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Zibodo

New Castaway Build

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After much deliberation and email traffic with Jeff on the specific design to build, I ordered and have just received the plans for Castaway. I wanted a boat to take to smaller mountain lakes for fly fishing so I won't have to use an inflatable "Cat boat" ever again. I was conflicted because my son just wants a regular kayak for cruising. We ultimately decided the two uses are incompatible and ageed to build two different boats. We'll start a Ravenswood after we get far enough into this one.

So first question. Jeff suggests in the builders manual to make dedicated strong back support stands. Anyone have information on the sizing for these stands? I am thinking about 30" high by 32" wide?

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Welcome,

I think you're going to love your boat. The first fish you catch in a boat you built is like the first fish you caught. Only better. ;)

The stands should put the boat at a comfortable height for you. All my stuff, for example, needs to be at least 36" high.

I'm real tall and goofy looking, see. :)

Just make the height good for you. You'll spend a lot of time futzing around, so you don't want to stoop or reach too high. You might could even go super low and work on a roll around stool...

Whatever you do, be careful, and have fun.

Peace,

Robert

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Welcome, Zibodo

I went down to the BB and bought two ready-made saw horses. With the strong back height, it brought my Short Shot to just the right height for me. I'm 5' 8". YMMV.

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Another question. When laying out frames on the plywood, my instinct is to orient the plywood grain on the horizontal axis of the frame, but this does not make for the most efficient layout. On Jeff's videos it looks like they are placed with random orientation to maximize the efficiency of the layout. Which way is right?

Second any recommendation Oman the spray adhesive for the patterns?

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I used Elmer's spray adhesive to stick the patterns to my plywood. It left a gooey mess that took forever to clean up (acetone, putty knife, cussing etc.). So I wouldn't recommend it.

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Another question. When laying out frames on the plywood, my instinct is to orient the plywood grain on the horizontal axis of the frame, but this does not make for the most efficient layout. On Jeff's videos it looks like they are placed with random orientation to maximize the efficiency of the layout. Which way is right?

Second any recommendation Oman the spray adhesive for the patterns?

 

 

I used Elmer's spray adhesive to stick the patterns to my plywood. It left a gooey mess that took forever to clean up (acetone, putty knife, cussing etc.). So I wouldn't recommend it.

 

I used 3M spray adhesive and took the patterns off with a random orbital sander.

 

I don't think there's a wrong way to lay out your patterns - it's plywood.  On my first ones I oriented with what looked right with the grain, but quickly switched to whatever fit best to minimize plywood waste on subsequent builds.

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Plywood wasn't designed to do what SOF kayak frames do.  But good plywood works anyway.  In the end, it matters little if any which way you orient the frames on the sheet.  Go for efficiency.

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OK here is another question. After spending a bunch of time getting tools work stands etc in order, I cut out the frames. I noticed that the bow piece does not have a notch for the keel stringer. It looks like it is set up for the keel to butt its aft end. The bow does have an interlocking mate with the last frame, which does attach to the keel, but that does not seem like a strong enough joint. Anyone know if this is correct?

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Search this forum for "castaway" and you can find others' build photos. I see what you are talking about, but see no problem with this as the real strength of the structure comes from the gunwales and stringers tying in at the tip. When I did my tadpole with the interlocking end frame and bow, I squared it up on the bench and glued it prior to assembling on the keel stringer. That said, I see no reason why you couldn't notch the bow an extra 3" for the keel stringer to tie in if you prefer it like that.

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Finally got a chance to look at that. The issue was the curve start pretty quick so I did not extend the stringer.  However, after building a couple of boats I agree that it would be easier to extend that stringer into the bow piece. While it works as is, it is easier to lash together. I didn't remember this but I will be changing the plans.

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After starting stringers, I went back to cut the notches in the frames. Way more time consuming than I thought to get everything line to line. Now that I am almost done though, I was wondering if I should put linseed oil on the frames before assembly. It seems like if I oil after assembly, not much if any will get into the joints between frames and stringers and the edge of the plywood seems vulnerable.

Thoughts?

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Maybe smoodging a little in the notches would be okay, but I wouldn't want to manhandle oiled frames. I'm pretty sure enough will wick in to protect the joint if you really slather it on.

Also, as Jeff said, the inside of a well cared for and stored boat will be fine.

Just keep swimming!

Peace,

Robert

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I thinned mine with some turpentine to let it soak in and penetrate joints better.

With marine plywood and cedar, I dont think rot is really a concern for the average boat. There's probably a valid argument to skip the BLO all together unless it will be left out in the weather.

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Let me just say I don't like scarfing. The WRC I found looked pretty clear in the store, but when ripped to size, there were knots everywhere. My completed stringers look like finger joint mouldings. And just to add insult to injury, after initial assembly I found there is a mistake in the plans and I had to go back and add another foot to the chine stringers. But they are done and I am not looking back.

 

So now I have a question for Jeff or anyone who has built one of these. The frames are spaced pretty evenly at about 12-15 inches apart except in the forward part of the cockpit. There the spacing goes 5'6', 6'8", 7'10" but then 10'3" leaving a long unsupported section of stringers. Before I lock everything down I just want to make sure I am not missing something. Anyone have any thoughts?

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Zibodo,

It would make it much easier to answer questions with pictures, too. Most of us aren't very familiar with the details of all the boats, but some have enough experience to make judgment calls and give advice with enough info, and you know how many words a picture is worth, right? :)

It sounds like you're fine. Some of the frames are placed at odd spacings in my firefly, too, so I'm sure it's meant that way.

A picture or two really would help everyone help you, and learn from you, better. ;)

Nice work on the stringers, by the by. Keep it up!

Peace,

Robert

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I don't have the files in front of me but sounds like that is where the footrest go. Regardless there are a few Cast Aways out there including mine and never had a problem.  Keep in mind that once you put the skin on and pull it tight it really helps stiffen the frames.

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Pushed hard and finished (well almost) to use the Castaway on my annual fly fishing trip this past weekend. I did a marathon lashing session a week earlier on Saturday, took my FROG photos , Then spent Sunday on pre-overing details. I sewed cover on in another marathon session Monday. Then put on 4 coats of paint in between finishing details over the next few days until we left for the mountains Thursday night. At the christening on Mamie Lake near Mammoth Lakes California, I found a pinhole leak that I cured with duct tape and proceeded to have a great fly fishing trip with the guys who were all very curious and then very envious. The boat handles well, is stable enough for fishing, and is way faster than the Percy Blandford kayak I built in High School. Still have some clean up work to do, but I am very pleased. Not sure how to post pictures so you'll have to take my word for it.

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