Use these calculators to help determine the amount of wood strips, board feet, epoxy, and fiberglass cloth needed to build a strip built canoe or kayak.
The formulas are designed to be as specific as possible, and for the most part, we’ve found them accurate when spec’ing materials in our shop. That said, inexperienced builders may find that erring on the side of caution when calculating waste/overage will be prudent. Also, when in doubt about a specific entry (surface areas, kerf thickness), consult the notes in the lower portion of this page. Enjoy …
Number of Strips
This calculator is an easy way to determine the number of strips you’ll require to build your boat. Keep in mind that even the most experienced builders waste materials due to trim and fitting. If you’re unsure, use 15% wastage as a guide.
This calculator assumes that a builder is starting with 1″ thick planking. Builders starting with different thickness should use the Waste Lost to Truing Stock option to adjust accordingly.
Epoxy / Gallons
An estimate of the amount of mixed epoxy needed to wet out fiberglass cloth (assuming a resin-to-fiber ratio of 50:50) and apply three rolled epoxy coats to fill the weave of the cloth. Keep in mind that most builders will find that they will use significantly greater amounts.
Fiberglass Cloth / Length
A measure of the total length of cloth required. Beam and depth of any given canoe will determine the appropriate width. Typically boats under 30″ beam will require 48″ wide cloth, and wider boats will require 60″ wide cloth. Check with your designer your plans do not state the required widths.
Know How Much Your Boat Will Weigh
Surface Area in Sq Ft
A measure of the total surface area of your boat. Use the total area associated with the model you wish to build. We list the totals for our designs here. Other plan distributors may or may not make this number available for their models.
- Ashes Solo Pack – 40.08 ft2
- Ashes Solo Day – 49.21 ft2
- Ashes Solo Trip – 50.88 ft2
- Ashes Anglers Day – 54.04 ft2
- Ashes Tandem Trip – 58.97 ft2
- Ashes Anglers Trip – 61.89 ft2
- Generic Prospector 15′ – 57 ft2
- Generic Prospector 16′ – 61 ft2
- Generic Asymmetric Tripper 16′ – 60 ft2
- Generic Asymmetric Tripper 17′ – 64 ft2
It’s possible to reduce final weight of your canoe or kayak by using strips as thin as 3/16″. While strips this thin are suitable for kayaks or canoes with narrower beam, we don’t recommend strips this thin for boats with a beam over 30 inches or with a shallow-arch midships profile. Standard strip thickness is 1/4 inch.
Overage / Waste
This allows for off-cuts, sheer trim, and mistakes. Typically at Ashes we allow for 10% waste, however new or novice builders may wish to allow for more. We include the 0% option for information only.
This refers to the thickness of your saw’s blade and accounts for the amount of wood lost to cutting. The majority of consumer blades are 1/8″ or 3/16″ of an inch thick, the most common being 1/8″.
Waste Lost to Truing Stock
This is a somewhat arbitrary number which allows builders using rough stock to adjust for losses while running boards through a planer. It is NOT intended to be used for reducing stock to final strip width.
Gallons of mixed epoxy=A× [(Wf×0.00085)+0.0075] where: A=Total area covered by fiberglass. Units are in square feet (ft2) and Wf =Total weight (W) per square yard of fiberglass (f) cloth used in laminate. Units are in ounces per square yard (oz/yd2), i.e. 6 oz fiberglass cloth weighs 6 oz/yd2.
The original formula can be found at West System’s Epoxy-It page – Estimating Epoxy Amounts
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