Friday, February 25, 2011

Fittings, bulkheads and decisions . . .

I've decided to forgo buying deck fittings and go with a system attributed to Joe Greenley at Redfish Kayaks. According to legend (just kidding) Joe came up with an idea of using nylon webbing to hold deck lines and bungees - as per these instructions. I like the idea of soft pad eyes and the fact that I can put these on the boat after I finish painting.

I added reinforcing under the deck in spots where I plan on putting a pad eye.

A test pad eye. Easy peasy!!

I also cut and fitted the three bulkeads. I've got them filleted for now but I just read that I should glass the fillets as well. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

As it stands right now, the only thing between me and stitching on the deck is that glass tape for the bulkheads. I can do the taping and then proceed to do the deck even before the epoxy/glass on the bulkheads has dried!!

For a day or two I agonized over whether to install a skeg or not. At one point I had myself convinced I needed one and even had the plans drawn up to make it. Then I had a change of heart and decided against it. This change of heart was prompted when I looked at my keel and saw a total of 4 layers of 6oz glass, tape, fillet and epoxy!! I'd need a chainsaw to get through it.

I did some further research on the matter of skegs and came across the expected arguments for and against. The deciding factor was a little nugget I found on the Kayak Building Forum. Apparently somebody asked the exact same question as me sometime before. I read with interest the responses. The one that really tweaked was the comment that "if the designer does not include a skeg in the design, then there is probably no need to have one"  As far as I know Duane Strosaker designed the Point Bennett as a skeg-less craft. ( I stand to be corrected and, Duane, if you're reading this, please feel free to jump in) I also checked other people's builds of this craft and all, save one, appear to be sans skeg. I am willing to try the boat without the skeg and, if if does not work, I can retrofit one relatively easy.

In the meantime, I hope to join the deck and hull this weekend.   Woohooo!!

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