common strip kit problems??


so many kits.... so many decisions..... which ones to stay away from which ones to pick. Some advice would be greatly appreciated. Some kits have everything which most can be purchased at a hardware store from what i can tell. Are ones with strips included better than cutting your own? You can see what i'm saying and i could go on all night. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I always built from scratch, but there is no reason to expect there to be anything wrong with a kit. Good accurately-cut and thicknessed strips will go a long way toward helping you build a good boat. If you don't have the tools and/or space needed to be running 18' boards through the saw smoothly, buying pre-cut strips may be well worth the extra cost. There may also be something to be said for just opening a box and finding everything you need in there, rather than the inevitable hunting around for local supplies. By far, the best advice I can give you for your first stripper is to follow the directions. The stripper forums tend to be jammed with examples of first-time builders who decided to get cute and invent their own technology and on a regular basis, it fails. Had they simply followed the directions using proven designs and layups, their boats would have turned out just fine. There is plenty of opportunity to play with new ideas after you get some experience, but start at the beginning and just make the first one a good, solid boat.
I couldn't have said it better myself, though I'm no expert. My first (and so far only) strip-built canoe was from a kit, everything included. Unfortunately, that outfit's no longer in business, but look in the Builder's Directory on this site, I suspect you won't go wrong.

Follow the instructions meticulously. Where I varied from the text (I used Canoecraft, by Ted Moores; there are several others), I did so only under advice from the supplier. There are as many ways to do anything as there are people who want to do it, but some ways work better than others. I had to ask myself several times: "Do you really want to use your first boat as a 'guinea pig' for your untested new idea?" If the answer is something other than NO, you need to think it out again.

Take special care when cutting out & setting up the strongback & forms -- I definitely spent more time on this than on the rest of the boatbuilding, combined. If you have any questions, contact the supplier, or post here.

I wish you well on your boat, and hope to hear good things, and see pictures as you progress!

I can't help with kits, as I did mine from scratch, but,

before deciding on a kit or even a given design,

get a couple of the books written on strip building and read and study them, so that you understand each step of the building process.

Then decide how "finished" you want your boat to be, that will help guide you in your decisions.

After reading up on strip building (Canoecraft) and looking at a bunch of forums- I decided not to get a full kit- becuase like you notice, it looks like alot of what you get you can get from a hardware store. I did decide to get a full set of plans (I am building a Kipawa- Green Valley Boat works) and then get strips precut (Noah's)- (I don't have 40' clear to cut my own strips -20' each side of a saw). I then decided to splurge and have Noah's pre cut the moulds. I then obtained epoxy and cloth (Raka) - it also helped spread the cost over a bit of time to buy stuff only as I needed them. I am getting close- waiting on spring to final sand and start varnishing! Working on caneing my seats right now.

This way has worked for me

Dave Urban
I have chosen in my business not to sell full kits, for the reasons that some have listed, but oddly enough there are customers who want to know that "everything is in the box". I never see the point in selling and shipping materials across a country when the customer can purchase them locally, probably for less. I let the customer build their own kit. Strips are what are the most difficult for the home builder to produce.