Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bending Keel Strips.

After trimming the bow & stern keel end with a plane, I found the bends to be more extreme than I thought. 1/4" strips of pine and cedar would not make the bend without snapping. I went to 1/8" strips, and yellow cedar almost made the turn, but not without brute force.
I decided to try heat bending. After some advice, practice,trial, and error, got some results with 1/8" pine.
 It seems as though the  wood won't begin to bend until it is also about ready to burn. With some practice I got the stern keel strips done.
A typical barrage of tapes, staples, and brads to get it in place.
Happily the bow strips go down without any need for heat bending.
I'm glad I had a chance to practice this technique on the bottom, before I start the deck. 

I laid up 3 1/8"x3/4" strips, and one 1/8"x3/8" strip on each end. 
After some planing & sanding, I think that the 3/8" strip may not have even been necessary. I'm trying to sand the keel strips to blend into the 1/4" pine keel strip. 



Filling In The Bottom

I decided to try Vaclav's technique for filling in large areas where where the full-length shear strips meet the strips laid parallel to the keel. I let the ends fall short:
 Then I used a full-length 1/2" strip to mark the cutout. I had little faith in my ability to follow the line with a saw, so I stapled it on & used it for a cutting guide:
This was harder than I thought. This technique requires a lot of skill with the saw. My pullsaw was too aggressive, so I resorted to multiple passes with a utility knife. This unfortunately gave a sort of V-shaped cut. 
Planing the strip was more difficult than I thought it would be. At one point, the tapered strip would fit in like a wedge, but pull a neighboring  section too far apart, etc,
The strip in place. It was not exactly a "Voila!" moment. Some gaps that will need to be filled. After all, I think It might have been better to fit each end. I dont think I'll be trying this on the deck.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Still Stripping The Hull

After having reached the first & last forms with full-length strips, I ran a 1/4 x1/4 pine strip the length of the keel, nailing it in with brads. I used a string line, stretched it straight, and generally ignored the center marks on the forms. It came out pretty fair, except for a lump around form #16.
I then ran the strips parallel to the center strip. This seemed ridiculously easy compared to the long strips near the sheer line. The lie much flatter, only a slight taper needed, and they naturally get shorter as I go along. I left the ends unfitted, since I want to try Vaclav's technique for "filling in large areas". More about that later.
My most-used tool for holding strips in place is plain old filament tape. It fits into small spaces, and you can really get a good squeeze with it, especially with multiple laps. I'm not an anti-staple purist, but I sometimes found that they don't really hold strips under a lot of tension.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Even More Stripping

Having finally filled the boat up to the waterline strip, I decided that if I build another stripper, I will not use a waterline strip.

I posted this picture because I think it is the first stage where it finally begins to have some curvature and shape that suggests some kind of boat. The usual barrage of L-shaped brackets and clamps. I found that filament tape works well to hold the strips together. 
I'm surprised at how much easier is it to improvise on the second strip-job than the first. 

Also pleased that the strips from both sides came together fairly evenly, to a workable V shape.  I laid a 1/4" pine board down the keel line. Again, I found that if I followed the lines on the forms exactly, I came out with perceptible squiggles, so I stretched it straight down the keel line, and tacked it down with brads.

I also started planing the ends down to the forms. I have some  cypress strips that were for the shear clamps of my Hybrid-I may try making keel strips of them.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More Stripping

I decided to use a different-colored strip along the waterline. As I thought , it earned me a lot of work. All the instruction about laying parallel strips, then filling the bow & stern ends with a few "filler strips" kind of goes out the window-I now have to use lots of tapered strips to match both the curve of the ends, and the curve of the waterline.
I think/hope it gets easier after this....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The First Strip

