Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Petrel - Progress Report 2

Hull First
So, as promised here is an update on my first all-strip build: Nick Schade's incomparable Petrel.

I'll try to steer clear of boring you with a blow-by-blow account of my "lessons learned".

For the most part the pictures tell the tale.

The hull comes first...
Rolling Bevel on the Lighter Chine Strip

Rest assured though that a strip-built kayak is a lot more involved than the two hybrid builds I had done previously. Anyway, I was ready for a new challenge and indeed, that is what I got with the Petrel.

Trust me, I have already fathered a fine flock of Petrel bloopers all hatched in an array of (shall we say) somewhat unprofessional discourse.

But that's how it goes: you make mistakes and say to yourself: On my next build I won't do THAT again!  - Right!

So - there will have to be a next build.

Each time you make a mistake you have to ask yourself if it can be corrected, and/or if it is worth correcting or possibly be made into a "feature" or instead chalking it up to experience, and just moving ahead already...

ah, such decisions!

This hull won't float just yet
Ready for a Whiskey Plank

Hull is ready for Fiber Glass

Glass still "Green"

Glass on hull cleaned up - would now float

 Oh well, no worries there!

In paddling as much as in the kayak building department I am still very much a learner - albeit an enthusiastic and persistent one - and I fully expect that the Petrel will be a great kayak to help upgrade my paddling skills - regardless to final finish.

And on to the deck...

Give me the cockpit recess, please
Covering cockpit recess with carbon fiber
Now the tricky part: fit in the recess
Inching myself to a fit
Recess all glued in
Giving the deck a rest - preparing the skeg
Deck ready for glass
Glassed over

Coming up:

Cockpit riser and coaming and hatches!
Then comes the skeg installation.
Also, I much prefer to put in the foot braces before putting deck and hull together.

Preparations for the eventual deck rigging.
I still have to consult with my expert friends a bit more before I decide what type of rigging I'll do. Right now I am thinking to go with the standard CLC solution. Nick Schade recently made some persuasive comments on this subject on the Kayak Forum. Maroske fittings would be great and I already purchased fiber glass tubing as well as carbon fiber tubing to do the job but... I have played around making a couple of test maroske fittings on some glassed mock-up cedar scrap pieces and so far I am not happy with my efforts. My new expert kayak-building friend Etienne made this look oh so deceptively easy in his little video.

Sometimes I wonder just how many guitars a talented novice luthier has to build before he or she actually ends up with a concert-level master piece? One that a top-drawer performer would choose to play on... just saying...


  1. Your Kayak looks beautiful.
    I have just finished the hull on a 17 foot 6 inch Cedar Petrel and am wondering how to start the deck. Hand bevel with my block plane. Do you know of any video which covers stripping the deck in detail. Would appreciate and help possible.

  2. If you are not familiar with the Chesapeake Light Craft web site, it would be well worth a visit. There is a Forum for folks to discuss building issues. Specifically to your question, CLC has a page of boat building tips. Included on this page is a sequence of videos of Nick Schade building a strip planked Petrel. You will most likely find answers to any questions you might have. Good luck with you build!