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Lures'n'Liberty

Has anyone built a fiberglass kayak

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I can't swing $1000 for a nice sit on top kayak, been looking at options and considering building one, as I'm kinda handy. Have any of you built a sit on top fishing kayak? Even if you haven't, what are your favorite features on your kayaks? What would you change on the one that you have? 

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How much for the anchor and a paddle?  The one near Harrisburg did include those for $375. Just saying.

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On 7/21/2017 at 6:10 PM, Lures'n'Liberty said:

I'm estimating I'll be at around $100 in materials

 

 

In making a fiberglass kayak? 

 

I've been a fiberglass fabricator for 5 years now climbed my way to the top of two companies in manufacturing doing it. Might want to add a few zeros to that price of materials if your gonna build a kayak from scratch. 

 

There's a reason why the Kevlar/glass/carbon fiber canoes cost as much as they do the stuff is not cheap. 

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I have an anchor (the homemade concrete kind) and a paddle, I've also got quite the stash of wood to build a frame as well as a stash of foam to line it and a couple big sheets of fabric that takes resin pretty nicely, The resin that I planned to use is round about $15 a gallon, I'm figuring that 3 gallons should be more than enough. Not too sure where the other zeros will come into play and have gotten a few tips from an elderly cousin who made several kayaks 40 years ago that were also very inexpensive. I'm not looking to build the queen mary, just a light weight wooden frame partially filled with foamboard, covered with cloth, coated with resin and a couple coats of paint, although I may go extra crazy and add some additional framing on the transom for the future addition of a trolling motor, along with conduit and spaces in the hull for a battery, footpedal motor controls, and a hole in the bow that would fit an aerated 5 gal bucket livewell. 

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This should be interesting.  Let's see some photo updates as it progresses.

20 minutes ago, Lures'n'Liberty said:

I'm not looking to build the queen mary, just a light weight wooden frame partially filled with foamboard, covered with cloth, coated with resin and a couple coats of paint, although I may go extra crazy and add some additional framing on the transom for the future addition of a trolling motor, along with conduit and spaces in the hull for a battery, footpedal motor controls, and a hole in the bow that would fit an aerated 5 gal bucket livewell. 

 

This actually sounds more like a raft than a SOT.  If you motorize, you'll have to register it.  Good luck with that part.  It's a pain with no hull serial number.

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10 minutes ago, J Francho said:

This should be interesting.  Let's see some photo updates as it progresses.

 

This actually sounds more like a raft than a SOT.  If you motorize, you'll have to register it.  Good luck with that part.  It's a pain with no hull serial number.

Should be a bit of a combination of the two, if it's a custom design, the possibilities are endless. Definitely not sure on the registration end of it but I believe in PA it's a pretty cut and dry process to register a homemade vessel if you keep it under 16'. Right now, it's all in my head and I have a good 50 other projects that I'll need to finish first, gotta move, set up the garage, the truck needs lots of work, kids' swingset is broke, and the rest of the honey-do list is about 3 pages but I'll definitely post pics and upload videos to YouTube if I ever get around to it.

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Your basically building a boat at that point. 3 gallons of resin won't get you very far your going to want 60/40 resin to mat ratio in a perfect world. 1.5 oz of plain mat takes 5-7 layers depending on who is doing the lay up and rolling to achieve 1/4" of thickness in a hand lay up. little over a quart of resin to achieve 1sq foot and should weigh near a lb. that's just mat and resin in  perfect lay up. Add your wood and everything else and many square feet. 

 

Not saying it cant be done but I would look into it a bit more. 

 

If you do decide to do it I would like to see progress pics.

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Do I really need to go 1/4" thick? I was figuring 1/8" thick, max, throughout the project, that's roughly 1 gallon for 8 sq ft, although you're right, at that thickness I'd need to double my planned resin purchase at the bare minimum, but if I get 10 gallons I'm still at $150 (really more like $120) plus stuff lying around.

 

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It will flex for sure. I wouldn't go a 1/4 think I was just using it as a reference. Personally I wouldn't use straight glass mat. I'd use a woven material like woven fiberglass, graphite, Kevlar, carbon fiber. 

 

 

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Fifteen dollars per gallon?  It must be junk.  I made fiberglass race car bodies for several years, and cannot remember when resin was only fifteen dollars per gallon.  I purchased polyester resin (which I would not use in a boat) for around that price, buying it by the 50 gallon drum.  For boats you should use vinylester resin because it is waterproof.  Polyester resin will absorb water/moisture.

 

Canvas? really?  You are really looking for trouble and throwing all you labor down the drain.  There is a saying, "penny wise, pound foolish".  Clayton is correct about the fabric.  It should be a combination or mat and roving.  The mat is a filler between the layers of roving.  Mat only construction ends up with a composite like an egg shell, because it contains short fibers about two inches long.  Roving, be it woven or stitched has continuous fibers running the full length and width of the roll.

 

It sounds harsh, but you may as well take a match to that hundred and fifty dollars worth of material, plus the time you've put into it for the construction you describe.

 

Here's one of my bodies.  The color is in the gel coat.  It is not painted.  The body weighs about 75 pounds.  It takes five gallons of resin to make the body plus the gel coat.  It averages about a sixteenth of an inch thick.  The last polyester resin cost about 26 dollars per gallon in a five gallon pail.

 

By the way, when fiberglass boats were in their infancy builders used burlap as a fabric.

 

 

 

IMG_0001-1.jpg

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Thinking maybe I should just use one gallon and the stuff I have lying around to build a prototype and practice.

The above image doesn't show, btw.

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1 hour ago, Lures'n'Liberty said:

The above image doesn't show, btw.

 

SHows fine here.

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