I think I'll hold off on the next picture until I can take one that shows more progress.
This was a tough day. My DSL  modem blew up, spent half the day getting a new one to behave.
While making an adjustment to the Bow Form, the right-angle bracket that holds  it on the strongback broke. I re-glued it with epoxy, and that, too, broke. I screwed it together, then discovered that all the reference marks that I made were now useless- I had to construct a new jig for a string line , re-level, re-plumb, and re-align the thing.
Then I tried taking the first strip along the shear line. Again, it showed waves & curves when aligned exactly on the marks. I removed and replaced nails until the whole strip looked fair. The strip came within 1mm of the marks everywhere, and I figured that there was no point in building strictly to the forms if some of them are misaligned. 
I used a 1/2" strip, and had no problem making the curves at the bow & stern. 
I couldn't exactly bring myself to post a photo of one strip on the forms.
as usual, I'm figuring it out as I go along. My idea this time, was to "take as long as it takes", which is good, but it also results in "glacial progress". At times, I feel like I'm making a Federal Case out of it.
I decided on a light-colored (pine) strip at the Waterline mark. It looks nice, but it also sort of cancels out some of the instructions I've read, like adding filler strips at the bow & stern until parallel strips can be laid to the shear line. I'm going to be doing a lot of trimming & fitting of strips.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


As stated in my earlier post, I gave up on the laid-up-plywood idea, and got a 2x6 and a 2x4. Much more rigid & straight, but it too, weighs "tons".  The patterns are stuck to the other sides of the forms. Fairly straightforward to put together, and as usual, I "got good at it" by about Form 14. One error: I thought that a 6" width would make a nice, hefty platform, and it does, but Form # 2 was less than 6" wide, so I had to do some 
 Creative Carving.  It gets less scary a few days after its completed. It looks pretty much like everybody else's picture of a strongback, so I must be doing something right.

Well, I was doing "something right, but not everything. In case I hadn't mentioned it yet, I decided to build this kayak  at 96% of the design length.  I usually remembered this, but not always-for example, I diligently lined Form #1 on the marks, forgetting that the position would be different on a shorter boat. As per the instructions, I placed strips along the shear line of all the forms, and found that I had to reposition four forms, including the bow form. I had no idea until I placed a strip on the forms. 
I tried test strips on both shear lines, both waterlines, and 2 strips on the keel  line. I think Its right.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Plans For An Outer Island

I have firmly decided to build an Outer Island. Reasons:
1. I had been searching for a kayak that most closely resembled my Shearwater. After looking at Siskwit Bay, Disko Bay, and Night Heron, this boat was suggested on a message board. I had read that the Siskwit Bay was "not that fast". I simply could not stand the name of the Disko Bay. All I could think of was a Frank Zappa song ( Disko Baayyyy!) I tried the Heron at a demo & hated it. Then, as per my earlier post, I had the amazing luck of meeting Jay Babina by chance, and trying his OI.
2. I like the name. I like the fact that its named after a local place that's familiar to me, not someplace in Washington or Delaware, and its not named after a bird.
3. Not designed by You-Know-who.

The plans, and building notes are very good-all the information you need, without any unnecessary wit or opinions.
I resorted to using the table saw in my driveway, since my Shearwater had a coat of paint drying in the basement. Actually not a bad place to work, as long as the weather cooperates.
I'm working on the strongback  here. I got some 3/4" sanded poplar plywood, figuring to lay up a double-thickness plank. I realized a day later that I'd cut it too short. I wasn't too disappointed, however, because it was very heavy & bendy anyway. I snapped out of it the next day and bought dimension lumber.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dutch Island

There are lots of islands in Narragansett Bay. Some large, some small, some inhabited, some uninhabited, some private, some open to the public. Dutch Island lies off Jamestown (Conanicut Island)and its a "State Reservation", which I assume meant that its "open to the public"

This is Sheffield Cove. I had originally planned to put in at Ft. Getty, but they were still charging a whopping  $20 to park. The good fellow at the entrance suggested this nearby, free-parking place. 
Easy paddle over, right by Ft. Getty, with $20 still in pocket.

