How long does it take?
I found building this kayak very rewarding but it was also more time consuming than I had at first imagined. CLC advertises that the kits take 40 hours to complete but I am sure I spent a lot more time than that. If I were to build a second kayak now that I know what I am doing I could probably do it in that amount of time, but I would say that any first-time boat-builder who wants to build a boat as close to perfect as possible will require many more than 40 hours. The reason I think it took me longer than predicted is that for each step I spent far longer figuring things out and setting things up beforehand than I did actually doing the process involved. Plus there are the mistakes I made that I had to correct.
In terms of weeks, it took me from June 27th - Aug. 4th, 2000 (5 weeks, 4 days) and I was working on it fairly consistently during that time. I went at a fairly fast pace because I was working with a limited time window and at times I felt too rushed. The major reason I couldn't get it done much faster is that a great number of steps require a drying time of 24 to as long as 48 hours (depending on the air temperature). It was a particularly mild summer in upstate NY so the epoxy probably would have dried much more quickly in a hotter climate (also faster-setting epoxy is available for working in colder conditions).
If you are thinking about undertaking your first-kayak building adventure, my advice for the most enjoyable experience is to schedule several months in which to complete the project. Allowing a lot of time will let you pace yourself and keep it from becoming a chore. Also you can take your time with the difficult steps and end up with a really nice finished product. This may mean that you need to buy two different types of epoxy so that you can start in cold weather and finish in warm but not feeling rushed will be worth it.
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