I volunteered to build a Sandpiper Kid's Kayak at the Pacific Paddling symposium. The kayak will be donated to Camp Thunderbird in Sooke.
The first two Sandpipers I built used a fuselage frame construction with plywood frames instead of ribs. One of the reasons to use frames was to gain more control over the cross sectional profile to create a kayak with more primary stability. The same control over the hull shape can be gained by bending the ribs over plywood forms and clamping the ribs to the forms to cool. The ribs retain their shape after they are removed from the forms. The resulting construction is more elegant, stronger and more traditional.
The frame will be skinned with canvas and painted with latex paint.
Another design aspect I am playing with is the fit of the masik. I want the kayak to be comfortable for 8 to 12 year old kids who would be floundering in an adult sized kayak. If the masik is too high the child cannot brace his knees against it. If the masik is too low, the child would have to hyperextend their knees to fit into the cockpit. Hyperextending knees is a dangerous practise that can damage your knees. Knees should not be hyperextended under any circumstances. A tight fit makes a wet exit more difficult and which is a serious safety hazard. Ensolite foam can be used to provide padding for a better fit.
I will be making some kid's paddles as well.
I really enjoy making a contribution toward getting kids into kayaks.