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How to Build a Wooden Kayak

There are many ways how to build a wooden kayak. You can build using the wood-strip, stitch and glue, skin on frame and other building methods.

I’ve been building wood strip boats for a decade now and it’s been a goal of mine to learn how to build a kayak using other methods.

Building a Stitch and Glue Kayak has especially been a personal interest and goal of mine for close to 20 years. So it was great news when Chesapeake Light Craft agreed to work with me to build the Shearwater 17.

Learning how to build a stitch and glue kayak is a simple method of kayak building which uses plywood panels stitched together, usually with copper wire, and glued together with thickened epoxy resin.

How to Build a Wooden Kayak

How to Build a Wooden Kayak

The kayak I’m building is the Shearwater 17. Its a hybrid stitch and glue, cedar strip boat. A light touring class kayak that’s 17 feet long and has a beam of 22 inches. Her finished weight should come in at around 45 lbs. She’s a sleek boat and so far is a pleasure to build.

Stitching the Panels of the Hull

In this video I discuss and demonstrates stitching the Okume panels of the stitch and glue component of the Shearwater 17 hybrid stitch and glue kayak from Cheasapeake Light Craft.

It’s a very easy process. I think the main thing that I’ve learned about how to build a wooden kayak through this build process is that the stitch and glue method is a very quick way to get a boat put together and that the marine grade Okume plywood make a nice looking hull.

As I continue to build the kayak I’m sure there will be a few interesting new tricks that I’ll learn that will help me become a better canoe builder. For now, I’m just really enjoying the process.