Do you really want a kayak? Want one so bad you can taste it, but can’t afford one, or think you don’t have the skills to build one? Then I have a few questions for you.
Can you cut a crusty bagel with a knife, stack blocks, stick a sandwich together with mayo, skewer meat and veggies for kabobs, grate cheese, cut thin fabric with scissors, stretch wrinkles out of bed sheets, and roll paint onto a wall? Then you can build this boat!
Unlike most boat plans that require you to do a whole bunch of reading and learning, require you to buy or own lots of tools and learn what seems like a whole new language devoted to boat building. I designed this boat, and wrote this I’ble, to be as simple as possible. You don’t need any boat building books, or much in the way of tools. You can find everything you need to build this boat at hardware stores, the internet, and discount stores. When you are done, you will be a real boat builder, and have an excellent boat to show for it.
While I have built many plywood kayaks, from a simple free design called a mouseboat, to a fast capable tandem kayak called a Larsboat, they all have a few problems. They are made of plywood, and since I am cheap, and don’t buy the expensive marine plywood, the cheap plywood must be taken care of or it fails after a few years. I designed this boat to use as little wood as possible, and to be nearly indestructable, It won’t rot, and even if you punch a hole in it, it won’t sink.
I am on FB pages dedicated to kayaking like “kayak DIY projects and tutorials”, “cheap boat yakkers, no snobs allowed”, “church of the double bladed paddle”, “Duckworks”, “kayak building”, and love to see the pictures of people on the water, I believe this boat could get more people out on the water for less than any other plan out there.
On top of how easy this boat will be for the first time builder, it is also lighter than just about any other type of boat out there. If you struggle to get a kayak onto roof racks, or hate to carry your boat any distance because of how much it weights, Sawfish is what you want. Weighing under 30 lbs, it is easy to carry any distance and to lift onto a roof rack. I designed it for my parents who are both retired, and found themselves unwilling or unable to deal with the weight of their current SOT (sit on top) kayaks. I’ve found it easy to carry my sawfish kayak down some fisherman trails to awesome launching points I wouldn’t try with a heavier plastic boat.
In spite of the simple build, and low tech materials, Sawfish is not slow, I normally cruise at 4 MPH on my GPS, and can sprint to just over 5 MPH. I can also stand up in Sawfish, though I don’t recommend this, unless you have excellent balance, and don’t mind getting wet.
Thanks to the unusual building materials, Sawfish will not cost very much compared to just about any kayak you can buy or build. I have built six Sawfish so far, my best estimate on cost of materials comes to $125 to $150 US. One builder (floater and Sawgundo) said he built both kayaks for $175. Depending on what you can scrounge or have lying around, you might do even better.
there are now over 100 Sawfish kayaks that I know of, and probably some more I don’t know about, I hope you send me a picture of your boat in the water, post it on youtube, instagram or whatever, the more you share, the more like it is that people will also build their own and be out enjoying their own kayak instead of just wishing.
for a little more motivation to start building your own kayak today, here’s a playlist of some DIY foam kayaks.
If you want to just watch a playlist of how to build a sawfish click here