Greenland Style Skin on Frame Kayak
Skinning the hull

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The completed model. Quarter scale model of the kayak
With the frame pretty much complete, I wrapped it in 3 mill plastic and took it up to a local boat launch. It was immediately swamped by a tugboat wake as I was launching... I'll definitely need a sprayskirt.
kayak frame skinned in plastic for testing The good news is that it seems to paddle pretty well. Seems to float pretty level and tracks well. No major flaws.
Stretching fabric over the hull

I found some #10 cotton duck at a local discount fabric store for an absurdly low price, so if I decide to modify the hull, it won't be so heartbreaking to replace the skin.

I was going to wait until I had a helper to start skinning, but I got impatient. Stretching canvas while working alone was a challenge, but I figured out a way to do it. For the longitudinal stretch, I clamped one end at the keel, and then used a lever clamped to the other end of the fabric, butted against a c-clamp on the opposite stem. I was able to pull several inches of tension into the length of the fabric by pulling the lever down and clamping it in place. Once the centerline was stretched to length, the rest was easier to do alone.

To pull tension around the hull, I laced a line every 4 inches along either side of the seam. To prevent the line from pulling out, I looped the line over a short section of dowel. The skin was clamped at the cockpit to keep it from being pulled toward the stems, and then I just pulled the heck out of the lacing until the canvas was drum tight. Stitching the stern
details of the stitching Detail of the dowels and lacing. After sewing the seam, the line was easy to remove by snipping it every couple of dowels and pulling. I was surprised how little this approach marred the fabric. I suppose it would probably show more with dacron or nylon, but by the time I got the fabric sealed, there was almost no evidence of the lashing. I was actually a little disappointed -- I kinda like the row of needle holes down the deck.

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