Painting and Outfitting – Skin on Frame Kayak – E7

Painting and Outfitting – Skin on Frame Kayak – E7

We are getting there! Hi, I’m Nick Schade at Guillemot Kayaks. This is the final episode of building the
skin on frame microBootlegger Sport. In this episode I’ll paint the fabric, make
and install a seat and add some decklines. I decided on a two tone paint job. I thought it would look nice to have the topsides
a cream color and the bottom a pale green. I want to make the transitions right at the
waterline. I’m using the main stringer as a reference
as it should be parallel with the waterline. According to my calculations, if I make the
transition between colors about 2-inches below the bottom of the main stringer, it should
be about perfect. Taping a pencil to a scrap piece of the main
stringer creates a gauge that is just about 2-inches. Running the top of the gauge along the bottom
edge of the main string I make a series of marks. My plan was to run masking tape along the
marks to define the bottom edge. But I tried everything and nothing would stick
to the raw fabric. I ended up just masking off the coaming area
to keep paint off the wood and only on the cloth. Without the masking tape at the waterline,
I instead used my marks as a guide to brush paint along the bottom edge. I wanted to go a little beyond so I could
overlap with the bottom color. Once I had the edge defined, I used a roller
to cover the long wide surfaces. Up around the coaming I used a brush to work
paint into the fabric and the stitches. This 14-ounce cloth is fairly thick and has
quite a bit of texture. While I am not trying to fill the weave or
make a smooth surface, I do want the paint to soak deeply into the cloth. This stuff absorbs a lot of paint. I bought a quart of each color of the best
exterior latex the home center had and ended up using all of it to apply two coats over
everything. After the topside dried, I flipped the boat
over. Now with the paint on the surface, masking
tape did stick, so I re-marked the waterline and taped it off. The green tape stuck better, the blue gave
me a wider tape line. I kept coming back over the same area while
the paint was wet. This gave the fabric a chance to soak up some
paint. I don’t think the paint, or anything truly
bonds well to the polyester material, but after soaking into the weave the paint created
a good mechanical bond with the cloth. Again, Latex house paint isn’t necessarily
the most durable option. There are some two-part urethanes that are
wicked solid, but Latex is very affordable, and easy to get in any colors to suite your
taste, and they are probably tough enough for most uses, and should you scratch it up
touch-ups are easy. I modified my standard seat so I could adapt
it to the skin on frame. The CNC machine chews through minicel foam
like nobody’s business. I start with a roughing pass using a 1/2-inch
endmill and then come back over with a ball nose on the finishing pass. I made the step-over wide because its foam,
It’s not like I’m going to sanding it later. After thinking about it for a while, I decided
I wanted some slats under the seats. A pair of butt bumps sticking out of the bottom
when you paddle isn’t too big a deal, but who needs the bruises if you paddle over a
log. This lashing would have been easier to accomplish
before installing the skin, and in the future I will likely incorporate some mortices in
the frame to accept the tabs, but that is the whole reason for making a prototype, figuring
out how to do it better next time. The seat wedges tightly between the frames
and stringers. I may glue it in eventually, but it seems
fine like it is. The backrest has elastic straps behind to
help hold it up. I loop these elastics up and around the next
frame back. I decided to go with fairly minimal decklines. I measured out three spots 6-inches apart
into the center of the main stringer. I used an awl to open up a hole in the fabric. A screw through a finish washer and a loop
of webbing should make a reasonably secure attachment point for shock cord. Notice that somewhere off camera I added some
automotive vinyl striping tape along the waterline. I had envisioned the forward straps on the
backrest being bolted into the solid section of the side frames, unfortunately, I didn’t
put the solid part in the right place. Instead I just ran a loop of webbing up and
around the next frame forward. The shock cord is threaded through these loops,
back and forth to either side. It requires a bunch of sliding and pulling
to get enough cord through all the loops. My standard system for linking the shock cord
back together is a couple hog rings. These stainless steel bits of wire are crimped
around the cord and then hidden under a length of heat shrink tubing. With the heat shrink shrunk, the kayak is
done. As of this point I have not yet put it in
the water, but I will say that it was a fun project. I gave myself 3 weeks between the time I started
designing it and finishing it up. I was able to do that easily, with plenty
of time for other stuff. A lot of people have been asking if I will
be offering plans or kits. That is a goal, but this build was just a
proof of concept. The largest task in offering plans and kits
is not building the boat, but writing the instructions. I need to test the design, modify it as needed,
build another and document it with photos and more in-depth video, and then write a
comprehensive manual. Writing takes longer than building. Unfortunately, I cannot estimate when I will
have that project done. I’ll post a notice here when its ready. If you are interested, do let me know in the
comments. Obviously, a lot of interest would be motivation
for me to work faster. I think it’s a great project, fun and easy,
and a cool boat when you’re done. I’ll be posting on-the-water video as soon
as I can. Right now, my river is frozen, so it might
be awhile. In the next week or so, I should be starting
on my next build. If you would like to follow the new project,
subscribe, follow, turn on notifications, whatever, keep your eyes peeled on this channel. If you have any questions about this build,
please feel free to post a comment. I’ll try to answer them all. If you are watching on Facebook, check out
my YouTube Channel, if you are watching on YouTube, checkout my Facebook page If you find these videos interesting or helpful,
I would appreciate your support via my Patreon page. Until next time, thanks for watching and happy

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About the Author: John Markowski


  1. This is a cool design, looks like an easier build than a strip, makes me think about building one but with out the CNC. What is traditionally used to waterproof the boat besides paint. Was the cloth a heavy weave canvas fabric?

