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21st Century SOF kayak kit build

shikeswithcanoe

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2010
63
0
Hi all.

Just received our SOF kayak kits from 21st Century Kayaks. They are a new company. The two owners/designers have been building and testing their version of SOF kayaks for a couple years now and officially selling kits for about a year.

The SO and I went down to Naples,FL where these guys are to check out their boats/kits and to do some paddling down that way. Saw some neat stuff paddling, but holy moly, take my word for it, DO NOT go down there in late August to paddle unless you plan to paddle before sunrise and take out at about 10 to 11 am. The HEAT, the unholy soul sucking HEAT....

Anyhow, we liked what we saw and how their boats paddled. So, we have two kits now. The SO got the 14 footer. I opted for the 15' 6" model (for possible camping purposes). Lots of bits and pieces, but after personally molesting all the parts and watching some of the how to video I am pleased with the quality, engineering/design, and work these guys have put into the kits. I am cautiously optimistic that this will be more fun and less misery and frustration than many DIY projects.

It appears to me that their kit kind of fills the niche between "here's detailed plans, go buy everything yourself and start working" and "supper precision (and expensive) kit where (if you are good at this kind of thing) you end up with floating museum piece".

I know this kind of sounds like a sales plug, but besides being an early customer, I have no vested interest in the company. If folks here are interested, I wouldnt mind asking questions and posting some pics and thoughts as the build goes along. If the moderators feel this post is inappropriate please remove it and accept my apologies. If not, the build should be starting early next week.
 

shikeswithcanoe

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2010
63
0
Whats an SO?

When an SO asks "does this new homebuilt SOF kayak make me look fat?"...you always answer in the negative...

Oh, and SOF means skin on frame :)
 

shikeswithcanoe

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2010
63
0
We got the kayak frame all glued up today. Took 4 hours non stop from start to finish. They say ONE person can do it in that time, but I think thats a bit optimistic for someone who has never done this before. Not to mention there are plenty of times having from 3 to 5 hands is what you need. They also say you need "some" clamps. We had 40 or so clamps on the sucker before it was over with, and most of those were where THEY said you had to put them. Good thing we bought a shitload of em, because you really really really dont want to run to the store halfway through this process (and gawd help you then if cant get enough at that point). You want this whole frame together before the epoxy is fully hardened (and we are using West Systems 610 cartridges).

Zip ties hold most of it together, but there are still plenty of places its got to be a clamp.

But it got done with only minor whoopseys and "what do we do next?"s and "how do we do this?"s and "oops, gotta adjust that"s. Everyone is still on speaking terms.

Thats probably the only hard part of the project. Pretty much everything else can be a little here and there and is truely a one person operation.

It pretty much looks like a kayak already. Hurray!

Now its just some stringers and boards for the hatch areas, the seat board, the floor board, boards for the foot rest system, and the cockpit coaming. And maybe a few minor things here and there.

Will try to give more deatils later but will be very busy PADDLING this weekend.