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What Are the Best Tips for Choosing a Wooden Kayak?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2016
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Boaters looking for an exceptionally beautiful vessel should consider a wooden kayak. These boats are made from certain types of wood that are resistant to water damage, and they are often fun and easy to navigate through the waters. The buyer will first need to make a few decisions before going out to buy a wooden kayak; the first decision is between a prefabricated kayak or a kayak kit that will allow the kayaker to build the boat from scratch.

Wood is one of the easier building materials to work with, so if the kayaker has basic to moderate carpentry skills and all the necessary tools, he or she can build the wooden kayak from scratch. This is an in-depth process that will take a fair amount of time, so the kayaker should decide early on if he or she has the time and commitment to complete the task. Investing in all the tools will be necessary, as will setting up a well-lit and well-ventilated workspace in which to build the wooden kayak. If the kayaker does not think he or she has the time or commitment to complete the project, prefabricated models are available, though the cost of these models will be higher.

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The kayaker will need to decide what type of wooden kayak design will work best for him or her. Like other types of kayaks, a wooden kayak can be very long and narrow, or much shorter and wider. Longer, thinner kayaks will move through the water more quickly, but they will be less stable than shorter, wider kayaks designed for lateral stability. An advanced kayaker will undoubtedly want a long, narrow kayak that resembles a touring kayak style, while beginners or recreational boaters may want to consider the shorter, wider boat that provides more stability and easier maneuverability.

Each boat will be constructed from strips of wood, and it is a good idea to find out what kinds of woods are used during the construction process. Woods that are naturally resistant to water damage are most common, but even these woods can come in different grades and qualities. Be sure to ask the seller or builder about the construction and the materials; teak and cedar are common types of woods used for these boats because of their water-resistant properties and natural beauty.

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