How to Build a Kevlar Canoe

Rib Installation

Ribs were cut from ½” polystyrene insulation.  All were cut 4’ long with a 45° angle, forming a trapezoid with a 2” dimension on the base.  We set up a jig on the table saw to keep the foam in place while cutting.  This was only partially successful, since the saw blade had a tendency to “grab” and melt the foam.


Since the insulation is pink, we painted each strip with a computer matched (to the Kevlar yellow) latex exterior paint to prevent the pink from showing through.

A line 5” from the bottom of the gunwales was drawn with a dry-erase pen.  All strips were cut to length on that line.  First was on the center evenly spaced after that (9 strips = 8 spaces for 96 inches – spacing at about 12” each).  The strips were hot-glued at ends and center.

5” s-glass was then laid over each strip and wetted out (yes, they will bend that much!).

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