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Vardo FROG and build photos

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I appreciate everyone that posted pictures of their projects and finished frames.  They helped me immensely.  Here are some of mine.  The spring clamps came in handy when positioning the stringers on the frames because of the one-handed operation.  I also found adjustable bungy cords very effective.  














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On 5/7/2022 at 6:46 AM, Kudzu said:

Looks like you did a very nice job there.


Thanks.  I don't know if anyone has told you this before, but I started to build one of the "traditional" style skin on frame kayak's with the steam bent ribs. Not only is steam bending by hand more art than science, but as I talked to the designer he started saying things like "if the distance from rib "X" to the deck beam is off by a 1/4 inch your boat will either be too tippy or not perform well."  I wasn't loving either the process or the fact that after all that work the shape of my boat might be off spec.  For the first time in my woodworking life I stopped a project midway...then I ordered your plans for the Vardo.  The other frame is still sitting in my basement.  Maybe one day I'll finish it, or perhaps it will become firewood. ?


Here's the unfinished project.



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That is why the engineer in me could never build a traditional boat. I couldn't stand the thought of designing something and not being able to build it exactly.  Then it being to unstable or having bad manners after all that work.


Plus not being to reproduce the same hull shape again if I wanted.


Not against traditional boats, just no interest in building one.

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  • 1 month later...


2 hours ago, andy00 said:


Good work-around on those deck beams. The optimal approach, which I'm sure you know now, is to have the beams extend a few inches beyond the masik (laminated beam) and taper them down gradually. Do you have pics of that boat with skin? In the water?

Fair winds, Andy


I'm applying the two-part urethane today.  It's a long story, but I previously paid for the Cape Falcon Kayak course and decided to use the skinning and coating method recommended by the proprietor of that company.   My skin is thus 840 X-TRA Tuff Ballistic Nylon, covered by the two-part urethane that I colored with rare earth pigment.  I also did the lacing system where you tighten up the skin before actually stitching, and then after stitching everything, hose down the entire boat.  When it dries the skin is super tight.  Looks wrinkled in these photos, which are before I soaked it.  Not sure if I like the pigment infused urethane approach.  Doesn't look the greatest, but I'm sure once it's in the water I won't care.















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Looks good in the photo.  Not so much in person.  Not sure I'll go with this finishing method again.  Need to see how it ages. I used burnt sienna pigment, which has the unintentional result of looking like varnished okoume.



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