Hunting Harbor Kayak

This is a work in process and will be updated as I make progress on the work!

I enjoy working in my shop and love making things that are usable.  I’ve always wanted a Kayak and when I came across Spira Boats I found a way to combine those two things.

Jeff Spira has a couple of sets of free plans that he makes available to those who join his mailing list.  Once I was on it I looked around at what he had available.   I’ve never built a boat before so I chose to make the Hunting Harbor Kayak which is a ply on frame style boat.  It kind of looks like a cross between a canoe and a kayak to me.

I’ve tried to take pictures of my process as I go along with maintaining a spreadsheet I will make available on once the boat is complete that logs my time, tools used, materials purchased, and injuries incurred.

(Spread sheet placeholder)

I started by printing the plans Jeff Provided and building the frames for the kayak


Then I put together the Strong back that the frames would be mounted to to provide spacing and stability while building the rest of the boat. The stem and stern are mounted to each end of the strongback


A quick note.  After working with the strong back for a bit I recommend making sure the floor cross members reach out pas the sides of the boat a little bit.  It will make the strong back more stable.  I’ve spent a lot of time annoyed by the the sometimes precarious nature of the strong back I built.

After I had the stem and stern attached I set the frames in place and figured out how to attach them so they would A) be removable later but B) still be firmly attached C) square and level.


Once I figured out how to mount the frames…


I was was on to the Keelson. Unfortunately I didn’t have a long enough board so that meant making one long enough with the use of a scarf joint


Angled, sanded, glued, and screwed.  I then weighed down it firmly and went to bed while the glue cured. The next morning I had my Keelson


With the keelson on I tried to be sneaky and get a leg up on trimming the stem and stern to the points they would need to be.

This didn’t turn out to be as helpful as I hoped it would be. In fact it ended up adding to my work because I had the wrong angles.

As with most things when it comes to boat building it seems short cuts aren’t really shorter.

Still it felt pretty good at the time!