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Tools and Space

The 24 Hour Kayak can be built using basic tools found in most home handyman’s garage. There should be no requirement for an investment in expensive tools or space.

The only essentials are that a builder have enough space to lay out two plywood sheets end to end, a saw that can rip a 16′ length of lumber, a saw that can cut plywood sheets to shape, and a driver to screw and glue it all together.


Building the 24 Hour Kayak


Overview – Build Sequence

Skills Required

Materials and Cost

Plans – What You Get



There are many ways to skin a cat.
Power tools are faster. Hand tools are more satisfying.

  • table saw, or circular saw with guide
  • jig saw
  • back saw or dozuki saw
  • laminate trimmer and two flush cut bits, one with bearing at shaft and another with collar at bottom
  • driver set (drill and driver)
  • power plane, or belt sander, or block planes
  • random orbit sander, or sanding blocks
  • putty knife
  • brushes or rollers for appropriate for chosen finish

The biggest innovation of the 24 Hour Kayak is that the hull panels are trimmed AFTER they’ve been attached to the frame. That’s what the laminate trimmer is for but its also possible to trim by hand and finish with a block plane or belt sander.

Likewise a builder doesn’t need a table saw as it’s possible to cut the chine logs using a circular saw with a guide. Jim Dodd has published an informative thread atabout cutting long strips for cedar strip canoe building, but the general theory applies for cutting the 24 Hour Kayak’s chine-logs as well.

And of course, there is no reason that all the cuts can’t be made by hand … in fact the first stitch and glue boat that the designer made, was cut and finished entirely by hand in Nares Inlet where there was no power at all. All of which is to say, that there is no need to go out and buy new tools.

Space Required to Build Your Kayak

In a perfect world builders will have one meter (3 feet) of working space around the boat, in other words clear floor space of approximately 3 x 6 meters (10′ x 20′ feet), with a bench on one side, overhead power and good shop lighting.

But that’s in a perfect world … in the world most of us live in, builders make canoes and kayaks in single bay garages, between cars, on balconies, under tarps and in barns and drive sheds.

plywood sheets before cutting – 4′ x 16′

As long as you keep the following thoughts in mind you will be fine:

  • You will need to access both sides of the hull.
  • You will need to move around at least one end of the boat.
  • The chine-logs start as a 16 foot lengths
  • You will need to lay out two plywood sheets end to end to mark the rough panel shapes
  • Moisture and solar radiation can impact wood quickly. If you build outside ensure that the project is protected from the elements.



Building the 24 Hour Kayak – A Simple Plywood Boat

Introduction | Skill Level | Materials | Ordering PlansOverview – Build Sequence