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April 7, 2009

Fairwood Engineer Publishes Cardboard Kayak Book

Building Progression

The Science of Triangles
The structure is based on triangular shapes, described by Friant as being the most strong.  Three models are displayed in the book: Original Kayaker, the “Tippy” Canoe, and the Tri-Maran.  The latter two are variations of the Original Kayaker, with pointed ends, with one a little less stable but more maneuverable.  The flagship Kayaker with optional bow pieces is the version built in the book.

Each boat has seven major pieces: hull, bow, stern, and four additional pieces that allow for stability and functionality.  Add a little carpet and a car seat cushion, and the boat is totally tricked out. 

Friant is currently tinkering with adding a higher level of comfort to the boat, playing with adding foam pipe insulation to the sharper edges where arms and legs rest.  When the boat is complete, it will weigh a portable 25 pounds and hold a passenger of up to 250 pounds.  With all materials, Friant estimates the cost to build a kayak should be less than $100.

The 63-page book includes step-by-step instructions, lots of drawings and photos, and tips on where to find materials, repair tips, and how to transport and store your new craft.  Local readers will have fun trying to figure out where kayaking photos were taken, many in the Fairwood area.

Since the book has been published, Friant has been self-promoting the book, finding unanimous enthusiastic interest from “green” businesses.  If the fit makes sense with “green” retailers, they have all wanted to include The Cardboard Boat Book in their inventories. 

He's also busy scheduling book signing events, with his next scheduled at Captain's Nautical Supply in Seattle on May 6 from 3-6 pm.  To simply purchase the book, Amazon.com offers it online for $14.99.

Friant’s completion of the book allows him to share his 25-year passion for building cardboard boats.  “This is a really simple project and it brings families and groups such as scouts together, said Friant.  “It’s fun, but kids can also learn principles of buoyancy, stability, and structural strength.  It’s literally a fun project.”

To read more about these unique boats, see Friant's website at www.thecardboardboatbook.com.

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