Materials and Cost
The 24 Hour Kayak is designed to be built from materials available in most building supply stores.
A very rough estimate places the cost of the 24 Hour Kayak at between $250 and $400 USD; dependent on geography and material choices.
Building the 24 Hour Kayak
Materials Required to Build the 24 Hour Kayak
Amongst its many charms, building a kayak is a lesson in compromise … expensive clear cedar or warped and kinda wavy deck cedar? Marine or exterior grade plywood? 8 coats of varnish or a quick coat of paint? Those are decisions we’ll leave up to the builder.
In the meantime, here’s the basic shopping list:
- 3 sheets 6mm exterior grade (or marine ply)
- 1 sheet 3mm exterior grade (or marine ply)
- 1 x 6 dressed cedar (or equivalent clear stock), 16’
- box #8 non-corroding screws, 0.75”
- box #8 non-corroding screws, 1.25”
- 1 tube construction adhesive
- exterior wood filler
- exterior primer and paint (or marine paint) OR exterior polyurethane varnish (or marine varnish)
A strongback is not strictly necessary as a builder could always screw the frame down to an existing table of appropriate length. That said, a simple strongback will make the process of leveling and squaring the hull much easier and we’d urge a builder to not forgo one. As drawn, the 24 Hour Kayak’s strongback is easy to build and not expensive.
- 1 sheet 3/4” mdf or plywood
First time boat builders often fail to calculate the little extras; those things that aren’t part of the finished kayak but are necessary none-the-less.
To make this boat you will need:
- assortment of 80/120/180 grit sandpapers
- painters tape
- mineral spirits
- disposable gloves and disposable rags
Ashes can’t tell you what’s in your wallet, or how much time you have to create exquisite finishes. What we will say is that this kayak was not designed to be precious.
The most expensive item will be the plywood sheets for which you can expect to pay as little as $40USD per sheet for exterior grade fir, and as much as $80 for marine grade meranti. Apart from that your costs won’t vary much. The costs below are in USD and reflect a quick perusal of Lowes online store. Like everything in life, be cautious, prices can vary remarkably depending on location and vendor.
- plywood panels … $160
- chine-logs … $40
- primer and paint … $30
- glue and screws … $15
- shop materials … $25
- strong back … $30
Where Not to Compromise
- Plywood – make sure you purchase a plywood with exterior grade glues otherwise things may just well fall apart!
- Chine-log material – choose stock with as even grain as possible, and as few knots as possible. You’ll be hard pressed to get nice curves otherwise.
Pick through the bin at your building supply store to find the straightest and most knot free stock you can find. Buy what you can afford. Protect it from the elements. And get started … with care you’ll have a boat for $300 or there-abouts.
Building the 24 Hour Kayak – A Simple Plywood Boat