The building of the prototype Njord winter 2005. In the pic seven strips on each side are glued in place - bead-and-cove strips with carpenters glue.
Photo: Björn Thomasson
Thursday, December 3, 2020, 4 comments
Just thought I would send you some completed photos of the Ski.
Thank you very much for the plans, the boat is beautifully designed and is a delight to paddle.
Hi Jon - congratulations with the completion of a great looking craft! From the colourbond fence on your photo, I gather that you might be living in Australia? I was wondering how you sourced the material for your boat? Did you take Bjorn's plans (or computer files) to a timber supplier here in Australia? I'd be very interested in your experience as I am hoping to build one of Bjorns designs in the coming year(s). I live on the Hawkesbury near Sydney. Cheers, Matthias
Hi Bjorn, I really like your designs and the beautiful craft people have built from them, including this Spindrift. I have only been paddling (flatwater) since 2018 and have much to learn as a paddler, but I am hoping to build a wooden kayak or ski in the next few years, possibly as a retirement project :). I currently paddle a Vadja Civet Cat (https://australianpaddlesports.com.au/product/vajda-k1-civetcat/), which is like a K1 with training wheels! I would like to build a kayak or ski with similar stability. I really like the Frej, the Spindrift, Spray and the Panthera. Would these models be appropriate for my level of experience and age (fairly fit 60-er)?
I don't have boat building experience, but am fairly confident with hand tools and general carpentry, I've owned and maintained wooden sailing dinghies, and built a wooden framed strawbale house as my master project so far; would that be a reasonable experience base to take on a kayak building project?
Thanks a lot for your time.
North-Richmond, NSW, Australia
First, a wood strip kayak is a very manageable project and would be a walk in the park with your experience ;-)
Of the kayaks you mention, Spindrift would be close to the Vajda in stability – less beam is compensated by length and more rocker (lowers the CG). But since you don't mention the most important criteria for choosing a kayak (how and where you intend to use it) – it is difficult to say anything relevant about them. But in short, Frej, Spray, and Panthera are more stable than the Vajda, in initial stability and even more in secondary. None of them are as fast as Vajda on flatwater, all of them faster in wind and waves. For touring in different conditions on open sea you might want to include Njord in your list (fast, efficient, and with easy movements in).
Otherwise, the main difference is that Frej and Njord are skeg kayaks (highly maneuverable, using an adjustable skeg to fine-tune tracking), while Panthera, Spray, and Spindrift are rudder-dependant surfskis/sea kayaks (using an efficient rudder system to control both turning and tracking – which give them an edge surfing big waves). None of them is of the old traditional sea kayak type (hard tracking and needing a rudder to turn).
Many thanks, Björn. I paddle mostly for fitness and to enjoy the outdoors. I would probably use the future boat mostly on flat water (Hawkesbury River), but would probably like to expand to wider parts of the rivers and estuaries we have along the NSW coast.
I also forgot to mention my weight and height: 66 kg and 178 cm.
As to the building materials, I gather they should be available from local shops and any precise cutting would be done from computer files that can be purchased with your plans?
Yes, the materials are usually available locally. Strips (fir, spruce, cedar, paulownia, etc) can be square cut or bead-and-cove as per the building manual. Station molds and stems are available as dwg files if wished – may save a little time, cost a little more, and does not affect the final finish of the kayak (depends primarily on what happens later in the process ;-). Stations are cut in particleboard, plywood, MDF, or similar, while stems often are solid wood.
The kayaks are designed for paddlers slightly heavier than you, so it may be a good idea to shorten them slightly (as advised on the plans), to not float unnecessarily high on the water. But it is not a big problem – your Vajda is designed for the same weight as my kayaks are ;-)
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