Boat Week – Build your own Kevlar Canoe

Continuing on our Boat Week theme, today we are talking Kevlar.  Ever since I did my first repair using fibreglass I’ve been hooked.  I once fixed my dad’s car bumper with fibreglass (only to have someone rear-end him a month later…).  Kevlar is of course much lighter and a great choice to make a nice light canoe out of.  I bought this book about 5 years ago, and while I haven’t made one yet, I do have some good reasons.

First of all it’s a great book, and it explains all the steps in great depth, from design and creating a mould all the way through to the final process.  Having done a fair amount of work with fibreglass and epoxy resin, it seemed quite clear to me, although for those not confident at the process, you might want to practice on a smaller project first.

Why haven’t I made one?  Well shockingly enough, it has nothing to do with procrastination or laziness.  After reading the book cover to cover, I was talking with a good friend about it and how the author describes how you can “build your own kevlar canoe for under $600”, to which my friend (who is generally very supportive and optimistic) told me that for that kind of money, he could get me a used kevlar canoe and it would most likely be lighter and faster.  Next issue is creating a mould, I have no design, and I don’t have access to any boats to copy/use as a mould.  And finally, Kevlar is pricey, and not the easiest of materials to come by.  It would definitely require me to order online with a significant amount of cash upfront for this project.  Finally, after all of those issues, time is always a factor, and at the end of the day, this project has always been pushed backwards.

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