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Strip Built 
Build vs Buy 
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Standard Features 
Construction 

 

Construction:

Blue Otter Kayaks builds epoxy/glass boats with wood strip cores.

Construction. Wood strips are edge glued over a form. They are then glued to form two shells like those of a clam. The wooden shells are removed from the form and wrapped on both sides with epoxy/glass. The two shells, deck and hull, are then laminated together to create the finished boat. The wood core is now completely enclosed on both sides in a fiberglass shell, preventing any contact with the elements.

Epoxy/Glass. Epoxy/Glass consists of a fiberglass fabric soaked in epoxy resin. This is essentially a premium fiberglass. Traditional fiberglass uses a polyester resin. Polyester resins have the advantage of drying quickly, but do not have the same strength as epoxy. In order to get the same strength using Polyester resins extra resin and cloth are used creating a typically heavier construction.

Wood strip core. Blue Otter Kayaks builds its boats predominantly from Western Red cedar. Other woods are used for accent colours. Traditionally boat builders would select very close grained old growth wood. This was to control the swelling of wood when it became wet. As the strip building technique wraps all wood in a protective epoxy / glass cover, this is not necessary. We select our wood based on colour, pattern and whether it is free of knots.

Forms. The wooden form dictates the shape of the finished boat. Various techniques are used to ensure that the wooden strips adhere exactly to the shape dictated by the forms. One of the many techniques we use is the use of staples. Staples hold the strips in place while the glue dries. The staples are removed and leave small hole marks in the finished boat. These holes are sealed with epoxy and glass and are generally not visible from a distance of more than 5 feet. The appearance created by these marks is consistent with how boats have been built for centuries. This technique greatly cuts down the amount of time it takes to complete a wood strip core. If you wish a boat without these marks it may be special ordered.