When I decided to build my first bead-and-cove strip kayak, the whole build process seemed pretty straightforward and I didn’t really anticipate any troubles. I had decided to use a variety of beautiful woods to complement and contrast each other, I wanted to inlay a laminated waterline stripe, and I was not going to use nails or staples through the strips, leaving hundreds of dark nail holes showing through the wood.I discovered that it was easy stripping the topsides since there was just a gentle curve near the sheer and I could easily clamp the strips’ ends at the stems, but the bottom was a lot more challenging. Each strip had a considerable twist going from flat along the bottom amidships to nearly vertical at the stems. And as the planks tapered into the ends at the waterline, there wasn’t enough space to place clamps to the molds where the torsion was worst.For this first kayak, I looped lines around the hull, tightening them with sticks to create a Spanish windlass at each mold. Under the tightened ropes, I used wedges to apply pressure where needed. But while this worked to some extent, it didn’t force the strips down to the molds nor against each other as tight as I would like. And I could do only two strips every few hours, since I had to wait for the glue to dry before proceeding to the next pair.

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