Stripping The Keel Line - Petrel Kayak Build - E4

I use a new method for quickly trimming and fitting the keel or centerline of a strip built boat. I use a router running against a fence to trim off the excess length and make a consistent width slot that can be filled with a 1/4" wide strip.

Plans for the Petrel

I got the idea for this method from Dan Caouette


hey welcome back to the Guillemot kayaks
workshop I'm Nick Schade and this is
episode 4 of building the petrel this is
a strip built sea kayak it's one of my
favorite designs to paddle I've got a
strip built version as well as the
stitch and glue version I've actually
built a skin on frame version for a
customer but I don't really have plans
for that yet
so in the last episode I stripped up the
hull most of the way I got the bottom
stripped halfway across and I sort of
left a ragged edge this is fairly
typical of how I have been stripping up
the bottom of boats now but at what I'm
going to be doing in this episode
there's a little bit different from what
I've done before it's an idea I got from
Dan Cohen of clearstream custom
watercraft he's a builder up in Berlin
New Hampshire does really nice boats and
I'd seen him in Facebook or Instagram
post do something along the lines what
I'm of what I'm doing here he stripped
up both sides left a rough centerline
and then it ran a router down the middle
and that cleaned up that rough
centerline and he was able to drop a
strip of wood in between there to make a
nice tight straight
keya line strip and it really looked
good and went really quickly I'm taking
that idea and doing something a little
bit different basically the same idea
but to save a little bit of time on the
fitting of that centerline the Kia line
I've set up the fence right after doing
the first side trim that first side
straight now I have a space there that I
can use to have a fairly rough
centerline then I run the router again
and end up with a precisely dimensioned
width strip that I can drop right in
there and the bottom is done it's really
kind of achieved again I captured this
video about a year ago and since then
this a couple times in class on a canoe
and a kayak and it's really kind of
cheating I'm debating whether I should
do it in class anymore because it's sort
of a little bit too easy and doesn't
give people a chance to learn some of
the nuances of fitting strips together
but that said if you don't want to deal
with that fussy task of fitting strips
together this is one way to avoid some
of that as I mentioned in the last video
I was having some audio problems I've
now figured out what the problem is my
little lavell ear mic the wires for that
we're fraying and shorting out and
creating a lot of static so I've placed
an order for a new mic and I will be
coming in shortly hopefully that'll
clean up the sound but unfortunately
it'll only clean up the new sound all of
this video for this whole build was
captured with that old mic and so
there'll be times when I just have to
cut to music because the grading of the
shorting out wires was a little bit too
much to handle so instead of hearing the
natural background sounds I'll drop in a
little music to make it a little less
grading so with that said and without
any further ado let's get right to it
so I trimmed the center line by setting
up the fence here and then running a
router down that fence I transferred the
center line of the strip's using little
jig to take the center line here and
Mark it on the outside
I've got a few quarter inch diameter
pattern bushing on the router and so I
wanted to Center the router on that
center line and to do that I measured
out three eighths from the center line
and put this fence along that
three-eighths line I wanted to keep this
fence level so I made little wedges to
go onto the fence and glued those wedges
down on top of some tape so I can peel
them off without making a mess of the
wood there's a few places where the tape
and glue weren't quite strong enough so
I ended up with some clamps there and
then I just ran down that center line so
right now I've got a straight edge here
cut about an eighth of an inch from the
center line I used a quarter inch
diameter router bit centered on that
center line so it's an eighth inch on
each side I'm now going to fill up
strips from the chine
up to that center line but I'm not going
to attempt to make a tight fit I'm just
gonna make sure that I don't have a gap
greater than the quarter inch so then
I'll come back after it's all stripped
up recut that center line with that same
router and then I can just drop a
quarter inch wide strip into that gap
that's the plan I want to try and keep
this fence in place while I do it so
when I go to recut the center line a
second time I don't have to be accurate
and trying to replace that fence in the
same place it's still in the same place
and hopefully it'll stay there I might
have a little bit of an issue at each
end here or a sprung up a bit but
hopefully I'll get it on the majority
and there's some places here at the end
where the fence wasn't close enough to
the strips to actually cut all the way
down so I'll just take a saw those
and this area will get covered with the
outer skin anyways so we'll see how it
so to fit these strips in I'm just
fitting them loosely but they do need a
taper at the end in order to fit against
the pre-existing strips so I just
but this up against the end of the
little point there mark where it hits
the other strip on the other side then
