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by Fred Night - Port Orange, Florida - USA

I have been taken in by all of the recent foam boats. Dave Lucas shows how quickly and easily they are put together and how well they perform as kayaks. Josh crystal withe has written of the beautiful ‘sawfish’. I am still leary of a complete covering of fiberglass as that is a level up from my experience level. I have glassed seams and bottoms but never a complete boat. The use of fabric and latex paint as “poor man’s fiberglass” has an instant appeal for me. One, it should prove cheap (I resemble that remark). Two, it would be a learning experience in covering the interior of a boat.

Off I go to Lowes for two 4x8 panels of 2 inch insulation @ $20 each.
Next a gallon of Titebond II to attach the fabric.  I found a canvas dropcloth of 9x17 for $20. A gallon of latex paint went for $18.
The cutting of the foam insulati0n went very easy. Even I could not mess it up. Assembly with gorilla glue was quick. I went on a diagonal across the 4x8 sheet to lay out a boat of 105” in length. This left pointy ends and a big cockpit 48” long and 36” wide. The bottom was 4”, the bow and stern were 8”. The center was set with a surround of 12”.

The tricky part was the covering of canvas held in place by Titebond II.
I used a wallpaper perforator to make holes in the foam for the glue to attach the fabric, smoothing out heavy canvas is a chore. I think the glass fabric guys have it right. Note that a test of epoxy on the Lowes insulation ate away the foam. Dave Lucas uses a higher price foam for his kayaks. I topped my cockpit with pool noodle cut in half.

I added handles front and back.
Lots and lots of latex paint to make the yellow banana float.

A drag block has been added to the stern to aid in pulling a fully loaded boat to the water.

The banana float weighs in at 22 pounds even. The canvas is a rough finish even with the latex paint.

Of course my beautiful first mate jumps on as a stand up paddleboard.

She did settle down and showed what the banana float could do as a kayak.

Adding a load of old boat builder drew 2 inches of water. The first mate loves the banana float. The old boat builder says: ”what if you made it two feet longer and six inches narrower and added a short keel?” Foam boats are here to stay.

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