how people find them now that they have owned them for a while.

How do they paddle?

What are they like to fish out of?

How have they stood up to wear and tear etc?

What would you do differently if building again?

I'm mainly interested in the sea island sport but keen to hear from others as well.
"No good story begins with a salad"
ZMT-7387
Viking Profish 400Stolen!! Yellow/Black
'Zespri' Viking Espri
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TwoSpoons
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:35 pm
Kayak Make: CLC boats
Kayak Model: Sea Island Sport
VHF Call Sign: ZMW5652
Location: Pukekohe

Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:00 am

I built the sea island sport many years ago, and I'm still using it.
Paddling: it really likes going in a straight line! Probably due to the keel that runs the full length of this design. So much so I added a rudder. This is the opposite to a lot of kayaks where turning is too easy and you need a rudder to go straight.
Seems pretty quick to me - I'm no olympic paddler, I do very few trips compared to most of our members - yet on the water I have no trouble going as fast as or faster than the other guys out there.
Stability is great - only fell out once when i got flipped by a tiny wave right on shore as I was landing. And I've had it sideways in West coast surf.

Fishing Easy. As its so easy to customise a home built boat, I have everything right where I want it. I modified the rear hatch so I could open it easily, chuck a fish in, and lock it again from my seat. I have five rod holders - 2 forward, 2 rear and one swivelly one up front. Plenty of cleats for clipping things to. etc.

Wear and tear All boats get damaged over time, and this one has been no exception. Varnish degrades in the UV so the kayak gets a recoat every two to three years. Scuffs and scrapes are fixed with a bit of epoxy, bigger ones I sand back to wood and apply a fiberglass patch. I had one area delaminate next to the edge of the rear hatch - my fault for not getting on to fixing it earlier. I've added a heavy wear strip to the bottom 5 cm of the keel to take the hard knocks. All my fittings are marine grade stainless (including screws) so they're all holding up just fine.
Smashed the rudder once - got picked up by a wave and dumped on the sand with the rudder down :( . Thats the biggest rebuild I've had so far.

What would I change? The plans called for 4oz glass. Only found 3oz and 6oz here so I used the 6oz. So the boat came out a bit heavier than necessary - though I don't think its much different to the plastic kayaks. Next time I'd look at using vacuum bagging to reduce the resin weight. The Sea Island Sport plans suggest using particle board for hull support during the build - I would use heavy ply next time, particle board is too weak.

If you are looking to build one don't skimp with the tools or materials - buy a good plane, good sander, good jig saw and blades.
Also check your plywood carefully - one of the pieces I got had quite a big fill in it on the surface- BS1088 ply is not supposed to have big voids or fills!
And make sure your partner is happy to spend half an hour getting epoxy out of your hair! (use white vinegar on uncured epoxy)

Final note: I'd say the Sea Island Sport is a great basis for a fishing boat, but it does need modifications e.g hinged hatches, rudder, good seat, FF mount, rod holders, running rig, grab lines etc. But thats half the fun of a DIY kayak.
http://www.kayakfishingnz.com/forum/vie ... f=12&t=158

Would I do it again? Hell YEAH!
Electronics : its still magic, even when you know how its done.
ZMW5652

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MikeAqua
Posts: 3258
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:23 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish 400
VHF Call Sign: ZMT-7387
Location: Nelson

Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:01 pm

Thanks TwoSpoons.

I've read about vacuum bagging within conventional female moulds. I can see the advantages.

I'm struggling to see how it would translate to stitch and glue with a ply-wood core and sitting on frames?

Edit: I found a video http://www.guillemot-kayaks.com/guillem ... g_infusion: -

I have some ideas for fish-ability modifications (tackle, bait, fish and trolley storage; rod protection) but I'd have to set up the frames to be sure they would work.

I would definitely add a rudder.
"No good story begins with a salad"
ZMT-7387
Viking Profish 400Stolen!! Yellow/Black
'Zespri' Viking Espri
Viking 2+1 Stolen!! Orange/yellow with scratch along one side

Mac50L
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:27 am
Kayak Make: SeaLand
Kayak Model: Mac50L
Location: Banks Peninsula
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Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:08 pm

MikeAqua wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:29 am
A few people on here have built stitch and glue fishing kayaks. I'm wondering how people find them now that they have owned them for a while.

How do they paddle?
The best.
What are they like to fish out of?
They are a sea kayaks so we were only getting one blue cod for lunch and 2 for dinner on the last 5 day trip that was semi-serious about fishing.
How have they stood up to wear and tear etc?
A bit of paint now and again. The oldest is only 34 years old so I presume they will last OK. I do recommend a layer/strip of carborundum filed epoxy along the keel. We use a 2:1 mix from Norski, a bit like putting on treacle or thicker and there is a technique. Only "problem" is it does tend to leave grooves in the rocks when hitting a gravel beach. As for hitting rocks when out paddling, I always do.

None of them have fibreglass covering, only used on the seams. Saves a lot of weight and cost and makes repairs, if needed, easier.
What would you do differently if building again?
Nothing. The Mac50 is THE design and the oldest one is just under 20 years old. My partner built the first one and she is building another but moving and earthquakes seem to have got in the way. The one I'm paddling, the Mac50L is for short, light, women - which I'm not, OK reasonably light. Very fast, narrow and light, 13 kg in the water first time, 18 kg fitted out for sea.
I'm mainly interested in the sea island sport but keen to hear from others as well.
The Mac50 is as far as I know the only NZ designed one you can buy plans for.

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MikeAqua
Posts: 3258
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:23 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish 400
VHF Call Sign: ZMT-7387
Location: Nelson

Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:17 am

Thanks for your PM.

Due to an injury I need to be able to stretch my legs sideways every 20 minutes or so. Unfortunately the flatter legged position of SIK exacerbates this. It's a shame because we have Abel Tasman right on our doorstep.

That limits me to SOTs - or a hybrid and removing the cover every 20 minutes to get my legs sideways

I was thinking of putting carborundum strips on the keel as you suggest.
"No good story begins with a salad"
ZMT-7387
Viking Profish 400Stolen!! Yellow/Black
'Zespri' Viking Espri
Viking 2+1 Stolen!! Orange/yellow with scratch along one side

Mac50L
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:27 am
Kayak Make: SeaLand
Kayak Model: Mac50L
Location: Banks Peninsula
Contact:

Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:24 pm

MikeAqua wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:17 am
It's a shame because we have Abel Tasman right on our doorstep.

That limits me to SOTs - or a hybrid and removing the cover every 20 minutes to get my legs sideways

I was thinking of putting carborundum strips on the keel as you suggest.
The Abel Tasman is where a number of mine have first got wet. The first Mac50 first hit the water at the start of a 9 day trip there i.e. an untested design off on a major trip - normal.... :o

My double, first time wet was a 5 day trip there.

https://sites.google.com/site/kayakamf/kayaks

One builder in the North Island did do a SOT version and I could possibly track him down.

User avatar
MikeAqua
Posts: 3258
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:23 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish 400
VHF Call Sign: ZMT-7387
Location: Nelson

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:24 pm

Mac50L wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:24 pm

The Abel Tasman is where a number of mine have first got wet. The first Mac50 first hit the water at the start of a 9 day trip there i.e. an untested design off on a major trip - normal.... :o
Yeah neat spot.

The more I read, the more I'm leaning toward the sea island sport. I have storage limitations so overall length is something that makes a sea kayak type hull shape difficult.
"No good story begins with a salad"
ZMT-7387
Viking Profish 400Stolen!! Yellow/Black
'Zespri' Viking Espri
Viking 2+1 Stolen!! Orange/yellow with scratch along one side

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