  2. I’d love a kit! Will you offer the kit or will I need to order thru Chesapeake light craft?
    I live in northern Minnesota, I own a car, so a light weight kayak is ideal! Even if you can offer up instructions only; I can build this on my own, but a kit would be nice.

  3. Great series. Thanks for taking the time to make it. I’ve been thinking about a s&g boat and was going to make your original gulimont but sized up 6% to the xl version. I’m now swayed more to skin on frame. I’ve drawn out your templates in sketchup and adjusted them for skin on frame. Is there anything you’d recommend adapting to suit a skin on frame? Thanks

  4. 3 weeks, that's impressive. The strip build Petrel was a clean looking Beaty, and a great build to follow. This build, I think, was maybe even more interesting, a great combination of simple materials and brilliant craftsmanship. Wonder if this could become a simple and easy solution, if you want to enter the world of diy kayaks? Or for educational projects? Hope you will consider further development, think it deserves it. I'm very curious on how it sits in the water, looks very lightweight. Looking forward to se you giving it a test ride.
    It is a great pleasure to follow your videos, while waiting for the brighter and warmer days to return!

  5. I think having every option is great kit, plans, and instructions. I know you have the SketchUp model already if you have SketchUp Pro you can put it into layout and put in all of the measurements and make that available in PDF form on your patreon page right now and anyone who was willing to donate would be able to have access to that I think that's a great idea and it incentivizes people to go on to patreon and donate. just get the simple plans without the kit or instructions and let people figure it out for themselves. Later on when the instructions are available you can put that on your patreon as well and then develop the kit. No need to respond just a comment and suggestion.

  6. Beautiful boat! Very intrigued by skin on frame boats their lightness and traditional looks. I'd be very interested in a kit when your ready. Always fun watching you build boats

  7. I am a patient man and quite willing to wait for complete plans and instructions. A kit would be nice but not necessary. Looking forward to your next project!

  8. You and your videos are a joy to watch. I started following during the strip built petrol play and now I look forward to each new video; you've got me daydreaming at work about building my own soon. Not to be hyperbolic, but I think your work is spectacular, an example of the sort of knowledge-sharing and passion-sharing that the internet (at its best) can facilitate. This kind of content is why our parents bought modems. Thank you.

  9. In your previous video you mentioned that the cloth alone will leaks like a sieve. Is the paint the only thing that keeps the water out? does the boat take on water if you scratch the paint hard enough on a rock?

    Great video. Excited to see your next project.

  10. I'd be interested in the plans and instructions, and/ or kit. You work is brilliant and your videos are fascinating! Keep up the good work.

  11. love the look of that kayak. would like to give it a go on building it. was interested on the choice of fabric cover (latex paint). Didn't know latex paint would be water proof or strong enough to last. Would like to hear more on the longevity of the water proof coating.

  12. I'm interested! I'm a new subscriber but long time small boat enthusiast. I would love to see a set of plans for this build, I hope you find the time. Thanks for a great set of videos!

  13. Hi Nick, these are a joy to watch, your approaches are so intelligent and well-thought.

    On that note, I'm curious on the reasoning for latex paint, versus something that would create a rigid structure (eg polyester or epoxy resin).

    In the video you mention Urethane as an alternative to latex paint. Being that you didn't mention polyester, I realized you must have some reason you prefer to stay away from enforcing the cloth with a rigid resin? Is the goal a more flexible skin or another reason entirely?

    Thanks again for the great series!

  14. I would love some full size plans for this boat, or a kit. I have built a skin on frame kayak before, and prefer them to wooden ones.
    The styling of this boat is just enchanting. Honestly, I would built a couple of them at least, so my guests can enjoy them when they come visit.

  15. This set of videos has been inspiring, but also at the same time quite a wake up for me as to how many details go into building a boat such as this. I've long wanted to build a skin on frame canoe or kayak and thought I was close to a firm decision that this was the year, but I see now how much experience goes into something like this, am wondering if I'm actually up to the task. These videos are so good to see, I'm grateful that you've taken the time to do them so well. Does she paddle up to expectations and are kits offered for sale yet?

  16. First off, thank you for sharing your artisanal skills. I have watched your videos for years and search for a proper descriptor of who you are and what you do. To simply call you a boatbuilder is like referring to Michelangelo as a commercial painting contractor… it's missing something. Looking forward to more. Thank you again.

  17. Awesome build Nick! I will definitely build one or 2 of these when the plans and kits are available. I like the 3 week build over the 18 months I spent on my 1st Guillemot Double. I'm about a hundred hours into a canoe build now, hope to have it floating this Summer. I am trying to figure out a hybrid plywood/strip build stand-up paddle board that I want to get going this year as well. I used one of your Robo-Bevels for the canoe, It worked great. The new website looks great.

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