TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By grasscarp
#1922287
Hey all!!! I've been looking at getting a kayak for some time now, but got the idea that I'd rather my own, if it's worth it. I was just wondering about the benefits of a wood/fiberglass stitch and glue kayak vs a plastic one. I'm thinking about the Sea Island Sport or Sabalo. The main use will probably be inshore and paddling bait out, but would like something that can easily handle btb.
By rodloos
#1923867
I haven't tried building my own yet, but the advantages I've seen reported by others here are that with wood, since you built it you can more easily repair it.
One drawback is that with wood/fiberglass, you should strip/revarnish it every year or so to protect against damage, but some plastic boats can deteriorate from UV exposure in the sun too.

I think it's a bit more work to make a sit-on-top for BTB, but some of the guys here have made them. I think Gerald made a convertible one for Stubbs didn't he?
By grasscarp
#1924912
Well, I've decided to build my own. I just feel that I'm going like something that I build with my bare hands alot more than a mass produced kayak. Only thing left to decide is what kayak to build, sea island sport or sabalo.
By Urban Fisher
#1944605
That is a very good question. Here is my take on it...

Plastic is much more durable and needs almost zero maintenance. However, it can be heavy!

Wood/fiberglass/stitch and glue boats can be less durable than plastic. (I have some wooden yaks, but I don't think I would ever take them on white water runs!) Also as mentioned, they do need touch-ups from time to time to keep them in good shape.

But wood does have many very good aspects. Building your own offers the ultimate flexibility. The whole reason I started building boats is because I could not find what I wanted in a pre-manufactured one. You can start with a basic design, but can build/customize it as you wish. The selection of plans for home built boats is almost limitless. In fact, if you can't find what you want, some hobby designers will take your needs and design a boat for you!

Next, wood (for the most part) is pretty cheap and easy to work with. I build super simple boats that I don't glass the whole thing (nor even the bottom for that matter). So I can build a usable boat for around $100.00. But when you build your own you have the option to go with the best materials, or just build a simple boat to get you on the water. So cost can range from $100.00 or so up to several hundred...but again it's up to you and what your wallet is comfortable with.

Wood boats can be really light in weight. As mentioned mine are simple boats that I don't glass. They may not be as strong as a glassed boat, but mine only weigh in around 35 lbs. Where as many plastic boats can weigh 60 lbs or more! So for a one man boat, I can easily handle mine as a one man boat. I have been on trips were we have to take turns carrying the plastic yaks as a team (because they are too much for one man to handle), where I can always easily carry mine by myself.

So each has its good and bad points much like any boat out there. I just love the flexibility of building my own boats. The low cost of building my own boats. The knowledge in the fact that if I want a new boat I'm not at the mercy of what the manufactures offer, because I build what I want how I want! And last but not least...the pride of using your own self built boat. Mine are simple funny looking boats, but whenever I take them out I always get flooded with questions..."Did you build that? That is flipping cool! Can you build me one? " and on and on...
By RealBigReel
#1952643
I think there are people here who would disagree with fiberglass and wood not being tougher than Polyethylene. Actually a lot tougher if it is done right especially with the judicious use of extra layers of glass in wear areas and/or advanced materials.
I built a boat a couple years back out of luan plywood. I made the mistake of not glassing it all over. I only put FG tape on the corners. It lasted about a year and then it started to fall apart. I know bowgarguide has managed to avoid the problem by glassing his boats all over and his boats are tough.
You have missed one of the options for boat building and that is sheet Styrofoam and fiberglass. A boat built in this manner can be even lighter than a wooden boat. I have built a 14'X28" SOT with this technique and it weighs 30 lbs with a GTS seat. The kayak I use most is an SOT, 15' long plus the rudder. The hull weighs 40 lbs and it has a Mirage pedal drive system. Styrofoam is easy to bend, cut and shape. It bonds using foam adhesive, Gorilla Glue, Epoxy or Epoxy with microballoons. Sheet Styrofoam is available at many hardware stores. You can use wood in the nose, tail and gunnels for extra durability. With sheet Styrofoam you never have to worry about the material getting wet and rotting, and it will float no matter what.
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By bowgarguide
#1953283
I build some boats that catch rough usage and I dont baby them at all. The areas I fish you have small rapids rocks steel sand bars gravel bars and I have been known to drag my boats up a concrete ramp for a short distance. Wood boats can be built tough I promise.
I started with plastic and I wear the bottom out doing the above.
Oh I am trying a little different way of taking care of my boats may knock the maintenance down to every 2 or three years.
Ron

Nice talking with you.

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