This concrete pier looked like a good landing place/landmark.
There is lots of Former Military Presence in Narragansett bay. Ft. Weatherill.  Ft Getty. Ft Adams. And this island has fortifications, which I forgot the name of. They mainly seem to date from the Civil War to WWI. They all have those "Disappearing Rifle"  emplacements. They must have been expecting an invasion of U-Boats.
 Interesting place, with lots of ruins and old foundations. It was in-between "civilization" and "ruin"- some traces of cleared land, now gone to meadow, sidewalks that went nowhere but into dense brush, all strung with this 6" high vining weed that made walking in flimsy paddle shoes a chore.  It seems that some use the place recreationally , there are signs of camping in some of the foundations.
 This fort is in the center of the island. Its pretty similar to Ft. Weatherill.
I find it interesting that these type of ruins are fairly accessible to the public. Pretty crumbly, plenty of places to get hurt, but nothing stops the hiker from traipsing all over them. Where I come from, the whole place would be OFF LIMITS!, strung about with barbed wire, and probably monitored.

Gun Emplacements.

Spooky, but surprisingly little graffiti. It really seems like few people ever come here. 

The hiking was difficult, since many of what I thought were "trails" were actually deer tracks. I startled deer at least four times.
I made my way, with difficulty, to the other end of the island, which was more "open" and rocky.

Shale eroded with neat holes.

A cute rectangular lighthouse. 

The walking was rough, even on the shoreline. There really was no clear path. On the way back, saw an imposing brick shell of a building, which I supposed must have been the barracks. I actually had trouble finding my way back to the pier, and nearly repeated by Whale Rock blunder, but tide & wind were favorable. Mighty rough on the feet, next time, I'll pack some proper hiking footwear.

I have since been informed that Dutch Island  is not open to the Public, and that I was actually trespassing. There were supposed to be signs posted, but vandals must have taken them down.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ongoing Outfitting, and Stuff

I finally decided to install the hear hatch. After putting it in, I realized what a convenience it would have been when I went camping. In any case, lack of a Rear Hatch might have been a negative selling point.
I also decided that I wouldn't use foam bulkheads on the next build, so that gave me some 3" minicell to play with. I bought an angle grinder & carved this out. I  tried it for about 1/2 hour, and it didn't seem "right", so I whittled it down some more, and it still doesn't seem great. 
When I tried Jay's Outer Island, it had a custom-molded fiberglass seat. Absolutely  no padding, but the most comfortable seat I'd yet sat in. I'm going to try that next.

I Tried making a mold of my butt in cement. 1st attempt was not auspicious, because I (stupidly) got concrete instead of cement. I used a great deal of Plaster of Paris to try & smooth it out. Then I tried again with mortar , making the mix looser & wetter than everyone recommends. That one seemed more like a "mold".
I also did a little more whittling on the foam seat, and gave it a one-hour trial today. It was better than I thought-didn't feel nice and cushy, but after 2 half-hour paddles, no numb legs!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thimbles Again

I decided to paddle around The Thimbles yesterday. Being a Sunday, I was a little worried about the limited parking at the Town Dock. I did find a space within "portage" distance of the launching area.
I saw two strip-built kayaks waiting to be launched, and asked their owners a few questions. The turned out to be Outer Islands. I had been considering this design for my next build. I like the name-a kayak not named after a bird, or a body of water, and with Local Interest. When I shot a few technical questions, one guy said "why not ask the designer?", and there he was-Jay Babina! Talk about luck! What are the chances of running into the designer of the kayak you're considering building, on a random day, all 1/2 mile from the actual island the design is named after?
He suggested that we paddle together, which was fun. We talked a lot about designs. You can get so much good information from someone who is friendly, and isn't trying to sell something. For example, when I mentioned that I didn't like the Night Heron, he said, "Oh, everybody hates it. Its a mistake". 
 Jay in his Outer Island. A great looking Greenland-style boat.

