At Last – the Launch

July 22, 2010

I got a bit behind on the blog so most of the final steps were completed in June and the launch took place on 4th of July at Eaton Brook Reservoir.  It was good to know that she floats, doesn’t leak and paddles like a dream.  My gratitude to Dave, who helped me through this process and made me believe I could really build this kayak.  Also to Sarah – who of course – read the directions:)


grab handle holds - more holes in the kayak:)

cheek plates

invisible hatch holds


May 20, 2010

Completed the end pours – you mix up a mess of epoxy and add some wood flour or microballons and with the kayak standing on end, you pour the epoxy in the tip of the boat.  Once the epoxy cures, a hole is drilled though the end and through the epoxy so you can install a grab handle and not have any leaks.

Well I thought I would be able to do this in one step but installing the spacers proved to be problematic and required some trimming to get them to fit flush with the edge of the hatch opening.  So after some custom cutting the spacers were glued to the underside of the hatch opening.  The books says you can put the spacer and the hatch rim together and install it all at once but that didn’t work for me. At this point, what’s one more step?

Well the day finally came when I had to cut two holes in the deck that I have been working on for months.  You only get one shot at this – one mistake and you live with it forever – well at least for the life of this boat.  As usual, Dave helped me.  We put down painters tape to outline the hatch cuts and to decrease the chance of splintering.  Dave has done this on three other boats  so I was more than glad to let him drill the first hole and go around the first corner with a jig saw.  We used the Japanese pull saw on the straights and the jig saw on the corners.  I am glad to say that it went well.  I stayed on the lines and the cuts all look good – the pull saw worked great for this. 

Now on to the hatch ledge and spacers – hope to get to to do that tonight.

I started working on the cockpit combing yesterday.  First step was to thicken some epoxy and glue the two spacers and the combing to the cockpit opening.  It was helpful to have two sets of hands to get it clamped in the right place.  Lots of clamps!  Next, I will smooth off the inside edge of the cockpit spacers and combing and apply a layer of fiberglass cloth to the combing.

Lots of clamps!

Glassing the Deck

March 23, 2010

I have been looking forward to this step.  I finished cleaning up and sanding the deck – used a fairing board to start with then the random orbital sander with increasing sand paper grit 80 to 100 to 120 with a final sand with 220.  The deck looks great and it looks even better with a coat of epoxy.  Dave helped me cut and wet out the fiberglass.  Before the next two coats of epoxy, I will install the cockpit combing.

It was helpfull to have 2 people to get the fiberglass in the right place

wetting out the glass until it goes clear without any wrinkles or bubbles

Sam and Dave are nice enough to allow me space in their workshop so that I could contine my build though the Winter.

This one is out of sequence.  The footpeg placement happened before the top was glued to the bottom.  For this step, we had to put the boat on the ground in the backyard so that I could sit in it to decide the right place for the footpegs.  As you can see it was not exactly paddling weather.  The pizza box came in handy so I didn’t have to stand in the snow in my socks!

It has been a while!

January 15, 2010

I have not been able to work on the boat too much but I did transport it to my friend Dave’s house.  He has a heated workshop.  So progress is slow but I did get the foot pegs set (Dave helped me to reinforce them) and I cleaned up the inside of the cockpit and the bulkheads – sanded and applied extra layers of epoxy.  Yesterday, we finally glued the top to the bottom – at last it is together!!  That part went pretty well – we used thicken epoxy and then went around the boat with plastic wrap – the kind that comes on roll with a handle – it sticks to itself and you can stretch it – it is quite strong.  Used lots of straps and few clamps.  I am anxious to get going on the deck – looking forward to sanding and making it look nice.

Foot pegs in and reinforced

Thickened epoxy applied to the shear clamp

Lots of straps and a few clamps