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This homemade fiberglass kayak uses LEDs to light up the night. After building a cedar-strip canoe, engineer and vlogger Xyla Foxlin wondered if she could build a clear kayak. Made out of fiberglass, this kayak is formed onto an existing kayak as a mold. It’s formed in two halves, with care taken to make the final result as clear as possible. The end result is a frosted look. A string of WS2812Bs LEDs are hooked up to an Arduino make for a light show. The 20-minute video goes into the meticulous details of the 14-day project.

Xyla writes: “This project was born out of the question I just couldn’t shake from my brain no matter how hard I shook: If I skip the wood part of a cedar-strip boat, will I get a clear fiberglass boat? If so, why don’t people do this instead of a dyed gel coat?”

This is Xyla’s second boat build. You can see her 30-day wood-strip canoe build below.

Of the wood-strip canoe build she writes: “I’ve been paddling the Adirondacks in cedar strip canoes with my aunt and uncle for as long as I can remember, so when my uncle offered to help me build my own canoe, I leapt at the opportunity. This was one of the most magical months of my life, getting to be up in Vermont learning from one of my favorite people. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I enjoyed making it. For those wondering: it took 30 days to build the canoe, another month to get a good final varnish coat (quarantine started though, so we slowed down), then three months to edit the video. The final boat is 43 lbs and 14 feet long.”

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Very cool project but I would like to point out that the ‘yak would be in violation of lighting regulations on any Coast Guard regulated water. Lights are restricted to steady red/green and 360 degree white.

    Last I checked, kayaks are to adhere to the lighting schemes of ‘vessels under oar’. Section 25 of the Amalgamated International & US Inland Navigation Rules states (https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=NavRulesAmalgamated):
    Rule 25 – Sailing Vessels Underway and Vessels Under Oars
    (a) A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit:
    (i) sidelights;
    (ii) a sternlight.

    (d)(i) A sailing vessel of less than 7 meter in length shall, if practicable, exhibit the lights prescribed in Rule 25(a) or (b), but if she does not, she shall ‹‹ exhibit an all around white light or ›› have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision. Sailing Vessel Underway less than 7meters

    (ii) A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall ‹‹ exhibit an all around white light or ›› have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision. Vessel Under Oars.

    I only warn about this because our kayak group was out for a Full Moon paddle and received a scolding for displaying LED lights on our shear lines and top decks. The officer made us turn them off before we could proceed.

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