Welcome to Kudzu Craft, we specialize in the 'Fuselage Frame' style of skin on frame boats. Our boats are designed for the home builder. We offer full sized plans, precut frame kits and many of the supplies needed to build your own small boat.
Tired of fighting with 50 pound boats?
VARDO when finished weighted 34 pounds. Curlew with a heavier 12 oz. skin weighed 32 lbs. Shad weighted 28 lbs with a 8 oz polyester and painted finish.
These were not special built boats. These were built exactly as I recommend you build yours. Weight will vary depending on the materials you use of course. Our boats are made using fuselage style frame covered in nylon or polyester fabric and then sealed to make it waterproof. You end with a very lightweight boat and yes, a very durable boat.
And you can build one yourself for about $300 to $400 in materials!
My boats are based on construction methods that have been used for thousands of
years. We are now using modern materials but the basic methods or construction have not changed. My boats do not us any glue or epoxy to hold them together. My frames are built using a fuselage style, much like airplane construction.
The frames are cut from marine plywood and the stringers are made from lightweight woods and lashed together with artificial sinew. A synthetic fabric skin is sewn over the frame, shrunk,waterproofed and becomes a structural member of the boat. This method makes an strong, durable and very lightweight boat.
Sling Shot frame under construction
"Just launched my Ravenswood this weekend. Both my wife and I are very impressed. It is surprisingly stable, faster than expected, very nimble and handles wind and 1-2 foot waves nicely. ...... This has immediately become my go-to single boat. (Not in the least because at 20-ish pounds it is really easy to lift onto the car top!) Now my wife thinks she wants one too." vtramper
"Paddled Fire fly for the first time today. Gave my son the Long shot boy do we look good out there, We went about a mile up a salt water creek. They paddle straight and true,
the creek had quite a few twists and turns. Fire fly responded like it should I leaned her over and she took the turns like she should
great boat." CapecodJohn
Building a Kudzu Craft boat
Would like to see what is involved in building one of my boats? I created this short video that walks you through the steps involved in building a boat. It will not show you details but it will give you an overview of what you can expect.
Oh yea, they are tough
Contrary to their delicate looks,
SOF boats are very tough and durable. I
have run mine upon many rocks, across
submerged logs, stumps and tree limbs and I
have yet to make more than a small mark on
This video shows you just how
tough they really are. It takes a lot more
than hitting a rock, stick or some other
object in the water!
KAYAK BUILDING CLASSES
I have wanted to do this for a long and I am now offering to come to your location and teach you how to build my boat designs. Classes are typically 8 days long and at the end, you will take home your new boat.
At the moment I don't have class room space, so I prefer to partner with groups and organizations that have space to hold such an event and that can help promote the class. If your group is interested in holding a class contact me and we can discuss the details.
Custom Built Boats are available. I have retired my Appraisers License to concentrate more time on my boats. I can now offer you my boat building skills to craft you a new boat. If you are interested, you can find more information on this page. I will be happy to work with you and build a boat just for you.
Drop-In Rowing unit
Plans are now available for a sliding seat unit you can build yourself. Plans include scaled, dimensioned drawings for the frame and full size patterns for the outrigger forms. The outriggers are made from several layers of thing stock, laminated together or a form. You will need moderate woodworking skills and a bunch of clamps to build this.
BOOK IS OUT
More Fuselage Frame Boats
A new book with a new style of boats. Open boats such as Crawfish, a two person Pirogue. Two rowing boats; Matilda, a faster recreational rower and Flyfisher, a smaller rowing boat intended for more leisurely pursuits. Both of these designs feature varnished wood transoms.
There are only two kayaks in this book. The Mess About 12, a short and wide recreational kayak with a large cockpit. The other, a Kids kayak named Tadpole, that is styled to look like Mom and Dads boat.
If your interest is in longer kayaks my first book, Fuselage Frame Boats will probably be more to your liking.
Included are metric offsets for the different boats too.
You can purchase an autographed copy in our store.