We stopped at Outer Thimble island, which was "open" for visitors, and he let me test-paddle his OI. A great boat. It has a small feet-first-entry type cockpit, which I was no longer used to, and my knees were braced firmly against the rather low deck. Jay says that the deck can be raised, and I can enlarge the cockpit if I want to. I thought my SW tracked well, but this thing seemed to want to stay on course. Comfortable stability, and despite reviews not hard to turn, if you know how. Jay also helped me solve my  quandary about leg discomfort. His OI's seat was the "tractor" style, molded of fiberglass, with no padding, and it was considerably more comfortable than mine. So, I'm starting to believe the "its not the padding, its the shape" School Of Thought. 
Interesting to paddle with these guys. The two in OI's both had Greenland paddles, and seemed to be expending very little energy to set a pace which I had to work a little to keep up with.
What a lucky day!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Urban Paddling

Went to a CLC demo on the Hudson River in Yonkers yesterday. A hot day for driving. Drove through "interesting" neighborhoods to get to the canoe club, which was directly across the street from the City Jail, and then had trouble parking. It seems that the more "urban" the location,the more stingily apportioned any scrap of shoreline is. The club claimed  a tiny beach of about 10 yards, and a few rocks.
It was crowded, and the space allowed for paddling was limited, so when I tried a Petrel and a Hi-Deck Night Heron, I didn't discover much. There was no room to get up to "sprint" pace. A man in a kayak bellowed directives: "Night Heron! Bear away from those rocks! Paddle on the right!", etc. Urban.
I stayed with the "urban" theme today, and tried the boat ramp under the Gold Star Bridge. Pretty average, as boat ramps go. Up into the harbor, against the wind, surprisingly rough, back downwind for some surfing. I still haven't perfected that art-it seem that the trick is to achieve the perfect "speed per wave".
I was somewhat disappointed with the 'yaks I tried yesterday. The NH felt very wobbly indeed, and while the Petrel was better, it was almost a little too "responsive". I may have to look farther for my next build.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Housatonic Lover's Leap

I decided to repeat last year's Housatonic trip today, despite the heat. Interesting how much a waterway can change in one year. The water level seemed low, due to drought, and there either was, or I noticed, much more weed and algae.
The stretch of flat water between Bull's Bridge and Kent School is quiet. Few waterfront residences, and I counted only three motorboats  on the shore-it must seem like there is "nowhere to go" in a motorboat.

I thought I saw a tree stump that looked like a deer's ass, but it turned out to be a deer's ass. This one held the "headlights" pose for so long, I almost thought it was fake:

I beached near this bridge, and walked a couple of blocks to a store, and bought a beverage.

I think I must have been in better shape than last year, because the trip seemed easier & shorter than last year.  Really hot, though. I resisted the urge to jump in several times, which is good, since the water was not very cool, and I'd only have gotten dirty.

On the way up, I had noticed a sign for "Lover's Leap State Park". I had also noticed it on the map, while checking out Lake Lillinoah. Funky little place!

 A nice iron bridge, which spans a gorge at the very head of the lake. 
 View from the bridge

The park has hiking trails (uphill in the heat, aagh!),one of which leads to this view:

 And others lead to architectural oddities: 

A most peculiar structure. Its split in half by a wall, and is held together by cables. It has upper & lower levels, connected by a little window. They must have run out of brick on the top.

Almost forgot to mention The Rocky River Hydroelectric plant. I had seen this place before, but only found it interesting after reading the history of Candlewood Lake. The Plant itself just looks like a typical Hydro Plant, so no photo, but you gotta see this pipe:
Thirteen feet wide. It filled 75% of Candlewood Lake, which lies right over the hill. It has a burly, turn-of-the-century-boilerplate look to it, all black & riveted, with a Diver Dan porthole.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Very Small State Park

Had half a day off today, so rather than an "expedition", I went for a "local" paddle on Gardener Lake. There is a small island, 100 yards or so from the shore, which I was surprised to learn, comprises the State's Smallest State Park. Like, less than one acre small.

