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hay guys i need some help with a project? Answered

My friend and I want to take a trip downriver but have no money we also know that many of you are experienced with fiber glassing.  The kayaks we would like to build would be sea kayaks or close to them they need some hatches in them in order to access storage areas and its important that we be able to get a bike on top of the kayak without causing too much instability.  we have a pretty good idea how to do it i was just wondering if any of you guys had any better idea or suggestion on where we can get cheap fiberglass material and tips on building it.  thanks a whole bunch.



8 years ago

 If you are looking for a relatively cheap build, and plans, there is a free plan for a 14 foot canoe here  that can be modified into a kayak if you want.

okay well Ive priced it and i have found it suitable to build. it will cost about 80 bucks but that will be for 2.  hopefully one for me and one for my friend but if i screw up the first one i'll always have enough for a second one right. The main kayak is sitting in front it will be about 12 foot long 2 foot wide and 1 and a half foot deep.  It will have cargo spaces in the rear with a hatch in the deck to get to them.  The outrigger I'm going to have will be 6 foot wide and two foot long so i will be able to sleep on it if necessary.  the pontoons on the outrigger will also have cargo holds in them because of the length of this trip i will need all the room i can get.  speaking of which anybody know if they allow kayaks through the dams on the Ohio river and Kentucky lake or do we have to portage around them. okay back on subject.  the outrigger will be attache to the main kayak via plumbing couplers probably PVC unless anyone thinks i should go less cheap on it.  its so that the kayak can be used as a kayak and a cargo ship.  the fiberglass materials will be bought from Advanced Auto Parts in Vincennes Indiana because they are the only ones that gave me a bulk deal on the materials.  okay have i covered it all, oh not quite does anybody have any ideas on how to increase the cargo area, or maybe an idea to somehow produce power please no solar panels because like i said before not a lot of money so maybe something cheap and just enough to charge a cell phone and maybe charge some two way radios.  um.............

Ah… Snowfreak your adventure intrigues me, very interesting.
I can’t help you with building a kayak for your adventure but I would like to offer some suggestions. Feel free to use or ignore.
Instead of building a boat, I agree with others on purchasing a used one and retrofitting it for your unique needs. On a budget,- then look for a used recreational kayak instead of a touring kayak. Or perhaps a used canoe, more storage and you can sleep in it. I would look into changing your bike to fit the easy to paddle streamline kayak instead of radically altering a kayak to transport an awkward item. The frame of your bike could be cut disassembled and made to, for lack of a better description, “Snap connect”  like a 2 piece kayak paddle does.
The outrigger idea would be ok if you’re in big water not traveling far (like staying in one area fishing). I believe it could be a real hindrance trying to travel very far. Keep in mind what kind of water you will be traveling in. I paddle some tight places and drag tail in some shallow water. The extreme extra width of an outrigger would keep me out of lots of places I like to explore, observe and play.
I understand and respect the low budget obstacle you have. Perhaps it could be best approached as a challenge. Example: I didn’t purchase an $80.00 top deck bag for my kayak at-hand storage needs. Instead I recycled a $12.00 Wal-mart hiking beverage holder waist pack (spray on water sealant) that I attach to the deck rigging. Simple and it works.
Here is a link you may find helpful about the locks on the Ohio River.

Good luck and wear that life jacket at all times on your adventure!

thank you very much and yes i do agree with everyone else but no one around were I live has a kayak and if they do they r not willing to sell it.  the only ones i can find are new and cost too much and I do not think it would be right to buy a new kayak and then cut it up to fit my needs. and i agree with the outrigger idea.  i was thinking about making it a catamaran of sorts the outriggers would be removable and all i would have to do is tie them together and i have a perfectly good kayak that i built.  i do think it would be amazing to build this but i would like to modify and already existing one but unless something happens soon i don't think that will be possible. and thank you again for the website

I think you would find stitch-and-glue plywood  to be a cheaper building medium (not to mention simpler) and when coated with a good paint will last.   As to your bike carrying needs- have never seen it.  Sounds like you need to create it and make an 'ible to share.

It's an interesting idea, but I think your first sentence contains the phrase that may keep it from happening: you have no money.

If you're short on cash, you may want to look for construction techniques other than fiberglass. See, for example, the "Build a Greenland Kayak" instructable. That won't handle rapids, but frankly taking any home-built boat through rapids is a job for someone who already has pretty intensive training and experience at both boat building and whitewater navigation.

Build kayak first. Then, if you have completed that and not scared yourself off, think about ways to carry a bike.

I do think you're going to wind up with bike between main kayak and outrigger, whether vertical or horizontal, for stability reasons... and that's going to give you a boat with a center of mass in a rather awkward place, which may be enough to make the idea impractical.

What is your idea for getting a bike on top of a kayak?


my idea was to turn it upside down and take the wheels off the only problem i have is building a bracket for the bike to sit in and then securing it somehow.  oh yeah i was going to place the wheels on the front and tie them on

That sounds good (excepting that the thing rolls as jeff-o mentioned). You could not turn it upside-down and mount it on the axle-points. You'd just need something like quick-release fittings on the kayak.


YOu gotta lay the bikes down on the outrigger.  You'll never be able to keep vertical with a bike sticking up over your head.  Even with the outriggers you'll still be top heavy.

Price out the materials to build a fiberglass kayak and see if it's still in the budget.


8 years ago

Just wondering, what do you plan to do if the Kayak flips and the bike takes a dunk?  I can't imagine it would very easy to right yourself with a bike attached, and possibly catching on rocks or logs in the water.

well i was thinking about detachable catamarans or something to help stabilize it 

Ah, then it's not really a kayak anymore, is it?  ;)

Just kidding.

But, if you've got outriggers on there then the bike could be laid on its side as long as the outrigger sticks out far enough.

That's about all the help I can provide, though.  I know nothing of fiberglassing.  Once you have a better idea of how much the materials will cost, including all the jigs and vacuum forming equipment, be sure you compare the cost to that of a good used kayak that you could simply modify for your purposes.