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.