The forms are patterns which define the shape of the kayak.  Imagine cutting 3/4" thick slices vertically from a solid kayak every twelve inches and you get the idea.

The book contains offset tables which provide enough information to draw each of the forms on graph paper.   As the offsets are in inches, I bought some Imperial graph paper, be aware that most graph paper now sold in Ireland is metric !!   Initially, I was a little worried about the magic art of converting  all these numbers into shapes, but I followed the instructions in the book and it all worked out well.  The book makes this quite easy as it explains the procedure very well. 

I plotted each form full size, then folded them in half and held them up to the light to ensure they were symmetrical.  Just as well, as I had made several mistakes !! I had never done this sort of thing before and it was very enjoyable.

I used wallpaper paste ( as a cheaper alternative to spray glue ) to stick the forms onto the MDF.  It worked perfectly.  When dry, I cut the shapes out roughly with a jig-saw then cleaned up the edges with a plane/rasp/file etc.  You could use chipboard or plywood instead of MDF.  The edges of the forms are then covered in tape to prevent the strips sticking to them.  This is a must !! Another must is a good quality respirator when sawing the MDF.  Next time I will cut the forms outdoors as the entire garage was covered in a very fine dust after all the sawing.

Three of the forms are missing their tops, to make things easier when working on the cockpit area.  The offsets for the tops are not in the book.  I did get the offsets from Nicks site to make break-away tops for these forms but I found that the offsets did not match for two of the forms.  After some head-scratching, I got some help from Kent on the bulletin board but in the long run I needn't have worried as I didn't need the extra tops anyway.

It was amazing to see how dry mathematical numbers could be translated into lovely curved shapes.

Lessons learnt
  • Shape the forms as accurately as you can.   It was only when I got to attaching the strips that I realised how important this is... every little bump is magnified when you attach a strip, making you remove the tape, adjust the form, and re-apply tape. Time spent getting the shapes correct is well spent.  Also, it's easy to get so involved with the stripping that you don't see the bumps/hollows until too late and this involves more work !
  • Make sure you buy graph paper marked in inches.
  • Consider cutting the forms outdoors.