That's it, folks. One trail across it, and the only development is a single "No Camping" sign, and of course, The Secret Teenage Party Firepit.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Camping Out Of My Kayak

I haven't been camping in about 30 years. I thought it would be neat to camp on an island, accessible only by boat, so I tried Knight Island, in Lake Champlain.
Parked at Hero's Welcome general store, in North Hero. They had a steep boat ramp & dock for which they charged $3 to launch a kayak. Here, I made the embarrassing mistake of loading my boat with gear on the dock instead of in the water, nearly doubling its weight. Had to ask for a hand. 
The trip over was not bad. I had been a little concerned about how the 'yak would handle with  the extra weight , but it was fine. Wind was out of the south, so I headed into it south of my target, and rode in. About a 1' chop, nothing major.
I think I have trouble judging distances over open water, or trouble judging my speed or, both. I aimed for the Ranger's house, which started out looking like a gray dot. I judged my progress by details. Now the house looks rectangular. Now  I can see a window. Now I can see two windows, Now I can see an outbuilding, etc, until its closer than where I left from.
Met the friendly Ranger. Interesting: he said that a family had just left my campsite , and that he'd come over by bicycle "in about an hour" to "clean it up". I went straight to the site, found it neat as a pin, with firewood neatly stacked, and even a kindling pile in the fire pit. "Wes" arrived within minutes on his bike, and we had another chat, then he left. I think that was part of the "procedure", to check me out and make sure I wasn't unloading atomic bombs or anything.
This is the only site on the island without a lean-to shelter, but they seem to have made up for it by selecting the best spot. Great views of both sides of the island, and if you count "my" campsite as starting at the Famous Composting Privy (more on that later), a good 1/2 acre.
Camp set up, I had a swim, cup of coffee, and walk around the island. There are walking trails in the interior, with the campsites marked such as "ASPEN Campers Only", to insure privacy. I also tried to circumnavigate the island on shore, but was stopped by cliffs.

 Interesting rocks on the beach. 
Obligatory Sunset Photo. At this point, it was still fun-made a fire, some lousy freeze-dried stew, and had another swim.
Now comes the part where I was reminded why I haven't been camping in 30 years. Too early for sleep, read by head lamp for a while, heard unusual animal noises. Retired to tent, more noises. Went back out found a raccoon in my lamp, not happy to see me.Back in the tent, turned the light off, and he took a tour around my tent. Only leaving the light on all night kept him away. I think I got about 3 hours fitful sleep. And of course, it absolutely had to rain a little.

The aforementioned Privy. They seemed to proud of these. There is a poster inside, explaining how its set up to biodegrade your leavings. I was tempted to swipe some of the straw for padding, but I didn't. The system seems to work,because it barely had an odor. The crossed paddles in lieu of a crescent moon are a nice touch, too.
Sunrise, finally. 
By 9:00 the night before, the wind died down, and the lake was flat and glassy. My bright Idea was to leave in the early morning, "before the wind came up", but the wind came up during the night, and stayed "up". Had to paddle back in short-length, 4' waves, the roughest conditions I've yet encountered, on 3 hours sleep. Again, I had trouble judging the distance, and felt like I was making no progress, but sighted a green buoy at north Hero, and it did become larger & larger. It took twice as long to return as it did to get there. 
Maybe next time, I'll camp ashore, and paddle the lake for Fun instead of Necessity.

Lake Lillinoah

Its a wide place in the Housatonic River, behind a dam. It had some of the same "Man-Made" look as Candlewood, and about the same level of motorboat traffic.
Put in at Pond Brook. At least this time, it was free of charge, and since Lillinoah is already  infested with the Dreaded Zebra Mussel, I didn't have to undergo an interview.
Its green. At first, I thought I was looking at reflections of trees, or some other illusion, but it is, in fact green, due to algae bloom.
A nice 3-mile paddle.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Narragansett Rune Stone

I found out about this thing while reading a web page about the Newport Tower. The problem, these days, is that everyone is an advocate for evidence supporting what they already believe, taking everything for "proof" of the wildest theories. This is supposed to be an inscription left by Wayward Northmen in the 1400's. We decided to check it out.
There is no public access to the shore in this area. We parked at the Country Club, and cut across the golf course as inconspicuously as possible. I had some misleading directions from another blog. 

We found this boulder. It looked like a good place to carve an inscription. I waded to it, and found no trace of an inscription, or, it looked as if any inscription would be underneath an inch of barnacles. I should have listened to my friend, who opined that it "didn't look like the picture". Lesson learned: When "determination" becomes "stubbornness" , you may fail.

