I am making steady progress towards the stern with my stitching. Now past the cockpit area and finding the boat cradles / slings very useful in that I can rotate the boat to bring either gunwale to the top to stitch. Working at the proper height helps prevent fatigue.

The chalk marks in the next picture show me where the staples are located.  It is all to easy to get into a rhythm and forget to remove them.

Rear deck lines to consider next.

A stitch in stern

Steadily progressing the stitching back towards the cockpit.  I needed to restore  tension in the length so a good pull over the stern using canvas pliers, then a few quick (and dirty) stitches create a pocket to keep the tension.

I lost my tension previously  by moving the boat about in it’s cradle and dislodging the speed-clamp that was holding it.

Now there are visible tension lines through the fabric where it is pulled taut.


Did I say easy on the eye? Each time I looked at the tape loops I disliked them more and the centre fore-deck stringer could have done with a bit more fairing in.   I have now replaced the loops with a flat tape across the deck but realistically it is too late to adjust the stringer

My fingers are feeling sore from sewing.  They’ve been stabbed with the eye end of the needle when the going gets hard.  A pair of rubber covered cotton gloves helps a lot with grip on the needle and a protective layer over fingers which helps when tugging twine.

Stitching is the last opportunity to mechanically tension the fabric by closing a gap between the fabrics.  I want to balance my seam on the gunwale corner and I try to get the tension sufficient to keep the seam in place but despite my best efforts, the line wanders a little.  Some of this is due to differences in tension between the top and bottom skins and larger areas stretch more.

Just over a metre stitched now so about half way to the cockpit. Both sides are being stitched at the same time to maintain an even tension. I have laid a cord in place to show where the deck-line goes.


Now the work begins with about 10 metres of stitching to do, about double that of a boat skinned the more usual way.

Because my previous skin was so waterproof and the seams especially so, I thought this time I would add some colour in the form of red decks as I am pretty confident I can get the seams watertight again.

How to stretch the fabric presented an issue.  I attached the bow end with a row of stitches then pulled hard at the stern and clamped the fabric to the stern-board, then pressing down firmly over the cockpit area I ran a line of staples up the centre  foredeck stringer.  Now I am fairly confident that the fore-deck has  enough tension to avoid wrinkles.

Stitching commences from the bow, removing staples from the hull skin as I come upon them.

Next I have added the first pair of a series of tape loops, to carry the deck-lines.

Not clearly visible here, this is a loop of nylon webbing or tape which is independently stitched to the deck skin .  The deck is separately stitched to the hull skin alongside the bottom of the tape loops.

In case anyone is wondering,  I plan to start the deck-lines at a bridle which will slip over the nose and then run them through a series of tape loops back to the cockpit.

Good progress so far and easy on the eye.


Skin the hull

The hull is covered with ballistic nylon cloth, black this time.  There is a sewn in pocket at each end and the cloth is stretched in the length by about 50mm  to get the pockets located on the ends of the boat .  Now the skin is taut in the length I put a row of staples down the keelson to keep it centred.  the pieces of cord make it easy to remove them later

The ends are damped down and sewn in, tensioning the cloth by the sewing action closing the gap between each side.

The skin is dampened down again and working from the ends towards the cockpit, the cloth over the gunwales is stretched and stapled to the top of the gunwale at about every 100mm.  Progress is checked regularly to ensure even tension underneath. Once the whole lengths of the gunwales are stapled then excess cloth is trimmed off .  The fabric used so far weighs in at a tad over 800gm.

Now the skin has dried overnight and is drum taut.

Next task is to add the decks.

Starting anew

I’m giving WordPress a try instead of Drupal.   I think it may be more suitable for the kind of posting I want to do.

My original blog detailed the building of my skin on frame Greenland style kayak.  I may yet construct an article using old posts and pictures to show the build,  but for now the situation is thus…  being unhappy with the feel and connectivity of the boat  once on the water,  I decided to make some changes to the hull profile,  the deck height and shape,   the cockpit coaming size,   as well as reviewing the thigh hooks.

The hull profile was modified by adding another stringer piece to the chine stringer which tapers off at the ends. This effectively flattens the bottom a little under the seat giving a bit more initial stability without radically changing the hull.  This and the resized cockpit coaming has been sorted for a while now .

What has been holding things up a bit is deciding how to proceed with thigh hooks /masik options.  I eventually decided to go with the masik this time as the thigh hooks, while adequate, were a little uncertain at times regarding connectivity.  Now I have built my masik I have to say I am glad   I did.  It seems much more versatile  and gives a freedom of movement within the cockpit without losing contact.  This will be great for movements that need a little more rotation like balance braces.

The deck has been re-profiled so it has a higher centre spine to create an angled deck.  The previous deck had a largish flat area on top.  The sloping deck offers other advantages too for mounting a paddle as a stabiliser and shedding water.