Boat Building - PVC Skin

Here you can find an adaption of Thomas Yost's description how to cover a kajak or any other folding boat with a pvc skin. We have restructured it a bit for easier printing.

The copyright of the huge amount of information presented here remains with Thomas Yost.


This page was written to provide homebuilders with a simple method of covering  folding or non-folding kayaks.

The hulls are made of a single section of PVC. The decks are built with either one piece or multi-panel construction. Sewing is required only for deck zipper installation, with all other PVC connections being glued to minimize complexity and build time. Also, no sponsons are needed.

PVC is a lightweight and inexpensive skin material well suited to folding kayak use due to it's durability and flexibility for folding. It has a woven Polyester core coated both sides with vinyl. The cost to make a skin using Coverlight PVC is under $100.00 with construction times under 30 hours. The finished skin weighs less than 10lbs.

This page includes numerous photos, supported by written instructions. In addition to hull and deck covering, there are sections on deck rigging, zipper, and Velcro flap installation. Several folding kayaks and skins are used to illustrate the various processes. During assembly, the skins are attached after the frame is fully assembled. 

Updates will be made to the manual as needed.

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