mark that taper and I'll just use my
jackknife to quickly hack off that low
point bring it right down to the line
make the lines disappear
just touch that shit see if it looks
decent I just don't want any gaps
greater than a quarter inch wide all
right so I get that just nestled in
there I'm gonna clamp this off to hold
it in place and come back to this end
here so if this end I'm just going to
loosely gauge the length cut it off
something like that
mark that
that off just do a quick dry fit and
both ends that it fit at the far end let
it sit back in here and staple it all
home then grab the next strip
router didn't get all the way up to the
stem here so I'm just going to use a
little mini shoulder plane from my Robo
bevel and see if I can just extend that
a little bit farther I don't need to
make it go all away I can have an out of
stem come up here and that should take
care of it
but this role of bevels quarter inch
wide just follow right down that groove
and deepen it a little bit
so with the cheetah strips I'm just
following the existing strips and
fitting in to the shear strip so the
point of this is I think aesthetically
it just looks better to have the strip's
running closer to parallel to the water
line instead of sweeping up too much if
you have all the strips following this
year it kind of starts to look like a
banana and it just happens to be easier
to fit into so I'm fitting this against
the cove on the bottom and I'm going to
be cutting away at this edge here and
fitting that into the cove on the shear
strip so on this edge that when I taper
this back I will be able to just use a
block plane to cut a little bead on
there and make it fit tightly into that
Cove so this these are just some of the
cut offs from working on the bottom I'm
going to take one that's more than long
enough that way I can just slide it in
to adjust for any mistakes
with the micro bootlegger sport I was
booked matching everything and if on
this boat I were booked matching
I'd want to end up with the patterns on
this strip matching the strips on either
side of it so in other words I'd want to
have it fit and precisely a longitudinal
orientation on the boat but here it's
random color strips I just need to make
it fit tight up in here so if it doesn't
fit right I just keep on shaving it down
and until it does so that might mean I
push this a bit in but that's okay I've
got plenty of room to do that
and this first strip fitting in is
always the hardest because it's the
longest taper basically it tapers down
to nothing up here and we want to make
that nice tight all the way into there
so coming from here where it's where the
strip first hits the shear line is gonna
be a long gradual taper so just putting
that strip in there I'm gonna mark it
right here that's where we want it to
hit the other thing to think about is
you don't you can always make it tighter
by jamming it in or pushing this year
strip up to the touch but we've got this
fear strip but a nice fair curve we
don't want to mess with that curve we
want to keep the natural curvature of
that and fit this strip to that and not
depend too much on the flexibility of
these strips to make those type joint so
first thing I'm going to do is just mark
out this taper and on this one since
it's a long tape I'll take it over the
bandsaw roughly cut it and then start
playing away at it from after that I'll
be able to just use a jack knife to cut
everything down fit it in and as I get
close and close to the tip it gets
easier and easier because it tapers
shorter instead of longer
so with that I've got the bottom of the
boat all stripped up if you have paid
attention to the clock in the background
of some of those time lapses you saw I
was able to lay a strip like every five
minutes or so really moving pretty
quickly again unlike some of the
previous builds where I was doing book
matches and so forth here I'm just
laying down random colored strips and
putting them in quickly and since I had
the cheat of that router trick I wasn't
even doing precise fitting
I'm just getting him loosely in place
then using the router to make a nice
tight fit this process the strip's went
down really pretty quickly the total
stripping time here was you know I
didn't actually time it but four or five
hours to get all the strip's on there
including the cheater strips at each end
so it went really pretty quickly so in
the next episode we will be working on
stripping up the deck I'm not sure how
many episodes that's going to take I
haven't looked at how much video I've
got there but I'll plan to have that be
one maybe two videos showing the process
of stripping up the deck we'll see how
long it takes to get it all on so until
then if you'd like to support these
videos but really the best way is go to
my website if you're interested in
building a boat buy a set of plans I've
got plans for this boat as well as a
bunch of other kayaks both strip built
and stitch and glue I've got some canoes
and some rowing boats these are all
I've designed myself I'm somebody that
likes to get out in the water in the
small boat and so my specialty in both
design is the small car tappable small
boats and what I really like to do with
that is get people like you interested
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water and a boat you've built yourself
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year ago I've had so many other things
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