Building Your Own Kayak

Kayaks available commercialy come in all forms and shapes, depending on the purpose they are designed for. From the stubby white-water kayaks, designed for quick manuevring through the rapids and rocks, through short and wide kayaks that people often use for fishing on calm waters, to the long and narrow kayaks designed for speed, primarily on calm waters. And then come touring kayaks that can carry substantial load on top of your own weight, so you can carry your essential camping gear and go further away along the shore or up a river, to stay out for a few days. And then come the design versions, like the more classical sit-ins, or the rather practical sit-ons. All of them can be used on calm waters, yet with very different possible speeds and effort required. For a kayak to be truly sea-going, it has to behave well on the waves. When considering your own kayak, the first choice you need to make is where and how you will be using it. It is not an easy choice. It will probably be strongly influenced by the place where you live and what kind of waters do you have within an easy reach. The clearer is your mind about your actual preferences, the easier will be your selection.

Then comes the question of materials used. Commercially, most kayaks are made either in fiberglass, or from polyurethane. Both of these materials have their advantages, and some not so good points too. Interestingly, very rearly you can commercially buy a kayak made in wood. They either come as cheaper low-end craft made in plywood, or the very exceptional wood-strip Ferrari-like kayaks that typically cost $8,000 - $15,000 each, with a reason.

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Last upd: 19-Aug-10 F150806