I returned today.  On a whim, I decided to hike a little further north on the beach (contradictory to the "directions), and voila! there was a beach just like the picture!  The "real" rock seemed much smaller and lower than I would have imagined, and the bluff behind the beach had lots of put-there-deliberately seawall-type stones. I read that the Rune Stone was discovered by clam diggers, and sure enough, there were some in the vicinity. Waded out, scraped a little with a brush, and easily found the "Runes".

This rock would really be invisible at high tide. This being a New Moon low tide, I actually had to time my photos in between waves. Saw some other marks, probably made by others clearing away weeds.
It seems as though Runes are difficult to translate. One rune can mean two things, and a message in Runes does not contain all the parts of a sentence: one must liberally insert them. Here's one translation I found:
Rune 1. GIFT (G)
Rune 2. SUN (S)
Rune 3. LAND, ISLAND (H)
Rune 4. RIDE, RED, RHODE (R)
Rune 5. HOME, PROPERTY (0)
Rune 6. MAN, MEN (M)
Rune 7. LAKE, SEA, OCEAN (L)
Rune 8. ICE, ICELAND (1)
Rune 9. GIFT (G)
Rune 10. GOD (A)
So, the correct TRANSLATION appears to be:
"GIFT of the SUN: RHODE ISLAND (Red Land), now HOME (property) of the MEN across the OCEAN from ICELAND; GIFT of GOD"

This is,of course, hotly debated online. Two things I thought that I knew: That The Northmen were suspected to have extended their  explorations along the American coast, possibly as far south as Mexico, but there was "insufficient evidence" to prove it, and that Rhode Island was named by English speakers in the seventeenth century, after Rhodes, Greece. It also seems that "Rhode" means "Red". Might these Northmen, accustomed to the black sand and gravel of Iceland's coast, interpreted the brown sand and mud flats of New England as "red"? Or the natives? 
Then there is the matter of "The Hooked X". This Rune was recently discovered in Europe, and appears in inscriptions In Rhode Island and Maine. If a hoax, the Stone shows many decades of wear. I also don't know what the probability of a carving from the 14th century surviving that long in the water is.
As a hoax, the Hoaxer would have had to have enough knowledge of Runic to tap out a fairly coherent message, including the obscure "hooked X". Most hoaxers want attention, and this one has sought none (unlike the crop circles).  It doesn't seem to be a very good place for an inscription, and it was only discovered in the 1980s. I also find the use of "Red" kind of suspect, as above mentioned. I'd also be more encouraged if it was discovered in the 1600s, instead of the 1980s.
Encouraging: The admixture of Pagan and Christian symbology. The Vikings had been Christianized by that time, but oddly held onto their Pagan roots. I'm doubting The Hoaxer's creativity, in throwing in that little bit of mystery. 
It still starts my imagination: A failed, one-way expedition comes to an end in this bay, and the survivors give thanks for being stranded in a not-too-terrible place. 

Update, July 2, 2012
I returned with my friend last week, to look for the stone, but I couldn't find it, which seems very weird, because it was perfectly obvious, once I had looked in the right place . We agreed to return on a spring low tide (today), and still couldn't find it!  It seems to be gone! I found this bit on a webpage:

 "The following photographs show the Narragansett Stone at low tide and an early photograph of the
Narragansett Stone taken by Malcolm Pearson. In 2007 Mr. Rick Lynch, a former officer of NEARA, was taking
steps with the State Agencies in Rhode Island to remove the stone from the tide water and the author supported
him in this effort. However, it is always difficult to get state permission to remove objects in tidewater and the
project is apparently still pending. There may well be other runes on this heavy rock on either the sides or on the
back and it is certainly worth a look."


