Stringing some Stringers
April 1/2, 2016
last we left the kayak build, we'd bent on the ribs. Now, we
needed to lash on the stringers - the stringers give the hull its
I had a bunch of clear 1x2 cedar left over from previous projects
(most notably, the
Family Boat Build) so it was an easy "Rip 'em into 1x1s"
operation. This is a 'slight; deviation from the plans as they call
for the stringers to vary a little bit in thickness. I am not gleaning
beaches for driftwood, I can use what wood I want.
My next task was to peg the ribs into place with 1/8" dowels
The trick is to get the dowel through the rib, but not go all the
way through the gunnel (called a Blind Peg) I don't see what the
big deal is about not going through the gunnel, but . . . OK, fine.
We'll do it their way. The books talk about making these Depth Stops
to help prevent punching all the way through - very easy to make
and very effective.
Diagonal cutters made quick work of cutting the dowels.
Tap 'em in and slice 'em off. Easy as pie.
As mentioned previously, the stringers give the hull its shape.
There's not a lot of instruction on placement, though there are
certain rules you need to follow. I figured since Geoff is a naval
architect, he might as well do the placement.
Bringing the stringers to the stems is always a difficult task
five got no hints except "keep doing it."
We had a visitor! Barbara was out taking pictures. She's a recent
transplant from the oil fields of Oklahoma and enjoys the scenery
and that we have great humps of land called "mountains."
Geoff and I had started lashing on the stringers (Geoff started
with the chine stringer - the middle one of the three) but I needed
to leave before we were done. It was very nice to see he'd finished
up both sides when I got there in the morning.
The stringer will help hold the bow stem straight as it gets punished
by waves, so I lashed them tightly into place.
Dee and Sharon dropped by - with their dog, Fergy. Dee was really
impressed with our operation and might become a volunteer. In the
meantime . . .
. . . into a boat with them! It was a BEAUTIFUL spring day.
We are doing 'continuos lashing' of the stringers, and the books
say we need the lashings to be 2.5 x the length of the boat. I cut
the lashings to length, then decided to mechanize the process of
winding them up onto spools.
Where I would have gone back and placed the stringers closest to
the keel, Geoff wanted to do the one closest to the gunnel. Since
I had no reason to my desire, I couldn't really argue for it.
More visitors! l-r: Hope, Sandra, and Alex - all local youths,
out looking for something to do. That's exactly what we are here
Hope wasn't really interested in going out, but once again, the
beauty of the design of the Lazy Weekend canoe: A seat for passengers.
I told her: Sit here - all you have to do is look pretty and criticize.
She seemed to like that idea.
Another visitor (the warm weather really gets people out.) Jen
was in from Depoe Bay and, as an experienced paddler, took to the
Yaquina Canoe quite easily.
And a new volunteer! Dave T came down from Aloha to help out. I
put him straight to work measuring out 8 fathoms of lashing for
She's coming along nicely. I love Skin on Frame building.
I don't like cutting the angle where the stringer hits the stem,
so I asked "Dave, how are you with a pull saw?" He said
"I'm a novice." Perfect. Have at it.
We had a short interruption when our friend, Connie, stopped by
with 3 girls in tow: Patience, Dori, and Zealy. They'd spent the
last 3 days camping and Connie needed a little alone time. "Here,
just keep 'em alive, OK?" Sure thing. Hey, girls, let's get
some life jackets on!
I asked Patience why she was so far forward in the boat - she had
a reason: If she holds the paddle over the nose, she doesn't get
Dori wasn't too hot on paddling, so she came inside. Unable to
let someone just stand around, I had Dave teach her how to tie the
running lashing. Dave had just learned it 30 minutes before.
While Dori learned knots, Zealy learned the art of paddling standing
The girls got done with paddling and came in to look around.
Never one to pass up an opportunity for help, I had them bring
in the Tik Taks for storage. I love those boats - so stable on the
water and so easy to stack for storage.
Colleen and Dick stopped by for a look-see. They didn't want to
paddle but they liked watching us work on the kayak.
There she is, all tied up and upright. Our best guess at weight
is 27lbs now. We'll be close to forty when she's done.
We attached the top spreader on the bow stem - 1/8 ply cut and
curved to fit. We glued it on - I don't know how the natives do
it, and they don't use plywood anyhow, so I made the most of the
All the books agree that these kayaks are best stored upside down,
so we turned her back over as we cleaned up for the week.
Next week: Deck beams, the coaming, and . . . skinning?