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The design makes limited use of those stainless steel bolts, that you can buy at sailor's shops and that need a round, springy splint to prevent them from falling out of their hole. At convenient locations, the two stringers and the keelson are simply riveted together. This creates some large parts, larger as the gunwale parts. But size was no problem on our trip; more important was weight, and that stays the same. The idea of this is to create a few, large but rigid components that can easily be disassembled and that have no weak joints at locations of maximum stress.

I did all the cutting of the aluminum plates with a band saw, and that really is noisy. Expect your neighbors to make trouble if you cannot access some factory or remote workshop. The next big task was the glueing of the PVC skin. My brother sewed the deck parts of cotton; this reduces the amount of toxic fumes in the workshop. Apropos workshop: mine is my garage, and that's why I am fond of these sawhorses as a building bed. I push the car out of the garage, take the boat off the wall and put it onto those sawhorses. Later in the evening, the garage may resume its function within minutes. To prevent sharp aluminum parts or the pins of the pop rivets puncturing the tires, and to protect new PVC skins from getting oily, I have laid an old carpet on the garage floor which I remove after usage.

Another detail are the strips of used bicycle tire that I have sewed onto strips of PVC and then glued onto the keelson at the bow and stern. The idea is to reduce abrasion of the skin. This does a good job especially when I carry the boat on wheels.

The empty ''Nevermore'' baidarka is 5.16m long (with rudder 5.30m), has a beam of 55cm and weighs 26.5 pounds (without sail). The whole expedition equipment are two bags of 32kg and 20kg. About $200 were spent for the skin; $70 for aluminum tubes and scrap plates. Expect to spend a lot more on tools and rivets... The new structure is quite as stable as a rigid boat; but do not expect wonders, because after reaching the point of maximum stress, aluminum will easily give and bend. Compared to a wooden boat, there is always a smaller safety margin, because the fibers of high grade wood seem to be a lot stronger.

Hendrik Maroske