Redfish King (part 2 building the hull)

In Redfish King, Wood Kayak on May 19, 2009 at 2:32 am

05/11/09 Finished shaping the hull today



And I put a sealer coat of epoxy on half of the hull sealing it and filling cracks, sadly most of all of it will be sanded off with a finer grit sandpaper.  But you get to see what the colors are going to look like once the glassing starts.




04/29/09  It is time to start fairing, sanding, and filling the hull while stripping the deck.  This is also when you can really see the difference of the white cedar below the water line, and the red above.


04/24/09  Today I worked on the 1st stage of planing out the hull  and shaving both stems to fit.  In doing this I keep all my cedar shavings in my one effort to recycle and be “green”.  What do I do with these shavings you ask?  I mix them in with the kitty litter.  It streches the litter farther, and REALLY helps with the smell! LOL  And yes, before you email me, I know my truck is not considered “Green”… forget it, I love my truck!

04/23/09 The last couple of days I have just been putzing around working on the hull.  Nothing really exciting to see, but keeping me busy.  Today with the help of my trusty shop dog… Matilda May (Tilly)


I was able to finish stripping the hull. 


 I glued up the last strip on the stern’s outer stem,


and started faring out the bow stem. 


 It is also time to pull staples.  This is probably the most boring part of making yaks.  I even wondered if I could hire some kid in the area to come pull them, but this idea passed as I continued to remove them.  Well, it is time to sharpen the edge of my block plane and clean up the shape of this yak.  I also discovered that the frame I have used to cradle my previous yaks is to big to fit this yak.  I will have to make new ends before I can start stripping the deck.

04/20/09  Well I was working away on the yak when my glue bottle ran out of glue, and my staple gun ran out of staples.  I figured it was the kayak gods telling me that was enough for the night.  I am almost done with one side of the hull, and have the outer strips started.  The bow went well, but the stern has such a radical bend in it, I can only do one strip at a time and then I had to use a heat gun to get the padauk to bend.  So that I can maintain center line when it comes time to trim the first half of the hull, as well as making sure the yak is still balanced when I pull a string, I am marking a center line as I go using the forms as my points of origin.  Both ends lined up, so I am sure my string will too.




04/17/09 I am up to where the outer stems connect on the bow, it is REALLY taking shape now.


But from the rear it doesn’t look like I am as far.  I have to clamp each piece at this point from the strips going from horizontal, to vertical.  Once I get as far as the bow, it should move quickly again



After a couple of emails with Kevin, we decided to run the outer stems in the same padauk as the center of the deck making it look continuous.  And being this close to starting to need the outer stems, it was time to rip the padauk


04/16/09 Today I am still working on the hull, but I have now switched to the white cedar along the water line.  These strips are only 6 foot long and require a little more time, plus it is where the ends come together in tight shapes requiring lots of clamping, so I only have 2 strips on each side.

04/15/09  I finished up the Red Cedar on the hull today, tomorrow I will start the White Cedar.  I had to take pics of the just finished build with the new build.  Something about seeing the roughness of the new compared to the beauty of the finished.


And now are some pics of the progress made today.  The good news for Kevin Russell (the owner) is that his yak is now on the builders stand and has 100 % of my building attention.  Late start, sorry.



04/10/09 Well I moved the forms where they are supposed to be, cut down the strong back, added the ends (complete with inner stems), and started laying up strips on the hull.  I managed to get 5 strips on each side before the originals started to give.


I am using a combination of methods of building, some from past experince and some are from Redfish.  One of the things I really like is the slotted wood holder that Nick Schade talks about in his book.  It takes a lot less clamps to hold the strips together.


You can really start to see the lines at this point


  1. You do BEAUTIFUL WORK !
    I am mesmerized by your wood crafting.
    I have one question, when you bend the padauk for the bow and stern, do you laminate several thin layers or is it possible to do in one piece. Do you have to steam or heat gun the wood? and how thick is it?
    Thank You, I am a subscriber.

    • Hi Ted,

      I wish I could say I was farther along on the boat than I am, but I guess that is why it is a hobby. To answer your questions, yes it is lamenated. I rip 1/8″ strips, glue them all up at the same time, clamp one end and slowly continue to bend and clamp around the form. If I start to hear any kind of stress (cracking) then I will dig out the heat gun. I used to use a steam box, but a lot of woods change color when you steam them, so I try to avoid it if I can. As to size, my inner stems are finished 1/2″X3/4″ and my outer stems generally finish up about 3/4″X3/4″

      Now on the first yak I built (Expedition Single), I had a piece of ash laying in the shop that was 11″ wide & 2′ long and I traced the bow and stern, cut it out on the band saw and finished scribing it to fit tight with a belt sander. Trust me, lamenateing is much easier.

      Thank you for your coments and compliments, I hope I can help you more,

  2. Looking good .Is that pic around weedon ?I hope to be on the water soon all that is left is time.you inspire me.

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