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Candlewood Lake

I recently learned that its Man-Made, a reserve reservoir for a hydroelectric plant, and that its only been there since the 1930's. "They" flooded a lightly populated area, including a few small villages, houses, cars, etc. It does have kind of a "new" look to it-quite a few coves, bays, sizable islands, and tiny no-name islands.
So, now its Backyards Of The Rich & Famous. Lotsa $$$ around there. New $$$. I didn't even bother to take any pictures of the Opulent Lakefront Mansions, because they totally lacked interest or style.
Put in at the State Boat Launch, on the edge of adjoining Squantz Pond. An amazing $13 to park. I was then stopped by an official who was there to prevent the spread of the Zebra Mussel. He asked: 1.Where I had been last with my kayak, 2. If I washed it after use, and 3. If I had been to any of the following places... He gave me two informative pamphlets that explained it all. It was the most "monitored" put-in ever!
A long paddle on a beautiful day. I went north about two miles, to a thing they call "Chicken Rock". People jump in here. There are also two ropes to swing from.
Lots of boat traffic. I learned today that Wakes Can Be Fun. If a boat is traveling the same general direction as you are, you can surf down the wakes, and use them for propulsion.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


At a certain point, i decided to quit going for The Perfect Varnish Job, and just use the boat. I almost pulled the "its-a-kayak-not-a-piece-of-furniture" line, but my  rendition was "I'm going to re-varnish it next year, anyway".
It looks different outside of that tight basement. when I sat inside, to adjust the gear, I was happy to find that the stripping did not look crooked from inside the cockpit. it must have been some kind of illusion caused by always viewing the deck from one angle of another? It also looks longer & sleeker outside. I know where the flaws in the finish are, but they aren't apparent when the boat is viewed "as a whole"
When we arrived at my favorite secluded lake, a surprise awaited us.  There was  a canoe-shaped cardboard sign at the entrance that read "Canoe. Believe It!" The usually-empty lot was full of cars. It seems that two women had built a beautiful strip canoe, and they, too, were celebrating a Maiden Voyage!  We admired each others work.
It kind of reminded me of The First Ski Trip Of The Winter, where you expect to ski just as well as last spring, but don't. I was surprised at how rusty I was. However, I went back out the next day, and felt a little more like "myself" in the cockpit. I have about six weeks to get in shape for Lake Champlain....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Varnishing, Fitting out

I haven't posted in a while. The process was more of the usual stuff; sanding, epoxy, more sanding, more epoxy, etc. It basically went about the same as the last build, and while it may have gone better, there are still minor flaws. I guess that "minor flaws" are intrinsic to the Kayak Building Process.
I sold my old SW 17 last weekend, to a fellow who formerly owned a Pygmy Coho. I, of course, was stressed out about every little flaw, but he seemed impressed.
I like the layout and design of my deck more after it received a clear coat than I did while gluing, sanding, and glassing it. I also gave up on the idea of carving a seat of mini cel foam, since the stuff I bought from CLC was the "hard" variety, and I also know that a Hot Seat, with an extra layer of foam, will do nicely, so I saved the foam for future projects.
I started out using Epiphanes varnish , possibly under "less than ideal" conditions (humidity), and it seemed to take "forever" to cure. Switching back to Schooner Gold.
This stage is actually fun, especially Outfitting. Everything seems easy & straightforward. 
 I made a Velcro loop to hold a paddle shaft for paddle float recovery.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Deck Saga Contines

I actually did a little bit of "fairing while still building the deck. In retrospect, I should have gotten the alignment of the the strips a little closer, because while I never "ran out of wood', I had lots of wood to remove in some spots.

 I used shrink wrap and duct tape to glue the deck on. I should have started in the middle with the shrink tape, because the duct tape "let go" a little, causing a small gap to be filled.

 I made a "fairing board" of plywood that holds two half-sheets of sandpaper. After using Every Tool In The Shop, including my beloved cabinet scraper, and hated random orbit sander, I found that it works the best, albeit tediously. 

 It looked and felt pretty smooth. Yes, there are some glue lines, but I'm gonna just have to live with them.
Somehow, this boat looks shorter and fatter than my first build. It may be because the light-colored strips around the perimeter accentuate the curves?

The deck 'glassed. I had miscalculated fiberglass usage, and had to use two pieces. This time, I used a masking tape that (I hope) will remove cleanly, and not self-destruct.