How to Build a Kyack

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  • Pub No.: 5128

by Sam Rabl

Spring time and reminiscences—dreams of years ago and of how as a pair of high school kids we built our first boat. No glorious Spanish argosy looked half so wonderful to our eyes as did that little hooker built over a frame of barrel hoops and strips of cull lumber secured from a nearby box factory. The covering was the unique part of the job. Somewhere we had seen the plans of a boat built from paper and as we could not afford canvas to cover our frame, we covered it with many layers of newspaper. Each layer was pasted to the one beneath it with a mixture of tar filched from a nearby tar barrel and rosin secured from the scrapings of whisky barrels stored behind a neighboring distillery. With fingers blistered from the molten mixture we proud1y launched our creation and much to the surprise of bystanders and ourselves it floated. We used this craft for two seasons. Our next creation was a pair of twin kyacks, this time covered with brown wrapping paper, each layer set down with varnish. A canvas deck kept out the water and for five years we cruised these little hookers into the far reaches of our beloved home waters in Chesapeake Bay. To those to whom a canoe only means a party on the quiet waters of an inland stream the little boat described in this article will have no appeal, but to the man who likes his cruising on rough water and does not want to wait for his weather the kyack will find its greatest appeal.

6 pages, 2 plate(s)

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