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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By Bob Keyes
I am in the planning stage of my first build and as far as boat building I am dumber than a bag of hammers and as clueless as a sack of hair! With that being said here is where I need to get to. I need a kayak than can float my fat ass (+/-400#), handle moderate surf as I shark fish and one of my needs is to run baits (trying to cast a 25#bait on a 30' leader=EIPC FAIL), and be able to fish from in the channels, back bays and MAYBE BTB. Not asking for much am I? I know after spending a lot of time in the boat building section that foam will be the material of choice and a SOT design will brobably be best for me. I have NO idea what will be the best construction type however, 3 panel or just laminate a large block of foam and cut off everything that does not look like a kayak, having shaped surfboards before building a kayak that way does not scare me that much. Design, patterns, and hull shapes and rockers are where I am stuck. What do you expierienced boat builders suggest for my next step?
By RealBigReel
I don't believe a large block of foam is the way to go, too much work. However sheet Styrofoam constructions has worked well for me and a couple of other guys around here. You are kinda big and you will have to add an extra layer of foam or 2 to get the flotation you need for an SOT. While wood does have its advantages it also has some disadvantages when compared to sheet Styrofoam. Sheet Styrofoam does not soak water will never delaminate from water damage. And can be glued with a variety of adhesives, although definitely not polyester resin. I have used a variety of epoxies and regular gorilla glue. Sheet Styrofoam is cheap at around 11 bucks a 4'X8' sheet and is readily available. Styrofoam is incredibly easy to cut shape and sand with a fine homogeneous grain.
If you are trying to design your own, you may want to start with an existing design. I started with Gerald's River Ranger, a very simple 3 panel design. I built it out of sheet Styrofoam instead of plywood. I do use small pieces of wood in high stress areas as well as extra layers of glass. I added a tumblehome to the design to make it easier to paddle and this also adds structural stiffness. I was unhappy with the cockpit needing to be sponged bailed so then I added extra layers in the cockpit area and made it into an SOT. But the basic planform is still the River Ranger, thank you Gerald.
My kayak SANDY will float in about 3 inches of water loaded. Cruises fast enough to troll and catch plenty of fish. It is 14'X28" just over 30 lbs with a high end kayak seat.
My next kayak may be a little more sophisticated but it will be sheet Styrofoam construction.
User avatar
By Carver
That is why they make different flavors of ice cream. We all have different preferences.

I have been laminating sheet foam all month making solid hulls for several types of boats. If you are really comfortable shaping it, IMHO it is one of the easiest ways to get a solid feel for what you are doing before wrapping it.

I will be starting a couple of SOT kayaks next month out of solid (Laminated) blocks of common EPS.

Here is a1/4 scale lay-up of a flats boat with jet drive I am working on today.
This is just the bottom half of the hull, it will have a full deck etc. out of the same foam.
The full size boat ( this same design) I am shaping next week is 8' wide by 18' long.
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By bowgarguide
My 2 cents.
What you are wanting to use this boat for it will take a pounding , surf hammering it, hard landing coming into the beach ,with your gear 500 lbs at least.
Foam might work ,it hasnt been used enough by folks on this forum for me to recommend it. No one on this forum uses one in that way ,RBR has used his on lakes mainly
and it has done him a great job.The life of these boats is also in question and just time will tell if they have a good lifespan.
Wood has been around a long time and is proven ,durable takes a heck of a lick and has a long life span if built right
and a little maintenance. Cost is comparable for foam , luan, and the strip stitch and glue I like to use.
I have a luan boat that is going on five years and still in great shape,what ever you use completely cover in side and out with glass and cloth, not having full coverage is where most folks have problems with delamination.
A good set of plans is worth the cost on your first build.
Good luck and if we can help anyway just post up here.
User avatar
By DarrellS
I also vote for Luan. I have two boats built from it with zero problems. Just make sure to totally encapsulate the wood with fiberglass and it will be around for a very long time. My Longhorn (geralds design) is 16'10" and weighs 39#.
By Bob Keyes
I have been talking with Matt from JEM and have just about decided on a custom WadeFish probably about 16'x34" I will be using an old school material in the construction, wood, WRC strips. Using the S & G system the only change would be not using plywood for the hull and panels it should be a fun project

Nice talking with you.

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