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Building a Cedar Strip Kayak: The Details: COST

Updated on November 2, 2014
jimmar profile image

Jim is a retired software/electrical engineer who enjoys the outdoors. He likes to challenge himself with creative projects at home.

Below is a table of material, cost, source and use. In the table I have included cedar for the lower hull. This is an estimate. I actually used left over planking from my last canoe project. I have also included some minor tools, like C-clamps, and jig saw blades, because I needed them. You may have all the tools you need:

  • table saw
  • router table - with 1/4" bead and cove bits
  • drill
  • random orbital sander
  • hand saw
  • phillips head screwdriver
  • staple gun
  • plane - box plane and sure form plane
  • chisel
  • utility knife
  • about 2 dozen C-Clamps - 1/2 a dozen spring clamps are handy also


So... the grand total FOR ME was $753.79 not including sales tax on some items.

Your project may cost more if you purchase tools or different materials.

Some of the ways to cut costs listed below I have done, some I have not:

  • shop around for lowest cost epoxy and cloth- i found U.S. Composites to be the best price
  • shop around for lowest cost cedar or use salvaged wood
  • use salvaged wood for forms
  • shop around for less expensive building material
  • cut and mill your own strips
  • make your own foot braces
  • make your own bulkheads
  • make your own seat
  • loft your own plans instead of purchasing


Comment on costs:


The final cost may be higher than you expected. A well made cedar strip kayak may sell for $2000 - $4000 IF you found the right buyer. You can purchase used cedar strip boats for $800 - $2000 depending on condition, quality of build and other things. But you won't have the satisfaction you get from building the boat by hand yourself.

You could purchase a plastic kayak for a few hundred dollars. You could purchase a high end kevlar or fiberglass kayak for a few thousand dollars. But....the feeling of accomplishment you have when you finish, the compliments and questions you get when others see you paddling, and the satisfaction you feel when you take a paddling trip in a boat you made yourself is well worth the cost of material, in my opinion.

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