In strip construction, individual wooden strips are glued to molds that define the shape of the hull, sanded and finally covered with a layer of fiberglass that protects the wood from moisture and stiffens the hull. The result is very light and durable boats with a refined look, long durability and high utility value.
Once the building plan has been selected, the strongback is built and the molds are aligned, the planking process can begin. For this purpose, wooden strips are glued together from the gunwales to the keel. For the production of these 6mm thick, concave and convex milled strips, several hundred meters are processed on saw and milling table. We don't use staples when building the hull, which increases the build time but also makes it look much nicer in the end. Towards the keel there is finally an oval hole, which has to be closed strip by strip and with a lot of fitting work.
The last successfully fitted strip - the most difficult - is traditionally toasted with whiskey.
Sanding, sanding, sanding and epoxy
The closed hull must now be sanded on inside and outside - 80, 120, 240 - before it is wiped down again with a damp cloth so that any wood fibers that stand up can be removed by a final sanding. The still delicate boat hull is then reinforced with fiberglass. A glass fiber mat, which more or less easily conforms to the shapes of the hull, is coated with crystal-clear epoxy resin. A special slow resin with a long pot life is now the cause of at least one all-nighter. If you were just dreaming in bed, minutes later you find yourself in the workshop with overall, gas mask and nitrile gloves to apply the next "fillcoat" in the middle of the night. After three such coats, it's done and the resin gets time to cure.
You can now see an almost finished hull. After all the hours of sanding and working with resins and gas mask, you would just love to test paddle the half-finished hull, but the internals are still missing. A kayak hull consists of two shells that must be joined together to form the finished kayak. Then the seat, footrests and hatches are installed. In a canoe, the gunwales are attached and joined in the center of the boat by a thwart, which gives the hull it's rigidity. The seats are installed and finally the hull can be varnished. During the first paddle trip it suddenly happens: the first scratch ... the canoe is now finished!