Introduction: How to Make a Lightweight Kayak

This instructable shows you how to build a light weight kayak with a small budget in mind, it's fun, easy, and requires minimal experience with construction

Step 1: Materials Needed

For this Project you will need a few materials

-12'x1yd piece of nylon canvas or regular canvas, Nylon tends to work better.

-12 1" PVC T-Slider connectors

-24 1" PVC 45dg elbows

-100' or so of 1/4" nylon cord depending on how much you need to secure it, more rope the easier it is to work with

-4 cans of the as seen on tv FLEX SEAL, or 4 cans of rustoleum leak seal rubber sealant, both come in aerosol cans

-25 or so brass 5/8" grommets and a grommet press

- six 10' pieces of 1" PVC pipe

-1 buggie board or your choice of cushion for a seat

Step 2: Constructing the Braces

1) cut four sections of 16" long PVC

2) cut eight sections of 5 1/2" long PVC

3) cut four sections of 3 1/2" long PVC

4) cut four sections of 1 1/4" long PVC

The two innermost braces are identical along with the two outermost braces, so you will do the same to contrast the identical ones.

For the innermost braces you will need to take one of the 16" sections and put a 45dg elbow on each end, then insert a 5 1/2" piece into each 45dg elbow then put another 45dg elbow on the end of each 5 1/2" section. Then you will insert a 3 1/2" section into each 45dg elbow and then cap both of them with a T-slider outlet. repeat that process so you have 2 identical inner braces.

For the outermost braces you will do much of the same except instead of the 3 1/2" sections there will be a 1 1/4" section between the last 45dg elbow and the t-slider. make two of those then you will have your 4 braces.

Step 3: Creating the General Frame for the Braces

The frame has two major components, the end pieces and the two 7' long sections of PVC that connect them

For the end pieces you will need these sections and connectors.

-four 8 1/2" sections

-Two 12" sections

- eight 45dg elbows

-four T-slider connectors

-Two 7' sections

Take one of the 12" sections and slide two T-sliders onto them and put a 45dg elbow on each end. Insert a 8 1/2" section into each elbow then put another 45dg elbow on the end of each 8 1/2" section. Make two and you will have your end pieces.

Step 4: Assembling the Braces Onto the Frame.

Take one of your end pieces and slide an outermost brace onto it, then the two innermost braces, followed by the other outermost brace, then put the other end piece on the end of the frame.

You are going to want to space the braces out as follows.

-Put the innermost braces 8" from either side of the center of the 7' sections

- Put the outermost braces 22" from either side of the center of the 7' section.

-The outermost braces should be 44" apart and the innermost braces 16" apart.

To secure the braces to the frame you are going to need to drill a hole through each T-slider and put a zip tie through the connector and pipe to avoid the braces sliding along the frame during use.

Step 5: Final Frame Construction

At this point your frame should look like the picture above, at this point you should secure each PVC pipe to each connector by drilling and zip tieing them together, this will increase the structural integrity of the frame.

Insert a 103" section into both of the T-sliders on one end of the frame, drill and ziptie them into the T-sliders on one side of the frame. Them swing it over the bottom of the braces and lay it along the underside of the frame then insert each 103" section into the corresponding T-slider on the other end before drilling and zip tieing them together.

Congrats! you have finished the frame!

Step 6: Grommeting the Canvas

On the canvas you are going to want to fold the long sides 2 inches in so the grommet has more canvas to grab onto.

Starting with the middle of each side put one grommet 1" into the 2" folded flap on each side. Then place 3 more grommets on each side of the center grommet spaced 12" apart. You should have 7 grommets on each side of the canvas so 14 in total.

You are also going to want to put a grommet on each of the 4 corners of the canvas along with 2 spaced about a foot apart in the middle of each short end.

Step 7: Flex Seal Time

If possible this is beneficial to do outside on a not so windy day, you are going to want to lay the canvas down with the side that will be inside the boat touching the ground.

Then You are going to want to evenly coat the bottom of the canvas using two of the cans. Let it dry then do a final coat with the two remaining cans. If you prefer for extra waterproofing you can proceed to do as many coats as you feel the need to. Two is usually enough but as time goes on the flex seal may rub off from friction to hard surfaces so you may need to redo coats in the future.

Step 8: Last Drilling and Zip Tieing

You may notice that the two 103" sections aren't too securely held in place, you are going to need to drill through the PVC pipes everywhere that the two full length pieces overlap the 16" sections on every brace.

Each brace should be attached to those pieces in 2 Places by zip ties.

Step 9: Securing the Canvas to the Frame

-First lay the frame on top of the canvas centered, and starting with the middle grommets on each side use the cord to go from one grommet under the frame up and out to the corresponding grommet on the opposite side, pull them as tight as possible.

-Continue doing this going from one side to the other until all of the grommets on the sides are attached to the corresponding grommet.

For the ends of the fabric you are going to want to make a loop to pull the two corner grommets on each end to the two grommets on the middle of each end on one side. Pull that loop tight and weave it under the braces of the frame and pull them tightly so the flaps don't overhang on the ends of the boat. Flop your cushion of choice into the boats floor and grab a paddle from your local sporting goods store and you have a lightweight kayak! If the canvas rips at any time all you need to do is repeat the steps done on the canvas and re wrap the frame! It's a very easy, fun project that doesn't require too much skill and has a high output of fun!