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Skinning a Kayak - Adding the Cockpit Hoop

The Cockpit Hoop
These are generally made with steamed wood wrapped around a frame. I have made them of both Oak and Cedar and found the latter just as strong and much lighter. It is important to use straight grained, green wood for this. The actual process of making one is not covered on this post, which is about skinning the kayak.
Before fitting I make sure that the inside bottom edge is well rounded and sanded smooth. A sharp edge will catch and put a void in many fabrics.

Starting the Process
I start by gently pulling the fabric inside the hoop and securing with spring clamps; however the fabric will resist much of this until it is trimmed. I generally try to leave a couple of inches spare above the rim and seal the trimmed edge with a heat gun. Then I am able to ease more fabric into the hoop and using nails pushed through the sewing holes in the hoop to secure, but gently does it or you will pull voids in the fabric.

A New Approach
It was at this stage that I decided to do someth…

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