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Brasileirinho - Blue Water Kayak

The oceanic kayak Brasileirinho is an extremely simple boat to be constructed. Employing marine plywood as basic raw material, it is built in a box-like construction system. Since all structural panels are provided in the drawings, the curved ones being given in their expanded dimensions, and considering that all the necessary notches that allow the assemblage are also provided, any chances of mistakes are eliminated, even if the builder is an inexperienced amateur.

The first step is the construction of three longitudinal bulkheads which fit into ten transverse bulkheads and a transom. The central longitudinal bulkhead, shown in the photo below, is the backbone of the hull, giving a tremendous rigidity to the whole structure.


Courtesy: Flab boatyard

The transverse and longitudinal bulkheads fit into each others by means of half lap notches, much in the same style as cardboard boxes are assembled. This builder preferred to open the notches for chine and sheer clamps after they were installed in the building grid. However, we recommend opening these notches at the work bench, making in place just small adjustments in beveling, not to leave gaps between panels and clamps.


Courtesy: Flab Boatyard

Fitting transverse and longitudinal structural components into each other is a very simple task. Once accomplished this operation, perpendicularity is obtained in a high degree of perfection. All panel surfaces are saturated with epoxy resin and glue is applied in all joints. When the two other longitudinal panels are installed, the ice-cube- tray-like framework is so rigid that any possibility of dishevelment is discarded. When all panels are solidly bonded to each other, the whole structure must be faired to allow the plywood hull panels to fit without leaving gaps.


Courtesy: Flab boatyard

The sheer clamps are attached to transverse bulkhead notches. We designed the hull panels to be installed employing the stitch and glue method, /this builder, however, preferred to use chine clamps instead.
Our design does not specify applying fibreglass internally, except at chine joints where fiberglass tape must be applied.  After that it is required the application of two coats of epoxy resin on the plywood surfaces. Doing this the boat will last for decades of hard usage, requiring very low up-keeping.


Courtesy: Flab Boatyard

The hull is sheathed with 6mm marine plywood, glued and nailed, or screwed, to the structure. All hull panels are shown in expanded drawings, so cutting them with milimetric precision does not constitute any problem.  The external plywood surface is then encapsulated with fibreglass. This operation is accomplished before turning the hull upside. Later, when the superstructure is completed, its outside surface is also fibreglassed, overlapping the hull lamination. The result is a light, strong and long-lasting boat. The lamination specified is identical for hull and superstructure, and consists of one layer of 450g/m² chopped strand mat, saturated in epoxy resin, or alternatively, two layers of 200g/m² bi-directional cloth, which are more expensive and represent extra work, but enhances the quality of the lamination.


Courtesy: Flab boatyards

The superstructure is constructed in a similar way to the hull. However, before constructing the fore and aft cabin trunks, it is necessary to build the interior arrangement. This is a very simple task. It begins with the construction of the floor boards. The base for these soles was already built at the work-bench when the bulkheads were cut. The rowing-pit watertight sole is raised in relation to the cabins’ floorboards to enhance headroom inside these two compartments. The forepeak is a watertight compartment separated from the fore cabin by a collision bulkhead. The fore cabin bilge is also water-tight, being assessed by means of deck-plate types ports. When empty, these compartments represent an extra reserve of buoyancy. In long distance crossings this volume can be utilized for storing provisions not incurring in any serious risk in doing so, taking into account that the compartment is already watertight. The aft cabin floorboard, or more properly called, bunk board, is removable, since the cabin bilge is an important storing space. There are two counters alongside the companionway, one for electronic equipments and the other performs the role of a compact galley, with room to store utensils below the counters’ tops.


Courtesy: Flab boatyard

The finished boat is a handsome ocean kayak capable of crossing an ocean with a degree of safety seldom found in similar boats. Not being excessively long is a weight saving factor, and it is more economical to be built as well. Brasileiro, the first unit of the class, is already navigating, and her owner, Gerson Canton, is presently testing her in coastal cruises before trying her in a more challenging enterprise.