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Completed budget folding kayak build under $150

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:05 pm
by davefman1984
I built a 9 ft folder with a 28" beam at roughly center. 12" height. I used russian birch plywood for the frame and 13 oz banner pvc vinyl material for the skin.
Materials
1 - 5x5 6mm plywood $15
1 - 5x5 12mm plywood $25
14 - 1.5" fixed pin hinges $32
2 - 1.5" removable pin hinges $4.60
2 - 2" fixed pin hinges $5
8 - 2" removable pin hinges $20
2 - 2" removable pin strap hinges $3
24 - shelving peg attachments $5
13 oz banner vinyl - free
Oatey x-15 vinyl sheet glue $16
Acetone $8
Eyelets 5/32 $5
Wood glue $6
3.5mm polyester cord $2.50

I saved money by getting the banner vinyl free from a
Sign shop that was discarding unused scraps. The
Main skin is a single 60" wide by 9' 6" long sheet. Additional
Material was glued on to cover the entire frame. I will try to post
Pics when I figure out how.

Re: Completed budget folding kayak build under $150

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:42 pm
by gbellware
Welcome Dave and congratulations! Really looking forward to seeing what your kayak looks like. And there has to be a story too, I'll bet.

g

Re: Completed budget folding kayak build under $150

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:53 pm
by davefman1984
there is a story behind the build. I've been interested in building boats since i was in my teens ( currently 32). My daily driver is a subaru justy so hauling anything over 6 ft long is just not an option. a few years ago I was at a local fishing and no engine boating pond in my town and on a whim decided to try out a kayak rental for an hour. it was only $5 so i didn't have much to loose. I loved it and was immediately hooked but soon realized the commercially built folder offerings were far outside my budget. I spent the last few years browsing the internet for design ideas but most used aluminum tubing and custom brackets that I either couldn't make or couldn't afford. last spring i experimented with plastic cardboard sheeting and made a basic folding rowboat that could support 250 lbs comfortably but it was cheap and left much to be desired quality and usage wise. this february i came across a video on youtube of a folding kayak built by a guy in japan.

the design looked easy enough I could build it using the basic power tools I own ( skill saw, jigsaw and drill). My wife suggested I message the guy so I did and he sent me some additional info on the materials he used. I then used my professional experience as a cnc machinist/operator and made a set of plans from measuring the pictures with calipers and converting to scale. after that I purchased the materials and jumped head long into the project. It probably took around 80 - 100 hrs of labor.

the finished boat weighs 37 lbs with the skin on (probably from the choice of plywood; strength was a higher priority than weight for this build.) the skin weighs 6 lbs.

assembled length 9 ft
width 28"
height 12"

folded length 34"
width 13"
height 8" (11" with folded skin on top)

the original boat on youtube weighs around 20 lbs total with the same dimensions.

Re: Completed budget folding kayak build under $150

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:08 pm
by davefman1984
more pics of the boat in various stages of build

Re: Completed budget folding kayak build under $150

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:31 am
by davefman1984
I took a trip to long beach, ca this last week with
The wife and kids. I brought the kayak packed neatly
In a laundry bag. I was going to try it in the ocean
When we went to the beach. The first 100 yards were ok
Out to the breaker but by the time I got set up and done
Helping with the kids the swells had picked up and going in would have been almost certain disaster. The next day we found a small beach in a neighborhood harbor that was calm and I gave it a try. It worked well and I had my 3 and 2 yr old sons take turns Sitting in front of me while paddling the canals. We were out maybe 30 minutes total. The boat took on maybe a 1/4cup of water. Not sure if a seam was leaking or it came in from paddling. I will be sealing the suspect area just in case. The only issue I had was trying to keep sand off the inside so it doesn't wear through over time. Hazards of the beach I suppose. The boat rode about midway down in the water with me (180 lbs) and my 3 yr old (40 lbs). I think it could safely handle another 20 lbs in calm water. All in I think it was a good 1st test for portability and use. I would like to more securely attach the front and rear top cover flaps to reduce or eliminate water splashing in. Maybe glue flaps on the sides with bungees. The interior felt a little narrow when compared to some of the larger rec models but was still comfortable and easy to get in and out of without getting wet. I used a couple of pool noodles as makeshift sponsons, laid inside on the floor.

Re: Completed budget folding kayak build under $150

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:00 pm
by davefman1984
Some photos from a neighborhood harbor in Huntington Beach, CA. I wish I could live here but i'm sure I couldn't afford it.

Re: Completed budget folding kayak build under $150

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:06 pm
by gbellware
Thanks for sharing the pics, nice job. And, imo, beachfront property and power boats are best borrowed, not owned :lol:

g

Re: Completed budget folding kayak build under $150

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:03 am
by JohnSand
Very innovative and interesting. Thanks for sharing.