Build a better kayak than you can buy
On choosing, building and using canoes, kayaks, paddles and small boats
Choosing is about dimensions, characteristics, performance, equipment and other things that influences the choice of a kayak or canoe to buy or build.
Building is information on the building method, a complete online building manual for kayaks canoes and paddles, and facts on materials.
Paddling contains advice on paddling techniques, safety in kayaks and canoes, as well as online classes on navigation, meteorology, touring and maritime common sense.
Reading is articles on the history and geography of kayaks, canoes and paddles, a commented list of related books, links etc.
A Frej in China – nicely built and finished by Chen Lichau in Fuzhou (on the coast between Shanghai and Hongkong).
"Finally my Frej project was done! Almost 2 years!
I made her debut on water in a paddling marathon about 63km around the Nan Tai Island in Fuzhou, China in Dec 1, 2018.
I'm pretty satisfied with this build. In my opinion, It's not a efficient kayak for long touring. But It is fast enough... and easy to maneuver and easy to turn 90 degrees using your paddle. When skeg down, it tracks very well. Now I had trouble slipping my lower body into this ocean cockpit, haha. I need more exercises to get accustomed to the type of cockpit. The back deck is low. And without a backrest, I think it is a benefit when rolling. In the marathon, I jam the foam block of the lifejacket into between my lower back and back of cockpit rim so I feel comfortable in my lumbar. I'm planing to add a detachable backrest to it in case for a long trip.
It's not my first attemp in building kayak. Actually I had lots of experiences from previous builds. So this time I decided to make it different. I prototype many parts of the kayak, including seat, hatch cover, hatch gasket, cockpit rim and made moulds for them, yes, they were one-off mold... I used a lot of carbon in final product and I think that was cool. Oh, I mold my own buttom to make the seat mold, haha. In order to make it look awesome, I made a spray booth in my homeshop. I paint it automotive polyurethane acrylic paint, I looks gorgeous but in her debut, she got lots of scratch. Luckily it's not made out of steel."
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