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Thread: Kayak kit development progress

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Kayak kit development progress

    I have mentioned in the past that I was starting a new business, Kudzu Craft. I knew it would take some time to get this going and that is proving to be very true. I can't say I am behind schedule because I was smart enough to never set one. Just work on this as I can and let it happen as it happened.

    Thought I would update my progress. Web site is up but there isn't anything for sale on there yet. I hate sites that do that but I understand why now. It's all about getting your name out there! I am sure there is some editing to be done, will have to get Phyliss on that for me. Plus I just discovered that my cool drop down menus don't work on Cell Phones. So that's another thing I need to work on.

    Still not lined up with wholesalers yet so I can be a dealer. But I need some parts soon so that will make me move on that.

    The big project has been getting the first boat kit details worked out. I have gone back and forth as to what I wanted to offer in the kits. I am leaning toward a staged approach. Offering different kits with different levels of materials/completeness. Like a basic frame kit. Then maybe a more complete kit with nearly all of the wood parts pre-manufactured. Maybe a deluxe kit with (almost) everything you would need. First I have to work out a list of what all it takes! That has been harder than I expected.

    I started by laying out frame patterns for the Curlew design so I could make frames from the patterns. I then cut out the parts from the templates knowing there would be some changes that would need to be made. There always is. I started a quick assembly of the boat to find the problems.

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    This allowed me to make the necessary changes and trim the parts as needs. Then I could transfer these changes back to my templates. I found one frame that was totally wrong. I had missed one dimension by an inch and of course that totally messed with my mind. Once I found the problem I had too make a new template and then frame. But better to find it now!

    I have been taking lots of photos as I went and when I got tired of being on my feet I would move to the computer and start writing the assembly manual while what I did was fresh on my mind. I have a long time friend that dearly loves proof reading and she is not a woodworker. Not very handy around the house either so she has been a HUGE asset. When she doesn't understand what I am saying I know it's time to rewrite and/or rephotograph that step.

    Ever tried to take photos of yourself working?? Not easy and of course the subject material is questionable too. Not to mention that my thumb stands out a like a Sore Thumb.

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    One thing I never thought about till I was rereading the first couple of chapters is that my photos are not accurate. I took photos as I developed the kit. The parts now look different as I changed some or I found a way to improve the kit. I have realized that once I get all the parts finalized, I need to take the darn thing apart AGAIN!

    Put it back together and take new photos as I go so that photos match up with the parts the builder will have in his hand. Not my prototype parts that are not finished.

    I want photos of what the kit parts look like so people can recognize them. Just amazes me all the work that is involved in developing these kits. I started keeping track of the hours and decided that wasn't smart.

    I could go on but I am sure you get the picture.
    Last edited by Jeff Horton; 06-29-2009 at 02:13 AM.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Jeff, what an undertaking

    I don't know how you do it, but you are, I really enjoy watching this process, it is certainly educational, in the very least in that I know I could NEVER do it

    BTW, the thing on the pics, I hear you on that, I've done a couple of simple tutorials on how to do something, and the problems you mention often come up, all I can say is thank goodness for digital cameras, no film to develop

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Thanks Stu. It's been more than I expected but I am enjoying it. Having owned a couple of other businesses the start-up is the worst part. Manufacturing, and that is what this really is, always has a long start up period. Just a lot of things to think about and do yourself.

    Of course I am developing/debugging a new design at the same time I am developing the kits so it's double duty.

    Next one is all ready designed and just waiting to be prototyped. It will be quicker to get kits ready. I will know ahead of time what I need to to do, what parts I want to include in the kits, etc.


    Allready tossing idea around in my head for a line of beginner boats. Short and fat and very stable. Very light weight and should be very easy to build. I am going to name them "Poco Barcos" I will let you figure out the translation.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    5,610
    "barco poco" would be better grammar, i would go with "barquito".
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  5. #5
    It's looking great Jeff. I hear you on the instructions. When I did DIY product development it was always frustrating when we needed to reloop back to redo photography. Of course that was back before digital cameras.

    Your designs are really impressive - especially to someone that has no idea what he's looking at. Please keep the pictures coming, it's fascinating.

    Wes

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Noren View Post
    "barco poco" would be better grammar, i would go with "barquito"
    Just not getting around to looking at your suggestions. I did a little home work and while Barquito is probably more correct. It has been used before on a folding kayak so I will pass on that.

    "Barco Poco" just doesn't roll off the Gringo tongue as well as "Poco Barco". So I still lean toward this. Thanks for the lesson!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
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    4,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Just not getting around to looking at your suggestions. I did a little home work and while Barquito is probably more correct. It has been used before on a folding kayak so I will pass on that.

    "Barco Poco" just doesn't roll off the Gringo tongue as well as "Poco Barco". So I still lean toward this. Thanks for the lesson!
    Well, if you allow me to chime in Barco Poco sounds very strange and senseless to a spanish speaking person,and if barquito has been used before there are other possibilities that you may have not looked at.

    If you tell me in english what is the idea you want to convey I may give you some suggestions.

    BTW a "barco" is a big ship, a "barca" a small one both have their own diminutives as "barquito" and "barquita" and a Kayak is what we call in general terms a "piragua".

    Then, you have other names such as "bote", "balsa", "chinchorro" "balandro" and many more.

    My two cents
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  8. #8
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    isn't piragua used for canoe as well?
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  9. #9
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    I was sitting here writing on the manual and thought I would take a break. Been at it most of the day. Sure goes slow.

    Toni, I went to one of the online translators and typed in a lot of kayak related phrases just seeing what came up. Tried a lot of languages and came up with this in Portuguese. Little boat translated to "pouco barco". I had messed up the spelling.

    I was just looking for something that sounded good. I am not to concerned about the meaning as long as it is not totally stupid. 'pouco barco' has a good sound and the fact it means 'little boat' was a plus.

    Naming boat designs is about as hard as writing the Assembly Manual!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  10. #10
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Noren View Post
    isn't piragua used for canoe as well?
    we use have both words "piragua" and " "canoa" although I do not think that they are sinonyms, to me a piragua is made by hollowing a tree trunk and a canoa is made using tree bark like north american indians did.
    A kayak as far as I understand it is made by stretching an animal skin over a frame and it is an eskimo name and desing

    Many times they are used as sinonyms to depict a sleek one or two passengers river boat but we should check with a specialist
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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